Plaka – An Unusual Encounter

Plaka is without a doubt the most picturesque neighborhoods in Athens, with its narrow and winding streets, lovely neoclassical buildings, small cafes, traditional taverns, souvenir shops and ancient ruins in almost every corner.

It has a totally different atmosphere than the rest of the city center, creating a feeling of nostalgia of the old Athens.

Even though it is very commercial and popular with tourists, it is the ideal place to enjoy a nice walk, as there are plenty of things to do and see, while strolling around its streets and alleys.

My wife and I were happily strolling in the area of Plaka, Athens.

We took great interest in seeing the street art and graffiti in the area.

So we walked up and up the hill roads where there were street art on the walls bordering the road, without realizing that we have reached an area where there were few people around.

Three young local guys suddenly approached us. One has a map in his hand and asked us how to get to the hill top. When he was asking us, his hand reached out under the map towards my wife’s carrier bag slung in the front. Immediately, I pushed my wife away from his hand and shouted in a loud voice that he should just continue walking up.

They realized I was aware as to what they were trying to do and left us.

We have a narrow escape. With that, we quickly walked downhill towards the more populated areas.

Cat at Plaka

The lesson is don’t walk to areas there are few people around!

A Brief Post on our Trip to Athens and Seven Cyclades Islands in Greece

This trip is on our bucket list.

We flew to Athens with a layover at Doha. The overall flying time was over 12 hours with an additional four hours at the airport of Doha. We were able to get some sleep on both legs of the flights, so we didn’t look too worn out when we arrived at Athens.

Athens is great, there were plenty of things to do.

Visiting the Acropolis is high up on our list. So were the other vistas and museums.

Acropolis
Acropolis by Night

The main purpose of this post is to give a short introduction of the seven islands we visited.

We embarked our ship, the Le Bougainville, at the busy port of Pireaus.

By next morning, the ship berthed at Patmos. Likewise, every morning, we arrived at a new island and started a new day. If berthing spaces are available, we will directly berth alongside. More often than not, we have tenders which transferred us to shore and back to ship after our land excursion.

Patmos – appears to be a religious island, where St. John once lived. It was here, on Patmos, where exiled by the Roman emperor Domitian in A.D. 95, that John conjured up the Four Horsemen and the Beast with Seven Heads.

The First Chapel on Patmos

Folegrandros – is known for the magical charm of its white-washed Hora with its old Castle that has been occupied since Medieval times and of course

Amorgos – the island is renowned for its trails and walking paths, its raki-loving spirit (a grape-based liquor), and its aromatic herbs.

Hiking up to the Monsatery
The Sea Overlooking from the Monastery

Syros – very beautiful, especially looking from the ship, day and night. Boasting the beautiful Cycladic landscape, minus the crowds, Syros Greece is a top choice for those who want to chill out and relax

View of Syros from the Ship
The Market at Syros

Delos – is one of the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in Greece. Not really inhabited, with all the ruins covering virtually the whole island. The stone lions on the island are more widely known.

The Stone Lions at Delos

Mykonos – this island seems too crowded and commercial for me. It is the party animal of the Cycladic islands.

The Windmills at Mykonos
The Chapel at Mykonos
Petros the Pelican at Mykonos

Hydra- beautiful, especially on the shore front where we were greeted by mules. One of the greatest parts of this stunning little paradise is that there are no cars allowed on the island, aside from garbage trucks and ambulances. The main method of transportation here is mules and donkeys.

Mules at Hydra
The Waterfront at Hydra

The biggest regret is not being able to visit the island of Santorini and viewing sunset from there.

It will be a long time before we will pass this way again; so I may have to kiss Santorini goodbye!