Greek tourism urges visitors to come on over

  The sun still shines, beaches are gorgeous, beer is cold and ancient ruins mostly standing. If you want to help Greece get out of the financial snake pit, go there. If you don’t give a toss, by going there you will inadvertently help anyway. Greek tourism operators are slashing prices up to 50 perContinue reading “Greek tourism urges visitors to come on over”

Between a rock and a hard place for Greece

Not too far away from where you’re enjoying your Greek vacation, locals may be protesting and lining up half the night to get paltry amounts of cash out of ATMs. They’re also bracing for tough choices in Sunday’s referendum, a climactic vote in the longstanding debt crisis. Banks say they have a €1bn cash bufferContinue reading “Between a rock and a hard place for Greece”

Travel tips as Greek debt crisis deepens

Bring €, don’t panic You’re probably not thinking about much while you anticipate your sexy sunny Greek holiday. But here’s what is really going on behind the caffe freddo on the island of your dreams. Or that cold beer in Glyfada on the “Athenian Riviera”. The protracted Greek debt crisis is coming to a head,Continue reading “Travel tips as Greek debt crisis deepens”

Aegina day trip to another world

I meet a fellow Athenian who’s lived in the Greek capital for over 35 years, and yet she’s never been to the island of Aegina. “I hear it’s nice,” she said. I gulp and blink. If you’re standing on the Acropolis looking out to sea, Aegina resembles a smoky blue, slumbering whale of mythical proportions. There’sContinue reading “Aegina day trip to another world”

Athens street art will open your eyes

Athens street art has moved way beyond graffiti into powerful social expression. It’s provocative and evocative. There’s no denying the talent. Most artists started out as teenagers doing what teens do – tagging trains and walls. Now they’re even students at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Recently the City of Athens sponsored some of the better workContinue reading “Athens street art will open your eyes”

Coffee snobbery dissolved in an instant

“Damn, you people take coffee seriously,” said the visiting American staying in our apartment. We do. So so seriously. Especially in our state capital cities. We spend more time in cafes, buy more fancy home coffee machines than we used to and buy more coffee beans than we used to. We love it when visitorsContinue reading “Coffee snobbery dissolved in an instant”

New Greek food at Athens’ oldest restaurant

WHAT: Vassilenas claims to be Athens’ oldest restaurant opening its doors in 1920 and introducing a degustation menu as early as 1928. Serving traditional Greek food, seafood and no meat, it comprised only three tables in 1920, owned by Istanbul-born Thanasis Vassilenas. It quickly morphed into an established taverna. Among the rich and famous toContinue reading “New Greek food at Athens’ oldest restaurant”

Hot chocolate in Athens at Le Petite Fleur

A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine Wintery weather in Athens demands hot chocolate on a Sunday. But not any old hot chocolate will do. We’re at the elegant Le Petite Fleur in the upper crust suburb of Kifissia. The tiny interior is pink, white and pastel girly chic, with splashes of pillarContinue reading “Hot chocolate in Athens at Le Petite Fleur”

To Kati Allo homestyle Greek fare

In a narrow street directly behind the state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum, Leonidas and Ioanna have been serving traditional food to Athenians and visitors at To Kati Allo restaurant for over 30 years. Oven-baked peppers stuffed with rice, spit-roasted lamb, robust fish soups, hearty moussaka, salads, baked chicken with lemony potatoes. Comfort food that Greeks love andContinue reading “To Kati Allo homestyle Greek fare”

I’m an Athenian

I’m an Athenian. I first came here in 1980. No other city has ever challenged me so much. It’s richly cultural yet abrasive and tumultuous. I’ve had my fair share of love-hate with the ancient Greek capital. My Athenian-born children spent most of their childhoods in Australia. But I keep coming back. So do they. Many visitorsContinue reading “I’m an Athenian”