Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market

Welcome to the Athens Flea Market where ancient, Byzantine and modern glories are all packed into one gloriously overcrowded mishmash. The entrance is on Monastiraki Square, opposite the Tzistarakis Mosque, built in 1759, which now houses the Kyriazopoulos  pottery collection. You might want to start with a freddo cappuccino and get some fruit to snackContinue reading “Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market”

Magic of Alexi the bouzouki player

In a tiny mountain village north of Athens in the middle of nowhere special is the heart and soul of Greece. It doesn’t cost the earth, and the experience is priceless. A cool, fickle breeze sends autumn leaves tumbling down the road on a Saturday night. A dog howls. Surrounding hillsides are hushed and dark.Continue reading “Magic of Alexi the bouzouki player”

Best autumn beaches in Greece

Greek summer is done but autumn’s divine. Come on in, the water’s fine! Many Greeks stop swimming in September. You’re more likely to see peeps in their 20s or 30s, or older and retired Greeks – the type who swim for their health until it’s really too cold (and occasionally old dudes with that creepyContinue reading “Best autumn beaches in Greece”

Driving me crazy in Athens

This is a view of Athens in autumn from the Acropolis, looking towards the cone shaped mountain of Lycabettos with the city centre crammed, rather than sprawled, beneath the two pinnacles. How beautiful, you say. The Greek capital in all its Hellenistic glory. Stately neoclassical buildings with red-tiled roofs, autumn sun glinting off white buildingsContinue reading “Driving me crazy in Athens”

What are the hardest languages to learn?

I was shopping for veges at an Athens urban produce market and in my dodgy Greek I asked for a hot dude, not a lettuce.  If you’re travelling through a foreign language country, or spending some time living there, do you learn the language, at least some useful phrases? Or do you assume English willContinue reading “What are the hardest languages to learn?”

Best and worst liveable cities

One of the joys of travelling is finding an exciting new city where you’d like to put down roots for a while. If you’re looking for a criteria, this will help. The latest results of the  2014 Economist Intelligence Unit Liveable Cities survey rank the best and worst liveable cities with Damascus at the bottomContinue reading “Best and worst liveable cities”

Greek tourism 2014 set to sizzle

Gorgeous Greece expects another bumper season for tourism in 2014, with sporadic civil unrest unlikely to affect visitor numbers. Greece has a long and colourful history of protests and strikes, but these have become progressively fewer over the past 12 months. The pictures of violent protests in international media from downtown Athens understandably make travellersContinue reading “Greek tourism 2014 set to sizzle”