Plaka, Athens, Greece
The Plaka is the second most famous part of Athens that I was familiar with’ after the mighty Acropolis of course. Plaka was a dream to not only me but for even Americans too! If you have followed Gilmore Girls, then you would know. In one of the seasons Rory’s grandparents travel to Greece and when they come back, Rory wants to hear about Plaka! Hence I was very excited for Plaka but my husband was not. For him the entire city of Athens looked like that. I however begged to differ.
|Welcome to Plaka!!|
I had high hopes from Plaka. However our excursion started on a rather unsatisfactory note. You must have read our Mall of Athens fiasco here. That was a sheer waste of our precious hours. And just because of that we lost the daylight. We deboarded from the metro at Monastiraki sation and the ambiance there was rather festive.
|Everyone enjoying the Sunday..|
It was a Sunday and the people there were in full celebratory mood. There was music and dance in front of the station. There was a bunch of African guys who were collecting money for some religious thing. The flea market of Monastiraki is worls famous. However when we came out of the sation, the flea market was almost shut. The reason? First of all it was a Sunday. (the mall closed on Sundays and not perceivable by Indians) So the shops had shut down pretty early. Secondly it was half past eight. Just because we were basking in extended daylight that did not mean that the businessmen did not have a family of their own. So we shopped a few souvenirs from the ones which were open (of course) against my husband's will. The items were terribly expensive. A souvenir baby tee (for my daughter) for 12 euro? It was too much. But somehow we managed to hunt a cheap one (kudos to my perseverance for buying my darling a gift). I got a magenta tee that read 'Athena..the Goddess of Wisdom'. Then I bought a lot of fridge magnets for my loved ones (replicas of Acropolis, Hercules, etc).
|Street art with a street hooligan!!|
By the time we eneterd Plaka, it was pitch dark. I was crestfallen. I had dreamt of capturing those iconic Greek balconies with hanging flowers in the broad daylight. Well what had happened was irreversible. I started enjoying the beautiful ambiance in the dark itself. The atmosphere was infectious. There were the most beautiful restaurants I had ever seen in my life and the most melodious of folk songs. At least thousands of tourists were having dinner at different cafes. Some of the places had a vintage decoration while some had grapevines hanging over them. The streets were of course cobbled. Candle lights were twinkling all over.
|The famous Greek cat!|
There was this huge reastaurant whose decor attracted me and we went inside. We were amazed to see what was inside. There were pictures of famous personalities who had dined there among which there was a picture of Indira Gandhi, the first prime minister of India. We asked the restaurant owner as to what he knew about the photos and he actually knew it! We felt really nice.
|The first Female prime minister..Indira Gandhi|
|The owner knew who all were there in the photographs...|
After roaming around more on the cobbled streets, we decided it was time to go back. The metro had a definite closing time and it be a nightmare to miss the last train and take a cab instead.
We took a ride to the Syntagma Square. We went to the Parliament just in time to witness the change of guards; a phenomena in itself. It was indeed glorious.
|The changing of guards at the Parliament House..|
|The Parliament House beautifully lit up at night!|
We then spent some time around the Syntagma Square watching the beautiful fountains againts the lit city. I did not want to go back. It was after all our last night in Athens. But good things come to an end. So we had to part and gear up for our next adventure Paros Island!
|The Syntagma Square looked spectacular at night!|
Hat; Accessorize (Malaysia)