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A spring walk

I know that for some of you it is still winter, but in Athens, spring is already here. Sunday was a perfect day for a walk downtown, where a clutch of hills can make one  almost forget he’s in the middle of a city of 5 million.

We went up Areopagitou street, the Athenians’ favorite walk.On one hand we had the Acropolis, on the other the New Acropolis Museum and Philopappou hill.

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As usual, the pedestrianized street was full of people – families out for a stroll, boys playing soccer, young people on their way to the cafes up ahead, cyclists back from that day’s City Bicycle Race, tourists taking in the sites,  and more (the car is just part of locals’ liberal interpretation of what a pedestrian street actually is).

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A horse-drawn carriage is going up looking for passengers….

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while the “Athens Train” is on its way down, carrying its own.

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We went up the winding trails of Philopappou hill.

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Flowers were everywhere. Some spread like a carpet…

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and others shyly hidden in the grass.

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The monument of Philopappos on top was obscured by the blinding sun…

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while behind the trees…

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the Acropolis was at its best.

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To the south, the view stretched all the way to the sea and the mountains of Peloponnesus beyond.

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We had a picnic and the children played archaeology (yes, I’m afraid I’ve passed the bug on).

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We photographed and identified the finds (black-glazed 5th-century shards of pottery, among 20th-century finds and a piece of marble) then dutifully re-buried them on site (not without some protests) and returned home in time for siesta.

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Of all the years’ seasons, winter, the low “season” is my favorite. Soon the “high season” will begin and this daddy will be missing most of his sons’ weekends. But in the winter, we’ll always be making up for lost time.

Wishing you all sunny days, doing whatever makes you happy.

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