Saturday, September 30, 2006

More fierce animals

Who said that little pigs have no grace? This photogenic animal follows the great tradition of Muppet Show's miss Piggy and the "babe" movie. Too bad this piglet will (most probably) follow "Babe's" fate and end up in a barbecue. That's life....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The shape on the page my words make

Devious Diva (visit her fantastic blog) sent me this fabulous photo. Many thanks.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Playing with pigeons at Syntagma square

Apollo and Academy

This is Apollo the guitar-player, a statue on the front of Athens Academy, one of the most beautiful neoclassical builidings in the world.
The Academy was completed in 1881 from Teofilo Hansen's architectural designs, executed by Ernst Ziller. It's the most heavily decorated such building in Athens.
Academy of Athens

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Marousi Metro Station

Athens' Green metro line has undergone a major rennovation from 2000 to 2004, partly in order to look more modern beside the brand new Blue and Red lines and partly because it was the same ugly cement structures for as long as 80 years. This particular station is over a bridge (built in the '50s) and looked like this. Today is as you see it (see this wikipedia photo too). The metal structure was made to act like a "shell" over the old cement one.

Some critics think it's "too modern" but, even them, they definetely prefer it over the outdated (and dangerously degrading) old structure.
Athens Metro (Official)
Athens Metro (Wikipedia)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bad parking

This underground parking has over 600 spaces in every floor. This photo was taken early in the morning. Almost 1800 parking spaces available and this neo-greek parked his car exactly where he shouldn't. Over the walkpass.
It's commonplace here for drivers to park anywhere they like, especially in front of ramps for disabled people's chairs. Police rarely write tickets. I wonder who's fault is the most.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More metro signs

...and a slice of tunnel.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Be carefull, take care and other metro wishes.

Well, either the Greeks need to be exactly informed about the danger and foreigners need not, or the translator was just lazy.
The greek text inside the Athens metro trains reads "Mind the doors. They close inwards". The english text calls for being careful anyway (probably for doors, pickpockets, sneezing fellow passengers, stray animals, whatever).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Name dropping...

This near-century old building was home to a crystal and porselain store called "Ermitage", named after the famous St. Petersbourg museum. It was the time when little local places were "borrowing" some of the celebrity of the famous original names. That's why we have a "Trocandero" marina in Piraeus, a "Etoile" cinema and "Champs de Mars" park in Athens, even the greek ministry of defence we call it "Pentagon".
Not exactly the definition of a "cosmopolitan" city is made but it's fun anyway.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Early in the morning, before the visitors begin to wander in the National Gardens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Something is missing...

...and it's not the the head and arm. It's the respect to a form of art that made the ancient greek civilization able to express everything they had to tell. Unfortunately, the neo-greeks don't seem to respect the past, although they jump on every oportunity to say that "we" are special because our ancestors were the ancient greeks. "We" are proud of ancient Greece. I am not sure, though, if ancient Greece would be proud of us.

P.S. I have turned by blogger account to beta. That's why I cannot (yet) comment to other people's blogs. My apologies to all of you, friends.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Open scene

Art needs no special place. Just a little scene in the woods is enough.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pray and play

It's funny how this medieval little church goes perfectly well with these colorful baloons. The decoration is because an orthodox baptising is taking place inside.

Greece is full of little churches like this. They are everywhere, especially on hilltops, serving as points of reference for the travellers of the past, places of worship and reason for folk celebrations on the nameday of the patron saint.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Heinrich Schliemann's house

Heinrich Schliemann was the man who discovered Troy.

He was a German classical archaeologist, an advocate of the historical reality of places mentioned in the works of Homer, and an important excavator of Mycenaean sites, such as Mycenae and Tiryns.

The house was built in 1879. The interior has been affluently garnished by "Pompeian" wall paintings and other decorative wall and ceiling illustrations. It is considered to be the best Renaissance-style work of Hernest Ziller.

In 1927 it was purchased by the Greek State and housed the Supreme Court. Now, it houses the Numismatic (Coin) Museum.
It's just near Syntagma Square (blue or red metro line) and it's open to visitors.
Heinrich Schliemann in Wikipedia

Troy in Wikipedia
Numismatic Museum

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Athens City Hall

One would expect that such a big city and state capital had to have a big impressive city hall. Well, that's not the case. It's a modest structure, just a typical example of the neoclassican style in which all public buildings were made.

The city hall was built in 1874 and had only the ground and first floor. The second floor was added in 1937.
City of Athens website
Town Hall and Square at Google Maps (on the west, left, side of the square)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Two Worlds

Athens was lucky enough to thrive in the late 1800´s to the early 1900´s with new beautiful buildings (as this blog has already showed you). Athens was unlucky enough to be "rebuilt" between1965-75 when (during a boom of urban development) the worst form of architecture demolished many old houses and estates (like the one the right) in order to replace them with office buildings like the one on the left.

Many hope that some day someone will demolish them and make something realy modern and good-looking. But, then again, people back in the 70´s considered those creatures pretty. Go figure....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Facing Athens

The building on the right is the town hall of Andros, built around 1920's. The building on left is National Telecommunications office, built in the 70's. Obviously, the architectural "taste" has declined over the decades to a very bad one.

The antennae over the white building are facing Athens. When you are in a greek island, you can always tell where Athens is just by looking at the cranes over OTE buildings.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fierce (vegetarian) animals

Remember the kitten from July 9th post? Here it is again, a little older, eating grass. No, it's not like the the vegetarian sharks in "Looking for Nemo". Cats eat grass sometimes because they need certain elements or because they feel like it. I was looking for a sheep eating mice but I had no luck. :-)
An article on grass-eating carnivores

Friday, September 01, 2006

Coffee, anyone?

In Greece we don't just drink coffee. We merely rent a chair and table for two-three hours. Most caffees are in small, tiny parks (Athens has very few parks and urban green areas) which local mayors make from scratch in order to rent the space to the "cafeterias" (as we call the coffee shops) for a high price.

In Greece, an espresso coffee costs no less than 3 euros. Cappuccino for 3,50 and Cappucino Freddo (ice cappucino) 3,70 to 4 euros. And these are mean prices as, in central Athens, it costs 4,50.

But, as I said, you don't actually pay for the coffee. You pay for the chair (and sometimes a whole couch) for two-three hours, between the trees. Doesn't it worth it?