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article imagePhoto Essay: Mythical Athens in Spring Special

By Kyle Smith     Jun 12, 2013 in Travel
Athens - Amid the media bombardment broadcasting images of anarchy, destruction and tear-gas, Athens is actually a city of beauty, magic and inspiration.
The 'polis' (Πολις: city-state) of Athens is many things. Words fail to successfully convey the raw emotion felt when walking the ancient streets of this grand city. Perhaps pictures will do a better job.
Note that Athens has been in the news recently: Public transportation in the Greek city will be staggered on June 13 as "transport workers join a strike called by the country’s largest labor unions representing public and private workers in the aftermath of the government’s decision to shut down the public broadcaster ERT," according to media reports.
Athens: View up the street of Βερανζερου from the Amaryllis Hotel.
Athens: View up the street of Βερανζερου from the Amaryllis Hotel.
A Modern Athenian Horizon.
A Modern Athenian Horizon.
 Periklēs  (Περικλῆς: surrounded by glory)  prominent 5th Century BC Athenian statesman an...
'Periklēs' (Περικλῆς: surrounded by glory), prominent 5th Century BC Athenian statesman and proclaimed by Thucydides as the 'first citizen of Athens'.
The Blessed Virgin Mary and baby Jesus: Greek Orthodoxy is the official state religion  of which up ...
The Blessed Virgin Mary and baby Jesus: Greek Orthodoxy is the official state religion, of which up to 98 percent of citizens belong. Greek culture is extremely religious and spiritual; with a multitude of chapels, churches, monasteries, icons and artwork around the country.
There are many random fruit stalls around Athens. This one is located at the entrance to the Athenia...
There are many random fruit stalls around Athens. This one is located at the entrance to the Athenian 'flea market': a proverbial rabbit-hole of goodies and souvenirs.
A quaint  Kafeneio  (Καφενειο: cafe) on the incline to the Acropolis. Just what the doctor o...
A quaint 'Kafeneio' (Καφενειο: cafe) on the incline to the Acropolis. Just what the doctor ordered!
An amphitheater just below the Acropolis. Extraordinary engineering ingenuities such as this theater...
An amphitheater just below the Acropolis. Extraordinary engineering ingenuities such as this theater, would have housed the great poets like Homer, and speakers like Pericles.
The Great Parthenon! This magnificent structure has withstood centuries of ferocious political debat...
The Great Parthenon! This magnificent structure has withstood centuries of ferocious political debate; watching an ancient city-state cultivate, flourish and grow.
View across the city: right at the tipsy-top of that mountain  is an ancient monastery  built by the...
View across the city: right at the tipsy-top of that mountain, is an ancient monastery, built by the Orthodox monks themselves.
Another picture of the fabulous Parthenon: proudly watching over the extensive city. The mountain th...
Another picture of the fabulous Parthenon: proudly watching over the extensive city. The mountain the Acropolis sits on has been inhabited since the fifth millennium BC. The term 'Acropolis' comes from the Greek 'ἄκρον' (akron: edge, extremity) and 'πόλις' (polis: city-state).
A magnificent view of a magnificent former empire. The Byzantine empire at it s height in 555AD pres...
A magnificent view of a magnificent former empire. The Byzantine empire at it's height in 555AD presided over 26,000,000 peoples; stretching from Spain, to Asia Minor and Northern Africa.
Greeks are a very proud people of the utmost integrity and kindness. Their national pride is evident...
Greeks are a very proud people of the utmost integrity and kindness. Their national pride is evident throughout the city with flags and banners everywhere. You can't help but think it was this same national pride that put the ancient Greeks at the forefront of politics, philosophy and morality.
The grand Acropolis of Athens guards the city by day and night. A guardian citadel persuading any im...
The grand Acropolis of Athens guards the city by day and night. A guardian citadel persuading any imminent invaders their quest for victory is doomed and ill-fated.
Another display of Greek nationalism down a quiet backstreet  down from the Acropolis.
Another display of Greek nationalism down a quiet backstreet, down from the Acropolis.
No city is perfect. The frustration of Greek youth oozes out of the perfectly chiseled masonry  pres...
No city is perfect. The frustration of Greek youth oozes out of the perfectly chiseled masonry, presenting a confronting and bleak reality. The cultural, vibrant and advanced city of Athens has a dark side - a side many tourists don't witness.
Ancient excavations are ongoing in Athens. These ancient buildings proof that Greek stone masons wer...
Ancient excavations are ongoing in Athens. These ancient buildings proof that Greek stone masons were the best of their age.
These excavations are sprinkled all over Athens. Of course it must be expected that an ancient city ...
These excavations are sprinkled all over Athens. Of course it must be expected that an ancient city such as Athens has existed on it's present site for thousands of years. Not sure how the residents feel about having skyscrapers being built on top of their homes...
Many random ruins exist throughout the city. These great pillars are remnants no doubt of another gr...
Many random ruins exist throughout the city. These great pillars are remnants no doubt of another grandiloquent structure not quite lucky enough to have stood the wear and tear of a few thousand years.
Amazing ancient artifacts at the National Archaelogical Museum in Athens. Incredible to think these ...
Amazing ancient artifacts at the National Archaelogical Museum in Athens. Incredible to think these intricate sculptures have survived unscathed, centuries of war and sub-surface burial.
The classic Greek vase. There are a multitude of vases in this museum  all depicting tense scenes of...
The classic Greek vase. There are a multitude of vases in this museum, all depicting tense scenes of Greek culture. A real glimpse into a distant time.
Inside the museum. The extensive collection of artifacts is breathtaking. You could spend all day he...
Inside the museum. The extensive collection of artifacts is breathtaking. You could spend all day here!
The Parthenon from afar!
The Parthenon from afar!
Greeks love their  Kafedes  (Καφεδες: coffees)! Not a coffee-lover? Sorry you ll never get a ...
Greeks love their 'Kafedes' (Καφεδες: coffees)! Not a coffee-lover? Sorry you'll never get a Greek passport.
Another quaint Kafeneio in Athens  this one called  Efcharis  (Ευχαρις: graceful). The interi...
Another quaint Kafeneio in Athens, this one called 'Efcharis' (Ευχαρις: graceful). The interior of Greek cafes is always exuding with originality!
Looking through the same Kafeneio. The service is always extraordinary: peaceful and enjoyable rathe...
Looking through the same Kafeneio. The service is always extraordinary: peaceful and enjoyable rather than the noisy and rushed experience many in Australia endure everyday.
A local dove enjoying some  Mythos  Hellenic lager. The street life of Athens is incredibly lively a...
A local dove enjoying some "Mythos" Hellenic lager. The street life of Athens is incredibly lively and vibrant.
View down the quiet street of Αλριανου from the Kafeneio.
View down the quiet street of Αλριανου from the Kafeneio.
The classic and ever-popular  Russian-built Lada Niva. Used by the Russian military  these 4WD s are...
The classic and ever-popular, Russian-built Lada Niva. Used by the Russian military, these 4WD's are invincible!
March 25: Greek Independence Day. A proud national display of Greece s military might; dissuading an...
March 25: Greek Independence Day. A proud national display of Greece's military might; dissuading any Turks or Macedonians considering a forceful border adjustment.
The bone-rattling noise produced from this two-hour parade through Athens is an incredible sight. Ta...
The bone-rattling noise produced from this two-hour parade through Athens is an incredible sight. Tanks, trucks, armored vehicles, troop carriers, Chemical warfare soldiers, jets, commandos...Thousands of locals and tourists alike line the streets proudly waving Greek flags. Such a sense of all-encompassing pride is felt. Greek or not, you can't help but love this country. The pride and unity displayed by this event gives me confidence that Greece will emerge victors of it's current trials.
The same shoreline many Greek heroes leaving for legendary battles of ancient history have departed ...
The same shoreline many Greek heroes leaving for legendary battles of ancient history have departed from for the last time. No doubt looking back from their ship feeling an immense sense of duty, honour and patriotism.
Athens from the ocean: a majestic and ancient city of culture  tradition and might. No one need fear...
Athens from the ocean: a majestic and ancient city of culture, tradition and might. No one need fear the future of this strong and capable nation of antiquity. The Athenians will ride out their current trials as they always have: united and uncompromising in the face of imminent danger.
Breathtaking Europe from the air.
Breathtaking Europe from the air.
Thank you for accompanying me on my journey through this breathtaking city. Athens is simply one location in Greece, a nation of many treasures.
Stay tuned for the second Photo-Essay in the Greek series: the Greek Island of Aegina.
More about Greece, Spring, Photo Essay, Ancient, Culture
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