26 Jun 2022

Athens and Naxos

Note: I remain woefully behind, so fewer words for a couple posts.

Athens

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One of those funny things where once you notice it you can't stop seeing it: when the real thing (e.g., the Parthenon) has fakes on it (e.g., reconstructed facades), and the actual things (e.g., original facades) are in a museum for safekeeping. Or you can even get into the business of a museum also having a fake and referencing the real one in another museum. "I'm sorry Mario, the princess is in another castle."

Gritty and sprawling. Anarchist enthusiast youth districts. Generous seafood, meat, and salads, especially in the outskirts.

They (the cool youth) are now into really old traditional Greek music.

The scale of sprawl is hard to capture because it’s a bazillion six-ish story buildings in all directions.

Everyone we talked to was kind and helpful. Everyone we told this to was surprised.

Friendly reminder people had to invent writing spaces between words.

Many gems we would have missed without a local (thank you, Marcus!), like this food fair with craft beer and great vegan food.

Jet lag was actually awesome this time. Wish I could have sustained sunrise wakeups. A hot tropical morning with delivery mopeds occasionally buzzing around evokes for me strong SE Asia vibes.

Our optimistic plans of cooking local food are nearly always dashed by spartan AirBnb kitchens equipped basically only for pasta making. We made do by throwing in a bunch of olives.

Riff on this recipe from BA.

Ubiquitous strays I can't stop calling "beach gatos."

Just two plant pals.

Night park art. Not just for one night, but for months. Great. Need more of this.

Naxos

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Among tourist destination islands (probably all of them?), this one seemed laid back. Accordingly we did almost nothing.

Beach gato!

Mediterranean water up close is saltier and prettier than just about any liquid I’ve seen. Turns out the sea really does get turquoise.

(Now of course that I write that, I don’t have a photo of it.)

Instead here is a photo of a building I liked.

This time with mizithra. By the way, the whole time was a great exercise in remembering years spent doing some amount of math, because it turns out they do write in Greek letters for everything. So seeing μυζήθρα at the store I'm like, OK, μ is mu, definitely know θ is theta, ρ looks like "p" but it's "rho" so probably sounds like "r," etc.

Temple of Instagram.

I delighted in this Mario knockoff welcoming you into a random market.

P.S. Sorry no maps, had problems making them for both Athens and Naxos so 🤷‍♂️ hopefully next time.

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