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Athens - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Athens is the capital of Greece and lies at the heart of the ancient region of Attica. Flights from London take around three and a half hours ahead of GMT. Currency is the Euro and the language, Greek; however, English is widely spoken, through a few words of Greek is always appreciated by the locals. August and September are hot, with an average high temperature of 30C.

Before starting a day exploring I find it’s worth just relaxing and having a look around and what better place to start than from a café chair on a terrace. Looking up you can see the greenery cascading from the high stone walls of Athens roman forum so that it resembles draped curtains. If you look closer you can see large, pink and mauve flowers, already shriveling as the heat builds but are ready to be replaced by the many buds.

Looking nearby you see the remains of the Ancient Agora which reveal a carob tree, sprawling fig trees and dark green pomegranate bushes. Also growing among the ruins are purple flowering mallow, bitter chicory, purslane, Spanish oyster plant and stamnagthis, or the water jug thorn, named for its use as a stopper in the clay pots of antiquity.

Looking up towards the 156m high Acropolis the dramatic rock that supports the Parthenon you can see the outline of a path tracking out of the agora. This was the route taken by hundreds of cows when they were led up for ritualistic slaughter. It is a reminder, right in the centre of Modern Athens, of just how important the market was to the ancients. Agora also means philosophy school as well and it was here the great philosophers talked, ate, drank and came up with their theories, many of which still provide insights today.

While theories like those are not part of my daily thoughts, it does seem to me that we have corrupted the meaning of other Greek food-related words. For the people who were alive at that time diet meant a way of life not calorie counting and gastronomic was the art and science of good eating.

If you are planning a stay in Athens then here are some of the hotel options from which you can choose.

Coco mat, is a calm oasis located in the heart of Athens, this eco-friendly hotel is in one of the most exclusive districts in the capital, overlooks one of the liveliest paths in Kolonaki, in the foothills of Mount Lycabettus. From here you are just 10 minutes from designer boutique stores, gourmet delis and local cafes and a 20-minute stroll down to Acropolis.

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