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Thursday, September 09, 2010

A STROLL ALONG THE AREOPAGITOU TO THISSIO

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Thission Taverna
Areopagitou is the long pedestrian mall that runs beside the Acropolis.  All along this walk you will see archaeological sites and  you'll get some wonderful views of the Parthenon and surrounding hillsides.
Keep walking, and you will reach the Thissio district, an area named after the nearby ancient temple in the Agora.  It's a traditional neighbourhood with charming neoclassical houses.  It's become very popular in recent years with many outdoor cafes located around Thissio Square. 

Kerameikos

Nearby is the Kerameikos, a part of ancient Athens located in the north west outskirts of the ancient city.  It was party enclosed and in the centre was an arch known as the Dipylon Gate where the Panathenaic processionals would start, and a Sacred Arch where the Sacred Way began leading to the Elefsinian Mysteries.

The district was named after the potters (Keramioi) who lived there on the banks of the River Iridanos.  However it is best known as an important burial site honoring citizens of Athens.  There are avenues lined with grave stele and a memorial where Athenians who died in the Battle of Charionea against the Macedonians are interred, as well as memorials to other Athenian heroes.  There is a museum on the site with some of the finds.

I passed by there yesterday while exploring Thission on my way to find the James Joyce Irish Pub which is located on a side street just between Thission and Monastiraki Metro Stations.  You can spot it right behind the fences that block off a new archaeological dig on the street running by the rail tracks.  Friends had told me about it and I can guarantee it's worth a visit.  I went inside the air conditioned bar which was stepping back into a real Irish pub.  Their menu is impressive and includes such dishes as Sausages and Mash and Dublin pasties. Of course there is Guiness on tap!

I ordered steamed mussels and a Guiness.  The mussels were stewed in white wine and lemon with bacon bits and were absolutely fabulous!  Some dark bread accompanied them to sop up the 'soup'  I'll write more about this pub later as it's unique to find such a place in the middle of the traditionally Greek market area. My meal and the relaxing stop in that friendly place topped off my afternoon wanderings.

My friends, Christina, Carola and Kim
I just had time to rush home, shower, change and hop a tram (they started running again at 4 pm) to meet Christina, Karola and Kim at the To Kati Allo for a fun evening of chats over white wine that only cost us 3.50 euro a half litre.  Talk about a cheap evening! And so much fun to be with the girlfriends.

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