Being a fan of the city of Paris, I never thought i would fall in love with another European city, but I did in Athens.
Athens was for me a revelation; colours , green parks, ruins in the metro station for everyone to see and appreciate, hundreds of kilometers of pedestrians streets, thousands of restaurants, bistros, tavernas, coffee shops, tourist boutiques, thousand of people lounging literally for hours and hours. A feel of “farniente” everywhere we look.
Visiting the hill of Acropolis was not on my priority list, as I have conflicting thoughts about ruins; on the one hand they are impressive, mysterious, filled with history of people, wars, human development, and the other hand I feel that all ruins resemble each other. Broken stones and columns, scattered around a defined space. Fortunately for me, walking up towards the fortress of Acropolis filled med with admiration for the magnificent and grand space, the stunning view of the city of Athens, & the huge construction of the Parthenon. I suddenly realised how small I was with my judgments and how great the ancient people were, how visionary, how ambitious they were to build such buildings, and how fabulous it was too build it on precisely this hill.
Another peculiar element about Greece was the millions of graffiti scattered on nearly every restored building in the ancient city. Fabulous bright coloured drawings repeated in different parts of the town, but also black and white graphical drawings of a women with huge eyes and long hair.
What I learned from this short wonderful trip is that we all need to see something new once in a while, explore new cities with different smells, colours, shapes and words. It is enriching, inspiring and reminds you that other people and other places have been created outside your comfort zone. Diversity is crucial for our development and we must get out of our bubble regularly in order to learn, feel alive, change our perspective and enhance our tolerance towards other people.