Athens is a place you fall in love with, with an undeniable charm and a magic that you feel on the breeze that touches your skin in the nighttime.
It is not the city I grew up in anymore. It is more faded, the polish is replaced by the bare bones of the everyday, graffitis being a second skin to buildings all over the city. People are concerned about the crisis and everywhere you go you hear political talk, woes about money and projections for an uncertain future.
However when the night falls, the city is covered from a glittery cloak; the streets come alive with twinkling fairy lights, people walk down narrow streets, sit in tavernas, marvel at street performers and seem to take refuge from the worries of the day.
I walked with S down Thiseio and Plaka, went to the centre and sat down at Oineas, a restaurant in the centre. The service was exceptional – the servers were friendly, quick and full of Greek hospitality that made me feel at home. The tables next to us were involved in lively conversations full of raucous laughter and merciless teasing, often spilling over other tables and creating a feeling of togetherness that touched and soothed my soul.
We ordered the meat plate and it was delicious. We finished our meal, got off and walked up the street watching the Acropolis shimmer in the moonlight.
My shoulders relaxed and I asked myself to enjoy this moment, fully take it in. My eyes watered; it was so beautiful. A moment in time that is a precious as time itself.