I love travel books. Often, when browsing a bookstore, I find myself in front of the travel books and maps of foreign cities. The debate begins:
I don’t need another travel book. I really don’t need another travel book on my shelf. Am I even ever going to go to Bucharest? …Well, I mean, look at those cobbled streets in Old Town! It reminds me of Brugge… ooh! And look at the food! Ok, well, Bucharest is on the list now. … But still, I shouldn’t buy this until we are actually planning the trip, because I’ll just wind up wanting an updated version then. … Well, but if I’m going to lobby for Bucharest, I have to know what I’m working with, right? Sold!
Sigh. I know. I have a problem.
One of the weaknesses of travel books though, is that they rarely show you the un-pretty side, and that’s as much a part of these cities often as the tourist sites. If all we visit and all we photograph are the prettied parts, we haven’t really seen Athens now, have we?
So, as we stroll, I’m just as likely to be taking photos of the worn out and dilapidated as I am of the Sights (with a capital S). Many of those wind up being my favorite photos anyway, because they are far more interesting.
I returned to this building twice during our trip, and it stands out in my mind when I remember Athens. So worn out and tired looking… but the door is amazing, and those shutters… I love it.
There are a strange number of street sign pictures in my stash. More than half of them I can’t read, but that just makes me like them more. Many in Athens have been graffittied to unreadability.
You want to put a courtyard at your entryway. You start the project and find – of course, this is Athens – ruins underneath! Well, now you call in the powers that be, you go through the whole rig-a-ma-roll and learn these should be preserved. What do you do now?? This is your front yard! Well, here was a great solution… a see through floor on your courtyard…
Oh, wait! Roman Agora, that’s where we’re headed.
For a handy traveler’s map of our favorite stops in Plaka, see our post: Map of Top Things to Do