Piraeus & more sunsetting

I woke up early and after a greaaaaaat hostel breakfast on their roof garden (tooomatoes and bread plus salt and olive oil – the flavour and freshness of the tomatoes in Greece makes all the difference) headed out for some more sightseeing before realising it was waaaay to hot (even though it was only 10 oclock) so I planned an utmost important excursion to the coast and saved the city for the afternoon. One euro and twenty minutes later my train had zipped out to the port of Piraeus.

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Its the place where a lot of tourists get ferries to the islands, but I wasn’t that impressed with the high buildings squashed together and busy streets zigzagging between. The port isn’t worth seeing so I decided to walk around the headland, cutting through some areas where walking beside the coast isnt possible for access reasons and privatw property. At this point I should mention that the centre of Piraeus is quite hilly. And what I mean to stay by that is that there are quite a few steeeep slopes to climb up to explore the city. Tough work aside, I reached the southern tip of the city in around twenty or thirty minutes. The fresh breeze was a dream to behold as was the blue ocean beginning at the rocks under my feet. There are places fo swim here but its very unoffical, with locals propping their umbrellas between rocks and diving into the water off the larger flatter rocks. I kept on walking passing adorable little restaurants as they were just setting up for lunch and crossed one or two tiny little marinas which the locals had converted into a beach for an hour or two.

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I continued to the official beaches which are located on the opposite side of the city to the train station, on either side of a large marina. Neither were memorable, the water wasn’t clean, nor were the pebbled beaches clean and I wouldn’t make the trip here to swim again. Although if I had to it would be the flat rocks on the southern tip. There are beautiful seafood restaurants located in the next bay on from the beaches where you can sit right beside the water and there are so many to choose from you would have no trouble finding the perfect place to eat. I myself had the finest of meals reminiscent of my Spanish travelling days – baguette, cherry tomatoes and chunks of cheese from the supermarket! The one thing you may want to visit is the beautiful theatre in the central square, but I really wouldn’t head back to Piraeus anytime soon.

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Back in Athens I had selected spot number two to watch the sunset from, so made my way across the city through the shopping stalls and up the long street lined with jewellery stands (beaaauuutiful stuff – I adore anything that looks leafy or planty and had to tear myself away from a few olive leaf armbands). I stopped for a gelato dinner along the way (still not as good as in Italy, but the melted chocolate on top was the best idea ever…) and crossed over to the gardens underneath and leading up to the observatory.

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I found the perfect spot and perched on this rock watching the world go by. There were quite a few others, but because the park is larger and with trees it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as closer to the acropolis. Once again the moon just framed the whole scene. This was easily accessible, free and not a difficult walk, peaceful and calm with a good view over the city but the sunset was a little hidden behind the observatory. Once the sun had set it was back down through the streets and off to bed for me!

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