My Stroll at Paleo Faliro

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Sunday, January 22, 2012

I am out at last with my camera in hand and ready for a nice walk. Poseidonos Avenue is really busy anytime of the day even late in the evenings and the traffic lights a few steps from the hotel with pedestrian lines to cross in safety.

There are two communities sharing the name Palaio (old) and Neo (new) Faliro. Paleo is a municipality, whereas Neo Faliro is part of the town of Piraeus. The two communities mark the northwestern and southeaster ends of the namesake Bay yet they are not contiguous. This specific location of the hotel is famous for its beach and at the same time it is the nearest beach to Athens and Piraeus. After the year 1974 many Greeks from Istanbul (Constantinople) –Turkey came to live in this area forming a very active and lively community. Olympic venues for the 2004 Olympic Games are located near the Saronic shoreline in very short distace.

This area is popular the year round. The tram network connects the centre of Athens through Nea Smyrni with Paleo Faliro and from there it branches out along the coastal avenue to Alimos and Glyfada on one end and to the Faliriko Delta, New Faliro and the Peace & Friendship Stadium on the other end.  EDEM by the way is the name of the tram and bus station opposite and under the hotel.

I can't describe how happy I am to be out here this morning. January is supposed to be the coldest month as the waters are really cold and yet several are those who swim here today.  Some are sunbathing and many are playing rackets. It is good that I don’t need to wear a coat or jacket. It is warm and nice.  At first I decide to get down and walk right on the sand. Not a good idea though and I return to the pavement minutes later. The sand gets in my shoes and I don’t feel comfortable.

I hate it when I have to walk through crowds but this is the situation like at the coastal pathway.  It is Sunday and families are out, vendors trying to sell those clockwork cheap Chinese toys and they have them on the ground among pedestrians. How frustrating this is! I don’t see anybody interested to buy. It is the crisis and people have to face unemployment and taxes. I have noticed young people sharing a cup of coffee (frape) between them. I mean 3 friends sharing once cup with 3 different straws.

 Cyclists on the other hand are another problem, cycling on the same pathway, stray dogs lying here and there or appear in groups of 4 or 5 through the people chasing one another trying to copulate. There is a ringing every now and again from bicycle riders warning pedestrians to watch out!

I did not expect to see so many people but I can of course understand it. There is no way a Greek would stay indoors on a Sunday morning or a weekend. Of course there are the many foreigners from the Balkans who live in Greece and they are also out.  I have seen several playing chess on the way when I came to the Cultural Activities’ Pier. I approached some and noticed how concentrated they were on the game of chess they were playing, surrounded by people watching.  

I take several pictures on the way and plan to get out immediately after breakfast again tomorrow and cover 8 to 10 km which is a favorite exercise. It is not long when I reach the Art Exhibition area and the Flisvos Cultural Centre. I don’t want to return so soon but Yianni expects me for lunch. I decide to walk a bit more towards the marina before heading back. I climb several steps and walk all the way to the other end for a better view.  If it was not for Yianni I would have reached as far as the Eirinis and Filias Stadium, -probably further.

All this time I keep receiving several bibs on my cell phone –all e mails. I dream of the beautiful balcony on the 6th floor and I make plans to spend the afternoon out there over a glass of wine.

I come to the hotel have a shower, get to the hotel’s restaurant for some lunch but by the time we return to the room I decide to get some rest for an hour. My intention is not to sleep, just relax for a while. The bibs keep coming so I decide to switch on the laptop and this keeps me busy till sunset. I might not be out at the balcony as I had planned but I am behind the huge glass door working on the laptop but at the same time shoot glances outside.

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rossport on

what a stunning place no wonder every one comes out and walks along the beach front, and the water temperature was probably high then the air temperature

mmbcross on

Interesting you should mention the town of Nea Smyrni. We have a New Smyrna in Florida.,_Florida.

You also mention that Greeks love to get out on their Sundays. Remember the wonderful film "Never on Sunday"? Even the Greek prostitutes take Sunday off!

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