Friday, 19 June 2009

Shopping in Athens

Pláka (Greek: Πλάκα) is the picturesque old historical neighbourhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. (Don't know what neoclassical we are talking about here though!)
Plaka is built on top of the residential areas of the ancient town of Athens. It is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists around the year, and is under strict zoning and conservation regulations, being the only neighborhood in Athens where all utilities (water, power, cable television, telephone, internet, and sewage) lie underground in fully accessible, custom-made tunnelling. Motor vehicles are not allowed in Plaka, and most streets are too narrow, thus not being able to accommodate them anyway.
And here is some nice bit of plaka.
However, you can also see this...
Not done as artistically as in Italy, but there you go.
Another good place to visit (according to my travel guide book anyway) is Monastiraki where you can find huge cluster of flea market.
You can wander around aimlessly or you can find someone who knows the flea market who can show you around if you are intent on buying something in particular. Much of the flea market is not really a flea market. It is a collection of small shops of which most of them are tourist shops with the same stuff you will find on Adrianou street in the Plaka.
There is no doubt tons of traverna, cafe, selling such a rip-off price food and snack.
Can you guess how much is 2 scoop of gelato when you eat it in the cafe?
12 Euro for 2 person!!
That is such an ridiculous amount considering for 1.8 Euro you can get a satifying Gyros. Moral of the story : don't eat in Plaka or Monastiraki.
This ally(below) really reminded me of PASAR SENEN (monday market) in Jakarta. Honestly, I don't find this market such an interesting place even to get a bargain stuff.
Loads of Greek Guitar. If you can't fit in the big one on your suitcase, don't worry they sell the tiny one that you can even stick it on your pocket.
But this is more interesting to me.
Humongous sea food market. Something that I didn't see in England.
They sell exotic seafood like octopus and sea urchin.
And when you can't find anything you need, you can certainly find something interesting to see. (Yes, probably pharaoh or mummy).
And this one tired boy after too much sun and walking.


Ayie said...

i bet the gyros there tastes real good compared to what we use to have here.

Kamana said...

i am loving these travels of yours! that gelato must be really something for them to charge so much! keep the pictures coming :)

Liss said...

I traveled to Italy and Greece 16 year ago now but even then I think Greece in particular were very good at hiking up food prices in high tourist areas. The seafood market is defiantly interesting. I remember it being a common occurrence to see octopus hanging from fishing boat masts. Love the restaurant picture with the red table cloths, it makes me want to eat Saganaki…..yum!

J.H said...

@Ayie : mmm I don't know about that until I try what kind of Gyros you have there :-)

@Kamana : I just think it's a complete rip off, it does not taste as good as the original one in italy :P

@Liss : Haha... me too, I want saganaki!!

Char said...

beautiful pieces and pieces of the market. love the interesting shots

Stardust said...

12 Euro for 2 scoops? Hmm... but I'm sure it tasted good!

I'm not too keen on shopping in alleys but the goods are so unique, they've given you such fine picts!

hiPPo said...

i love athens. and i miss the place! seeing ur post brings back fond memories.. awww... and mykonos.. and acropolis.. beautiful!