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Discovering: Athens

  Athens is a breathtaking city steeped in a rich cultural history. Seeing as it’s one of the oldest cities in the world you’d assume that throughout the 5,000 years of its existence it must have retained some interesting elements – yes, it has.

The Greek capital is located in the south of the country looking out onto the Mediterranean sea. It’s built around a series of hills, most famously the Acropolis hill. The Pantheon, which is atop the hill, is one of the most recognised structures in the world. It gives all the Greek history you didn’t listen to in school a physical form and it makes romanticized Greek mythology make more sense.

Contrast to the stunning ancient architecture, nearly every building in Athens is the same; a five-story concrete block painted either white, beige, blue or grey with some sort of laundry hanging off the side. It’s strangely beautiful and quintessentially Greek.

The recession in Greece in 2009 may have affected their economy but it definitely didn’t change the kindness or the strength of character of the Greecian people. There is a sense of community and welcoming. One of the things you have to do when in Athens is get a gyro. If you’re unsure what it is, think of it like an O.G. kebab. Once you’ve had on of these, all the future kebabs you have on a night out will never be able to live up to it.

It feels somewhat ironic that it is well known that homosexuality was accepted in ancient times and now in 2018 two men would not legally be allowed to marry in Greece? Like that old joke says “Greeks invented sex – and the Romans invented sex with women”. Out of anywhere in the world it should be okay to be gay here, but at this state, in time Athens isn’t quite there yet.

On the other hand, Mykonos is literally a gay haven on earth, so thank you Greece. Athens is a sprawling Mesopotamia set in such a picturesque location. It’s an ancient city which has stood the test of time. Renowned for being the birthplace of democracy (and gyros), it’s a center for learning, philosophy, the arts, and drama.

Everything in Athens is dramatic. The suns dramatic, the hills are dramatic, the people are dramatic, the food is dramatic. This is all very fitting seeing as Greecians invented drama. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tula’s father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

By Adam Benouzekri

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