The Other Side of Athens, originally uploaded by greek58.

The wonderful part about autumn in Athens is the chance to get back outside and walk. In our case, walking is often a shared “family” activity, which means Scruffy the dog joins us, and as regular readers may recall, his favorite morning walk is up the Hill. (Scruffy isn’t too found of Athens’ summers, so our walks generally occur after the sunsets when it is cooler, thus autumn brings us back out for long daytime walks). This week Scruffy took us along with his friend Hera for a hike up Lykavittos Hill, Athens “other” peak – the one we affectionately call the “Chic Peak” for its proximity to the fancy boutiques and cafes of Kolonaki.
This time we meandered – zigzagging across the neigborhood via Xenokratous and Dinokratous to avoid the stairs that our knees are starting to dislike, passing through the Kolonaki “laiki agora” (farmer’s market), which our fellow walkers pointed out is significantly higher priced that our Tuesday and Friday markets in less chic Pagrati (perhaps the gas to truck the fruits and veggies up the hill adds to the prices?) We did break down and use the stairs at the last block, straight up Loukianou until we hit the trees. Sure, there is a “teleferik” on Aristippou street that you can take, but if you walked all this way why not enjoy the lovelier part of the walk through the trees?

So if you’ve read this far you’re probably thinking: OK, so she’s talking about Lykavittos Hill, with the lovely white church of St George on top, almost 300 meters (950 ft) above sea level, it is the highest point in Athens and offers tremendous views across the Acropolis and the Parthenon to the sea. The view in this direction, from the observation point near the entrance to the church is perhaps one of the most popular “Kodak moment” locations in Athens. (And I know this because as my friends and fellow Pangratians Cheryl and Burt point out – every night 100s of people climb the hill to take pictures of us … or so it seems with the endless stream of flashes coming from atop the hill.
But there is another side to Athens from up there, and it is a side rarely seen or noticed by tourists. This is the view toward the “north”, the sprawling Green Park surround the Athens Courts or Pediou tou Aerios and up to Tourkovounia and Attiki Alsos, Athens largest forest in the city proper.
On this day the light and clouds painted a particularly picture of this other side of Athens.