Falling in Love with Greece

by Mark Allis

I’ve been visiting Greece for over 20 years, almost every summer since 1991. I’ve boarded jets in the Eastern Coast of the US, skimming the Aegean Coast 10-11 hours later to begin what has always been an incredible 3 week adventure.

Last March I once again boarded a jet in Washington DC, this time however, I stayed in Athens not for 3 weeks, but for 7 months. Although I’ve always felt an affinity toward this beautiful country, it was in these 7 months that I truly fell in love with Greece.

What made me fall in love with Greece?

Morning runs along the Aegean between the charming seaside Athenian suburbs of Voula, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza.

Searching for the best loukoumades in Athens…my favorite, Aigaion on Panepistimiou 46, although I’ve never had a bad serving of loukoumades anywhere in the city.

Feeling like a native in some of Athens lesser known (to tourists) neighborhoods…Metaxourgeio, Gazi, Psiri, Pagrati, Neos Kosmos, each have their own vibe and energy…all have incredible food and drink.

Going to the neighborhood bakery each morning for fresh bread and greek pastries, watching the sunset from a seafront cafe while sipping frappe, driving like a local, meeting wonderful people, brushing up on my Greek.

Becoming brave enough to try and love new foods….Gavros (fried anchovies), pop the whole fish in your mouth, they are out of this world!

Spending an evening in one of Athens many outdoor venues to see Greek legends such as Marinella, Maria Farantouri, Glikeria, to name a few.

Hitting the road on the weekend to visit countless beautiful beaches, cities, towns, archeological sights,etc….

I could go on and on….Athens, I love you, you will always be my second home.