Weekly Photo Challenge, Treat

Remember remember the 5th of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot!

One thing I miss about the UK is Bonfire Night. Back in 1605 guy called Guy Fawkes (pun completely intended and it’s where we get guy from) was found attempting to blow up King James I when he was in parliament on the 5th of November. To celebrate the king was still alive, every 5th of November bonfires are lit through out the UK with a effigy of ‘a Guy’ thrown on the fire accompanied by fireworks. It’s a great time to visit the UK with public firework displays being held the weekend before or on the night.

When I was a kid, we had a bonfire and fireworks in the garden. My dad used to spend a week or 2 building it, I pestered him to mind hedgehogs and my brother, sister and I made a guy out of old clothes and newspaper. We cheered on my Dad lighting fireworks and watched the fire burn while eating tomato soup and bread rolls my mum baked. Oh and sparklers! How can I forget making wishes and writing my name with sparklers! In London, I turned the TV up loud for Mr AJ who’s never really be bothered by fireworks after his 1st Bonfire night and watched London light up from the windows!

This weeks photo challenge is Treat. Treat for me is travelling, taking time out for a pedicure even if it’s DIY, a trip to the movies, the physio, coffee out or just watching TV snuggled up with the cats for once. I always knew growing up my life was not to be in the UK. I didn’t know how it would happen but thanks to P, it did. I always thought it’ll be America, but Spain ain’t so bad! Enjoy!

Trip to Athens, Greece in August this year.

Aegean SeaAegean SeaSunset Aegean Sea

Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, Acropolis Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus

Sunset over Athens from Parliament Sunset AthensRainbows! Always a treat to see!RainbowAnd how can I forget ice-cream! Vegan ice cream which is a treat at €4.50 for 3 scoops as 2 scoops ain’t enough!La Heladeria MexicanaTreat Weekly Photo Challenge Treat

Greek Gods aka Cats

During the fews day I had exploring Athens with P, one thing I noticed were the many street animals. Packs of dogs flaked out in the hot sun which upset me. They looked well fed, nobody paid them much mind, I didn’t see anyone abusing them but I’ve no idea how they survive the winters or if anyone looks after them. Maybe a local rescue group cares for them, maybe locals treat them as community dogs. Maybe they’re part of Greek culture.

The entrance sign outside the Ancient Agora and Stoa of Attalos, strictly says no dogs allowed inside. This girl’s clearly a rule breaker! Her pack might have been by the Aeropagus Hill a 10-15 minute walk from the Ancient Agora near the Acropolis gates. I think those dogs and the beach dogs had it better than those flaked out in Syntagma Square. As it got cooler in the evening, they got active. Those in the square must have amazing street smarts if they cross the road as the square’s an island and the traffic never stopped even at 1am! One dog was camped outside MacDonalds. Great for food scraps, not good for their health! I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe they’re a by-product of Greece’s current economic situation. I didn’t see any puppies, but there were quite a few teenage and older dogs.

Street Dog at the Ancient Agora

Cats however always seem to do better being feral than dogs. There’s always a cat lady willing to feed them! If you happen to be a cat living around the Acropolis then you must be revered as a cultural icon!

Leading the way up the Acropolis from the Ancient Agora.Cat Ancient Agora

This guy kept watch over looking the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built by Herodes in memory of his wife. Love his braces!Cat at the AcropolisCat at the AcropolisThis guy kept guard by the Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus and the back of the Acropolis.Cat at the Acropolis

This guy helps out the guards by the small guard and information station.Cat at the AcropolisCarved in stone. Guarding the gate out.Stone Cats, Acropolis

I’ve no idea why this lady feeding the cats on the path down outside the Acropolis has her face covered. Maybe she didn’t want to be known as cat lady, maybe it’s her sun protection! The cats didn’t care. All these guys had great manners and waited their turn!Feeding cats near the AcropolisFeeding cats near the AcropolisFeeding cats near the Acropolis

This handsome tabby hung out by a beach restaurant near the last tram beach stop Asklipiio Voulas, 50 minutes from the centre. One eye on ear rubs, the other on food!Beach catWhy do you think cats have always been revered in ancient cultures?

Holiday Vacay!

I broke groundhog weekend!

P had some rare peak season time off and asked if I’d like to come out to Athens where his boat is staying for a few weeks. I thought about it for about an hour. This week is my last ‘free’ week until my main client is back from holiday, my coursework I haven’t started is due in next week but when am I ever likely to visit Athens again? I said not so politely okay, I’m taking the week off!

Barcelona Airport

I have no idea Saturday morning how I managed to shower, brush the cats, vacuum, sort the washing, throw my face on and last minute packing in 1 hour (I overslept!) before the taxi to the airport! Everything was last minute, booking, classes, packing, tidying, cat sitter, cleaning and realising I needed some non tired looking summer tops (thank you Stradvarius and H&M for having Summer, Autumn Fall cross over tops!)

Anyways, I have enough photos for days. I took my suspension trainer/TRX, used the hotel gym and walked miles! The taxis are cheap. The Metro and trams are easy to use and cheaper. The Greeks smoke like chimneys, but are friendly, welcoming and speak excellent English. Street dogs and cats are everywhere and look looked after. Motorbike Police look mean in their sunglasses, summer protection gear, hanging out like motorbike gangs until you see their riding mopeds! They ride 2 to a scooter so one can jump off and chase without worrying about leaving a moped. The Aegean Sea was warm and 33C+ air temp made this girl happy! I always forget to taken something. This time my cleanser which I know decanted but can’t find anywhere. Maybe the cats hid it as they sat in my case while I packed. Cats do strange things.Diesel helping me pack

Saturday, we explored part of the old town/city centre and the Acropolis starting from the Ancient Agora. It wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be and definitely worth a visit even if you’re not into old rocks, the views are worth it!Athens CentreWalk up the AcropolisThe ParthenonView from the AcropolisCall me Zeus

Sunday, beach time! You can’t go to Greece without going to the beach! We caught the tram from the centre to the end of the line and walked about 1km away from the cabana beaches. Nothing but blue sea and skies. For the whole time we were there, I didn’t see one cloud!

Aegean SeaAegean Sea

Monday, more exploring, the beach and more exploring! Changing of the guard outside Parliament (pompoms and a great deal of kicking!), the National Gardens, the city centre some more, another beach and exploring Muses Hill by moonlight.

Changing of the guardNational Gardens

National Gardens

Athens City CentreSunset near AthensAcropolis From Muses HillExploring Muses Hill by Moonlight

Tuesday, back to a ‘chilly’ 26C Spain!

Athens Airport

I had a great time exploring Athens and I’ll be sharing more when I’m back to more regular scheduling next week. My mac’s playing up, it’s draining 100% battery in an hour and I’m hoping it can be fixed in the next few days. Have a great week!

Have you ever visited the Acropolis? It would have been great to walk through the ruins, but in order to preserve them, they’re now under repair and fenced off.