|Posted by moodhacker on March 18, 2017 at 8:50 AM|
BY ALEXIA AMVRAZI, Athensguide
.....Visiting the sights in Greece can also create an aroma-experience. Surrounding the Acropolis are caves where earth, wind and fire meet and share a gentle sleep. The smell is dark and dank. Standing below the Parthenon may be an experience itself, you may be able to smell the silent presence of the past in earth, air and marble. Lykabbettus Hill, however, smells fresh and vibrant, possibly owing to the valley hidden behind it.
Extensive research has proven that whether we are attracted or repelled by others is pre-conditioned by smell. It has happened to me to be wildly drawn to someone whose smell I hadn't even consciously noticed, and whom a friend says "smells really wierd" to her. Surely this must be true for cities as well.
And like a lover whose odour lingers in the nostrils even days after an intimate clinch, the originality, familiarity and beauty of that smell becomes all the more addictive. You can acquire a distinctly ageless sense of Athens at the National Gardens, which, being a place I also visited as a child, I can reassure always smells the same - deliciously musky and moist vegetation, animal excrement, feathers, fur, stale water, earth and trees.
Walking along the bottom half of Vas Sofias Ave, you're bound to experience the fresh zingy zest of flowers from the cluster of dimly-lit little florists. Gusts of jasmine, roses, tulips, carnations and other lovelies are a magnificent refreshment from the traffic smell beyond. And if you're further down in that area, around Syntagma Square at the right time, you may be fortunate enough to get a feel for tear-gas, generously provided to protesters as well as on-lookers and passers-by.
Work is on your mind, maybe that's why you're in Athens in the first place after all, so where can you smell the coffee and face the day with sufficient bravery? everywhere is where you will find practically any kind of coffee under the sun in this murky-coloured caffeine-loving country, but smelling it whilst simply walking along is another story, as you'll have to go to Omonia Square at the corner of Panepistimiou St (or Eleftherios Venizelou as it's sign-posted) to Papagallo for that, and get a gust as the door flaps open and shut.
If your nose is in need of a little work out, head towards the spices and herbs, which pierce the nostrils with their exquisite poignancy can be visited on Athinas St or on Evripidou street , where there is a market and little shops selling huge varieties of these, as well as coffee.
The sea, however, is the best part of Athens you can possibly get a good smell of. No sea in Athens ? Take the train down to Paleo Faliro (jasmine, dust-bins and, at a certain point, roast chicken) and walk down to Bati Beach . Smell the sand and the water, and there you have it, sea! Of course you won't smell as much coconut-oil, innocence, freedom and youth as I did, but you can't have your cake (chocolate, deep butter, vanilla) and eat it too, can you?
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