Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Xmas 2005: Lamia & Others....

My home town Lamia is a typical average greek town. The people are calm and nice, the air and water are clean, there isn't much stress, and at the same time the town is big enough to have specialized shops and satisfy most of people's needs. This is the panoramic view from our 5th floor apartment:

Free Image Hosting at

I took these pictures in the first days when I was still jetlagged and I woke just before sunrise.

Despite the great food in Lamia, the most interesting things of this vacation happened in Athens. The first interesting item in the list was the reunion of some of my former friends from college (and their friends and girlfriends). The first reunion was a small one, took place in Elli's house before the new year.

Cenzy, Mixalis, Elli, Mourtz, Dimitris (from left to right). Unlike the old times, everyone had to leave by 11pm(!), which left just me and Elli behind. So what we did was to walk around Acropolis, we tried to catch up as much as posssible with eachother's news and actions, until we split up around 12:30am.

But on the next year, January 6th, we had an even bigger reunion:

From left to right: Marina, Manousis, Marina, Dimitris, Themos, Mixalis, Aleksandra, Andriani, Natasa, Elli, Karabelas, Mourtzoukos, Aliki.

We discussed various things, and started betting who is going to get married first. We quickly realized that soon the time will start when we will start going to eachothers weddings... It's so scary and it never crosses your mind until you actually start going to these things.

This is Andrianou's Gate, a famous landmark at the heart of Athens and only seconds away from Elli's place where we met.

Enough about reunions. The most interesting experience of these Xmas was this though:

If there is one thing that is unique in Greece and cannot be found anywhere else in the world in the same way is bouzoukia. Well known performers sing live almost every night at the same place. In our case it was Athens Arena, probably the largest venue of its size: 2000 people times $50 each minimum times 4 days a week.

The feeling, that cannot be put into words, was from the first moment astonishment. The whole show was much more exciting and interesting than what I ever scorned or expected. The singers, the people, the arena, the program they performed, the whole thing was a unique experience unlike anything else in the world. To put it straight, no other bar, club, pub or anything similar to that has been better than Arena. I now realized why all these Greeks want to come back to Greece for a couple of weeks of vacation and go to bouzoukia.

I will finish with 3 beautiful photos. The center of Athens during the Xmas period:

Dora's sister, Gina, in a beautifully light face shot:

And finally, on the last day before I leave from Greece, I happenend to drive by my favorite street in Athens, up a hill that has the following great view of the Acropolis: