Best Bars In Nyc To Watch World Cup A Short Guide For the Gay Visitor to Athens on a Winter Weekend Break

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A Short Guide For the Gay Visitor to Athens on a Winter Weekend Break

Some suggestions of where to go and what to do during a short “city break” in Athens.

 Part 3 – More eating out, another bar and Kolonaki.

Continuing the 4 day ‘city break’ saga in Athens we found ourselves in need of a bit of a break and as many gay bars/clubs are closed on Mondays we can do it guilt free!

After my usual early evening nap, I head out to Goody’s in the middle of town. Goody’s is the Greeks answer to MacDonalds, the system of ordering at one table and going to another for food is confusing, none of the staff speak English but you can always show up can’t you? The food is good and plentiful, but not cheap. But if you want a good burger, you have to pay for it.

Monday is a much quieter night around Monastiraki and Psirri, I find a bar called Inoteka in Platia Avisinias where the flea market is located. This bar is listed as ‘gay friendly’ but I can’t say for sure as I’m the only person there. I can tell it’s interestingly decorated and warm and cosy, maybe if someone else goes there they’ll let me know. I can imagine spending an evening there.

I walk on and find a place in a bar restaurant on Miaouli street near Platia Iroon, called Rebekka. Normally you can’t get into these places because they are packed, but it’s Monday. As I sit with a large bottle of beer (€3) and start to take notes, there is the brightest lightning I have ever seen, followed by spectacular thunder and torrential rain and hail for the next twenty minutes. No problem, it’s warm and dry under this canvas awning.

Tomorrow is my last full day and I want to make the most of it, so I’ll have an early night.

Tuesday comes and another bright sunny day, apart from the odd rain shower I’m having nice weather but I need a coat and jumper especially at night.

My plan is to visit Kerameikos which is on Ermou Street near Thissio Station. This area used to be very neglected but is now a pleasant pedestrian zone, but watch out for scooters. Archaeological sites are actually old cemeteries where the good and great of ancient Athens were buried. I expected it would only take me thirty minutes to walk around the site before I went through the museum, I ended up staying for three hours!

On my way through Monastiraki I grab a spinach pie and head to Ermou towards the parliament building. The streets are full of shoppers as the January sales started today. Arriving at Syntagma Square, I check the post office to see if it’s still as busy and chaotic as ever. It is. (Other post offices are less busy near Omonia Square and opposite the National Bank in the square off Athinas Street).

I stop to take a picture of one of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and continue to Kolonaki, which is the most expensive area of ​​Athens and home to many foreign embassies and government buildings. Here you will find all the famous brand stores and most of them have sales. There are also the usual number of street cafes where the rich, famous, beautiful and not-so-beautiful of Athens hang out.

It is and coffee place and that’s how I do it. At my chosen cafe the menu is new and amazingly done on heavy glossy paper. The price of a cup of coffee is so close to €5 that it’s not worth taking change, and if you have something to eat as well, the prices are cleverly worked out to be above €9 that it’s not worth taking change. 10 EUR banknote! My coffee is called something like ‘espressocaccia’ and I choose it because it has more ingredients than anything else! When I leave, I take the menu with me but leave it at my hotel.

Tonight is my last night and I’m staying in the city at the Euripides Hotel to cut down on my travel time to the airport the following day. I intend to get another early night without alcohol as I don’t travel as well as I used to.

I am warned by the owner that they have a worker to do some renovations, but I don’t mind because I want to be up pretty early.

For food I head to Monastiraki and the street by the railway line where a burly Greek “komaki” (sorry guys I lost my card and don’t know the name!) has tried to get me three times already. When I ordered a Greek salad and got to the Greek salad, I realized I had left my money at the hotel and quickly walked back to get it. The Greek salad is big enough for three, there’s half a loaf of bread, and when it arrives the meatballs are huge with rice on the side. Another case where two eats as cheaply as one! I’m serenaded by two Greek musicians as I’m the only person in the place, I buy them a pitcher of raki and a bottle of beer. They ask me where I’m from and laugh when I say “Krhth” because I’m obviously English. But of course they have relatives in Crete. I pay the full bill of €23, a bargain considering I couldn’t finish all the food but managed to drink half a liter of wine!

Walking back to the hotel I pass Alek’s hoping it would be open for a drink, it’s closed so I decide to head back to the hotel for an early night.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I pass a bar where Boney M, who goes into the Village People, are playing, it piques my interest. It’s still early and a Metaxa and a Coke will do. The bar is called Cosmopolis and it stands on the corner of Agatharchou and an unnamed street quite close to the hotel. I walk in and sit at the bar, it’s busy and the bartender is pouring a big round. He seems tall to the Greek and I think maybe the floor behind the bar is raised I get up to check but no he really is that tall and an absolute dream to watch at work that’s what else you’ve been doing I think I could think? Now he’s pouring shots of tequila, I’m looking around the bar as I wait, the bartender taps me on the shoulder and shoves a shot at me, then points to the crowd of late 20’s Greek men behind me. Obviously it’s a celebration of some kind and being the kind of person who never turns down a drink, I clink glasses with them all before drinking it all in one.

I order a Metaxa and a Coke, the bartender looks a bit confused and has to open three fridge doors to find the Coke, the Metaxa is huge! I get a drink along with a large glass of water, strange? It’s warm, the music and vibe of the place is infectious and one thing is for sure it is NOT a gay bar but then I can drink anywhere.

As I sip my drink and enjoy the music, I watch the bartender and realize that none of the spirits that seem to be the only thing they sell have mixers. Even huge glasses of gin go off! But why not? Everyone has a large glass of water which is refilled frequently, no wonder the bartender looked confused when I asked for a coke, he couldn’t remember where it was! Of course after another drink the rot started and it was 3am before I got to bed, but with such large drinks and only €5 each am I supposed to complain? As always, it’s the unplanned events that are often the best!

The next day I was woken up at 9am by the sound of banging and drilling, it seems the workers started at 7am and it’s a wonder I was still able to sleep.

Breakfast is included in the price of my room, 25 a night, and I need something decent. I go up to the 7th floor and the first thing I do is turn on the thermostat on the boiler. (Remember I’ve stayed here before!). Breakfast is “Dutch” with juice, cereals, cold meats, cheeses, croissants, dried and fresh fruit, jam and bread. A new feature is the toaster, which is very welcome as Greek bread is often very dry and toasting makes it edible. While I’m making the toast, the water heater is now running and I can make a proper cup of tea, never mind try the coffee!

 

I return to my room to find the builders have already removed the door, luckily I packed my suitcase before I went out last night!

Handling my luggage back to the Monastiraki metro station about 600 meters from the hotel is a tall order, but I manage it and quickly make my way to the airport. Thirty-five minutes and a €6 one-way fare gets me back to the airport in plenty of time for my flight to Crete, and as the plane takes off I wonder if I could actually live in Athens and stay sane.

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