Saturday, 8 June 2013

My timeless hometown

Hania's old town is such a charming beautiful place to walk around in the morning. The old town's streets are too narrow for cars, and the architecture is well preserved, not just in the eateries of the area, but also the residences, where people still inhabit those century-old walls. Hania was looking exceptionally beautiful today, possibly because it is the beginning of summer, possibly also because I notice something new in the air - people are taking pride in their town in a way that they did not do before.

Our walk started off with a stroll through the street market, where the hundreds of zucchini flowers on sale made a big impression:
We then began strolling through the paved roads, where the residents of the tall and narrow houses love to decorate with potted plants:

Many of the residents were just opening their doors and windows to get some light and air into their dark homes, most of which have that terraced feel to them: they are all adjacent to one another, and very little natural light comes into their houses, so they need to open their front windows, which often means a lack of privacy, due to the many passersby in the area. What surprised me most was how many buildings have actually been renovated lately - they used to be in a very bad condition, but this is no longer the case.

Even the buildings which haven't yet been renovated have been cleaned up, and look as though they are getting ready for a possible renovation in the near future. These buildings are all under some preservation order, and cannot be knocked down (they have to fall down by themselves, eg in an earthquake).

Once we passed the church of St Nikolas in Splantzia,

it was time to sit down and have a drink. The weather is now very hot, and summer is in full swing. The square in front of the church is a cool place to sit, with lots of plane trees for shade. People-watching is in order here - the area is well known for its immigrant population, which mingles with the ageing locals and the tourists who like the very authentic flavour of the area. You will feel like a local yourself if you sit here!

After more strolling around in the narrow streets, it was time to have lunch - a vegetarian feast at Kouzina EPE on Daskalogiani St.

To work off the meal, I then took my guests to Venetian harbour.

Two photos are in order for the harbour - it is the centrepiece of the old town, and the lighthouse is its landmark.

It's hard to believe that we were actually in 2013 - most of the time, it felt a bit like 1953.

And that's a priceless feeling - knowing that you can experience a timeless view from the confines of your own home, as if nothing much will change despite the upheavals that history is putting your country through.

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