Friday, October 31, 2008


Every day here in Athens tops the next. Cousin Ritsa is joking about what we'll do next week and next visit, and Maria asked Basili if he could find a nice guy for me in Athena. Of course, we wouldn't be going to Pagotomania in Psirri every night, as we did tonight, although it could be habit forming. Ice-cream Mania, as it is called, is a corner shop with foot-high selections of natural, rich ice cream. I had fistiki (pistachio) and karamela. Pagotomania is in the redeveloped district of Psirri, right near Monastiraki in central Athens. I forgot how walkable this ancient city is. From a coffee at Dionysio restaurant overlooking the Acropolis, we followed a pine-lined, stone footpath in Thisio (developed with EU money before the Olympics) and took in the last days of summer. It was nearly 70 degrees here today, and not a drop of rain, though there was much humidity and a bit of dust from Africa's deserts in the air today. We started the day in Pendeli, about an hour north of Athens, where we visited a 400-year-old church of Evangelismos Tis Theotokou, built by a Bishop Timotheos. Many of the church's unusual icons were done by the famous iconographer Fotios Kontoglu. And there was a hidden school that is now a musuem under the church where monks taught children during the Ottoman/Turk occupation.

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