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Jun12

The Two Faces of Athens

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In the field of Greek tourism, Greece has traditionally had two faces. The one face is the Greece of antiquity - the exalted remnants of a glorious past, the cradle of Western Civilisation, the Greece of Mojitos by the beach and delicious food served by welcoming, moustachioed Greeks. The other face of Greece is the one people in the tourism business do their utmost to hide. This is the Greece of homeless beggars, squalid streets, irritating bureaucracy and the drug addicts skulking around Omonoia square.

 

The second of these two faces has been repeatedly shoved aside, hidden from the view of our distinguished neighbours, isolated and forsaken.

Flowers do grow, however, in the squalor of “ugly” Greece. There are artists who strive to install some colour in the grey streets, Athenians who swim against the current and attempt to clean up the ruins of “Modern Greece”.

 

In Go! Running Tours Athens we want to be upfront with our guests and embrace both faces of Greece: Both “pretty” as well as “ugly”. We want to celebrate “pretty” Greece which gives us a lot of joy, but we also want to join the Athenians who want to improve their city and bring some colour where it has been absent for a long time. In our “Modern Athens” tour, we introduce our guest to what it means to be a modern Athenian; we take them on a journey through the last 200 hundred years and all the triumphs and failures that make Athens the multifaceted city that it is today.

 

 

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