New Year's Eve stroll in Athens center

Whenever I manage to get myself out of the treadmill of daily life and do something different, in the city center, there's always some kind of small reward for it. Even if it is for some last minute shopping for the New Year. [Greeks exchange gifts on New Year's Day, or at midnight, right when the old year gives way to the new one].

This afternoon, I left some digital photos for printing at a central photo store (at 57 Akadimias St.) and then headed to Miran (at 45 Evrypidou St.), near Monastiraki and Athens' Central Market. Miran, as I have recently discovered, is sort of a local culinary institution. A delicatessen that takes its job very seriously and shoppers seem to reward it for the variety and quality of goods offered. I'll have more details in the future, but for the moment let's just say that many others had the same idea with me and it was flooded with customers. So, what do they do to keep their customers happy while waiting? They offer bites of their self-produced, super-tasty, grilled-in-place beef sausages with oregano (loukaniko riganato). Which you then feel compelled to buy on top of everything else you had planned, as they're a truly mouth-watering delicacy!

Armed with my fair share of cheeses and meats I headed back to the photo store and picked up my prints (hadn't printed photos for quite a long time...) and decided to take a peak at Syntagma Square. I had heard the Christmas / New Year's decorations where quite poor, in every sense of the word, this year and can confirm this is true. Yet, many children and their parents were waiting to be seated for a show at the temporarily constructed ice-ring and seemed to be content enough.

On the way to Syntagma I came across Paul, a well-known French boulangerie-patisserie at 10 Panepistimiou St. and saw another loooong line of customers waiting to be served! Quite a different type of queue from the ones we're used to seeing these days... It was a welcome change however, just like the smiling faces of people who had just gotten off work for the last day of the year.

And, guess what! A patch of the sky was getting sunny and blue again, after 3 full days of non-stop rain, and a rainbow was clearly apparent towards the East...
Happy New Year from Athens everyone!

Horrific cell-phone camera picture of a wonderful rainbow in central Athens... Reminder / Resolution for the New Year: Take your real camera with you every time you get out!

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