Stray questions on Athens, Athens vacations and more...

People come to this blog through direct links or through search engine queries. Sometimes the search engine results list a site (based on keywords used) without the site having the actual answer to the question posed. Here are some (un)fortunate, accidental search queries that have led people to Athens Walker in the past year or so. That is, questions to which the blog had no answer (till now), but somehow Google, Yahoo or Bing thought that it did!

Q: where in athens is oedipus buried
A: Nowhere. Oedipus was a mythical character. No historical data on his existence / burial. See wikipedia.

Q: 'karaiskaki square sculptures'
A: If the question was on the marble sculptures depicting some human-bird forms (“The Birds”) the name of the sculptor is Gabriella Simosi (1926-1999). The larger one, which many of us consider a monstrosity is the “Monument of Fallen Air-Pilots” by E. Moustakas and supposedly depicts Icarus falling in the sea. I have read that it was not finished the way the artist intended it to.

Q: the name of the cafeteria up on lycabettus
A: Orizontes Lykavittou (currently)

Q: walking distance to lykavittos hill
A: From where? From the peripheral roads at the base of the hill it is about 10-20 minutes walk, depending on who's doing the walking. Literal distances: From Syntagma Square: 1.6km (1mile); from the corner of National Archeological Museum: 1.9km; from the port of Piraeus: 11kms. Read more on Lykavittos Hill here.

Q: How long does it take to walk from Acropolis to Panathinaiko stadium
A: It depends on what you mean by "Acropolis". The top of the hill, the general area, or the Acropolis Metro Station? I would say approximately 30min from the top of the hill, 15min from the Acropolis Metro Station. Read more on Panathinaiko Stadium here.

Q: safe for female to walk alone at night in syntagma square
A: Yes, Syntagma Sq. is safe day and night for everybody, unless there's a big demonstration which may occasionally turn violent. However, a big rise in purse snatchings has been recorded recently in Athens so try to be careful with your stuff like we all do. And if walking alone at night, try to stay in the main streets where you can see and be seen (basic, unfortunate, precautions...).

Q: is ampelokipoi a good suburb in athens
A: Ampelokipoi (also spelt Ambelokipoi or Ambelokipi) is a densely populated, safe neighbourhood of Athens, at the northern part of the city. It is not a "suburb". It's only 3-4 Metro stations north of Syntagma Sq. (Ambelokipoi Metro Station & Panormou Metro Station). It was the outskirts of the city up until 50 years ago. A map of Athens neighborhoods will soon follow.

Q: directions to agios eletherios church from acropolis hill
A: I couldn’t know the answer since there are several churches named Aghios Eleftherios in the Greater Athens area. The ones in the City of Athens and closest to the Acropolis are: the one at Gyzi neighborhood (at the corner of Varvaki & Momferatou St.), the one at 378 Acharnon St. (Kato Patissia neighborhood) and finally one right next to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral  of Athens ('Mitropolis') at Mitropoleos Sq., Mitropoleos St. in the Plaka neighborhood. This final one is the closest one to the Acropolis. A map of Athens neighborhoods will soon follow (here it is!).

Q: chocolate in greece   / greek chocolate bars
A: I assume that the people searching for these terms were looking for a list of the top Greek chocolate brands or for the chocolate brands found in Greece in general. I will give a thorough answer in a separate post coming up in a few months but feel free to e-mail me with questions till then. 

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Visit to the Hellenic Motor Museum

This is probably the newest of Athens' museums and definitely a very different one from all other art, history and archaeology related museums. We went there last Thursday, using some Groupons for half the cost. The museum is housed inside the "Athenian Capitol", a commercial development that covers almost half a block and should be of great benefit to this distressed area at the center of Athens. It is located almost across the street from the National Archaeological Museum.

The museum, property of the "Theodore & Joanna Charagionnis Foundation", houses the automobile collection of Greek businessman and developer Theodore Charagionnis. In fact the collection numbers 294 vehicles, and the museum can only host 111 at one time, so there will be a rotation of different cars at different times. Car aficionados will have a field day here!
Inside the spiral ramp - History of the wheel exhibition
To access the museum you walk to the corner of Tritis Septemvriou (3rd September) St. & Ioulianou St. Avoid the escalators and go to their right, towards the inside of the arcade: The spiral ramp starts from the back of the ground floor and gives you free access to a visual and written history of the wheel, with wheel samples from ancient carriages to the latest sports car tires. The ramp takes you to the 3rd floor and the box office where you buy your admission tickets. You then go up to the 4th floor for the museum entrance. To your right you will see a wonderful recreation of an early 20th century car workshop, that takes you back to the begining of the automobile era in a nostalgic flare
Hellenic Motor Museum - early 20th century car workshop
...and then you proceed with a quasi-chonological order to the 5th, again 4th and finally 3rd floor to look at all the car models.

Currently, you can see a virtual history of the automobile through samples of various rare or exquisite models, starting from an 1895 horse-drawn water carriage made in Hungary to a number of late 20th century vehicles. Ferraris, Maseratis, Fiats, Lancias, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Jaguars, BMWs, Fords, Chryslers and a number of now defunct, pre-war US or French vehicles are currently on display. The next phase of the museum will showcase a number of racing cars, the first of which is already showcased in the 4th floor. I will let the photographs do the rest of the talking as a small sample of what you can see in the museum.

Hellenic Motor Museum - This 1901 beast is called American La France, and no, it was not a tractor!

Hellenic Motor Museum - 1926 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia
Hellenic Motor Museum - A US-made car from the 1930's

Hellenic Motor Museum - A French 1926 Avion Voisin C4 Roadster

Hellenic Motor Museum - A very mean-looking 1939 BMW 328 CA.MO. Coupe

Hellenic Motor Museum - A 1957 Lincoln Premier with California plates (XSK 437-could it be your dad's car?)

Hellenic Motor Museum - A 1959 Chrysler Imperial Crown Convertible that used to be owned by Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant

Hellenic Motor Museum - A 1965 modified Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray that has a long history in Greek racing circles. It went by the nickname "the screecher" in 1960's Athens and is the first of the racing cars to be put on display.

Hellenic Motor Museum - Two Bristol 401 Saloons from 1950. The one is displayed in the condition purchased by the museum while the second one as it's been... taken care of. An excellent visual display of the work that has been put in creating this museum and what a great labor of love it's been for its owner and the surrounding team.

Hellenic Motor Museum - A roomful of Ferraris... and Maseratis (to the right, not pictured)

Each car has a small information plate in front of it, with text in Greek and English. Some of the information provided is more technical while some is more appealing to the general public. Overall a good balance.

The Athenian Capitol and Hellenic Motor Museum Bldg. - Corner of Ioulianou St. & 3rd September St.
One thing worth mentiong is the very nice, hidden plaza / garden with various grills and cafeterias at the ground floor which makes the Athenian Capitol a good place for a small stop or lunch break. The plaza crosses the block and has an exit to Patission St. and two exits on 3rd September St. A visit here could be combined with the National Archaeological Museum which is located right across Patission St. Just make sure both museums are open on the day and time of your visit. See here for opening hours and ticket info.

We chose to finish the evening a bit further away, with a short souvlaki stop at a nearby grill next to Victoria Metro Station at 15A Heyden St. The small grill (a virtual hole in the wall) is called "To Kalamaki tis Kyra-Sophias" (or Sophie's Souvlaki) and has one of the best souvlaki kebabs in Athens as well as a few other offerings that mainly serve to to accompany the meat.
So, there you have it. Art, technology and food in just a few blocks distance, enough to cover almost a full day in Athens!

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List of galleries in Athens, Greece

To mark the new year, I just added a new page with a list of art galleries in Athens. I think I have included all major ones; at least the ones in the city center and near tourist attractions as well as those with the most interesting exhibitions. See the tab titled "Athens Galleries" at the top of this page.

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