Keeping a blog of what is going on in Greece seen from a native’s perspective is becoming more demanding daily. As a journalist in a local newspaper I had a very limited view of everyday activities in the whole of Athens, leave alone Greece. Now, I discover new items everyday and this is exciting and a full time job if done properly.
For example, in my efforts to find out interesting and exciting spots around Athens I drove over to Lake Beletsi. It was mentioned in an article about undiscovered beauty spots around Athens so I decided to visit it and searched my map.

Lake Beletsi Mount Parnitha


Lake Beletsi ( rather a small lake I should warn you) has the honour of being situated on Mount Parnitha. Parnitha was the favourite mountain of the budding nature loving movement, later to be christened “ecological”, back in the late ‘50s –early 60s. Close to Athens and luxuriously green it invited hikers and climbers alike. Later on it became quite notorious as the site of the Mont Parnes Hotel and Casino, the first Casino in Greece.
Lake Beletsi is tiny really but situated in a splendid spot, surrounded by a forest. It boasts a swan (I only saw one anyways), a couple of ducks and geese and an enclosed area hosting some deer rescued by the locals after the fire of 2007. You can feed the ducks and walk in the woods to inhale some fresh air.
On the way back to the south of Attiki, we drove through some scenic routes and finally ended up on the Athens – Thessaloniki highway.
We were surprised to find a very heavy traffic as the day was not a particularly good one: cloudy, cold and rainy. Then we noticed that all the cars around us had their alarm lights on and some of them were hooting without any obvious reason.
Then we saw the tolls and the cars driving through without paying and we understood. It was the weekly protest drive of the inhabitants of Oropos, a seaside resort turned to an Athens suburb, who have to pay tolls 8 times within the limits of one region!! So, they joined the “I don’t pay, I don’t pay” movement and stop people from paying the tolls. The movement, accused by the government of inciting people to disobey laws, has become very popular given the state of the Greek highways: in 2010-2011 alone the Athens Thessaloniki highways was closed for weeks, first because of landslides and then because of flooding. The Athens – Patras highway, to the south, has no dividing fence and is a real death trap. The public, finding themselves paying again and again for goods or services not delivered are quite sympathetic as we witnessed ourselves.

"I don't pay" movement



Our Sunday drive to Lake Beletsi was both educational and dirt cheap!!

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