Today, Saturday, 11 June 2011, is the first day of a long weekend and the first day I actually saw people hit the beaches and celebrate the arrival of summer.
The financial crisis that has hit the country cannot fight against the heat and the tempting blue sea that surrounds Athens. The Saronic gulf, from one end to the other, was taken over by families, youngsters, pensioners and so on all set to enjoy a day out. It is an irresistible temptation.
For those of you who remember the nickname of Psorokostena let me tell you that we are going back to good old habits: the swimmers bring their own colddrinks, their own food and umbrellas limiting their expenses to the minimum. Bicycles, walkers with their dogs and/or children, peddlers of all races, mingle on the long stretch that runs from the Peace and Friendship Stadium to Alimos enjoying the sunset and the light breeze.
The coffee shops next to the beach are crowded. At the gazebo, right next to the shore, five old men are playing tavli, their guitars nearby. They will have a singing party when the night falls.
The tram, an Olympic games acquisition, links the town center to the sea side in a few minutes.
For the young or just young at heart there are a few bouzouki shops. They have limited their performances to the weekend but there is still a lot of joy and fun to be had at steep prices.
So, there is an opportunity for all incomes to enjoy the summer.
This is the Greece I love and you should experience.