Monastiraki is one of the oldest inhabited parts of Athens, it has an ambiance that would not feel out of place on the opposite side of the Mediterranean. There is a real buzz here that reaches into the deepest parts of one’s soul and demands affection. This is no more evident than in the Flea market, which is full of vendors selling what feels like absolutely anything one could ever want. I enjoyed several circuits of the Flea market, browsing through the shops’ plethora of merchandise, as always, looking for my next fridge magnet.
During my time in Athens, the temperature was very hot, so many of the ancient sites were closed during the warmest part of the day. This gave me the opportunity to spend time exploring Monastiraki, stopping every so often to sit in a bar and watch the world go by. I don’t convey this lightly, but this is one of my favourite destinations. I loved the misty spray from the water fed fans laying a soft layer of water on everything in touching distance, the cold beer, the salty complementary snacks, the heat of the day, people just going about their business and graffiti on everything that didn’t move. All this adds to the character that is Monastiraki.
Tower of the Winds
The Tower of the Winds was built by the Astronomer Andronikos Kyrrestes in the 1st century BC. It was used as a water clock and weather vane. The tower is situated in the Roman Agora and is named after the eight winds sundials, carved beneath each relief.
Hadrian’s Library started in 132 AD, it measured 118 metres by 78 metres. The library complex also included, a garden and pool. Sited on the eastern side was the library where rolls of papyrus books were stored.
As late afternoon was approaching, the ancient sites reopened. It was time to visit some of the sites that had been denied me so far…