Psirri is my favorite night-time neighborhood in Athens. Gazi may be better known for its dance clubs, but the laid back vibe here is much nicer if you want to unwind. The streets fill up with people headed to hookah bars, late night restaurants, and bouzoukias (complete with traditional Greek food and Greek dancing) on weekends!
Timeline of a good weekend:
10:00 pm: Take the metro to a Bouzoukia, or a bar that plays traditional Greek music.
10:00-12:00 pm: Enjoy delicious meat platters, warm pita bread, and Greek salads. Order one pitcher of wine. End up with 8. Then 12. They don’t stop coming.
12:00 Midnight: Live music starts.
12:30 am: Greek people finally get up to dance. They start out dancing in a club-like manner, but around 12:45 it turns into traditional Greek circle dancing.
1:00 am: Get dragged into the circle. Learn very quickly when to kick feet, how to hold arms up in a Greek way, and which way to spin.
1:30 am: Greek people begin dancing on tables.
2:00 am: Drive home due to sore feet.
10:00 am: Why am I awake? Get up to prepare for a “casual hike” put on by the college.
11:00 am: Start casual hike. Make several wonderful friends while walking up the mountain.
12:00 Noon: Realize that we are only half way up the mountain. Begin to doubt the meaning of the word “casual.”
1:00 pm: Finally make it up mountain. Informed by guide that I have just walked 4 miles. Begin walking the 4 miles back down the mountain. Wonder if jumping and rolling down would be easier.
3:00 pm: Make it back to the apartment. Remember that it is St. Patrick’s day. Coordinate evening plans while eating half a box of Honey Cheerios (No, there are no “nuts” in Greek Cheerios).
9:00 pm: Wonder how I have been sitting in the same chair for 6 hours. Mountain 1- Rebecca 0. Get ready to go out.
10:00 pm: Take the metro to Mike’s Irish Pub to meet friends from class.
10:30 pm: It is packed. Enjoy Greek impersonations of Irish accents. Note that this is the first time I’ve really seen Greek people dance in a bar. Live “Irish” band comes on stage. Dance to traditional Irish music.
11:45 pm: Ask the Irish band if they are really Irish. “No,” they say in fake Irish accents, “we’re from Berlin!”
2:00 am: Irish band stops playing. Realize that the metro is already shut down and will remain closed until 5:00 am. Decide to tough it out rather than take a € 30 taxi ride.
2:00 am- 5:00 am: Sit in a posh bar. Eat bar nuts and dinner rolls. Watch clock continuously. Occasionally walk outside and sit on the sidewalk to get some air.
5:00 am: Walk to the metro. Informed that it will be closed until 5:30 am. Curse “Greek time.” Sit on the steps of the metro staring at the gate until it opens.
6:00 am: Finally make it home. Walk down the street to apartment just as the sky turns gray and the birds start chirping. Sleep!