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#5

THE GARDENS

Our little everyday secrets

Emails and text messages, downtown meetings, people hurrying on the streets, the bustling urban vibe. When the days get busy and escape feels like the right thing to do, Athenians know there is a safe place to be. In the middle of urban whirlwind, the Athenian oases are a welcome break from the noisy routine. 

Starting point: The National Garden, 15 hectares long and 500 memories strong, just a two-minute walk from the hectic Syntagma Square. As you enter, time slows down. The long shadows of the palm-like trees stretch under the sun’s command; they’ve been doing so every day for the last 176 years, since one young queen decided to plant her vision of exoticism here. In our very own version of New York’s  Central Park, you will discover rare and alluring  beauties: Washingtonia filifera is the slender lady palm that welcomes you in. Magnolia grandiflora bows to you with her large thick leaves. Lush and stunning, they offer up their caring shadows to you, as they did when we were kids. See, the National Garden is our national playground for the memory too!

 Athenians have a way of finding small blossomed gardens everywhere. It may be a red geranium in a pot, stretching its branches beyond its little balcony in Plaka. It could be the smell of evening primrose as you’re walking home after a night out in the lively neighborhood of Petralona. It might be in the gentle rustling sound as the wind sweeps through the olive trees on an early morning climb to the Acropolis. 

It is all there, to offer you an escape into nature every now and then. All you have to do is to wake up and smell the…  gardens!


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