Athens first Wednesday in November

My last day in Athens, a lovely sunny day, clear blue sky, 24 C.

Shocked to see tea pigs rubbish tea promoted. Bad enough finding this rubbish tea in England without seeing it spread to Athens.

I had intended from Acropoli walk around The Acropolis, Thisio, Monastiraki to Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies, followed by Mokka continue to Plaka.

But first, a detour to Little Tree to pick up a copy of Walking in Athens, a book I had spotted and flipped through several days previous.

En route I note the abandoned e-scooters, trip over one, and nearly go flying.

Schoolkids find one e-scooter that is not locked. They lock when moved. I say take it. They say no, do not wish to steal it. I should have explained borrow for the day, then leave, but park not to cause a nuisance, when no longer in use.

En route look at the derelict mansion featured in Walking in Athens.

Little Tree two copies of Walking in Athens, now only one.

I pass by The Underdog, pop in, but no time to stop.

I do though stop at the little snack bar outside Thisio Metro Station next to Coffee Island. The previous day, spinach pie without the cheese, today cheese pie. A pity as the spinach pie was excellent the cheese pie not so good.

Tricksters I had seen the previous weekend. On the Saturday a different trickster, there on the Sunday, when two tricksters with same trick.

What I noticed on the Sunday, the same people gathered around who I had seen on the Saturday, obviously part of the scam. One fat guy happily bets then loses three fifty euro notes, another when trickster not looking, points to where the hidden object.

Three boxes, one hides an object, move around very fast, punter has to bet where it is hiding.

As a child I used to see this trick being played in Petticoat Lane.

I am blocked when I try to take photos.

A change of plan, usually I visit Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies first then Mokka as one closes one hour later than the other. It also matches my direction of travel. Today the other way around, Mokka first, I am early and it matches my direction of travel.

I head straight up a rather unpleasant busy road from Monastiraki, pass by Dope. But why stop at Dope when Mokka only a few minutes walk away further up the road with superior coffee?

I look in the fish section of Central Market but do not venture in.

As I am earlier than usual and find their retail shop is open, I first look in Mokka shop, it closes at 1530 and this is the only visit I find open. Massive industrial grinders for their coffee, also single origin on a smaller roaster though still large compared to most roasteries in England.

I choose a Costa Rican single origin coffee.

Then to Mokka coffee shop. I watch Greek coffee brewed on a hot bed of sand.

Excellent cappuccino.

It is a pity the coffee shop does not at least have the single origin coffee on sale.

Too late for Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies and I get lost trying to find. OK I know where I am but no idea where to head.

I head to Just Made 33 and find open. Owner not there, I do not stop.

Then pass through Mitropoleos Square.

I often pass through in the evening, first time in daylight.

I pop in TOMS, a coffee shop that is a weird set up, sells shoes and glasses and claims to provide a week’s supply of water to third world need for each cup of coffee sold.

I am always wary of these claims. Far far better work with farmers, improve quality, fetch a higher price for the coffee beans.

The coffee shop, their flag ship store (not that I have encountered any others), was serving coffee in paper takeaway cups, thus damaging the environment of the very people they claim to be trying to help.

Also on sale e-coffee cups.

E-coffee cups have recently been embroiled in scandal. Toxins released from the cups into hot liquids, thus best avoided.

A lovely black cat had bagged a seat. At first does not appear to be friendly from the warning meow, but was friendly. Lost in translation.

I have a brief conversation with a man sat outside, even though now I am running late. He says ask next time I pass by, UK still in EU. He makes the point EU makes impossible for countries to leave a one way system. Hotel California. can check out but cannot leave.

He tells me I am paying to much heed to Yanis Varoufakis. Interesting as until that point, neither of us had mentioned Yanis Varoufakis by name, though we were very much discussing his ideas.

I walk pass Hadrian’s Arch and a lovey stone table in the courtyard of an apartment.

It is then head to Metro, head to airport.

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