It is true that having grown up in Michigan I am used to seeing snow in February, but when I came to Athens, it is definitely not something I had expected. As seen below, the ancient ruins of the Acropolis were covered in white fluff. While I walked around, I wondered if Plato or Aristotle had ever seen so much snow. Athens is not known for getting more than a small dusting. Everyone I spoke to said this was the first or second time in their lives that they had seen snow at this level in the city. While the snow was falling, some Athenians were scared, most cars were off the streets, and only the motorcycle delivery people were braving the slippery conditions. The sidewalks, most of which are polished marble, were like ice rinks (luckily for me, I only slipped once). The day of the snowfall was the most empty I had seen the city in my time here. The only exception to this was kids and teenagers who took the opportunity to have their first snowball fight, one outside my apartment went on for more than an hour.
For the past few weeks, Greece has been on lockdown; the stores, museums, and indoor spaces are closed. The best way to see the city, at the moment, is by walking aimlessly with no destination in sight. This is what I do every day after my classes! I have been fortunate enough to see the various neighborhoods and cultures around Athens, from the upper Attic basin (Marousi), to the ancient marketplace (Plaka), all the way down to the coast of the Saronic Gulf seen below. While the water is a bit too cold to swim in, for most the feeling of a cool breeze coming off the sea is amazing after spending so much time in a city of 3 million people. I say the water is too cold for most because some do brave the cold, there is even an Athens winter swimmers club! The calm and silence that you get on the coast is impossible to get anywhere in the city, and the views do not disappoint. The climate is mostly warm, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but even at that temperature most Athenians have long sleeves and pants on. Wearing shorts and a t-shirt has gotten me some strange looks.