Athens can be noisy and crowded and confusing, but it’s spontaneous and always surprising. A cable ride up Lykavittos rewards with an incredible panorama but veer off the track to discover the hill’s secret links to Parnitha. The beauty of Kaisariani Monastery’s architecture is matched by the ‘organised wilderness’ of its incredible gardens. Ancient relics, great and small, mirror a glorious past that remains an example to the world, but they are only the start of what’s great about Athens today. There are the mountains that surround it, busy with climbers, runners and picnic-lovers during the weekends. The ubiquitous graffiti, some admirable, some abhorrent, that reveal what’s bugging the Athenians’ psyche. Bars, cafes and restaurants thronged with broke Greeks who refuse to stay inside. Stores where you can find vendors as venerable as their antiques and others that are up to date with the edgiest demands. And many surprising, sometimes downright dark, dank and mysterious pockets. Athens is changing day by day. This book will take you to places that are beyond touristy or trendy; whether hundreds of years old or contemporary, their tales are timeless.