Flisvos is the first sea-front stretch you encounter when leaving Athens behind.
It’s a wonderful place name, evoking the sound of small waves breaking peacefully on the shoreline. Flisvos served as the first port of Athens back in the 5th century BC, but today it is part of a quiet suburb. Even so, a promenade along the sea front remains unbeatable.
There is a lot to see in modern day Flisvos: the leafy park, the Averof, an armoured cruiser that now serves as a military museum and a modern 5 Gold Anchor marina. But on this particular visit I turned my back to these and walked the other way, as I used to do with grandpa some 20 years ago.
I walked along the ample pavements for a bit, with the tramline behind me, taking in the view. The promenade is like an enormous balcony: Straight ahead, you have the unimpaired view of a calm blue sea and a hint of Aegina far in the distance. On your right, you can see the hills of Piraeus, the windows scintillating in the sunshine. On your left, more blue. And ships, a lot of ships, skirting in and out of the marinas peppering this part of the Attica coast.
And there is more if you walk down to the sandy shore. People are still swimming in October, thanks to current temperatures in the mid-late 20’s °C. Those not swimming can be found fishing or gathering around to play paggamon under the few spots of shade. The breeze is still low and very inviting.
Passing through the old, now abandoned maritime club, I was greeted by a few old boats and a bunch of retired lads enjoying each other’s company, the sun, and their weekend leftovers washed down with some raki. We never drink without food. It’s sacrilege.
My camera aroused their suspicions, but after making sure I wasn’t working for the newspapers or other disreputable media, I was invited to join them for a glass. They proudly discussed a glorious wedding before attentions turned to me and, after a few courtesy questions, I was duly told off for not having a tan. Next time I’ll have to go bring a swimming suit. Leaving the group behind, a murmur of smirking escaped followed by a mockingly indignant voice: I only see, I don’t touch, what now? am I not allowed to look?
Leaving their convivial company, there was still quite a stretch of beach ahead. And with an immense grey cloud looming, it’s autumn after all, the rest of my walk became a race.by