Through the cracks, beautiful things grow.
This is what I saw when I walked around the streets of Athens. The rumble of history, slowly being pieced back together. Not totally covered up, but just slotted back into where it belonged. I walked the streets of Athens first by myself, soaking up the vibe, walking, sitting, watching, and listening. I can do this happily all day, night, and even into the early hours of the morning.
I really love Rome, and Athens is similar, but on a much smaller scale. The statues of Greek gods and goddess have got me so intrigued, reading little snippets about what they stood for, the battles, the romance, the history, the beliefs. A heritage the Greeks are proud of.
Luckily Aspasia, one of my Naudic stockists, lives in Athens during the off season. Her store on Paros is called the AA shop, and like everything on the island it has a long history - her mother is one of the original owners. Aspasia was so kind - after our showing one morning she offered to walk me around the streets of Athens to all her favourite stores. These are the local stores that sell the best bread and Souvlaki, as well as the first clothing store in Athens. As we walked, she talked and told me all the history. I was in heaven. I loved hearing this, and I imagined scenes of how it used to be back in time.
I can totally visualise Naudic in Athens and on the Greek Islands - it most definitely needs to be here. I can see the gorgeous colours floating around the streets of Mykonos, women hopping off tiny boats and big yachts to go and have beautiful lunches sitting in the restaurants built into the rock faces of Santorini. I can see flowing fabric on the back of a moped, winding around the twists and turns of the volcanic streets. It’s heaven to the senses, women feeling and looking beautiful in colour.
Finally, I got to meet Elena, the UK agent from from Odd Bliss. The great news is that she sold very well, to stores all around the Greek islands, plus two stores in Athens and in northern Greece, as well as to a department store in a resort area. It’s all off to a flying start, even with the usual bumps along the way, but I’ve learned to embrace those. I’ve noticed that I’ve become adventurous on my own. For instance, I caught the tube to the Acropolis, taking a photo of the tube station so I didn’t forget how to get ‘home’! Hotel location mishaps and all, it’s all part of the ride and the key to discovering the life of a place - no matter where you are, one of the most fascinating things to do is to just sit in a local cafe, have a coffee, and watch everyday life go by.
I loved Athens. It was so good to be back in an old-world city, surrounded by history. It’s funny how walking on streets once followed by countless others across centuries makes you think about your own life - while I was there, it would’ve been my mother’s 69th birthday. I thought of her all day, living like she would have wanted, and savouring the moment, remembering how much she would’ve enjoyed being here. And so I smile and feel the moment, leaving everything else behind.