20-05-18 National Garden, Athens

Sunday 20th May 2018

We wake at Thěa Marīna’s comfy home at the usual time of 7:45. The kiddo must wee. I’m grateful that his nervous system works.

Watching the Evzones parade Parliament House

Our plan for the day is to take in culturally important events and explore the natural beauty of urban Athens. First stop is Syndagma Square. For at 11am the physically perfect men of the elite guard of Greece, the Evzones, will parade around Parliament House. We will take in the changing of the guard and clap/cheer for this proud nation.

Kingsley finds us a seat in the National Garden

Both of us are keen to explore a natural environment and adjacent to Syndagma is the National Garden a glorious 15.5 hectare shady retreat commissioned in the early 19th Century by Queen Amelia. Here Kingsley and I strolled, sat, observed, learned, played, watched, admired and absorbed the beauty of this landscaped environment. Favourite parts included tripping over the ruins of ancient Corinthians columns and finding the turtle pond.

At one point Kingsley makes himself known to a Spanish group (they took our bench, mummà…) then gets comfy in a pic with them. Today’s mood is open, chatty, social. He’s great with strangers but doesn’t listen to me at all. Which of course he cops it on the bum for being obstinate (there lurks dangerous strangers who will KIDNAP YOU KINGSLEY; always stay with mummà! !!) I yell before a good thwack on his bum.

Our arvo is wild. Deep inside the national garden lies an extraordinary children’s playground; a wonderland of climbing structures and sandy pits. Kids are going feral. Parents seem cool here. I let Kingsley loose and he is strong, with confidence hauling his body up thick rope, hopping from platform to raised platform with nimble feet, finding groups to play with. I eat oranges and buy him a bubble-making gun.

We go home late this evening. Kingsley falls asleep in my lap as the 122 bus service carries us to Saronītha, Mummà Dora waiting at the door with a pot of lentil soup.