Post-Lockdown: Athenians Enjoy the First Summer Days of 2020

This is how the people of Athens spent their first week of freedom, according to Instagram.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Today, Fitzgerald’s words seem to describe our lives quite literally, as Athenians venture out cautiously, but excitedly, from our mandated dormancy.

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Finally #freedom 🌞 #sunset #sunsetlover #feelfree

A post shared by KAΤΕRΙΝΑ________ (@katerina_mpo) on

It seemed like a year, but it was actually just for about a month and a half that the lockdown kept us tightly tied to our homes, allowed outside only for essential errands and exercising.

It seemed like a year not only because time spent in boredom moves slower, but also because somehow, an entire season passed while we were isolating. The peak of spring arrived and blossomed outside our windows, and we’ve now been released straight into summer. With temperatures hovering above 30 C in many places in Greece, including Athens, and the sea already warm enough to plunge into without too much hesitation, there’s only one thing to do: hit the beach.

The first post-lockdown weekend was spent by thousands of Athenians on the city’s riviera. Like restaurants and cafés, beach establishments with sunbeds are still closed, but that didn’t stop citizens from sunning themselves on towels spread out at least two meters apart, and leaping into the sea for the first swim of the year.

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A post shared by Grigoris Evagelou (@evagelou_gkazadiko) on

Others, avoiding the first wave of people and traffic moving towards the sea, chose to enjoy the city’s green spaces, most of which were closed to visitors during lockdown. Since we’re still restrained to moving around within our own region (that’s Attica for the Athenians), this seems the perfect time to rediscover some of the city’s hidden gems: places where nature still hasn’t been strangled by the city, like the Tatoi estate and the Valanari Waterfall in Ntrafi.

Here are some of our favorite photos that popped up on our Instagram feed from the Athenians’ first week out of lockdown:

First Swim of the Year

The Universal Pose for Freedom?

Friends Reunited

Rediscovering the City’s Green Spaces

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