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更新时间:2017-12-24 11:52:56 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The European city that loves strangers

Few cities in the world rival the antiquity of Athens, where people have lived continuously for thousands of years. Athenians created the first forms of democracy, the plays and philosophy that shaped Western civilisation, and the classical buildings that still dot the Acropolis.


Amid the ancient ruins, another survivor of the centuries is the Greek concept of philoxenia – a term that directly translates as ‘love of strangers’, but which locals define more as a warmth that makes foreigners feel immediately welcomed when they come to the capital city. “The people can be very hospitable and friendly,” agreed Julian Williams, who moved from London in 2009.

在众多历史久远的废墟中,另一个历经千百年仍然流传下来的就是希腊词语"philoxenia"的概念——它可以直接译为"热爱陌生人",而当地人则赋予它更多,让外国人一踏上这座古都的土地,就能感到宾至如归的热情。"人们非常热情好客,"2009年从伦敦移居到此的朱利安·威廉姆斯(Julian Williams)深表赞同。

Though more than 4.5 million people visit the city every year to delve into its past, Athens has plenty in its present to make it worth staying for the longer term.


Why do people love it?


The always-on atmosphere of Athens attracts Greeks and expats alike. “Athens is a buzzing city,” said Chrissy Manika, an Athens native and blogger at Travel Passionate. “No matter when you go out you will see the cafes and bars filled with people having a good time.” She especially likes wandering the city centre neighbourhood of Plaka, on the north-east side of the Acropolis. “With all the tourists around, it feels like you are on holiday on an island, especially in summer.”

雅典始终不变的氛围吸引着希腊人和移民者。"雅典是一个喧闹的城市。"雅典本地人同时也是"激情旅行"(Travel Passionate)的博主克里希·曼尼卡(Chrissy Manika)说道,"无论何时出门,你总能看到人们在咖啡馆和酒吧愉快地消遣。"她尤其喜欢在市中心的普拉卡(位于卫城东北边)周边散步。"看着周围的游客,你会感觉自己在一座小岛上度假,尤其是夏天的时候。"

With more than 250 days of sunshine annually, that summer can feel endless. “By my American standards, ‘summer’ in Athens lasts from late April to late October,” said Mina Agnos, who opened the Athens office of luxury tour company Travelive in 2008. The weather makes it especially easy to get away to nearby islands for weekend getaways. Williams recommends Hydra (35 nautical miles to the south), where cars are prohibited and people get around the island by riding donkeys and mules or leisurely walking its idyllic city streets, which mostly lack street signs. Though long popular with celebrities and artists, the island retains its laid-back lifestyle with plentiful cafes and contained crowds, thanks to the limited number of hotels.

拥有年均超过250天光照的气候让人感觉似乎一直都是夏天。"按照我的美国标准,雅典的'夏天'从四月底一直持续到10月底,"米娜·艾格诺斯(Mina Agnos)说道,她在2008年开办了雅典豪华旅游公司"Travelive"。这里的天气尤其适合在周末忙里偷闲,去周边的小岛小住几天。威廉姆斯推荐九头蛇岛(往南35海里),那里禁止汽车通行,人们骑着驴和骡子在岛上观光,或者悠闲地在田园般的城市街道里散步,当然大部分街道都没有路标。尽管长久以来受到名人和艺术家的青睐,但是岛上仍然保留着慵懒的生活方式,众多的咖啡馆和从容的人群,而这要归功于有限数量的旅馆。

The mountains and forest are also within easy reach. “If you want to break out of the city, you can do so fairly easily and feel like you’re a million miles [away],” Williams said. “One of my regular places to go is Mount Hymettus [5-6km from the city centre], which is ideal if you have a dog, and is also great for biking.”

山脉和森林同样触手可及。"如果你想逃离城市生活,很轻松就能办到,而且就像在天涯海角一般。"威廉姆斯说道,"我常去的地方是伊米托斯山(Mount Hymettus,位于雅典东南方向18公里),如果遛狗的话会非常合适,当然骑行也很棒。"

What's it like to live there?


Despite living in an ancient city, residents never get sick of the views. “Driving into the city and seeing the Acropolis or the Temple of Zeus takes my breath away,” Agnos said. “At every turn, there is a beautiful reminder of the ancient past of this city. It is a lovely reminder of our limited time and that we should make the best of it.”

虽然生活在一座古老的城市,但是它的风景百看不厌。"开车到城里去参观卫城或宙斯神庙(Temple of Zeus)总是让我激动不已。"艾格诺斯说道,"每次前来,都会感受到来自城市辉煌过往的提醒。这种提醒让我们感受到时间的流逝,告诫我们应当利用好每分每秒。"

Among the antiquities, nearby neighbourhoods give a glimpse into the city’s contemporary culture. Just steps from the Acropolis, Koukaki was recently ranked as the city’s newest cool neighbourhood for its new National Museum of Contemporary Art, trendy restaurants and cosy cafes. For a more avant-garde feel, Williams recommends the neighbourhood of Exarcheia, 1km north-east of the city centre.”

在众多古迹之中,周边的风景可以令人窥见城市的当代文化。距卫城一步之隔的科隆纳(Koukaki),其由于拥有新建的当代艺术国家博物馆(National Museum of Contemporary Art)、潮流的餐馆和惬意的咖啡馆而最新成为了城市最吸引人的地方。如果想要获得更加前卫的体验,那么威廉姆斯推荐位于市中心东北1公里远的哈瑞亚区(Exarcheia)。"

Locals also have their own secrets that tourists often miss while they’re museum-hopping. “Some of the best food is to be had in the local central market in downtown Athens,” said Katilena Alpe, who moved from London nine years ago. “And not many know that Athens has a wine route and the vineyards around the capital produce some great wines.”

当地居民还有一些秘密是忙于餐馆博物馆的游客经常错过的。"一些最美味的食物都藏在雅典市区的当地中心市场里。"9年前从伦敦搬来的卡迪丽娜·阿尔普(Katilena Alpe)说道,"很多人都不知道雅典有一条红酒之路,附近的葡萄园出产着非常棒的红酒。"

What else do I need to know?


As one of the countries hit hardest by the decade’s economic strife, Greece is still a hard place to find a job, and unemployment in Athens remains high. Locals lament the time-consuming and inefficient government bureaucracy, which can cause challenges for newcomers trying to get or start a job.


“Tax paperwork and Greek bureaucracy requires translation so it’s valuable having a friend who can help you navigate the bureaucratic maze to get setup,” Williams said.


And while salaries are lower here in general, Athens has one of Europe’s lowest costs of living, with expenses averaging nearly 50% less than London, according to price compare site Expatistan.com.


Expats also appreciate that most Athenians speak very good English – though attempting a little Greek goes a long way. “Even if you are horrible at it, the effort is really appreciated,” Agnos said.


Even with its challenges, locals recommend never losing sight of the awe of Athens. “I find that the happiest expats are the ones that act like tourists,” said Agnos. “They are visiting museums or hopping ferries to islands on the weekends, sampling lots of local dining spots, and getting to know the locals.”