Cash and not credit appears to be the norm in Greece 2015. The best shopping I encountered in Athens was outside the Acropolis Museum at Mitseon and Hatzichristou streets and the town of Kalambaka by Meterora.. As a third generation American, I am totally surprised that the European Union determines what can be created and agriculturally cultivated in specific geographical areas. Will this be our future in America? The BANKS determine all economic activity. Why even bother with the cost of national elections? These two entities determine life in 2015 summer.
On my five day tour arranged by Uli of Dolphin Hellas, Athens, I noticed the prices of simple souvenirs were double in Thessaloniki, Edessa, Veria and other Macedonian areas. MeteoraMonasteries on ground gift shops have inflated prices. One should bring their own small bottle for Holy Water or pay five euros ($6 American dollars) on site. The outside stands of Meteora were 80% less for small souvenirs.
My shopping treasures in Athens began at the corner of the Herodion Hotel at Mitseon Street in “Takis Souvenirs”. The owner, Mr. Georgakopoulos son, pleasantly greeted me, showing his Greek Art works. “We have fine china engraved in 24 carat gold from Olympia,” he said. “They are created by a famous artist. We are attempting to offer Greek products for the new modern taste of the tourist.” Handmade art treasures are created by Nestor.
At the corner of Hatzichristou & Veikou 2 Streets is Zophoros souvenirs. Light pastel mint green and orange dresses were hanging outside his door for 5 euros. Mr. Zophoros showed me the latest styles that ranged from 25 to 40 euros in Greek style dresses. His eyes were always looking around his merchandize, especially when youth appeared. All products were high quality paid for by cash.
At the town of Kalambaka, outside of Meteora, one sees posters of traditional Greek folk singers of Kostas Mpaos and Nikos Daskalos in front of a Horiatika Loukanika (Traditional Village Sausages) store. Life goes on. “Rompos, from 1924” pastry shop advertised at the window poster halva, pastries and ice cream” was nearby. I was amazed to see a window front advertising hunting deer and landscaping equipment called “Eithi Kinigiou”. A colorful window with rugs caught my eye. Owners Athanasios and Vasiliki Giorgalis were honest enough to say they were made in China. “Greek made products have the Greece logo inscribed in products,” They said. “Our region specializes in the creation of icons, according to European Union laws.” Antique silver earrings, tablecloths and embroidered pillow coverings decorate my living room from the store “Greetings from Meteora”. Enjoy Greece! Go window shopping. Meet the Greek merchant.
Photo 1 – Acropolis during my shopping spree.
Photo 2- Second Generation owner of “Takis Souvenirs”, Athens.
Photo3- Handmade 24 k. gold art works made in Olympia, “Takis Souvenirs”.
Photo 4 – Mr. Zophoros with his latest Greek style dresses.
Photo 5 Zophoros Greek souvenirs.
Photo 5 – Greek Bridal Shop in Kalambaka, town by Meteora Monasteries.
Photo 6 – “Greetings from Meteora” gift shop owners Athanasios and Vasiliki Georgalis.
Photo 7 – Vasiliki Georgalis with tablecloth.