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Tania

Guide Photo of Guide Tania

I was about five, and I was taking part in a school celebration. Dressed in a traditional costume like all the other members of my “troupe”, I was waiting to recite the lines of the poem I had painstakingly learnt by heart. At last, my turn came. But when I stood behind the microphone, my mind went blank and my mouth went dry. Tears welled up in my eyes. Terrified, I glanced over at my classmates who, grouped behind the wings and dressed in their own slightly silly costumes, were waiting to act their part.

I’m not sure, but I think that this was the moment when I felt for the first time the strange charm of being part of a small “world” inside this large one. I regained my lost courage, the words of the poem came back to me and I delivered them. As soon as I skipped off the stage, I was hooked, and couldn’t wait to get back up there somehow.

Since then, I've been back several times, each time seeking for the same sense of lost unity and “belongingness” I felt after recovering from that first moment of stage fright. I was only five, but I decided then to be lonely no more…

Photo of Founder Tina.

Tina

Founder

"In 2010, the Greek crisis hit and the country went into freefall. I was left without a job, a car or even medical insurance, and there was little perspective of finding a new job any time soon."

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Photo of Head of Travel Design Elissavet.

Elissavet

Head of Travel Design

"I remember when I was about 17, my friend asked me what my plans for life were. Sincerely, I had no clue. I had some scattered images in my head of how I imagine myself. Like photographs. The only thing in common, I remember, was that all these images were in some far lands, with unusual landscapes and distant cultures. Living abroad was something I use to fantasize a lot as a kid. It was a constant change and an excitement over new things that attracted me."

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Photo of Guide Andreas.

Andreas

Guide

“I grew up in a neighbourhood called Nea Smyrni. The first settlers here were refugees from Asia Minor. People in our neighbourhood are proud of where they come from; they respect history because many of their grandparents or great-grandparents were lost or had to emigrate following the end of the conflict between Greece and Turkey.”

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Photo of guide Pavlina.

Pavlina

guide

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain

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Photo of Guide Vassia.

Vassia

Guide

"There is a book I like a lot. Its final sentence reads: “It is never too late to have a happy childhood”. I was in my early twenties when I read it and my childhood had been relatively happy. But I tend to take stuff written in books very seriously. Why had the author chosen to end a book about an improbable love story with this sentence?

It was around that time that I started to travel."

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Photo of Guide Niko a.k.a. Rude.

Niko a.k.a. Rude

Guide

"It must have been at the end of middle school when I discovered graffiti, although my fascination with drawing and the arts had been with me a lot longer. My new hobby began stealing ‘precious’ time I could have used for studying for school. I realised that action had to be taken..."

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Photo of Guide Elizabeth.

Elizabeth

Guide

The French poet Arthur Rimbaud once wrote that "Eternity is the sea mingled with the sun " and I guess there' s a little bit of truth of that in me.

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Photo of travel designer Penny.

Penny

travel designer

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

It all started during the period when the Greek crisis reached its zenith. A combination of many fruitless attempts in the Athenian job market as well as a huge loss in my family pushed me to search for a new start point; I was dreaming of my future in an island, so I took a job in one.

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Photo of guide maria.

maria

guide

Growing up, I had always thought that life, as if by magic, always puts us on the right path. As I got older, however, I discovered that sometimes you have to grab the steering wheel yourself, and turn your life in the right direction.

 

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Photo of Guide katerina.

katerina

Guide

I am a fan of poetry. Poems have the ability to paint a picture in just a few words. But what I find remarkable is that I often find my life painted in poems…especially while traveling.

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Photo of guide antigoni.

antigoni

guide

There is a theory that claims that your name determines who you are. Antigone was the heroine of a Greek tragedy written by Sofocles in 441 BC. She defied the rules and for that she faced death.

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Photo of Guide Laura.

Laura

Guide

I started performing on the streets in Rome and realized very early what the audience wants to see on the streets of a city. It is not the best juggling trick or acrobatic skill. What they really wanted to see was me smiling and looking  them into their eyes - sharing playfulness.

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Awards & Accolades

Testimonials

"We had a blast with Andreas! He was incredibly friendly, insightful, outgoing, and answered our tons of questions that came up about what life is like in Athens today. He truly made you feel like a friend."

AliasMil

"The street art was impressive and varied. There was so much to discover and see. I highly recommend this tour if you want to get out of the touristy areas and see amazing artwork."

travelchyc – San Jose

"This was great...we saw all kinds of things we never would have stumbled onto on our own. I highly recommend Alternative Athens!"

Julie Matlof K