Among the blocks of flats, the avenues and the urban “growth” lies a different kind of growth. One that seems to be frozen in time together with its surroundings.
Rema Pikrodafnis is one of the few remaining relevantly untouched streams in Athens. You can see the areas it runs through by clicking here. Polluted waters, illegal dwellings tacked on the stream itself, an overgrowth of reeds everywhere… It’s a forgotten, completely different world. You’ll find such things as chicken coops, tin shacks, tortoises, frogs and great views over the stream from the winding, labyrinthine roads that go parallel to it. Some might say it’s not an interesting sight and might wonder why anyone would want to visit a place such as it. I for one love this seemingly abandoned part of the city and really think it’s a symbol of the part of Greece a lot of people choose to forget.
It’s a great walk any time of the day. I suggest you bring something good to listen to while walking or biking along the wild vegetation. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle in audiobook format was my choice and it fit strangely well with the desolateness.
To get to the lower part of the stream which is most easily accessible via local transport, catch a tram and get off at stop Achilleos. Go down Eleftheriou Venizelou past the shops and sure enough you’ll see the first reeds in the distance. The rest is up to you.