One of the first things I noticed when I came to Athens was all the orange trees that line the streets. To be honest, they are pretty hard to miss because they are often planted in the middle of the pavements. The pavements in many residential streets in Athens are quite narrow, so the presence of the trees makes them pretty much non-functional. If you suck your breath in, its possible to slalom through the trees, but it’s generally easier to walk at the side of the road.
Despite the fact that the trees force me to walk in the road a lot of the time, I really like them. They give the streets more character.
Seeing all these orange trees every day is an interesting experience for me and is a constant reminder that I’m no longer stuck in the UK. The winters there are too harsh for growing orange trees in the streets.
Apparently, the orange trees lining the streets of Athens are Citrus aurantium. They’re native to Asia and have such a bitter taste they are not suitable for normal eating.
From what people tell me, when the fruit is gone and the boughs become full of flowers the trees make the streets smell wonderful. Unfortunately, I’ll be elsewhere in Europe when that happens. That’s a pity. Walking down orange-scented streets would be a memorable experience. I like Athens though, so I plan on coming back. I also want to explore more of Greece. Hopefully, when I do return I’ll time things a little better.
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