Costantine P. Cavafy: DIARY OF THE FIRST TRIP IN GREECE (2nd part)

Costantine P. Cavafy: DIARY OF THE FIRST TRIP IN GREECE (2nd part)

Posted February 6th, 2010 by webmaster



13 JUNE 1901 – 5 AUGUST 1901




21/4 July 9.15 p. m.


    Yesterday afternoon went to town with Alexander. We walked in the Odos Kifissias, where I saw some very fine private residences – such as Psycha’s, Papoudoff’s Syngro’s. On the Odos Kifissias is the Ptochokomeion and the Rizareios Scholi, and the quarters of the 1st Regiment of Artillery.

    We afterwards  went to the P. tou Syntagmatos. Met there Stephi Salvagou. Also Giro.

    Back at Phalerum at 8.40 p. m.

    Giannopoulo came at about 9.45 and stayed with us till twelve.

    There is a French Operette Company playing at the Phalerum Theatre. They performed yesterday «Le Jour et la nuit» and the night before «Le Grand Mogol».

    Yesterday afternoon Alexander and I met Xanthopoulidis near Zacharatos’. He stays in the Odos Patision, he says. He will come and see us at Phalerum.

    Thermometer shows 80. a high figure for so early in the morning. Notwithstanding, I intend trying the Piraeus  a second time. There is not much to see there – but it is a place within easy reach. Ten minutes from Phalerum by rail. Indeed, administratively Phalerum forms part of the Piraeus.


Friday 5 July 4 p. m.


    Yesterday morning I saw a bit of the Piraeus. I walked along the quays; I visited a large church; I visited a public garden; passed the Rues Bouboulina, Philon, Colocotronis; mounted the steps leading to the Therpsithea which looks a beautiful boulevard. I went into a confectioner’s shop in the Rue Philon and ate a small cake. I returned to the Phalerum by the 12.30 train.

    In the afternoon I visited with Alexander the Palaion Phaleron. It is not much. It has a second rate hotel, «Hotel St. George», by the sea. There is a pretty good bathing establishment: the sea looks very clean and nice for bathing. Near the hotel is a diminutive parekkliseon tou Agiou Georgiou. The houses about the hotel and further on are few, and not very large. But the view from the beach is much superior I found to that of the Neon Phaleron. The mountains, the houses of the Piraeus, and the islands seen in the distance, with the beautiful effects of colour that play upon them, are simply enchanting.

    We returned to the New Phalerum at about 7 p. m. I shaved and then – after some bother owing to the loss of my stick, which I afterwards found – I went to the plage where I met Dikéos. I joined Alexander at about 8, and then Giannopoulo came and informed us that he had engaged seats for us at the Phalerum Theatre. This theatre, to which we went at 9 p.m.,  is roomy and cool. It as yesterday evening quite full. The play performed was «Miss Helyett». The company – a French one – not up to much. The royal box was occupied by the King and Princes Nicholas and Andrew. They left a little before the end of the performance. During each entre-act the public went to the plage and had refreshments or walked up and down. The plage is profusely lit up with electric light. The sight was really a pretty one. I met in the theatre Stephi Salvago and Mavrogordato.

    This morning I went to town. I called on Scocos, at Anesti Constantinidis’. He was absent and I left a card. I met him later on on the Place de la Constitution, but he was in a great hurry getting into a tram for the Plateia tis Omonoias. I went subsequently to Zacharato’s where I met one Pangalos who, mistaking me for John with whom he had travelled from Alexandria to Athens, was very polite, stood me a coffee, and introduced me to two officers, M. Galanos and M. Lestos. The «qui pro quo» was put right, but M. Pangalos treated me all the same as an old friend and introduced me to two more of his acquaintances – one the Bouleutes of Syros, and the other a M. Constantopoulo, some time a resident in Alexandria.

    I returned at about 1 p.m. to  Phalerum. In the dining-room I found the Pringos at lunch. They were very friendly. The lot was –Constantine Pringo and his wife, his mother, his unmarried sister and Mme Ivanoff. The three last had just arrived from Alexandria.


Saturday 23/6 July 9.45 a.m.


    Spent yesterday afternoon and evening on the plage. Giannopoulo joined us. I also talked some time with Tsacopoulo. Thermometer at 5 p.m. had risen to 85. This morning it is 81.


Sunday 24/7 July 8.30 a.m.


    I went to Athens with Alexander yesterday morning. We took the tram Omonoias-Ippokratous and went to its destination, the end of Rue Hippocrate’s and back. Then did the same with the Omonoias-Ampelokipwn. 

    Alexander stayed and lunched in town. I was back at Phalerum and did not lunch. I was better in the evening. There was a real crowd at dinner. Giannopoulo pointed out to me among the diners M. Theotokis, the Prime Minister, and M. Romano, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Went to bed at 10 p.m.

    Thermometer this morning 81.


Sunday 24/7 July 5.30 p.m.


    I went to town in the morning. Walked through several streets –Odos Adrianou and the streets round about. Then I had my hair cut, bought cigarettes, and went to Zacharatos, where I met Mataranga and afterwards Salvago. Salvago drove me to the Monastiraki Station at 11.50 – he went on to the Khephissia station.

    It rains now.  


Monday 25/8 July 8.45 a.m.


    It was very dull yesterday afternoon. Raining all the time. Tables for dinner were served as usual, in the open air, but the people had scarcely had their soup before a pouring rain came down, and all tables had to be carried back to the dining-room. Alex. Giro dined with us. Giannopoulo turned up at about 10 p.m.

    This morning thermometer shows 78. what an unstable climate!


Monday 25 25/8 July 4 p.m.


    Stayed at the hotel all the morning. Rather unwell. Netter now, but will not go to town.

    Thermometer, 79.


Tuesday 26/9 July 5 p.m.


    Very few people yesterday on the plage. I met Tsocopoulo at 9.30 p.m. and spent an hour with him talking mostly of literary matters,

    This morning went to town. Walked through several streets leading off from the Rue d’Athéna. Saw the Varvakeion, visited again the Bourse, and also the National Bank. Met Giro and stayed some time with him at Zacharatos’; he introduced me to one Major Condilis, whom is a relation of the Goussios and the Scouffos. Bought at Wilberg’s Polemi’s «Alabastra».

    Thermometer at 79. It rained towards noon. And again at 4 p.m. Phalerum is not cooler than town. Thermometer showed this morning 78 in both places. 


Wednesday 27/10 July 2 p.m.


    Yesterday evening I spent mostly with Giannopoulo. It rained intermittently till 11.30 p.m. when I went to bed.

    This morning I went with Alexander to the Piraeus. We had a drive round the town. The Odos Sokratous is very fine and the streets and private residences on an eminence all along the sea are beautiful.

    Thermometer, 78.


Thursday 28/11 July 9 a.m.


    Went to town yesterday by the 5.40 p.m. train. Got down at Monastiraki Station, crossed the square, got into the Rue d’Hermès, from that street passed into the Rue d’Eole, and followed the Rue d’Eole till I reached the Rue de Sophocle which I entered and called at No. 5 Amalia Pappo’s house. Amalia was out (gone to Thalia’s, her servant said), so I left a card, and passed to the Rue du Parthenagogeion, and on to the Rue du Stade. I went to Zacharato’s, but found no acquaintances there. I took a cab and drove (through the Rues du Stade and de Patissia) to the Polytechnion. I there called on Polemi, whom I found with painter Jacovides. They were both very polite. I stayed one hour – literary conversation, of course. I left at 7.35 and went to the Monastiraki station, following the Rues de Patissia and d’Athéna, and was in time for the 8 p.m. train for Phalerum. The evening was not very gay at Phalerum. As usual, Giannopoulo for company. He pointed out to me M. & Mme Basiliadis of the Piraeus. They are Eliasco’s son-in-law and daughter. I retired to my room at 10.30 p.m. Giannopoulo went to the Phalerum Theatre

    Thermometer shows 78 this morning.   Jsk


29/12 July, 4.30 p.m.