Welcome back to Romancing the City, the series of romance shattering articles that step on those rose tinted glasses and shine a light on the ugly side of some of Europe’s favourite capital cities for lovebirds. Today’s take of two cities features the Greek capital Athens and Reykjavik in Iceland. So far, London and Paris will make you wish you hadn’t bothered and it’s clear that Amsterdam and Dublin are best reserved for single pringles, how will these two cities fare?
So you’re going to Athens together, a wise move (Athens being named after Athena the goddess of wisdom, after all) if a bit pretentious (what are you Classics students?) After all, Athens has so much to offer loved up holiday makers, culture, history, great food and a Mediterranean climate, what more do you want? Being home to great romancers of ancient times (Aphrodite and aphrodisiac are NOT coincidentally named) it’s no surprise Athens is a popular honeymoon destination but be warned this is a destination for those in it for the long run only! Don’t expect your two month relationship to last much longer if you head to Athens together because you won’t be getting hot and heavy together, just hot…and not in the good way. Unless you have a (weird) foot fetish washing dust and sweat soiled feet will be the first of many turn offs. The blazing sun will get old quickly, like, as soon as you get off the plane and you’ll need to brace yourself for sights of your ‘sexy babe’ looking red in the face, hair sticking to their forehead with noticeable sweat patches forming at the underarm. Those trips to the Acropolis won’t be so inviting when you’re puffing your way up the hill wondering who’s dumb idea was this anyway? And as for those ‘romantic’ Greek myths, Apollo chased Daphne so much the poor nymph turned herself into a laurel tree! Stalker alert!! Sure he made sure laurels are evergreen as a sign of his love but you’re guaranteed to have some sarcastic, pain in the arse point out what a dick he was in the first place (perhaps in the form of a blog post, who knows?) So unless you’re comfortable peeling burnt skin from your partner’s back, Athens is best saved for the seasoned couples.
The Icelandic capital is fast becoming one of those ‘hip’ places that every twenty-something should visit, it’s a little alternative, not your ‘typical’ holiday destination and has most likely pissed off the Reykjavik visiting veterans who most likely wish it had remained ‘undiscovered’. Why is Reykjavik so appealing? Is it the Instagram worthy skies? Their hipster bottles that look like this? Or just the fact that you can show off by knowing how to spell it? Well, yes, it’s all that but it’s also the dreaded spas. All thanks to the geothermal spa that is the Blue Lagoon (about 24 miles from Reykjavic) one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, young (and not so young) couples jet ooop north (except more north) to get loved up in the amazing spas that the chilly nation has to offer. And, actually, it’s pretty romantic right? …well sort of. I mean yes, the beautiful landscape and the peaceful environment is nice but what about those spas again!? What’s my issue with spas you ask? I don’t have an issue with spas, I have no strong feelings for spas either way…but…spas are not a great idea for couples. Especially new couples (just like Athens all over again). This is because although you might initially relish the idea of being practically naked in a hot spa with your significant other as soon as you get there and see each other shirtless and support-bra free you’ll realise this was a bad, bad idea. Thoughts like, ‘ohmygod! She has better abs than I do!!’ or ‘eww he’s skinnier than I am!’ are not uncommon, and yes, yes we should all be body happy, love our own skin and blah, blah, blah but nobody really thinks this way (yes, Loose Women is a lie) You’ll wonder how in the name of sanity you were attracted to this person in the first place or worse, how are they attracted to you? To add insult to injury you’ll also have to compete with everyone else around you, with six foot tall, Nordic girls with their flowing blonde hair and creamy skin, with chiseled guys and their ice-blue eyes that look like they were sculpted by Donatello. They’ll be there, sauntering around, laughing, making you feel *this* small and increasingly less impressed by your squatting 80 kilos last week. In short, Reykjavik breeds insecurity and jealousy and last time I checked they were two major red flags in any relationship, so unless you’re both as hot as each other steer well clear!