Posts Tagged With: athens

Greek Gemista

Greek starterThey weren’t kidding. We ordered a simple greek salad on our first evening in Athens and it was as good as they claimed it to be. Feta cheese, tomatoes and fresh lettuce drizzled with olive oil. How could it be different from what I’d otherwise toss together at home in Dubai, in India or in Timbuktoo? But it sure was different. Was it the freshness of the vegetables, dairy or olive oil? I couldn’t care. It was delicious like never before! Our culinary euphoria in Greece was, frankly, short-lived because after a week, it was challenging to find too many vegetarian options. By the time we got to Mykonos, we were eating ‘greek’ styled Italian food (same difference) and had got tired and fattened by feta. However, Athens helped us discover some wonderful little nooks and corners and the the most notable was ‘Η Κρήτη’, a little Cretan joint tucked away in a side street, something that you wouldn’t notice in passing unless you could read Greek. It had 5 small tables and we were lucky enough to find one available that the 5 of us could cramp into. So why did we choose this place? Foursquare. (I highly recommend that you save this link before visiting Athens because it is that good. The best meal in Greece and the best vegetarian-range-of-options in Europe that I’ve ever come across. After a lot of thinking, we ordered 2 meal combos – each with 5 dishes so 10 in all that would do justice to the group. The waiter enthusiastically offered to replace a couple of meat options with a vegetarian version promising us that it would be as good as the original.  Apart from Η Κρήτη, we also devoured good food in a few other random places. Enough now. Allow the below images to speak for themselves.

greek vine leaves

Greek-styled Pasta & Dolmadakia

greek salad 1

Spanakopita. So delish!

Spanakopita. So delish!

Halloumi and lentil salad

Halloumi and lentil salad

Zucchini fritters

Zucchini fritters

Briám. The Greek Ratatouille.

Briám. Greek Ratatouille.

Greek mushroom

Grilled mushroom with fava purée

And THIS is Gemista - peppers stuffed with rice

And THIS is Gemista! (peppers stuffed with rice)

Desserts with feta cheese and greek yoghurt. Divine.

Desserts with feta cheese and Greek yogurt. Divine.

Categories: Greece, Travelogue | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

And then it was Greece.

A bunch of 5 friends across Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

But first, the sunburn.

Spent 10 days in Greece towards the end of June. All I asked for was pleasant weather, coming from the Emirati desert. Instead, I returned with a sunburn. Because Athens is all about walking around and taking a trip down history. So we bore the brunt of the raging summer sun and kept ourselves periodically happy with food and mythos. Ah, Greek effect on the stomach. Coming soon in another exclusive post.

We spent 4 days in Athens, 3 in Santorini and 3 in Mykonos. I must admit that the capital city didn’t particularly impress me the way it should have. I’ll conveniently blame that on the sunburn. But if you eat and sleep history, then Athens is the place to be. And while I loved history in school, I am no museum fan. One of the friends that I was traveling with was a historical encyclopedia in herself and a constant guide on our museum visits. It was an incredible experience learning about doric columns and greek architecture, the Cycladic and Mycenaean civilizations and more that I couldn’t have cared about before. All said, I am done with my fair share of museums for a long time to come!

Athens greece

Santorini was as postcard pretty as it is made out to be. The white-and-blue houses that I’d dreamed about and even mentioned in an Andalusia post of long-ago totally lived up to expectations. We rented a car and spent 3 white-and-blue days (ouzo and the beach, I mean) in this gorgeous croissant-shaped island. Santorini is well known as a wedding destination and I even had a long-sight view of a live one. Sigh. On a separate note, I will go back someday to Santorini with the husb. Not to renew wedding vows ofcourse (I am kind enough not to put him through another ordeal).

Athens Santorini

Mykonos followed Santorini and I’d like to assume that was possibly why it couldn’t quite live up to our expectations. Away from the party hotspots (it is also considered to be one of the leading gay holiday destinations of the world) I have reason to believe that the island, though much smaller than Santorini, is beautiful in its own way with the famous windmills and an old world charm. And I also spent a 24th birthday dancing on a table (Yeah ok, there’s a lie somewhere in between).

Athens Mykonos

Verdict? Must must experience. Save up some money first.


Categories: Greece, Travelogue | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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