Yesterday (25 March 2009) was the day of Evangelismos tis Theotokou (Annunciation of Mother of God) and Greek Independence/Liberation.
Greeks has two Liberation days: one for the Independence from the Turks and the other for the Liberation from the Nazi Germany. Yesterday was the one from the Ottomans. The date of 25th of March was not the actual day of liberation, but supposedly the day when the freedom fighters including bishop Germanos of Patras met up in Lavra Monastery in Peloponnese and made an oath. The research suggests that the oath was actually made on another day. The religious Greeks, however, wanted their national day to be religiously significant as well.
To celebrate the day, apart from the mess in the morning for the Annunciation, there are military/national parades all over the Greece. The largest one is held in the central Athens and I, to accompany the patriotic Hubby, went to see it.
We arrived bit too late and could not get close to the parade, the fact that I could scarcely care.
There were large tanks and tracks with missiles on the show as well as obligatory men in Greek national costume. I have seen the parade of soldiers, but have never seen the one with actual missiles and tanks and could not help but wishing they don't have to use them in future.
Fortunately for me, the military parade did not last long and the blissful coffee time came. We entered into a cafeteria near Syntagma Square. Hubby had ellinikos diplos (double portion Greek coffee), I a cafe filtrou (filtered coffee), and we had one cake to share. Everything was bl00dy expensive and we felt afraid of ripping-off.
Actually it wasn't.
My filter coffee came in a strange metal coffeemaker that I have never seen before, or maybe I have, but never really in person. The coffee was excellent. It reminded me that it has been a long time I have not had a proper coffee. I had Hubby ask the waiter what kind of coffee was it. He said it is a special blend of beans from Italy and Nicaragua, as if coffee actually grows in Italy. I don't know what they did, but I loved it immensely.
The cake was also made with fresh cream from cow (as I wrote before, I strongly suspect many Greek patissiers use fake cream of vegetable origin) and the crispiness of pasta flora base suggested it was freshly made on the day. Hubby's Greek coffee, accompanied by 4 candied cherries - glyko tou koutaliou, was also very good, but I am not yet an accomplished judge of Greek coffee. Good food made us happy, even though the cost of it made our wallet weep a little.