25 May, 2010

Gazohori Again

Yesterday was the day of Holy Ghost, national holiday in Greece. I am not sure why the day is dedicated to the Holy Ghost, neither my Greek husband. I am afraid we are not very religious, but merciful God gives religious holidays even to those who are not religious.

That is why we went to the town.

The day of the Holy Ghost is a strange holiday, in the sense that shops are mostly open. It is a nice day to go for shopping. In fact, it was our initial intention, but we quicky lost our sense of pourpose and stranded into Hubby's favourite mezedopoleio, Gazohori (Γκαζοχώρι). It was the fourth visit.

For previous visits and the address, see here : Gazohori.

Gazohori is a curious place. It grew into a huge mezedopoleio just in front of the Keramikos Metro Station, but you don't find it either in Athinorama or free papers like LIFO. It is also very popular, always more crowded than other eateries nearby.

We ordered five plates.

Gazohori

Tzatziki, Pork Tigania, Aubergine Borana, Fried Potato, Rocket and mozzarella salad, and a beer.

Aubergine Borana is Hubby's favourite and we never fail to order it.



It is oven baked aubergine and mitzithra, but aubergine is treated before getting into oven and has caramerised sweetness.

Apart from not fresh tzatziki and too salty chips, the other stuff was very good. With a bottle of beer, the bill came to €29.50. Not particularly cheep, but expensive either. The quality/price proportion is very good.

We sat at a table with these cats.

cats

They did not demand any food, probably being already full.

And afterwards, we went to Thissio for coffee at Syn Athina.



It is essentially a cafeteria/bar, but offers also crepes, waffles, sandwiches, and mezedes.

And they make strange Greek cocktails with tsipoula and mastiha.



Unfortunately I don't drink, but, if you are interested, do go and try.

23 May, 2010

Public in Piraeus

I guess many of you are familiar with the Public in Syntagma Square; a shop that occupies a whole building next to Everest. It sells electronics, CDs and books. And it has a cafeteria in front of it and another inside the building looking onto the square.

Later last year, the same shop opened in Piraeus, near Marina Zeas. Belatedly, we paid our first visit last Saturday.

We did not go to shop, but for cafeteria, as we were told that it has a nice view.

We were surprised to find such a large space dedicated to cafeteria.

Public Cafe

There are many tables both indoor and outdoor. There were only few people. Maybe not so few, but in such a large space, they looked very few.

We sat at a table in the balcony and here is the view.

Marina Zeas
It is a fine, but not extraordinarily so.

The price of the coffees is rather high, not surprisingly so in Marina Zeas.

Hubby ordered a frappé and I ordered a waffle.
Waffle

The basic order includes a waffle and a scoop of ice cream. Everything else commands supplement charge, in my case, for example, chocolate sauce. Even so the price was about 4.70 (I am a bit hazy here, but was definitely less than 5), so it is all right.

It was crispy on the outside, and fluffy in the inside. Very right and pleasant, but chocolate sauce and ice cream were mediocre.

They offer also light meal options and it seems to be a nice place for lunch.

When we visited the shop - not only the cafeteria, but the whole building - did not have much people even if it was Saturday afternoon. I wish they can keep up the operation in Piraeus, where so many shops are closing down lately, unfortunately.

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To the Gate to Greece website, I uploaded a review of the trattoria Peccati di Gola in Glyfada.



It was good, but thinking that we would have paid half the price in Italy, it will take some time for us to go again to Italian restaurants.

16 May, 2010

Shadows of 5 May Riot

These are the photos I took on the 8th Mary 2010 (Sat.) morning on Sygrou and Amalias Streets. They show damages afflicted on the 5th May when anti austerity measure demonstrations turned into violent.

They never meant to be violent and in major part remained to be peaceful. However, as often happens in Athens, some extreme activists took an upper hand. Three bank employees were choked to death by the smoke caused by fire and many material damages were made. Even innocent tourists passing Syntagma Square suffered from tear gas.

I recognised that people have the right to protest, but no one has right to bleak windows of shops and hotels from which many ordinary people's earnings are coming. It is exasperating that I've never heard of anyone arrested for these criminal acts.








This one below is a windon of Athens Gate Hotel.






As the consequence of this and of successive strikes, tourism - Greece's one of the few ways of earning from abroad - is suffering; 20,000 hotel reservations were cancelled in successive days.

Greeks are choking their own throats. Could anyone help them?

15 May, 2010

Al Fresco Lunch

It is getting hot in Greece; not just warm, but summer hot.

When it gets hot, the Greeks eat outdoor, either in restaurants or in apartments (i.e. in terrace). The other Sunday we stopped at the taverna Nikitas in Psyrri for a quick lunch.

View from our table

We ordered Veal with mushroom, cheese pie, salad, tzatziki, chips and a bottle of beer. Total €23.60.

Nikitas

I knew they do better in grilling meat than in stewing it (this place actually is a psitopoleio, i.e. grill), but Hubby wanted the veal and that was what we ate. It was average as I expected and the side rice again was very average as I knew from past experience. The other stuff was fine and good value for money.

Afterwards, we headed for the gelateria Mattonella in Monasteraki Square. My favourite ice cream parlour in Athens.

Mango Sorbet

We were feeling the summer, Greek summer.


14 May, 2010

Aegina Day Trip 4

Last batch of Aegina photos.

We continued to stroll around Aegina town.

Another friendly and playful cat. Regardless of its lion like mane, the cat was female.


cat

In front of the port, there are many horse carriages. In my opinion, the coastline of the town isn't long enough to justify the need of carriage, but evidently there are tourists who like to ride.



This is the pistachio shop of Aeginate Agricultural Association.



Although the price here is higher than in other shops in Aegina town (but it is not much more expensive than in Skravenitis Supermarkets which sell their own brand of quite good pistachios), you can get a guarantee that their pistachios are from Aegina.



Because of the climate and soil suitable for pistachios, the Aeginate nuts are reputed to have better flavour than those produced in other parts of Greece.

We bought a packet to try. Hubby, one of Hubby's brother and his wife said these pistachios were better than usual ones, while I didn't find much difference from other high quality pistachios. Well, you have to try by your self. A 100g package won't damage your wallet too bad.

While walking around, we were searching for somewhere to eat. Many mezedopoleia / psarotavernes did not seem much different from those in Piraeus coast, albeit that the price is somehow cheaper. After much examination, we settled on one which is a bit away from the center.



Although it was full when we arrived, in 5 min we get one table in the shade.

We were offered a red dip.



It looked suspiciously red chili paste, but turned out to be red pepper (capsicum) paste.

From Today's Dishes section, we picked dormadakia yalantzi (herb rice wrapped in vine leaves).



Their characteristic showed that the vine leaves were fresh.

And a huge bowl of salad with leaves, manouri cheese and dried figs.



It was very refreshing in the hot Sunday afternoon, although it should better be shared by more than 3 people and not by 2 as we did.

The main dish was Atherina.

atherina

Again tasty, although not particularly better than the fresh Atherina we eat in Piraeus.

By the way, the cat in the photo is the same one which tried to sleep on Hubby's lap. Just after this photo was taken, a big black dog came and she took a flight. It was a shame, as we could have shared the fish.

The fried potatoes arrives at last.



The colour is slightly too pale, but tasted fine.

You might think that we did not eat much, but eaten with bread, we got really full in the end.

With a bottle of water and a bottle of beer, the bill came to €31; expensive by Aeginate standard, but well worth for the quality. We would love to return at the next time we'll be in Aegina town.

Babis (Μπάμπης)
Akti Toti Hatzi 7
Paralia Panagitsas
Aegina
Tel. 22970-23594

http://www.babisaegina.gr/

Then we bought coffees and got on to the boat.



On return, the boat was quite full and it was impossible to find any seat inside (ant it was too hot). So we remained on the deck, where again was pretty full. Besides, the boat arrived and departed 15 min late. I was guessing the boats tend to accumulate delay in late afternoon.

Well, that is all. Hope to go back there soon. Next time, we would like to rent a bike and to explore parts of the island where we have never been to yet.

10 May, 2010

Aegina Day Trip 3

It has been quite a while since we made this trip. I will try to finish it up fast.

This is a building we saw near the cafeteria (see the previous post).

Ping Building

Nothing particular, but beautiful.

This is the seaside road of Aegina.



As most of the buildings are listed, the view has not changed for many decades.

This is a taverna near the fish market. We wondered if it was a good idea to have lunch here, but, in the event, we thought it was too dim.

Taverna

Although it was a Sunday, the fish market - very small, about a dozen of shop - was open. Do they try to sell fish to tourists? I don't think the price is cheaper than in Piraeus or in Valvakio in Athens. Besides, if we buy fish there, it gets stale during the transportation. Not a good idea.

By this time, most of the seaside and not-really-seaside tavernas were full. We checked what people were eating so that we can find a good place to sit down.

Bougainvillea.

Red Bougainvillea

Here in Greece, we can see bougainvillea all year around, but they look better in hotter season.

This is a hotel in the Aegina town. I photographed because the sun room in the upper floor looked unusual.

lace curtain by the window

Inside is decorated with Greek laced curtain. I wondered who it looked like from inside.



Brightly painted house and pink bougainvillea.




And half-ruined building.



Totally ruined door.



These combinations of colours, particular to Greek islands, are enchanting.

05 May, 2010

Aegina Day Trip 2

We arrived at Aegina Port.

Aegina Port

This was the my third visit to Aegina, the first one dates back to 2002.

Foreign tourists tend to think Aegina as a convenient but least attractive choice of Greek islands. I, however, love its liveliness and loveliness and think well worth repeated visit.

Aegina town is very lovely with its neo-classic, pastel-coloured buildings.



This is a statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Prime Minister of Greece.



During the war of Indipendence, the provisory - yet to be recovnised officially - government of Greece was established here. Aegina, therefore, is the first capital city of modern Greece, while the first OFFICIAL capital being Nafplio.

We strolled along the seaside looking for cafeteria, as Hubby wanted his second breakfast.

And we found a beach cat.

beach cat

Closer.



For seome reason she loved Hubby and wanted to use him as her bed.



It seems that cats get sleepy when they see him. Also when we visited Mystras in January, two cats crawled up his knees and fell asleep.

And we found a cafeteria near the cat.



Hubby had a frappé and I had a milk tea (the bright sunlight might give you an illusion of summer-like hot day, but it was just warm and breezy by the sea).

'Milk' part of milk tea materialised as 'Nounou' and was accompanied by, besides sugar and a biscuit, a pot of honey as sweetner. I have never seen tea served with honey in Athens, where maybe you have to request if you want it.



And we had a chocolate crepe, which was beautifully presented and tasted satisfactorily good.



All of these cost €9. Things are slightly cheeper on islands, we thought (of course, so far as you don't go to Mykonos, probably).

After the elevence, we continued the exploration.
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