26 February, 2011

A Day in Halkida

Last Saturday, we went to Halkida for university reunion. Not that I did the university of Halkida, but we all studies at University of Pisa, Italy, where I met Hubby.

In the past, many young Greeks used to go abroad to study at higher instutions, as there were not many places in Greek universities. Nowadays the number of the Greek students seem to have decreased. But till 15-20 years ago, there were many.

Halkida is situated between the mainland Greece and Evvia Island. The water you see in the photo below is not a river but a streight.

We spoke, laugh, ate and drank for some hours.

Not all of us completed the studies there, but now we are all grown up and are leading happy life.

As it should be.


Before joining the reunion, I visited the archaeological Museum of Chalkida. It is a small and charming museum in a Neoclassic building donated by Andreas Syggros.

And even in Chalkida, again, I met him.

Antinoos in Halkida

Deified Antinoos. He is really everywhere, isn't he?

19 February, 2011

Taking A Walk In Piraeus

Last Saturday, the weather was very fine. We went for a walk in Piraeus taking the opportunity to go to pay the mobile bill at Wind shop.

To walk, we needed extra energy. We bought some snacks from a bakery. This is tyropita kourou. While normal tyropita (cheese pie) is made with flaky fyllo or puff pastry, kourou version is made with buscuit like dough. I like this way better, as it is less oily.

Tyropita kourou

Feta inside.

Tyropita kourou

A big fat door-cat on door mat.

Friendly, but not too playful.

An empty building in Marina Zea. This huge buidling was used to be occupied by the cafeteria Costa Costa. It was closed several months ago. Sign of crisis? The next door Flocafe seems to be always populated (but not that we come here to check that out during weekdays), but Costa Costa could not survive. I stopped going there, because there was no lock in the toilet. Maybe it was badly administrated, I wonder.

We had a coffee at Flocafe. Not that I like their product very much, but this cafeteria is pretty nice.

On our way back, we saw Ahinos reopened.

It was a cafeteria/restaurant standing on the sea-side of Peiraiki. It was closed a few years ago and now re-opened as restaurant.

Several years ago, all the other directly seaside resutanrants of Peiraiki were closed down & pulled down, because they were standing on the ancient wall of Piraeus. Ahinos survived it for a while, but was eventually closed down. And now revived.

I wonder what happened in between.

12 February, 2011

Geros tou Moria @ Plaka Athens

One Friday evening, Hubby and I visited for the first time a mousiki taverna (taverna with music) in Plaka.

Around 8 past in the evening, Mnisikleous street was deserted. We wondered if it was due to the time, to the season, or to the Crisis.

Mnisikleous Street
(The bright fortress above is Acropolis).

Mniskleous Street is in upper Plaka and lined with some music tavernas (Mnesikles is the name of the architect of Propylaia).

Geros tou Moria

We wentered a music tavern called Geros tou Moria (Old Man of Morea), sister restaurant of Palio Tetradio which is situated in front.

Who is the Old Man of Morea? Theodoros Kolokotronis, of course.

When we entered only two tables were occupied, while two bouzouki & guitar players were playing and singing (to the right). They were later joined by a blond female singer.

The menu is standard Plaka fair, but 20%-30% more expensive.

Seasonal Salad (5.50 Euro) was a mixture of cabbage, red cabbage, red capsicum, caper and olives.

Salata epochis

This salad was actually quite all right, if under-seasoned (but salt was in our reach).

Fried potatoes (4 Euros).

Fried potatoes

On the menu, it was written the potatoes were fresh, but they were clearly frozen potatoes. Lying to the customers is a big No No.

Crepes with spinach and feta cheese (8.50 Euro).

Served lukewarm. It was OK, but could and should have been much better with a bit of skill and care.

Veal with aubergine (12.50 Euro).

Although it tasted all right, meat was cheap cut with big sinew. Aubuergine was deep-fried once and consequently quite heavy.

After 10 o'clock Greeks started to arrive and the restaurant got half-full. Some people started to dance. Hubby ordered 1/4 little of wine and seemed to start to enjoy the environment.

For the whole package we paid about 40 Euros + tip. It isn't worth coming here only for food, but with a bit of wine and music, it can be a modest entertainment.

Geros tou Moria
Mnisikleous 27, Plaka
Tel.: +30 210 3221753
Fax: +30 210 322386

06 February, 2011

Oraia Tou Prodromou @ Artemida

The other Sunday, we went to Brauron (Vravrona) to see the archaeological site.

The road was pleasant and the scenery was green, and our expectation got high. However, unfortunately the archaeological site was closed. In front of the site, there was a sign saying that the site was closed from 11 January. I am guessing that it will reopen by the summer, but you'd better check before going.

We could visit the museum nevertheless, which was well presented and interesting.

On our way back we stopped at a psistaria (grill restaurant) called Ta Oraia tou Prodromou in Artemida.

It was almost empty when we entered.

The restaurant does not have menu and a waiter told us what they had on the day. Hubby wanted 2 main courses or at least two meat dishes, but I stopped him and it turned out to be a wise decision.

Grilled bread of unusual shape.

Fried potatoes (Hubby's order) and mixed salad. The potatoes were average frozen ones.

Salad was fresh and abundant. On ordering, the waiter suggested us to reduced the amount as it was big. It was a good piece of advice.

Cheese saganaki.

Another of Hubby's order. I think it was kasseri. I like fried cheese, but I don't eat it, as it is too heavey on my stomach.

And the main course. Veal T-bone steak.

It was HUGE. Including the bone, I would say it weighed half a kilo before cooking. Inside the meat was pink, as we ordered medium. It was not as flavoursome as beef (Greeks usually don't cook beef steak), but as veal stake it was fine.

With a bottle of water and a can of coke, the bill was 28.60 Euros. We judged it was a good value and comforting meal.

By the way, I wrote that the restaurant was almost empty when we entered, but it did not remained in that way.

After 20 min or so, a group of 70 people entered without reservation and it turned the place into a chaos, eldery citizens trying to snach best seats.

Evidently it was a KAPI excursion (KAPI is a public institution to support the people in old age, if I understood well).

In the meantime, a live music band came in and started to play music. Elderly women could not wait to be served and started to dance!

In Greece, the eldery with good pension and with family and friends look to be the happiest people in the country.