Back in Denver…Athens

17 Jun

on home route after traveling to Greenville, SC and Tampa, FL.
Jet lag is taking it’s toll. My body has no idea what time it is or when to be hungry!! so I’m tired and hungry all the time
Back to my conversation about Athens. One question we received upon returning from everyone was about protests/riots. No, we didn’t see anything. We did see a LOT of policemen around the parlament building and the president’s residence (which we passed one day when trying to find a modern art museum I had read about). There was one very cute, young policeman in full riot gear – hard plastic lower leg covers, large plastic shield. He was just standing around chatting on his cell phone.
Many of the police we saw were on motorcyles and we were really shocked to see them riding double. Joe questioned how macho guys could do this, you’d never see this in the US. Maybe way to save on gas??
I have to mention the policewomen we saw. These amazons looked like they were all cut from the same mold. Incidentially, the same mold as the Harbor policewomen too. Tall, lanky, ponytail, very athletic. In fact, we saw one policewoman in action chasing down a suspicion guy, she was fast!
Back to cabs – just remembering how fascinating Joe was the first time we went to Germany and ALL of the taxis were Mercedes. In Athens, they were either Skodas or Mercedes. We quickly remember a great rule, always ask what the fare is going to be before getting in a cab. Our one driver quoted 5E, then once the luggage was in the trunk it was 7Euros!!
Greece is definitely in the south – meaning there are Siestas. Banks are only open from 8 – 2:30, and don’t reopen. Shops close anywhere from 1 – 5, reopening then until 9 pm. Even Museums are closed from 2 or 3 to 6 and stay open until 9 pm too. Many sites close at 3 pm and don’t reopen; most cultural sites and museums are closed on Tuesday.
Delicious!! Wonderful presentation!! Tasty!! Wholesome….. I could go on forever. Yummy!! Greek salads are lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and very few olives; drizzled with olive oil and a HUGE ($7 worth) of feta on top. All ways served with optional oil and vinegar but never needed. Restaurants will place bread on your table on automatically charge you; mostly add some kind of little dip like garlic butter or olive tapenade. While we always ordered bottled water, in a few restaurants they told us to just get a pitcher of tap; it was safe. Knock on wood no evil tummy bugs on this whole trip.
Fish is served whole and waiters will offer to filet at the table. We always fished out the checks; a specialty I learned about growing up in Germany. One day on Mykonos we saw a gentleman cleaning fish at the harbor and asked about the many different kind – Sea Bream, Seabass, Red Snapper (had never heard of bream before this trip – that I remember, maybe that braincell died). Turns out these were for a specific restaurant which was having a barbque later that evening. Of course, we had to have dinner there and order the fish platter with Seabass, absolutely huge scampi, octopus, and squid. Both Joe and I left the table to use the facilities (will write more about these later). Returning to the table, there was a clear glass bottle with brown liquid. The bottle was shaped like a man with a huge phallic symbol jutting out from the bottle. The waiter promptly showed up and said it was on the house and we should taste it. Turns out to be some kind of cinnamon liqueur which was delicious. We immediately set out to find some and brought a 100ml bottle back (regular bottle, no men!!)
Almost every meal we had, after requesting the bill, the waiter would bring a small bottle of Rika (schnaps) or Ouzo (anis liqueur) and a large dessert. NO additional cost.
Off to catch next flight home, will have to continue to drag this out. Hope you’re enjoying my notes, really want to get pictures uploaded. Promise to do when I get home this time.
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Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Uncategorized


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