Roman Around – Day Five

Today is our last full day in Rome.

img_2649.jpgIt’s taken me a while to realise that the letters on the taps here are different.
In Australia, there’s either a colour marker, or a “c” and “h” to let you know if that is a cold or hot water tap.

I kept turning towards the “c” one here and was wondering why it wasn’t getting any colder and then I realised “c” is for caldo – which means hot. The other tap has an “f” on there for freddo – cold.  Argh!

The beggars can be quite aggressive here. I don’t like walking around at night on my own. Most try to “do” something for your money. For example, one guy was sweeping the footpath yesterday. As we walked past he said “Could you spare some change for me. I’ve been making these footpaths nice and clear for you”. Something like that. We said we had no money. Which is actually true because we’ve been using credit cards, so we don’t have a lot of spare cash on hand.
The guy countered “yes you do” right away! Hubby then said “no, we only use credit card, we don’t have cash”
The guy said again “yes you do, you do have cash!” He wanted an argument!!

Twice I’ve seen little, very old, bent over ladies in black walking with a hand held out in front of them, asking for money then lashing out if you don’t give.
One asked hubby yesterday and he said “non ho moneta” or something like that and she started swearing!!

I took a few snaps of the streets as we walked. I’m going to miss this. Could you ever get used to it? So much history!! Old buildings, old roads… we just walk in amazement!

 

 

We walked back to Fontana di Trevi this morning because we STILL hadn’t thrown a coin over our shoulder into it. Tradition says, throwing a coin into the fountain over your shoulder means you will return. We will be back!

 

We stopped into a shopping centre that doesn’t have much in the way of shops. Well, nothing out of the ordinary that is, but it is a very interesting building.

 

Soon we were starting to get hungry and decided to go over the bridge into Trevestere again.
It’s so pretty to walk along the river.

 

 


The place we chose seemed to have cheap meals but the serves were pretty small and believe it or not, this selection of food we chose to share, cost us more than probably anything else we’ve eaten here.

 


That food plus a can of coke was 28 Euro. About $47 AUD. Although the food was good, I can’t say it was worth it.

IMG_7547

 

 

 

I’ve been drinking a lot of Monster Energy cans while I’ve been here and just today noticed the writing in Italian on the can.

 

 

When I’m back in Australia I’m going to have to check the cans there to see if they have the same message.

 


We were back at the Vatican again because we found out that you can enter the church for free so we thought that would be worth a look. What we didn’t realise is that there was a line for that too! That’s because they have to do a security check on you…. So we didn’t go inside. What a shame. I can’t remember it being this busy last time I was here. You can see from the pics how many people there are around. It’s just crazy!!! And everywhere you turn someone is trying to sell you something.

We walked back to our apartment late afternoon for a little siesta. There was NO Limoncello drunk, I can assure you of that!

Later this evening we took a walk to the Termini to check where the bus was going to come and get us to take us to the airport tomorrow. We’re going to have a very early start!
That area near the Termini is not good to say the least. So many unfortunate people. I couldn’t take photos because it’s just too sad.

Tomorrow a new adventure awaits.

Arriverderci Roma!

roma-you-mean-like-a-tomato

Advertisements

Greece is the Word – Day Thirteen

Today was out last full day in Greece. Though I’m sad about that, we have seen and done a lot of things in a short time here. I loved seeing all the historic sites and I loved shopping for trinkets. Today was mostly about that.

Something I’ve noticed here is that often we’ll hear loud shouting. We look around anxiously thinking people may be fighting or something may be going down but it’s usually just a couple of people being very passionate  in their conversation.

IMG_7261
We headed back into the centre of Athens. The traffic was just horrendous! I’d hate to drive here. In fact, I’m almost certain I wouldn’t

We were so looking forward to shopping but before we did that, we stopped to see the Greek Parliament which is housed in an imposing building situated at the east side of Syntagma Square.
At one point the guards started doing something. It may have been part of the “changing of the guards” ritual but I’m not sure. I didn’t ask but I did take some video and if you’re interested, you can see it here. I didn’t video the whole thing.

IMG_7240.JPG

 

I also took a few pics of that area… including of the people who actually allow these rats of the air to land and eat seed off of them!!!!!

Gross!!!

 

We stopped for a quick bite to eat. I can’t believe how cheap some of this food is here.

We got a couple of “wraps”.
That’s how they were described on the menu. I had chicken meat in mine.
They also come with fries in them. I realised too late that I didn’t take a photo of the one I was eating but it was pita bread, wrapped cone like, with the meat, chips IMG_7248(fries), tzatziki and some salad stuff in it.

It was only 2.8 Euro!

So cheap and so filling!

I did take a picture of the display in the shop window though.

You like?

We headed into the flea markets in Plaka after that.

IMG_7252

I must admit, I was a little nervous.

There are all sorts of people there trying to get money off of you one way or another.
Either they are just begging for it or trying to deceive you by offering “free” gifts.

There’s also sad cases.

We saw a couple of people afflicted by some condition and it just broke my heart to see them out on the street begging. It just doesn’t seem right.

All these people throwing away money at touristy junk while other people are fighting  for another 24 hours to live.


We had some lunch. We were told the pizza at this place we went to was amazingly different to anywhere else. It was traditional Greek pizza. I would have to agree it was different. I don’t know that I’d go out of my way for it but I did like it.
Hubby and I don’t eat seafood but I took a pic of the seafood platter that came out for those who are into that sort of thing (see above)
I ordered grilled vegetables and just absolutely loved them!!! Eggplant is fast becoming one of my favourite vegetables.

IMG_7253

Oh and I’ll just leave this here. Make of it what you will but these “items” are sold all over the place in tourist shops.

There must be some meaning, I’d imagine to do with fertility, but I haven’t looked into it.

Who are buying these things????

IMG_7264
We had had a leisurely lunch so it was quite late when we headed back.

Hubby and googled and found there was an outlet mall very close to where we’re staying.

We asked to be dropped off there but once our ride had left, we discovered it was NOT an outlet mall at all. It may have been once upon a time, but it was now very much deserted!!!

Lots of closed up shops. The only thing that was open was a Marks and Spencer Store.

IMG_7269
We walked home but not before heading into a supermarket for a few supplies to last us these next 12 hours.

You will not believe what I found…. If only I had seen this 12 days ago!!!!!!!!

Diet Lemonade I have missed you so much!

We headed into Glyfada for our last night. I’m going to miss this. Late Summer nights. The coast, the company, the atmosphere. Greece you have been good to us.

Tomorrow we are having a change of pace and it will be interesting to see how different it will be…. I’m not sure how reliable our internet is going to be but I hope to have the next post up within twenty four hours.

Where will we be this time tomorrow? Stay tuned!

Greece is the Word – Day Two

IMG_6123
Arriving in Athens, we met up with our relatives who arrived from their respective countries within an hour of our flight.

We are so excited!

Despite all being deliriously tired we can’t wait to be out on the streets of Athens.

We got into our cars and while we were being driven I took in the sights. Gorgeous huge mountains on one side and years of history on the other.
It’s so amazing to be caught up in this world where people have walked for centuries and centuries on one side and a bit of graffiti ruins the landscape on the other.

Rules don’t seem to apply here but even so, there are “unspoken” rules and that makes it all work regardless. These unspoken rules apply particularly when driving. Needless to say, I won’t be driving over here.

Before reaching our apartment we went grocery shopping. You may remember how much of an experience this was for us in Japan. Here today, I didn’t find it so much different than what I’m used to at home except for the fact that the prices are in Euro’s so at first glance, it seems the items are pretty cheap until you do the monetary conversion.

IMG_6125

I did find these though (left)

Hubby can’t understand why anyone would eat something so dry but I just LOVE them!

And when you dunk them in coffee it’s the best!

Our apartment is Glyfada and about two kilometeres from the beach. I’ve spelt it Glyfada but as with many of the names here, it can be spelt several different ways.

IMG_6153
We were going to refresh and rest before heading out but we got a second wind and decided to head out right then.

What a gorgeous area! And so many different types of people down here. A lot of graffiti too. Surprising how much there is considering this is considered a “rich” area.

I’ve been dying to have a moussaka for a while now. Everytime I try to order it in my home town, something goes wrong. I figured my chances of having it in Greece would have to be pretty high right?
So we went into a restaurant and saw moussaka was on the menu! Great!
The others ordered their food and when it came to me and I said “I’ll have the moussaka please” with full excitement ad anticipation of a great meal.
Instead I received this response.
“Oh I’m sorry, that’s on the menu but we’re often out of it”

Inside I cried but I did have a pastisio (pictured below, right) that was just sooo nice and creamy!!


We also had a Greek salad which was presented with a block of feta cheese on top. (pictured above, left)

Definitely needed a walk along the coastline after that and saw the setting sun lighting up the sky in pinks and oranges.

IMG_6161

 

IMG_6162
Deno touching the Mediterranean Sea!

IMG_6163

IMG_6165

Now I really feel like I’m in Greece!

The Maid

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We learn that if Cleanliness is next to Godliness, this menu is downright hell on earth,
We find a place that dresses their side salads AND provides enough sauces for the wedges and,
We order a “lasagne” dish with such a generous portion of meat that we question whether it was lasagne.

 

Diners today we were at The Maid and although we got off to a shaky start, it was not so bad in the end!
batch1369975281_the_maid_and_magpie_hotel_1870The first thing that disappointed was that I couldn’t really find any information about this historic building. I found a little online but nothing in the pub itself.
Granted, I may not have looked hard enough but this building is just bursting with history and is such a landmark in this part of the city that I was surprised they wouldn’t be celebrating it.
I’ve always known this building as “The Maid and Magpie” but see their website, and everything else (apart from their building) refers to it as “The Maid”
It’s almost as if they want to distance themselves from the history.

Secondly, we arrived early and were sitting at table near the bistro entrance waiting patiently.The staff could see us. We have arrived early before and staff have still welcomed us and shown us through to a table. This time however, a few minutes before our booked time we stood at the entrance waiting to be seated and staff just continued doing their thing around us. What did they think we were standing there for?

Finally a very nice lady asked “Are you right?” and kindly pointed across the floor to our table. “We’ve got you sitting over there”. Just pick one, any one?

The dining room itself was smaller than I imagined. Pleasant. Candles giving romantic lighting and sixties soul music playing. I liked it.  There was a nice outdoor eating area and a few television screens so you don’t miss out on the game!

maid7The room was clean, unlike the menus that came a few minutes later…

I debated posting this picture as it doesn’t show them in a good light and mostly everything else was good, but honestly, is there any excuse for this? It made us feel a little ill to be honest.
We were the only ones in the dining room for the first forty five minutes (it filled quickly after that) so it’s not like they were running out of menus.
However that’s all small nit-picky stuff. Onto the food!

maid4
We were boring and ordered wedges to share again.

What I want to draw your attention to is the amount of sweet chili and sour cream!

Lovely!

Enough to finish the whole bowl of wedges with. Thank you Maid!

And now another surprise. Hubby didn’t order a steak for main. I know! I was shocked too!! Not only that, he chose a pasta dish! Again, shocking!
maid3
I don’t have a copy of the menu so I’m not sure exactly how it was presented on there except that it said “Lasagne with 11 Meats” or something like that.

Doesn’t that dish look divine? Being a pasta lover I had to reach over and try some.

The meat was soooooo tender, the pasta was lovely soft and melted in my mouth and that sauce!!!

maid2His dish also came with a side salad and it was dressed!
This was a gorgeous Winter warming dish!

Another tick for the Maid!

I thought I’d picked the winning dish tonight but hubby definitely got that honour. Eleven meats is a lot though isn’t it? I tried to think what they could be but decided it’s probably better not knowing and I probably shouldn’t bring that thought up with hubby while he’s eating it.

maid1
I chose a Pub favourite, Open Steak Sandwich.
I wasn’t successful in getting a good photo. It looked better on the plate than this picture allows for.

Being overwhelmed with the size of it, I tried one of the sweet potato wedges first and just loved it! Soooo creamy inside yet still had a little firmness and crunch to it. Best sweet potato wedges I’ve had in a while.
I gave hubby the egg and bacon – I really just like the meat and caramelised onion when it comes to steak sandwiches… oh, and the bread! The bread has to be right too and that’s another thing The Maid got right! I just love this continental bread and it was lightly toasted and just so nice to eat even on it’s own.
I was a little disappointed with mine. The steak looked pink enough inside but it was tough and chewy and because it had been sitting on tomato and lettuce leaves straight from the cooler, it was cold. Even the caramelised onions couldn’t make it better this time. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

By the time we left the place was filling fast.

It’s definitely a popular place and I’d encourage you to get down there and see what you think for yourselves.

Have you been to The Maid and Magpie?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…