Greece is the Word – Day Eleven

I feel we are staying at the perfect location. Not in the centre of Naxos city but close enough and with enough restaurants and stores to keep us fed and occupied. The rest of our party is just loving the sea which is just metres from our rooms.

Hubby and I went for an early stroll along the water. It’s so peaceful and calm at that time.

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We stopped to get some coffee and pastries.

The ordering system sometimes confuses me a bit.
In any case we got a spinach pie and what we thought was a sausage and cheese pie. When we bit into it, we realised the “sausage” was a hot dog type sausage.
It was still ok, just not what we were expecting.

After checkout we headed into Naxos. We were wanting to see the older part of the city and of course, Apollo’s temple which are doorlike ruins of an ancient temple standing on a scenic point looking over the city and sea.
Here are a few pics I took on the way to and at the Temple ruins.

 

 

 

It was a very warm day and the walk up to the top of the older part/castle was challenging at times but it was really interesting to see the white buildings and the stairs going up and up and up, draped by colourful bougainvillea.

 


View from the top was breathtaking

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We started to wonder about the population here and if most of the homes are holiday homes or if there is a resident population. It would be interesting to see what it’s like in the off season.

We haven’t had pizza since we’ve been here and today was as good a day as any. I really enjoyed what we had. It was pretty cheesy!! But apparently it was not “Greek” style. We’ve got that to look forward to yet..

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Before we got back on the ferry for Athens, we stocked up on snacks like the smart people do. Next time we’ll try to remember to bring a deck of cards too!! It’s a long trip back. I was eating some of the spanokopita we’d bought, mostly out of boredom, and said to hubby “eat some too!” and he replied “why? because if I don’t eat it now there won’t be any left for me?”
He knows me well.

Oh, and both on this trip, and the trip over, I was surprised to find children begging on the boat. How do they even get on there? Do adults sneak them on to do the begging? Has someone bought them a ticket so they can beg? It’s sad to see and hard to resist. That’s probably why they do it. Who can say no to a kid saying “do you have any money so I can have something to eat?” or something similar.

The bathrooms on the ferry had an sea view by the way! I was going to take a photo but unfortunately, I fell asleep and by the time I went back there, it was already dark.

I was dreading this long trip back but actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Sleeping through most of it probably helped.
Sadly, our time is almost to an end here in this gorgeous historical country but there may be a surprise coming up…. stay tuned!

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Greece is the Word – Day Seven

Every evening I tell myself “I’m going to sleep in tomorrow” yet every morning I’m up as soon as the sun starts to come up. I can’t help it. I can hear movement outside, I knew the day is fresh and new and I just want to be a part of it.

It is no different here in Nafpaktos. We’re so close to the water we can smell that salty air and it’s so enticing.

We walked straight to the waters edge and continued along the coast to the area where the restaurants face the water. Even though it was early there were still people in the water or enjoying a cup of coffee at the tables.

I took a photo of the pebbles we were walking on. It looks so pretty and is so different to anything we have in Australia.

IMG_6751As part of our walk, we discovered this cute little bakery that made the BEST spanokopita.

That spinach filling was just so full of flavour and cheesy creamy. It was just delicious. We tried to go back for me to take on our journey today but she’d sold out. I almost cried real tears.

We took our spanokopita back to the beach area and found a bench to sit on while we waited for the rest of our group. As we sat there, a couple of cats started to gather round. Normally, when you’re at the beach with food it’s seagulls that start to circle you! Here it’s cats.

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And if you’re wondering, yes we did share with them. When they meow so tragically you IMG_6759really have no choice!

After a Greek Coffee or two, we did a bit of last minute Nafpaktos Tourist shopping before heading up to the castle once again. This time it was open!

It’s such an interesting place.
There’s tons of information on the internet if you’re interested but for us it was just something to think about the people who had walked the same steps we had walked in history. Thinking about when this was a working castle and the jobs people were doing.
There are also amazing views of the coast from up there and yes, it does seem as high up as it looks!


We left Nafpaktos and headed for a village where there was more family waiting to see us. The drive was going to take us through windy hilly roads again. I’m not a fan.

It’s gorgeous scenery though and the hills and mountains are dotted with wind turbines.
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It’s also not uncommon to be stopped by cattle… This happened to us more than once on our journey today!


We didn’t get to the mountain village until well after 4pm. Hubby hadn’t met his relatives before and it was all very special and emotional. We don’t speak Greek and only one of their party spoke English so the translating took a little while but it didn’t matter. It was lovely to spend the time together.
I took some photos from their balcony as the views they have are just breath taking.


They wanted us to share a meal with them so we stayed and talked about old times while eating what they had prepared. Most of what we were having had been grown on their land/property. Even the goat (I’m almost sad to say? Just quietly, it was soooo tasty!)

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This is by no means everything but there was Greek salad with home produce (the tomatoes were just so sweet!) potatoes, zucchini and feta cheese made from the milk of their own goats.

Everything was just too delicious! I ate way more than I should have just because I needed to taste more!

You may also notice the wine on the table, that was made by them as well.

Time was really moving on now and we were conscious of the long drive back to Athens, but they asked us if we wanted to see their farm. They had to go there to feed the animals.
How could we say no?

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We drove down a treacherous dirt path to get to it. I don’t know how these people use these roads every day…

Everything we saw at the farm was interesting and new.
From the goats to the cows with their baby calf.

We watched the cows feeding. I tried to take some photos but they moved back as we got close.

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Unfortunately hubby is allergic so we had to go and wait in the car but the kids in our group were able to watch the goats being milked and had a go at doing it themselves too! Now that’s an experience they wouldn’t get at school.

Again, the views from the farm are just breathtaking. I seem to be saying that a lot!


Everything took much longer than anticipated and we didn’t get back to their house until well after 10.30pm. They begged for us to stay rather than drive back down that awful road with minimum light but we just wanted our own beds and clean clothes so we left.

We didn’t get back to Athens until after 2.30am.

For the record, I have had my life time share of treacherous road driving.

And now, it’s definitely time for bed.
Kalinychta until tomorrow when hopefully, I will be sleeping in…

Holdfast Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Triple Cheese Burger also delivers twice cooked fries,
We learn it really is true, you get what you pay for and
Nautical themes, friendly staff and large serves make us forget the things we didn’t really like…

holdfastDiners today we were at the Holdfast Hotel on Brighton rd, Glenelg.

I have been here a few times and have never really had any complaints.
They  promote a lot of local bands and have live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
If you like going to see bands, this is a great place to kick back and see what’s happening in the Adelaide music scene.

We weren’t there for music today though. In fact we had very limited time and were just stopping in for a super quick lunch. I didn’t even order any wine!
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It felt different this time, as I walked into the modern looking dining area. I’m not sure if they’ve been renovating over the last few years but I noticed a bit of a nautical theme with ropes hanging from the ceiling.
I liked it.
The dining room is big and airy and there were already lots of people sitting around having some lunch.

We were brought over some menus and it wasn’t a bad selection, hubby and I just didn’t really know what we wanted and felt under pressure knowing we were pushing time.

I decided to order the 200g Porterhouse with fries and salad, and hubby went for the Triple Cheese and Bacon Burger.
We saw some meals coming out and they looked pretty good!! Well presented and beautifully large serves. One of the meals coming out was the burger hubby had also ordered and I hoped his was going to be as big as the one I saw because it was pretty impressive!

img_7350We didn’t order any sides or starters, just went straight for a main.

Hubby’s burger looked pretty good when it came out I thought.

That patty was pretty huge!
You can’t really see it in this picture but there was quite a bit of bacon. To me, it didn’t seem like the bacon had been cooked enough though.

When I asked hubby what he thought of it he said it was ok, it just didn’t have any pizzaz. The bun was a brioche bun and the doughy part was almost a yellow colour. He said there wasn’t much flavour or spice in the burger and it didn’t have any interesting sauces on it either. Although he didn’t hate it, it was not memorable. At $19 this burger is reasonably priced so I guess you couldn’t have expected too much more.

My porterhouse looked ok when it came out too but I kept wishing I’d ordered something else.

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The meat itself tasted ok. There was quite a bit of fat around it and it seemed pretty small but maybe that is what a 200g steak is supposed to look like.
The fries look way better in this picture than they did as I was eating them. They were clumped and cooked together. I’m sure they were cooked twice. They just seemed greased out. The ones on hubby’s plate were in the same condition.
The salad was ok and fairly fresh. I wasn’t a fan of the dressing but I still ate it all and that’s just down to personal preference.
My steak was $23.50 so I guess that’s a pretty reasonable price too.

We really didn’t hate it here so I hope my words aren’t going to be taken out of context. The restaurant is really comfortable to sit in and the staff are super friendly. The food came out quickly and there are a lot of people going in and out. It feels like it’s a “happy” place to be in. I think we were just too rushed and couldn’t enjoy the experience as we normally would.

I might just have to come back here on another night!

Have you been to the Holdfast Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

The Pier – Glenelg

IMG_5565Today was a gloriously divine Autumn day in Adelaide and hubby and I decided we wanted to be somewhere coastal so we took ourselves to The Pier at Glenelg for lunch.

It’s a very welcoming place with gorgeous views. The staff were very friendly and accommodating.
I went up to the bar to place my order and the server was busy with another customer who wasn’t quite sure what she wanted however the server still took the time to acknowledge me and said she’d be with me in a moment.
I love that! All businesses should take notice of customers no matter what their trade is.

Hubby and I chose a sharing platter so that we could sample a few different things that the Pier had to offer. I started off with a delicious Moscato, hubby sipped on an Apple Cider and we watched Ice Hockey on the big screens while we waited for our platter to come.
With sun streaming through the windows, the brilliant ocean in the background and bustling tables around, it really was a glorious way to start a lunch.

Our platter looked delicious when it came out but I could tell hubby was already thinking that it wasn’t enough.

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Arancini Balls

 

I didn’t know what to pick first! I ended up trying one of the Arancini Balls. They are lightly fried risotto balls with semi dried tomato, basil and pecorino with  lime aioli.
The first thing I noticed was the little kick the lime aioli gave it. Not a punch, just a little kick. Enough to make it stand out without taking away from the taste. It had a soft gooey centre and a crisp crunchy outer. I really enjoyed the Aranchini Balls and was sorry I’d told hubby I’d only have one and he could have the other two.

 

 

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The next thing I went for was the Garlic Bread. If I had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would probably be bread.

It was nice, however I would have liked it toasted a little more. It wasn’t overly garlic too which was nice.

Sometimes garlic bread is so heavy laden with garlic that you can’t taste anything else and it repeats on you for the rest of the day.

The fries were good. Crisp and fresh as they should be and presented in the little fry basket as they are seeming to do these days. I left hubby to devour those.

 

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Soft Taco’s

The taco was interesting. Soft taco with pulled pork, rocket, red onion, salsa and sour cream.
It was really so very tasty!

The rocket brought a freshness to the heavy meat taste and the salsa and sour cream had a nice creamy texture which made it a pleasure to eat.
I also found this to be deceptively filling.

 

 

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Soft Shell Crab Sliders

I left the Soft Shell Crab Sliders till last as I’m not really a seafood person and those little crab legs were freaking me out. The photograph doesn’t really show what I was looking at from my angle.
They were in a brioche bun which I’ve said before is not my favourite but seems to be the rage for burgers and steak sandwiches these days.
The slider had a strong seafood taste which someone who likes seafood would probably really enjoy. I let hubby have the rest of mine but even I, a non seafood eater, could appreciate the flavour that went into it.

Of course the first thing hubby said when we were finished is “What’s for lunch” but honestly, that would have been a good amount of food for regular people.

I would definitely recommend the Pier. The views were spectacular, everything we had was delicious and well presented and the staff were really so very friendly and made us  feel welcome and at home.

Next time you’re walking along the Glenelg foreshore I recommend you drop in for a drink and little bite to eat!

Have you been to The Pier before?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below…

Till next we chow….