Greece is the Word – Day Five

When we first got to Athens, we were told that there was somebody doing some painting at the Air BnB we were staying at.
When we got there we saw an older guy painting a side fence white.
You can imagine our surprise when last night, we got back to our apartment and saw this.

 


Our first thought was that someone had vandalised it but the more we thought about it and saw what was up there, the more we thought this wall has been commissioned to look like this!
Feel free to let me know YOUR thoughts on it.
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We had an early start today as we were driving to Nafpaktos but driving through Delphi on the way.

Always time for morning selfie while on the balcony drinking coffee.

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I snapped a couple of pics along the way.

We passed such beautiful scenery but it’s hard to take photos while you’re a passenger in a moving car.

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We stopped for snacks and I picked up these sesame square things. Oh my god so tasty!!!

They’re sesame seeds and honey.

They taste like Sesame Snaps but thicker and just soooo good.

Just before we got to Delphi, we passed through Arachova and our whole party must have said in unison “Lets stop here!”

We ended up doing some shopping and having lunch at a restaurant that had views of the valleys. Here are a few pics of Arachova.

 


I need to show you the views from our restaurant too. It just doesn’t seem possible that such beautiful places exist!! Oh, and while I’m on the restaurant, I’ll show you a pic of the moussaka I ordered too. I think I’m almost over my moussaka compulsion. No more moussaka until I’m back in Australia and I attempt to make it myself.

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Once we were done, we made our way to Delphi which was literally the next town over.
We were looking for the Ruins of Delphi.

I didn’t know anything about this site and I recommend doing a google search and learning a little about it yourself.
Check out the photos. This place was amazing!! The entry ticket also includes entry into the Museum. We didn’t think we wanted to go into the museum but I’m so glad we didn’t miss it as it had tons of interesting things to look at and read about.

 


After  the ruins we were still up for more shopping and I let my credit card run wild. Thank you Delphi. My family and I will be enjoying your wares for a while!

 


And finally, about 9pm, we got to our Air BnB at Nafpaktos and our hosts were the most friendly people I have ever met!! They were waiting at the door of the apartment. They hugged us and were so eager to show us the rooms. It was like we were family returning home from a long time away.

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The wife led us into the kitchen where she presented a tray with a couple of liqueurs and another tray with a cake.
Not only had she provided this to us, but she made it all herself! The liqueurs AND the cake! And they were both sooo delicious!
I can tell you the liqueurs didn’t last long and I don’t think the cake will last much longer either.

After showing us everything they said goodbye and let us get on with the night.

I just feel so at home here!

Although the plan was to stay in as we got in late, we really wanted to have a quick explore so we walked down to the Port passing so many restaurants and interesting roads and avenues. We must have looked “different” as we were getting a lot of looks but people were so friendly.
Hubby and I went into a souvlaki/burger type take away and got three different skewers, a couple of pieces of pita and fries for just under five Euro!

They also really love it when you speak to them in Greek so I really try with the few words and expressions I know. The longer I say the more it will become familiar I hope.

Can’t wait to see more tomorrow.

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Greece is the Word – Day Four

This morning we woke up to cloudy skies and a wet ground but it was still fairly warm.
The plan was to drive along the coast to Sounio, and to see The Temple of Poseidon while we were there.

There are lots of beggars trying to get money from motorists by either selling something, offering to “wash” your windscreen, or simply by holding out a cup.
Here was one guy (above)  we encountered who was washing windscreens.
It’s a sad situation. There are so many that do it though so you’d have to think there are people that give them money? Otherwise why would they persist?

It was a beautiful drive down the coast.
There does seem to be a lot of graffiti about, no matter what part of the city we are in.

The weather cleared as we neared The Temple of Poseidon and it was even a little humid as we walked around there.
The Temple of Poseidon was rebuilt in 440BC. It’s just amazing to think this structure has been here for so many years!!

Here are a few photos we took of the Temple and views of the surrounding area.


That bird in the last picture is a “rock partridge”. At least, that’s what one of the guides told us! Noisy little things they are! The guide also said they’re considered the guardians of the Temple.

After an hour or so there we headed back towards an area just outside of Sounio where there were a whole lot of restaurants along the waterfront. The views were just gorgeous. This is Greece to me! Enjoying a beautiful meal, by the clear blue water with good company. It was such a lovely atmosphere.

As there were a few restaurants, we walked past quite a few but not before checking out their menu. We wanted to be sure we ate at the right place!
The owners would come out and try to entice us to come in. When we said we were just thinking about which one to go to, and they saw us leave, they actually got quite pushy and aggressive with one guy actually “suggesting” we move our cars (They were parked on the road almost in front of his restaurant.)

One person in our group has a severe seafood allergy so when we picked a place we thought we would eat at, we informed the server and explained that whatever was eaten could not even be cooked in the same oil that any seafood was cooked in.
He assured us that it was fine and that we had nothing to worry about. “You have nothing to fear” he stated.
Hubby, who was still looking over his shoulder at the owner from the last place we checked out whispered under his breath “the only thing we have to fear are the other owners if they see we’ve come in here”

Here are a few pics from inside the restaurant, and the water that we could see from our table. How clear and pristine is that!!


Oh and I should add that I tried to order moussaka again as I wanted to compare it to the other one I had here but guess what… although it was on the menu, it wasn’t available as they were still preparing it and it was going to take another 45 minutes!!! I swear this Moussaka curse is never going to be lifted!!

I ordered a bean dish instead and it was just so delicious!! Every dish I’ve had so far since we’ve been here has had so much oil! That has surprised me a bit. Maybe it just has to do with the food I’m ordering.

After lunch we stopped by a beach and enjoyed the sunshine. Such a picturesque little spot.

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We wanted to do a bit of shopping so we stopped at a mall  in the afternoon.

It was so like home that we almost forgot we were in Greece!!

So many familiar name brands wherever we looked…
Of course, that all changed when we went outside and tried to cross the road. Crazy drivers everywhere.

IMG_6397I had a double Greek coffee while I was there. I can say I’m a fan!

Our plan for dinner was to go back to Glifada seeing as we’re so close and it’s so beautiful there. I won’t post anymore pictures of it. It will only make you jealous!

I will share some pics of a 24 hour bakery we visited down there. I would have taken more but we were told “no pictures, it’s the policy” so I had to put my camera away

Hungry yet?

I’ll sleep tonight and dream of dodging traffic and going the wrong way on one way streets.

It’s all Greek to me!!

Greece is the Word – Day Two

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Deno touching the Mediterranean Sea!

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Now I really feel like I’m in Greece!

Café Settebello

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Gorgeous smells tease our taste buds,
Music from Italy transports us away and…
This is the place to come to if you want to get stuffed.

Diners today we finally made it to Cafe Settebello  Newton Rd, Newton.
They haven’t been in this location very long but it’s been recommended to me so many times that I had to go down and see what all the fuss is about.

It seems to me that every time I enter a decent Italian restaurant the first thing I notice is the beautiful aromas!!! It just makes me so hungry!!
I’m sure what I was smelling was the pizza that was cooking in their famous wood oven and it was just so tantalising.

The dining room is spacious and modern but definitely has a touch of Italy.

No red and white table cloths but nice pictures of Italy on the walls and modern Italian music playing in the background.
The only thing that spoilt the illusion of being transported across the sea was the view. Unfortunately the restaurant is situated on a busy main road and it was just wall to wall traffic.
In their defense, I did forget about it once that food came and there’s not much that they can do about the outside world I guess but it did spoil that Italian fantasy a little in the beginning.


The picture on the left is the view from our table and the one on the right is from the main window.

However that was only a small complaint… We were greeted warmly and were soon looking through an extensive menu with lots of Italian favourites.
The menu states that they have a One Metre Pizza challenge. Finish the pizza in 45 minutes and you will get a VIP card entitling you to free dining for six months! I think hubby was thinking about giving this a go but couldn’t justify all those calories. I have no doubt he could have done it. In fact I think I would have been able to do it as well!!

Instead I went for the Osso Bucco and hubby went for the Arrosto Misto.
After we ordered the server brought some bread and a couple of slices of focaccia to table.
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We also got some oil and balsamic vinegar and butter. Not only was this complimentary, but after I got my main, I asked for a slice of bread (because the sauce in it was just too good to not be mopped up) and the server brought out ANOTHER plate of bread, focaccia AND some zeppole!! Along with the oil and balsamic vinegar dish and more butter.  This was all complimentary! Who does that anymore? It was a really nice touch.

So on to our mains.
Hubby ordered Arrosto Misto. Mixed grill of Italian sausage, Meatball pattie, Scotch Fillet Steak, Pork Belly wrapped asparagus served with peppers and potatoes and Italian Salad.
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What a lovely vision this plate was as it was put down in front of hubby!! So many meats. Beautiful smells, beautiful colours… it was almost too good to eat!
Hubby was a little worried though because when the server took his order, she didn’t ask him how he wanted his steak cooked. Hubby always asks for it medium rare and this one was medium however it still was very tasty. In fact I think it was his favourite of all the meats on the dish.

I had Osso Bucco. Sicilian style Osso Bucco served with Garlic Mash
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It’s a little hard to make this kind of dish look attractive in a picture but I could smell it before it was even put down in front of me and I just knew I’d have to have more bread when I saw all that sauce!!!
Nothing about this dish disappointed. It was exactly all I hoped it was going to be.  The meat was just so beautifully tender. The sauce was sweet and flavourful and was begging to be mopped up with the wonderful bread they’d brought out.
This is my idea of comfort food!! There’d be nothing better to eat on a cold Winter’s day accompanied by a full bodied red.

Like I mentioned, I soon forgot we were situated so close to the main road and just enjoyed my surroundings and the wonderful tastes of my dinner.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Cafe Settebello.

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

Till next we chow…

The Glenelg Club

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We were served seriously big serves
Our stomachs started hurting just seeing our plates being set down on the table
We entertained a lot of elderly diners who marveled at our ability to eat a LOT of food.

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Diners today were at The Glenelg Club which is at Glenelg Oval (Gliderol Stadium) on Brighton Rd. Hubby and I just wanted a quick lunch before doing the million other things we had to do that day and it seemed a quick easy place to visit.

Strange to think we’ve never been here before when we live so close. The first thing we noticed was the view of the oval as you walk into the Bistro Doors. It was a really lovely view!

 

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IMG_4395We were there right at the start of the lunch period and only one other table was seated. Before long, many many tables were full and they all had one thing in common; They were full of seniors! The Glenelg Club has 20% off all lunch meals Monday to Friday for seniors. Now that’s a pretty good offer right!

Looking through the menu there were lots of options on there at pretty reasonable prices. They also advertise their weekly specials and I was already thinking about when we could come back before we’d even ordered anything!

After looking through the menu for a long, long time, hubby finally decided he was going to have the Grazers Plate. It was in the starters section and we assumed it was some kind of sharing platter. The menu description didn’t say how many people the plate would reasonably feed so he just figured he’d order it for his main. This was what appeared on the menu
“Southern chicken tenders, spiced lamb skewers, seeded mustard bread, waffle fries,  chefs selected dip, olives and Australian feta”

I decided to go for the burger, I know, not very original but it was what I felt like today. I actually would have preferred the steak sandwich but I didn’t like the bread they had that on.

When I ordered the food, the server didn’t say anything. I mentioned that hubby was going to have the grazing plate as his main. She didn’t bat an eyelid. I had no clue at how big this plate was going to be.

We watched other food coming out and it all looked really good so we were looking forward to our own meals.

Finally a server starts walking over to our table with just one dish. It turns out, she had the grazers plate and it was so large, she couldn’t hold two plates. She needed two hands for it and said she’d be right back with my burger.

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Hubby, shy thing that he is, was just mortified at the size. Other diners had turned to look. One lady even said “oh, excuse me, what did you order there, was that something special?” I said “No it’s on the menu, it’s the Grazers plate”
You could see the relief come over her, “oh” she replied, “thank goodness. I thought that was the dips plate and we’ve just ordered that.”

I really don’t know where to start with this. Everything was really really good. Hubby begged me to share it so I had to have a try. From the chicken, to the dip and salsa, everything was very tasty. I’m sure I ate most of that dip!
This dish was $32 which I think is very reasonable for the amount of food that you get!
Hubby noticed that one of the servers would glance over and snicker every time she came by. It might have been his imagination…
Despite his embarrassment, he really wasn’t sorry he’d ordered it, perhaps just sorry that there were witnesses!!

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My burger looked huge. I was going to say equally huge but that wouldn’t be correct! I didn’t even know how I was going to eat it at first. I ended up taking the bacon out because (don’t be shocked) I’m not a bacon fan and that made it easier to eat.
It was really tasty and the ingredients and fillings seemed really fresh.
They really aren’t shy on portion size here!

 

It’s lucky that we came here during lunch and not later in the day. At least our bodies have time to metabolise the food somewhat before we go to bed.

Honestly I don’t know if it’s the football connection, the view of the oval, the large serves or hubby’s mortification but I loved coming here today and hope it won’t be too long before we visit again. I wonder if they’ll make that Grazing Plate dish to go?

 

Have you been to The Glenelg Club?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

 

Till next we chow…