It was a few years ago now. Time has taken on another meaning since the pandemic has stifled our yearnings for far away places and hindered actual travelling, but memories never fade.
The journey began in Athens. SeaDream 1 was waiting for us in Piraeus and it wasn’t too long before we had stowed our gear in elegant staterooms. Up on deck, guests were catching the last of summer’s bright rays. (SeaDream yachts chase the sun, and after the Mediterranean, the Caribbean was the ships next playground for November to March.)
We departed Piraeus on an afternoon, fresh from summer in October through a flint-like clarity of light.
BUT this is about food – before we took off on our cruise from Greece to Italy, we had two days in Athens. So, this posting is pictures of food – which we ate lots of.
Now, being a Greek tragic (I claim it as my spiritual home) I wanted to show off to my travelling companion. I wanted to drop in a few words from the language (which I was trying to remember), point out the ancient tiles along the footpath, order a diabolical ‘cafe metreo’, find the best baklava in town and generally want her to fall as much in love with the capital city as I was.
This cat on the island of Hydra is not edible.
I had lived in Greece many years ago. I came here for three months and ended up staying intermittently over a period of three years. It was love at first step off the plane. I embraced the lifestyle and took to the afternoon siesta like a sloth in syrup.
There are many nuts in Greece!
I worked at anything (almost) to keep me here and found a perverse joy in lugging watermelons, picking oranges, cooking in restaurants (yep, don’t know how that happened), cleaning houses, running holiday villas for English tourists and hosting (with a couple of other Aussie mates), barbecues on remote beaches to make money. It was the time of my life and there are so many stories to still tell.
I love the food, and as an-on-the-cheap traveller, a fresh salad, a pot of divine yoghurt, honey, bread straight from the bakery and a coffee was always affordable.
I wanted to revisit the food and markets – and my mate Jane Hodges took these images as mine have gone the way of an unnatural cyber disaster. The markets in Athens are a marvellous introduction to the variety of fresh produce to be had here. The fish selection is splendid, the cheeses astounding and the fruit and veg crying out to be cooked! And the sweets. The history of honey being used in sweets for thousands of years blows the mind. Some things never change
Thanks for the pics Jane and your company on the cruise and our visits to Athens, and the Greeks islands. Yassou filos mou!
TIPS: Eat everything.
Food generally in villages is served warm not hot, and it’s quite OK to ask to see what’s cooking in the kitchen. Beware of Ouzo – you’ll think it’s your fiend, but trust me, it’s not.
When in Athens, check out all the museums but get to the new Acropolis Museum as it is beautiful and as the name explains, the artefacts and pieces in the museum have all been found in and around the acropolis. Acropolis means a rocky mound or hill constructed in many Greek cities where their temples were to be built (e.g.the Parthenon) and it was a place for the people to retreat to if they were under attack.
The writer, Bev Malzard loves Greece and intends to head back there again in 2018. In the meantime, she’ll drag out some of the old Greek-days stories for this blog until her readers protest and say: “No more”.
Update: She visited again in 2019 and spent a few days on Poros, which was here first port of call many years ago. And if this pandemic ever lets up she’ll be back in Ellas for a month or so. Yassou.