Day 16 Athens
Up bright and early, a light snack of crackers, cheese, tomato and coffee and off the boat. Our taxis took us into Athens and we went to the Acropolis. It was already quite warm and would reach a high of 32C for the day. A real scorcher. We spent about 90 minutes at the ruins, then the heat and the volume of tourists and our stomachs took us to Plaka for some lunch and souvenirs.
We had lunch at a nice restaurant in Plaka - lunch was a mixed warm plate of appetizers; cheese balls, zucchini fritters, stuffed grape leaves, and spanakopita. There was also a seafood plate of shrimp, octopus, spring rolls, calamari and cod fritters. Mains included rabbit braised with tomato and a touch of allspice, and some small onions, similar to cippolinis; lamb cooked in a clay pot with hard cheese; chicken souvlaki; lamb cooked with artichoke; and lamb souvlaki. We had a daily ration of ouzo then went in search of some souvenirs. We scheduled our taxis to pick us up at 15h00.
Arrived at the Sofitel hotel at the airport. Very nice rooms - love the huge 4'x5' sliding wooden shutter that will block out the light and any airport noise.
We went for a swim, then to dinner. Dinner was good, but the further we get from the small islands, the less rustic the food. Which is too bad because we loved the country homemade feel of the small islands. Sharing tables in some restaurants and others felt like you were at someone's home and they were sharing their favourite dishes with you, regardless of the language barrier.
Dinner was salmon terrine; potato and cheese gnocchi; pike with basmati rice pilaf; braised lamb provencal with tagliatelle noodles; pork tenderloin with mashed potato cake. Dessert (not free on the mainland!) was walnut cake with chocolate ice cream and sour cherry tarts. We all miss the small islands...
Overall, a fantastic trip. Not looking forward to the plane rides home, but back to reality and work on Tuesday.
But do stay tuned for further food and travel adventures!!