Zermatt

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This was a very special destination for me as it was my first return to the little Swiss mountain village where I spent the first three years of my life. Although I have barely any memories of those years (who does?!), I’ve always maintained an idea of the place I came from through our home videos of when we were babies (Dad had me skiing up on the glacier at the age of 2!) and 15 years worth of old photographs from when my parents lived there before my sister and I were born. My parents travelled to Zermatt seperately as young people, Mum from London and Dad from New Zealand, both fell in love with the place (and each other) and made it their home. I can see how they fell in love with it. From the moment I clapped my eyes on the Matterhorn (the famous pyramidal mountain that rises above the village) I was under it’s spell – completely enchanted. The village itself was also magical to me.. all traditional wooden chalets with great blooms of bright red and white geraniums tumbling from every balcony.

Gorgeous Swiss Chalet

Gorgeous Swiss Chalet

To be fair, my family and I probably didn’t visit Zermatt at the best time of year – It was in between the summer and winter seasons so it was construction central with giant cranes erecting more chalet apartments wherever they could fit. The first light snow fell on the hills around the village while we were there so we got our first taste of really cold weather since our travels began, but the only skiing available would have been on the glacier at that time. In saying that, nothing could really take away from how happy I felt to finally return with my family, after 23 years(!), to the place where it all began!!

First Snow of the Trip!

First Snow of the Trip!

Arrive

Our family rented a car out of Geneva and drove into Täsch (a little village used as the transfer point for travellers into Zermatt) where we caught the ‘Zermatt Shuttle Train’ into Zermatt as the village itself is ‘car free’ (only the real locals are allowed to take their vehicles in). We parked the rental car in the covered parking complex/garage attached to the train station where you get a ticket and pay for however many days you parked there on your return. The train station and the trains are like everything Swiss, impeccably clean, straight forward, and on time!

All aboard for Zermatt!

All aboard for Zermatt!

Stay

As were were traveling with Mum and Dad at this stage, we were lucky enough to stay in a beautiful modern chalet apartment called the ‘Powder Snow’ (no more cheapo hostels for us!) with the most fabulous view over the village and the Matterhorn, organised through ‘Zermatt Apartment Rentals‘ (www.zermattapartmentrentals.com). The best thing about Swiss apartments is that they are always kept gloriously warm inside. Also, Swiss bedding is a dream – they don’t really believe in a top sheet, just a giant fluffy feather duvet and equally giant and fluffy pillows making sinking into bed at the end of the day pure luxury! One thing that I found really curious was these giant slipper-like over shoes kept at the doorway that you slip over your outside boots to wear around inside (mountain boots are a pain to take on and off apparently lol).

The 'Powder Snow' Lounge Room

The ‘Powder Snow’ Lounge Room

Curious Giant Swiss House Slippers

Curious Giant Swiss House Slippers

Do

Walk all around the village exploring the streets and poke around the shops oogling the window displays of all the latest fashions for hitting the slopes. Hike in the hills around the village. There are kagillions of mountain walks and trails to choose from. We did a lovely loop walk from up behind our apartment, via Winkelmatten, Blatten and Furi and back down into the village. So gorgeous seeing the old chalet style barns in the hills and the sheep with their sweet little black faces, elbows and hooves in the pastures with the snow-capped alps framing everything in the background. The air is so cold and fresh in the hills and is just excellent for clearing the head after a few beers the night before! Obviously the best thing to do in Zermatt is to go up skiing or snowboarding, but I will just have to return some other time for that!

Slope Style Window Shopping

Slope Style Window Shopping

Swiss sheep are too adorable!

Swiss sheep are too adorable!

Eat

For lunch, I would recommend hiking up to one of the chalet restaurants in the hills around the town. We made the short hike up to an adorable one called ‘Chalet Reid‘ and had a phenomenal feed of pork ribs with salad and potatoes, washed down with a few glasses of champagne.

Post-lunch at Chalet Reid (champagne eyes!)

Post-lunch at Chalet Reid (champagne eyes!)

We had a fabulous dinner out at the ‘Walliserhoff‘ a restaurant right in the centre of the village where I had a very traditonal Swiss meal of rösti (pretty much the national dish, made of fried coarsely grated potato – droooool!), wurst (sausage) and onion sauce – accompanied of course with a few beers.

Swiss Dish - Rösti, Wurst & Onion Sauce

Swiss Dish – Rösti, Wurst & Onion Sauce

Oh, and of course you can’t go to Switzerland and not eat CHOCOLATE –  It’s what the swiss are famous for after all! We grabbed a couple of blocks at the local grocey store, called the ‘Migros‘, which is perfect for all  your grocery needs and blocks of cheap swiss chocolate.. a new handbag staple of mine 😉

Party

According to the parentals THE place to party in their day was the ‘Hotel Post‘ which, lucky for us, is still there. So after a fun  dinner out involving several alcoholic beverages with a few of their dearest old friends and Zermatt locals, we headed there so they could show us their moves on the old ‘barrel’ – a massive wooden podium in the centre of the dance floor. The club, which I think was in the basement, was empty when we got there (off season) but we soon had the party started and everyone had a go up on the barrel (dad was totally hogging though). It was great because the DJ gauged the crowd really well, playing all the old school tunes that Mum, Dad and their friends loved making them keen to carry on the party into the wee small hours. Also, when I asked the bartender the price of 8 tequila shots he said “It’s on me” – you can’t not love a bar with that kind of service!

Hotel Post

Hotel Post

For absolutely all the info on Zermatt you should check out http://www.zermatt.ch

Dream Decor. Le Mezquita. Cordoba. Spain.

Dream Decor. Le Mezquita. Cordoba. Spain.

Ultimate Ceiling Envy. Le Mezquita. Cordoba. Spain.

So the four months of planned travel with my sister have come to an end. What to do next? Ah, how convenient (and how fortunate) – Mum and Dad are renting a little ‘casa’ with a spare bedroom in the Andalusian Hills of Southern Spain. It’s the perfect opportunity for some quality time with the parentals, knocking off a tonne of laundry (it’s ridiculous how excited you get about using a decent washing machine when you’re backpacking), munching a bunch of healthy home-cooked meals, a mini fitness bootcamp (oh so desperately needed after all those irresistible Italian carbs), a moment to assess the remaining travel funds (eeeek), and of course the chance to explore this gorgeous region of Spain…

You can check out andalucia.com for a comprehensive guide of locations in Andalucia and Southern Spain but, for now, here’s my own little blurb on the spots we checked out:

Cútar

Cútar is an adorable little village of Moorish origin nestled in the Andalusian Hills. It’s low white-washed houses sparkle among the greens and browns of the beautiful surrounding hillside landscape which is covered in olive trees, vineyards and mango plantations. Our little rental house, ‘Casa La Loma‘ was situated about a 10-minute walk down the hill from Cútar and had a fantastic salt-water swimming pool. It also came with the sweetest little black and white kitten nicknamed ‘Peanut’ who quickly became a part of the family. To be honest, most of our stay was spent chilling out poolside at the casa, but Cútar made for a lovely spot to take an evening stroll and was an eye-catching feature of the phenomenal view we were so lucky to have.

Cútar

Cútar

Peanut and I at 'Casa la Loma'

Peanut and I at ‘Casa la Loma’

Poolside at 'Casa la Loma'

Poolside at ‘Casa la Loma’

Mani-Pedi fun in the Spanish sun

Mani-Pedi fun in the Spanish sun

Yay for healthy home-made lunches

Yay for healthy home-made lunches

Torre Del Mar

Torre del Mar is a beach resort located on the coast of the ‘Costa del Sol’ region in Andalucia. It took around 20-30 minutes for us to drive from ‘Casa la Loma’ down to the beach at Torre del Mar, which is a superb four kilometre-long stretch of sand lined with fantastic little beach shacks. Many an afternoon during the fortnight we stayed in Cútar was spent soaking up rays from the Spanish sun laying on Torre del Mar beach. We particularly enjoyed the fact that, as we were there in September, we missed the busy summer crowds, leaving plenty of space between our little beach set-up and the next persons. No visit to Torre del Mar was complete without stopping in at any one of the beach shacks for a big plate of absolutely scrumptious calamari rings drenched in garlic aoli and freshly squeezed lemon juice! For Dad’s birthday dinner we made a visit to a beach restaurant named ‘Rompeolas‘ where a lovely big ‘Pargo’ or Red Snapper fish was cooked for us over an open fire right on the sand, then served covered in olive oil, sea salt and garlic and accompanied with potato and zucchini fries drizzled with honey balsamic – deeeeeelicious!!

Calamari & Aoli at Torre del Mar

Calamari & Aoli at Torre del Mar

Pargos cooking on an open fire at Torre del Mar

Pargo cooking on an open fire at Torre del Mar

Pargos is served at 'Rompeolas' restaurant at Torre del Mar

Pargo is served! – ‘Rompeolas’ restaurant at Torre del Mar

San José

For a fun family day out, we decided to drive approximately three and a half hours from Cútar to a truly stunning spot called San José which is a small fishing village located in the ‘Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata‘. The Mediterranean Sea here was just so incredibly clear and WARM – absolute bliss to float about in all afternoon long – and the sand is more golden and clean than that at Torre del Mar. There are two very nice beaches right in the village which have easy access to a good selection of cafés, restaurants and tapas bars, and then there are a few beaches outside of the village also, all within walking distance.

La Playa at San José

La Playa at San José

My happy place in the Mediterranean Ocean

My happy place in the Mediterranean Ocean

I is for IOS – the number one PARTY ISLAND in Greece!

Arrive – We arrived relaxed, rested and ready to P.A.R.T.Y on a ferry from Paros that took around 2 hours.

Welcome to Ios Party People!

Welcome to Ios Party People!

Stay – A few of my friends had recommended we stay at a hostel called ‘Francesco’s’ so we decided to take their advice and booked in for 3 nights – and were glad we did! We were met at the Ios ferry terminal by ‘Alex’, a super friendly and informative rep from Francesco’s who drove us up to the hostel and installed us in a lovely, clean, modern and new private double room with ensuite for €18 ppn/night. Francesco’s boasts a fantastic view down towards the port and is the perfect spot to watch the beautiful sunsets over the Aegean Sea. The hostel pool is pretty fabulous and a great place to go and be social, or just relax and get your tan on! One of the best things about staying at Francesco’s is their ‘Welcome Drinks‘ at 10pm down on the outdoor terrace by the reception. Here you get to meet and mingle with all the other party-goers staying there, play drinking games, and take advantage of the cheap cocktails from the hostel bar before making your way out into the maze of bars as a big group for the hostel’s pub crawl, first stop – the ‘Blue Note Bar‘.

The Phenomenal View from 'Francesco's'

The Phenomenal View from ‘Francesco’s’

Do – Before you get caught up in the never-ending party that is Ios, take a day, or at least an afternoon, to explore the island a little bit. There are 2 pretty churches that are worth a visit – one up on the hill above all the bars in the main village or ‘Chora‘ (look out for the big palm tree right next to it) from where you can see a gorgeous view of the island down to the ocean, and a second out on a point down by the port area which also has stunning views. Take a walk over the hill from Chora to Mylopotas Beach and while away the day (or what’s left of it if you wake up late after a big night out on the razz) basking in the golden sand or swimming in the beautiful waters of the Aegean Sea. If you are up for it, there are plenty of water sports and diving trips available at Mylopotas Beach and we heard that in high season (we visited a a bit before), ‘Far Out Beach Club’, located at the end of this beach, puts on lots of day parties and events. If you fancy taking a boat trip out in the day, these are advertised along and leave from the port area (well duh, that’s where all the boats are!).

The Ocean Waters of Mylotopas Beach are the Best Hangover Cure!

The Clear Waters of Mylopotas Beach are the Best Hangover Cure!

Party – First things first, make sure you grab a couple of big bottles of water or Powerade from the little local supermarket down on the main square and put them by your bed for the morning – you can thank me later 😉

For a pretty tiny town, there is an impressive number of bars and clubs in Ios town! It feels as though almost every building along the narrow white-washed alleys of Chora is a bar or club with dance music blasting out. A crazy throng of revellers stumble around the streets and in and out of the numerous establishments from around 11pm pretty much until the sun comes up. The best places we went to (that I can recall the names of) were the Blue Note Bar, Slammer Bar, Flames, Astra, and Disco 69 but there are just so many to choose from (and I’m sure the popular places change from season to season). There are guys, mostly cocky Aussie blokes, on a majority of the entry doors who all try and entice you into their bar with various cheap drink deals or cheesy lines. These same guys can also be found lurking on the beaches during the day, promoting their clubs and insisting you come for shots later on (can you just leave me alone, can’t you see I have a splitting headache and just want to lay here in peace?!). Then, there are the ‘floor whores’ – attractive girls employed by the bars and clubs to dance and flirt with guys in the aim of getting them to buy lots of drinks (so don’t be sucked in lads)! Also, watch out for the €1 shots.. apparently these are not good stuff and will potentially land you in hospital, eeek! If you’re anything like my sister and I, you’ll have the best time partying it up in Ios and come home at the end of of each night (we could only manage 3 in a row) with a tonne of hilarious (if somewhat blurry) memories, a bunch of new friends, and be covered in stickers, face paint and glow bands!

The Ios Nightlife got the Best of Us!

The Ios Nightlife got the Best of Us!

Eat – If you’re a little over Greek food and wanting a fun and relatively cheap dinner out before a night out on the tiles, line your stomach with some tasty Thai dishes at ‘Thai Smile‘ in Chora – the staff were really sweet and gave us free shots and dessert, gotta love that!

For me, hands down the best place to eat on the Island has got to be ‘Harmony – a fun Mexican restaurant located up on the hillside as you come down to Mylopotas Beach from Chora. To find it, look up on the hillside to the right if you’re sitting on Mylopotas Beach facing the ocean and you’ll see a big sign painted on the side of the building. The vibe at this joint is just so chill – such a great spot to relax from the late afternoon into the evening, sipping on frozen strawberry and mango daquiris or slugging down giant bottles of ‘Mythos’ beer! The food is probably a little pricey for what it is to be honest but the staff are friendly and the view is unreal!

The Fajita Plate from 'Harmony' is Perfect to Share

The Fajita Plate from ‘Harmony’ is Perfect to Share

For a drunken pig-out before you crash into bed, we found the gyros at fast-food/takeaway joint ‘Porkies‘ to be very satisfying, but the best find was the little bakery at the base of Chora, just back from the main square under the bar area (just follow your nose, ah the aroma of sweet baked goodness!) – the giant slices of mouth-watering pizza, the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bread and the delicious mince pies from here were all freaking amazing (and yes, I did have one of each)!

A Party Paradise and Picturesque to Boot. Ios. Greece.

A Party Paradise and Picturesque to Boot. Ios. Greece.

Magical Mylopotas Beach. Ios. Greece.

Magical Mylopotas Beach. Ios. Greece.

P is for PAROS – the extremely pretty and super relaxed second Greek Island on our ‘hit list’, also part of the Cylades Island group located in the Aegean Sea.

Arrive – only a one hour ferry ride over from Mykonos! Paros is the perfect post-Mykonos and pre-Ios location as the vibe is way less party and way more chill than both of these drink and dance-heavy islands. The ideal stopover where you can detox, get a few good nights sleep, and actually do some proper sightseeing!

Beautiful Cycladic-style Dwelling on Paros

Beautiful Cycladic-style Dwelling on Paros

Stay – We opted to stay just outside of the picture-perfect little fishing township of Naoussa at ‘Villa Gallini‘ which can be found only 200m along the road from the Naoussa Bus Station and then 70m up quite a steep hill (a bit of a b**ch to lug your suitcase up in the Greek summer sun – luckily there was a very sweet lady waiting at check-in with icy cold glasses of water!). The host was a delightfully friendly old Greek guy who was eager to impart a tonne of handy hints and suggestions of what to see around the island and how to go about seeing it. We stayed in a basic but lovely double room with ensuite for €10ppn a night here and were delighted by the gorgeous little private patio dotted with pots of vibrant pink and red geraniums, complete with breakfast table.

Our Patio at Villa Gallini

Our Patio at Villa Gallini

Do – Explore the characteristically greek white-washed and blue-accented streets and cobbled alleyways of the port town of ‘Parikia‘. Take a ferry from Naoussa Port over to ‘Kolimbithres‘ – an absolutely stunning beach with the most fabulously clear warm water.

'Kiss-Me' - Our Ferry to Kolimbithres

‘Kiss-Me’ – Our Ferry to Kolimbithres

Blissed Out on Kolimbithres Beach

Blissed Out on Kolimbithres Beach

Hire a buggy from ‘Spanopolous‘ and take a day to drive around the entire island. From Naoussa, head NW up to ‘Ampelas’ and ‘Santa Maria’, then come down the East Coast and inland to the hillside villages of ‘Leftkes’ (stop in and visit the beautiful old church here), ‘Marmara’ and ‘Marpissa’. Perhaps after a morning tea picnic in the hills (grab a couple of hot buns in the morning from Naoussa Bakery), carry on down the coast past ‘Pounta’, ‘Golden’ and ‘Lolantoni’ beaches to the oceanside town of ‘Alyiki’ in the South of the island. You may fancy a cheeky snack of hot potato fries with tzatziki at one of the waterfront restaurants in Alyiki, after which you should make your way up the West Coast via ‘Pounta’, ‘Parikia’, ‘Kamares’, and past ‘Kolimbithres’ to ‘Monastiri Beach’ at the NW tip of the island. While away what is left of the sunshine hours laying on Monastiri Beach and then make sure you have your rented buggy back to ‘Spanopolous’ at the pre-arranged time.

Explore the Island in a Rented Buggy

Exploring the Island in a Rented Buggy

Take a small ferry from ‘Pounta’ across to ‘Antiparos Island‘ and rent some push bikes to cycle around the island’s ocean road. If you’re feeling fit then make the uphill slog to the famous cave on the island (it didn’t seem to be named anything in particular, just ‘the cave’). The cave is very beautiful and mysterious as well as extensive, extending down several levels which can be reached by staircase. Some fascinating historical facts about the cave are blasted out in several languages at the entrance from a loudspeaker. Make sure to take something warm as the temperature drops several degrees in the depths of the cave (and feels practically freezing if you’ve just sweated your way up the hill in the blazing sun on a push bike) and €5 for the entrance fee. Well worth a visit – I was enchanted!

Cycling around Antiparos Island

Cycling around Antiparos Island

The Enchanting and Mysterious Cave of Antiparos

The Enchanting and Mysterious Cave of Antiparos

Eat – Our absolute favourite place to eat in Naoussa was a sweet and cheap little restaurant right on the water called ‘Kous-Kous‘. Their chicken souvlaki plate was just so divine, even if it didn’t look like much, the ingredients were lovely and fresh and the flavour of the tzatziki was superb! They had lots of tasty traditional greek options on the menu – the fried zucchini fritters and ‘chickpeas in a clay pot’ I would definitely recommend.

Delicious Chicken Souvlaki & 'Chickpeas in a Clay Pot' from 'Kous-Kous'

The Delicious Chicken Souvlaki Plate & ‘Chickpeas in a Clay Pot’ from ‘Kous-Kous’

For a really fabulous location, stop in and sit outside at all-white-errrthang café ‘Fosit‘, also right on the water in Naoussa, but more beachfront than port side like at ‘Kous-Kous’ – the perfect spot for a refreshing late-afternoon cocktail!

Sitting at Fosit Café in Naoussa

Taking it Easy at Fosit Café in Naoussa

M is for MYKONOS – the first Greek Island paradise we set out to explore, found in the heart of the Cyclades. 

Arrive – a €34 Blue Star Ferry ticket, booked on the day, got us from Piraeus Port in Athens to Mykonos in 6.5 hours. 

Mykonos - A White-washed Paradise

Mykonos – A White-washed Paradise

Stay – we pre-booked at Paraga Beach Hostel via hostelbookers.com. On our arrival at the port, we were met by a representative from the hostel who provided us with a free minivan transfer across the island, via some very narrow, windy, hilly roads, to Paraga Beach.  For €13 a night we were installed in a 2-man canvas ‘cabin’ (think army barracks style) with use of a communal shower/toilet area. The hostel (which could really be better described as a camping ground) boasted a fabulous outdoor pool and bar area with tunes pumping from the early afternoon until well into the night. The location was tops – literally right on Paraga Beach (watch out for the nudies down the far end!!) which is a glorious wee stretch of sand lined with several beach bars and restaurants.  

Poolside at Paraga Beach Hostel

Poolside at Paraga Beach Hostel

Do – Get lost in the narrow white-washed maze of streets in old Mykonos town*, or ‘Chora‘, perusing both tacky tourist shops and gorgeous high-end boutiques along the way. Walk from the old windmills up on the hill, past ‘Little Venice‘ (a picturesque row of old fishing houses with their balconies overhanging the ocean) around to both the old and new ports. Sun-bake on one of the many stunning beaches around the island and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea. 

* public buses depart regularly from Paraga Beach into Mykonos Town, and vice versa, and tickets (purchased onboard) cost next to nothing.

Picture Perfect 'Little Venice'

Picture Perfect ‘Little Venice’

Hijinks on Paraga Beach

Hijinks on Paraga Beach

Party – Drinking games started on the pool terrace at the hostel from mid-evening, with young people from all over the globe getting involved. Once the sun disappeared, the crowd made their way down to the poolside dance floor where a live DJ was posted up, spinning some excellent summer party tracks. From around midnight, groups started peeling off to make the trek (a clumsy clamber around the seriously rocky coastline, peppered with nasty prickle bushes at every turn, in the pitch-black darkness after several cocktails) over to Paradise Beach, where you can dance your heart out at any number of the several beach clubs located there. The summer club scene hadn’t really kicked off yet, given it was early June when we visited, but when it gets cranking Mykonos is known as the ‘Ibiza of Greece’.

Eat – You simply have to indulge in a natural Greek frozen yoghurt drizzled in real Greek honey and sprinkled with fruits and nuts in Mykonos Town. Try a big bowl of fried calamari drenched in freshly squeezed lemon juice and served with a tomato-onion-cucumber salad from a waterfront restaurant with a view of the old windmills. Sip a cocktail from one of the bars near ‘Little Venice’ and watch the sun go down over the water.

Greek Frozen Yoghurts are the Best!

Greek Frozen Yoghurts are the Best!

A View of the Old Windmills

A View of the Old Windmills

Athens

Highlights:

Hiking up Lycabettus Hill to see fantastic 360° views of Athens and the sweet little ‘Saint-Georges’ chapel perched on the top. Running a cheeky lap, standing on the podium and holding a real Olympic Torch at the Panathenaic Stadium. Strolling the suburbs of AnofiatikaPlaka and Monastiraki. Discovering Dionysus’ Theatre and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre on the Southern Slope of the Acropolis, and the Parthenon and Temple of Athena Nike at the summit. Exploring the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Hephaistos and Hadrian’s Library. Perusing the Monastiraki Flea Markets – you’ll find both treasures and trash here. Sipping a ‘Parthenon Pash’ cocktail at the rooftop bar of our hostel with a gorgeous view of the sunset behind the beautifully lit-up Acropolis. 

Travel Tips:

I would recommend hiking Lycabettus Hill as the first activity on your to do list in Athens. From the top you get a really good idea of the lay out of the city and can make out the locations of all of the major archaeological sites that you may want to visit. It only takes a maximum of 20 minutes to get from the base to the top of the hill so it’s not even a major hike, and the views from the top are so worth it.

If you decide to go to the Panathenaic Stadium (recommended), then definitely grab yourself an audio tape to tour around with. It’s a total bargain at 3 euro for entry AND audio tape and the commentary makes sure you don’t miss out on any of the interesting (and sometimes not so obvious) features of the stadium. Interestingly, the Olympic Torch that travels to the city hosting the Olympic Games every 4 years is lit at the Panathenaic Stadium.

To visit all of incredible archaeological sites in the central Athens area you’d be a fool not to get the 12 euro ‘special package ticket’ produced by the Ministry of Culture. This ticket allows you entry into the Acropolis (which is a 12 euro entry fee on its own anyway) plus 6 other archaeological sites, including; the Northern and Southern Slopes of the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos (ancient cemetary), and the Olympieon (where you’ll find the colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus). You can buy the ticket at any of the entrances to the 7 participating sites and it is valid for 4 days – easy peasy!

When visiting the Acropolis, go as early in the morning as you can to beat the heat and the throngs of tourists.

Curious Cuisine:

If you’re after a tasty snack on the go in Greece, your go-to meal is a ‘Gyros‘ – a traditional Greek sandwich made with slices of spiced meat cooked on a spit, served with salad in pita bread. They’re usually the cheapest thing on the menu which is a bonus and are served up super quick with a slathering of scrummy sauces. Apparently a lot of the world is already familiar with gyros, but little old me, from little old New Zealand, had never heard of them before and I absolutely butchered the pronunciation making my first order for one. So, just in case you didn’t know, like me, it’s pronounced ‘hear-oss’, NOT ‘jai-rose’ (doh!).

Another popular and traditional Greek fast food is ‘Souvlaki‘ – a meal of small tender cuts of meat, most often served on a skewer (sometimes with vegetables) for eating with your hands, or in a pita bread sandwich with garnishes and sauces (so pretty much a gyros), or with fried potatoes on a dinner plate. A tasty and inexpensive lunch or dinner option.

Apparently the specialty dish of the region is goat (or kid really) meat served with potatoes fried in olive oil and sprinkled in sea salt, all drizzled in a zesty lemon sauce – I can’t tell you if it’s true, but I can tell you that it’s delicious!!

Archaeology in Abundance

Archaeology in Abundance

Monastiraki Flea Market Treasures

Monastiraki Flea Market Treasures

Dionysus' Theatre on the Southern Slopes of the Acropolis

Dionysus’ Theatre on the Southern Slopes of the Acropolis

Ancient Beauty in Athens

Ancient Beauty in Athens

Greek Flag at the Summit of Lycabettus Hill

Greek Flag at the Summit of Lycabettus Hill

The Parthenon atop the Acroplis

The Parthenon atop the Acroplis

Feeling Sporty at the Panathenaic Stadium

Feeling Sporty at the Panathenaic Stadium

Fab Views of Athens from Lycabettus Hill

Fab Views of Athens from Lycabettus Hill

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