Today we walked to the cafe at the corner and got gyros and a Greek salad for lunch. We’re loving the food here in Greece. It’s so nice to have fresh veggies as a regular staple in our diet. We compared the food here to our most recent travels in Italy, where the food was tasty, but daily pasta, pizza, and bread-heavy paninis made us very sluggish. Another interesting thing about the food scene in Greece is that there are a ton of coffee shops here. Similar to other European countries we’ve visited, the coffee shops sell mainly espresso drinks (primarily espresso and cappuccinos), but the shops in Greece also have a few local specialties–Greek coffee and frappes. I got a Greek coffee with my gyro, and it was very tasty, but not as smooth as espresso, which I think I prefer.
After eating, we attempted to navigate the bus situation so that we could get to the National Archaeological Museum, but with all bus signs in the Greek alphabet, we couldn’t translate our English directions. So we hopped on the metro instead and headed to the museum.
The museum was a lot of fun and had some really interesting artifacts. My favorite things that we’ve seen on this trip are the Cycladic figurines. I’ve always loved how they look. The museum had an incredible amount of really fascinating artifacts, and we enjoyed our time.
After the museum, we took the metro to the Plaka, a shopping district in Athens. The Plaka has a lot of small shops and stands with primarily kitschy souvenirs, but some of the shops were really interesting. We walked around for a few hours, mostly window shopping.
We then stumbled upon some ancient ruins and found a restaurant with a great view of the acropolis. We decided to eat there, and were so happy we did. Not only did we get to dine right in front of Haiden’s Library, but we also had a view of the acropolis and delicious food. We ordered Greek meatballs in tomato sauce (which came with fries and rice), a Greek salad, tzatiziki, saganaki, and a bottle of restina–a Greek wine with pine resin. Everything was delicious, and again, we were surprised when the bills came. 33 euros! 33 euros for all of the food + wine + water + bread. After 3 weeks in London, Paris, Zurich, Rome, and Sorrento, we have been conditioned to expect meals with this much food to cost 60+ euros. It’s such a welcomed surprise to be able to eat delicious food at the base of the acropolis for this price.
Shelby and I are both really enjoying our time here in Greece. Personally, I feel that the people are friendlier here than anywhere else, and I feel like although there are tourists in Athens, we still get a sense for what local life is like. In some cities that we’ve visited, there were so many tourists that the culture of the city felt lost. That isn’t the case in Athens…however, tomorrow we are going to the acropolis, so this feeling might change.