Monday, June 08, 2015

MENU's Aegean Odyssey. Day 13: Athens to Diakofto

Note: There are butchery scenes in this which might upset some viewers. Skim over them, you'll love the vegetable market

Breakfast in the tiny dining area at the Epidavros Hotel. Nice breakfast of plenty of yoghurt, honey, fruit, cereals, fresh boiled eggs, do-it-yourself toast, baby croissants and Danish pastries. It came included with the room rate
Off to see the main market in Athens. It was just meat, lots of it and fish and sea food
They leave the ears tails and lucky rabbit feet on so you know it's not cat
Look at those yellow birds, we think they were Capons. And they have smilies
The butchery looks skilful
More smilies
We had enough raw meat, so we ventured into the fish side of the market. So fresh and clean. WHY can’t we have fish that look like this in South Africa. Why do they always look like they have been frozen for years and then defrosted badly over the last week?
Pink octopus and curly fish, possibly bream?
Shiny sardines
Pink prawns
Some were the size of crayfish
Mackerel in the front, then salmon and then squid and many others
Squid, cuttlefish and whole and legs of octopus
More curly silver fish
Fat mackerel
Another great selection. If you work out the prices per kilo, fish is not terribly expensive. Work on R13.50 to the Euro
Oh hell, a beef smiley
The offal man, nice clean tripe and sausage skins
And as John says, a flock of sheep
On the high street, some closed shops with graffiti
An amusing poster
Yes H&M are everywhere. We hear they are soon to open in Cape Town
Back in the wrong door; we were looking for the fruit and veg, John spotted flying pigs
See, Greece might pay its debts
On the next corner, a sausage shop
Please come and have lunch here! We resisted
And then we found the cheese shop
and pickles and olives
Finally around the corner, the fruit and veg market. Some lovely stuff
Prices are cheap, even for South Africans
Courgettes with their flowers
Lovely olives, cherries and veg
Pulses and beans by the kilo
And good seasonal fruit. The cherries cost about 2 Euros a kilo (R27). We pay so much more and get so much less
A lovely selection
A street cleaner keeping the place tidy and clean
We did wonder if any of these apples were from SA
Vine tomatoes
Mediterranean veg, shiny and new
Smoked meats
There was just so much beautiful looking stuff
We bought half a kilo for the train
Negotiating prices
What to choose?
Salted fish - Bacalao
In the same street are the second hand shops with loads of things people are selling to get cash
John was fascinated by the cameras. Zenit was a Soviet Russian SLR, which was never much good. Cheap then, even cheaper now!
We began to walk down towards the Plaka in search of lunch and spotted this tiny ancient church
Buckets, brooms and baskets
The square in the Plaka below the Acropolis was full of tourists. We bought a souvlaki each for lunch, which turned out to be a kebab, again. Damn. They need a better trade descriptions act.
And some T-shirt transfers to buy
Back to the hotel, collected our bags and it was off by Metro to the main train station, Larissa, one stop down the line.
Lynne running for the train. The B...rd train driver watched and waited till we crossed over the rail lines, got to the door, John dragging both suitcases, then closed the door in our faces and drove off leaving us swearing blue murder. Yes, he did it on purpose. Next train was 30 minutes later
The 'express' on the other platform going to the airport
Waiting patiently. And it was a cold and chilly day. Needed two layers of polar fleece. The storm we had in Naxos had reached Athens
Station wildlife
And finally, after two hours on the train and one hour in his car, we arrived at our friend Terry's apartment in Diakofto in the Peloponnese
Catching up with a glass of wine, or two
Terry Rodbard, talented musician. publisher, tour guide
A little Chopin?
Time for supper at one of Terry's favourite Tavernas, Costa's
Old time Greece, we were invited by Costa into the kitchen to see what we would like to eat
Lamb with peppers on the grill
We started with a Greek salad, Tzatziki, bread and a carafe of white wine
Enviable bougainvillea
Ah, we have added a carafe of rosé and the salad has been dressed with herbs and oil. Greek feta is so much better than the crumbly sour cheese we get
Terry eats here at least once a week
Cabbage dolmades with a lemon sauce, like mama makes. They were delicious. Lamb, pine nuts, rice and lots of flavour
The food did not stop coming. This is a stuffed red pepper and aubergine. Stuffed with herb rice; you can definitely taste the dill
Enjoying the evening air, the chat and the food
Crisis? what Greek crisis? Everyone is so relaxed
As the evening wore on, so the restaurant filled up. People do eat much later at this end of the Mediterranean. This is about 10.30 and the summer season has just started. Diakofto seems like Sea Point (but nothing like as big), they have a lot of swallows and lots of people in the cities have country houses here, as it is right on the sea
Another of Terry's local mates
We then moved to a cafe for coffee and to meet more friends, who run it
Lynne can't sleep after coffee, but they served very good hot chocolate. This is the late night coffee shop culture
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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