It was election week in Greece, so my friend and tour guide Lenia was quite busy at work, but that just meant that I explored Athens on my own during the day and met up with her at night.
Greeks go out late… like they’re just sitting down to dinner when I’m usually thinking it’s getting past my bedtime. I thought I’d starve to death waiting to meet for dinner on the first evening, so I nipped into a grocery store to buy some chips. In England, it’s got to be Salt & Vinegar, in Athens it was Oregano flavor.
A bit past my Danish bedtime, Lenia treated me to a welcome dinner at Agora Select. We started with the grilled halloumi, green pea hummus and pita, and feta baked in filo dough with honey. Lenia and I shared two types of risotto, one with mushrooms and one with tomatoes and olives… and of course we shared red wine.
Pretty much every time we ate, I’d announce (like a good blogger) that we’d need to hang fire when the food arrived so I could photograph it. Yeah, that never happened. Sorry. I promise it tasted as good as it sounds and I think maybe you should consider going to Greece just to eat. Seriously. And Greeks love to feed people! 4 day athens itinerary
I toured the Acropolis and I was happy to have swapped my usual high-heeled boots for ballet flats. Once I’d had my fill of the Parthenon, I walked down the back of the hill and around The Plaka, the oldest section of Athens.
That evening, Lenia took me to Falafellas, the best falafel place in Athens (I shared a photo on Instagram). Of course, I haven’t tried all of the falafel places in Athens, but I’ll take Lenia’s word for it and the queues can’t lie. It’s takeaway only, so we ate on a bench nearby, then headed to a wine bar called By the Glass. We sat on the heated outdoor terrace surrounded by twinkling fairy lights, listening to Pink Martini and the like, sipping Greek reds and talking about everything. A stray cat wandered in, made itself at home, and no one seemed to even consider shooing it out.
Lenia showed me around Kolonaki, Ermou Street, and Syntagma Square. I also had a nice retail therapy experience at Attica Department Store, which I definitely recommend. Most things were 30% off so I bought three coats and a sweater. I don’t bother shopping for new clothes in Denmark, only secondhand. Aside from the poor selection and bad quality to cost ratio, they’re not designed for petite hourglass-shaped girls. Luckily, Athens turned out to be the opposite of all that! Now I can toss my old moth-eaten camel coat and the sweater with see-through elbows :)
After a solid day of shopping, we stopped off at Osterman for some late afternoon nibbles and wine. Osterman is an old fabric shop turned bistro, and the atmosphere is oh so glamorous—loved it! We shared the warm goats cheese in a peanut and almond crust with tomato marmalade, gnocchi with gorgonzola and truffle sauce, and of course… fries!
Lenia had booked us a table at a traditional Greek tavern for 9:30 that evening, but we decided we’d rather stay in, so we grabbed a couple bottles of wine, headed to her place, and ordered takeaway. We went traditional Greek with Gyros and Souvlaki… grilled mushrooms instead of meat for me.
I wanted to try Greek fast food, so I asked at a kiosk for a recommendation and was directed to Pita Pan, which is where I had the halloumi pita I mentioned in my last post. My version was good, but it wasn’t a ringer for that one so I’ll have to keep trying.
The hotel left this note in my room, it’s definitely a sign of the times in Greece.
You can now see my photos of the Acropolis here!
I’m also working on a photo post featuring one of my favorite things… you can now see that here ;-)