Athens & Anavyssos, Greece (September 2016)

The “local bus experience”, beautiful Greek ruins & Enormous portions of delicious food

01.10.16 – Two days after the return from Greece

where: day trips to Athens & hotel in Anavyssos

Dolmades, Tzatziki, the best pita bread I’ve ever had, zucchini croquettes, cheese croquettes, baked feta, traditional Greek salad, fruity white wine, amazing coffee beverages everywhere – welcome to Greece, a culinary heaven!

I’m glad I packed mostly loose fitting maxi dresses, because after a week indulging in all those delicious meals, I’m sure I gained weight. If not, miracles exist. For sure.

We arrived at our romantic 5-star hotel Plaza Resort late in the evening and went straight to bed, so that we could make the most of the following day. We didn’t end up getting up to much, though. Turned out there’s not that much to do in the area of the hotel, besides hanging out by the pool or on the beach. Which would have been great, if it wasn’t for the strong, chilling wind making the pool seem more like a challenge than something you’re there to enjoy. I only went inside once.

The beach, however, was still enjoyable – despite the wind. I spent most of my time there searching for pretty stones in the sand and in the water. My (sort of) mother in law has promised to teach me how to make my own pendants, so I collected a few stones for our little craft project.

The Mediterranean sea felt amazing on my skin, and I could have spent a lifetime relaxing in the shallow water, with my legs resting on the soft sand, if it hadn’t been for the wind giving me goosebumps and making my wet hair absorb all the coldness.

We discovered some local bars, coffee shops and a cozy, traditional restaurant in Anavyssos and let our taste buds go wild as they explored all the different flavors served in each establishment. Our favorite was CHI.MA – hands down. It also has the best reviews on TripAdvisor.

Cape Sounion and the Poseidon Temple was not far away by bus, and it gave us our first experience with the local buses in Greece. An adventurous experience worth trying, according to the guide book I picked up at the airport. Adventurous indeed. The driver went fast, very fast. Speeding seemed to be the norm in Greece. Everybody did it. Passengers yelling aggressively at the driver seemed to be fine too – as well as him yelling back. Or maybe they didn’t even mean to be aggressive. Maybe it just sounded like that to us foreigners who understood absolutely nothing of what was going on. Two days later we took the bus the opposite direction: Athens.

“The hotel is a 45 minute drive from Athens”, I remember the add for this package trip said. Well, add another forty-five minutes when using public transportation. And nobody told us where to take the bus back to Anavyssos, or where to find a timetable. Nothing was written on the bus stop and the hotel receptionist didn’t really seem to know either. We made the mistake of just guessing, the first time. After one hour of waiting, we ended up taking the metro as far south as we could – to save money – and take a cab from there. Two days later, another day trip to Athens. We decided to try again, but by searching for the bus station on Google first. We found it, and we found our way home. Perfect.

Athens was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t really know much about the Greek capital except from the Acropolis and other fascinating ancient ruins. I didn’t know I’d discover a lot of beautiful small streets and their artisan shops and local restaurants. Cobblestone-covered streets, colorful flowers decorating balconies and walls of the bright white buildings, locals chatting in the terrace bars, sipping on frappes or small cups of Greek coffee.

The ruins were magnificent. Some were, in fact, absolutely breath-taking to say the least. But yet, silly as I am, my greatest souvenir from this trip, is the memory of the amazing Greek gastronomy.

Anavyssos

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Sounion

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Athens

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