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A short travel blog of Greece: Pelion, Meteora, and Athens


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1 hour ago, shain said:

 

😕 You can get great vegetables, if you care enough to spend a bit more time and money.

Still, I always envy the farmer markets culture of American cities, which seem to include a larger variety of specialty produce and of heirloom varieties.

 

We do, but there is a price factor and I respect that. I live in a major agricultural state but big grocery stores still bring in foreign produce from Mexico, Ecuador and the like - partly to satisfy customers who do NOT understand seasonality.

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34 minutes ago, heidih said:

We do, but there is a price factor and I respect that. I live in a major agricultural state but big grocery stores still bring in foreign produce from Mexico, Ecuador and the like - partly to satisfy customers who do NOT understand seasonality.

 

Here's it's a bit of the opposite - there are restrictive limitations on imports. But people still don't understand seasonality, so people still buy local but overpriced and bad tasting produce. And what doesn't grow well is also mediocre and expensive (e.g. pineapples, cherries, most berries). And sometimes one wants an avocado at summer :P

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~ Shai N.

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A day trip destined at Agia Kyriaki at the far Southern end of the Pelion peninsula. We drove along the South-Western shore [map]. 

 

Our first stop was a small sea side town, Kato Gatzea.  A narrow road separates the front row of houses from the shore. Most houses are well maintained, with flower gardens and vines. Some houses are abandoned and the vegetation overgrown. Among them are ample coffee shops and a couple of taverns, many closed due to the combination of covid and of it not yet being high season.

 

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Still, groups of older locals are found sitting over cold coffee - as seems to be true everywhere at any time.

 

Who are we to deviate?

 

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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41 minutes ago, shain said:

 

A day trip destined at Agia Kyriaki at the far Southern end of the Pelion peninsula. We drove along the South-Western shore [map]. 

 

Our first stop was a small sea side town, Kato Gatzea.  A narrow road separates the front row of houses from the shore. Most houses are well maintained, with flower gardens and vines. Some houses are abandoned and the vegetation overgrown. Among them are ample coffee shops and a couple of taverns, many closed due to the combination of covid and of it not yet being high season.

 

PXL_20210527_073424173.thumb.jpg.c53410f6fc6e60ed18696351063439af.jpgPXL_20210527_085326713.thumb.jpg.7e3163c406361597db1197b27ffd2384.jpgPXL_20210527_085956195.thumb.jpg.7191e5d9d74559af42b3d7947329a7db.jpgPXL_20210527_091356655.thumb.jpg.b554bd57599a58f1ce382be96c419714.jpgPXL_20210527_090104054.thumb.jpg.b3a9617e9746daec54303d431af2272a.jpg

 

 

Still, groups of older locals are found sitting over cold coffee - as seems to be true everywhere at any time.

 

Who are we to deviate?

 

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I can't open the links.

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18 minutes ago, heidih said:

me either. But the ones above of the restaurants with that light - swoon worthy

 

46 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I can't open the links.

 

Thanks for letting me know. I re uploaded the images, they should show up now.

 

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~ Shai N.

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A stop at famous town of Kala Nera - a touristic, yet charming sea side town, with long and quiet beaches, as well as lots of taverns, cafes and memorabilia stores.

The Greek seem to have an eye for style and a talent at keeping things looking charming, authentic and quaint. 

 

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~ Shai N.

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1 minute ago, heidih said:

That place I've heard of. It almost looks fake or staged in its coastline and clear water. Did you guys dip in?

 

We did not get in, it was still a bit too cold for swimming. We are lucky to have very nice beaches close to home, so we weren't bothered by that.

 

It really is a beautiful "classic" swimming beach. I felt that it's a bit less interesting/unique compared to the other beaches we visited with their dramatic rock formation or beautiful pebbly shores. However, it felt like it be a perfect summer spot to hang out with some friends or family, swim and enjoy some ice cream or cold beer :) I'm sure that soon enough it will be full of people doing just that.

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~ Shai N.

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Driving further into the more rural South, with beautiful view of the sea, endless olive groves, and small sea side towns.

 

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We made a stop as we came across a herd of goats. As we opened the car door, we were hit by an intense sharp scent of minty oregano. Along with the constant ringing of bells hanging from the goat's collars this quite a hit on all senses.

Here are two video links so that you can experience the sound:

 

https://streamable.com/zvaz2y , https://streamable.com/e/8b1kld?loop=0 

 

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Looking around, it's no wonder that oregano fills the air, as it's grown in abundance as far as you can see.

 

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~ Shai N.

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Wow those are some lush herbs. Thanks for the audible links. Reminds me of salt marsh lamb - the animal tasting nicely of its grazing feed. Bet those goats as meat or their milk if milk goats are respected.

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I’m late to the party, but enjoying it nonetheless.  The food looks fabulous as does the scenery.
We were supposed to go to Greece in May 2020. We all know why that didn’t happen.

Good to see some are able to travel again.

 

Thanks 🙏 @shain

 

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As we were nearing our destination at the South end of the peninsula, we headed for lunch in Kottes, defined in google as a "fishing hamlet".

We were driving along a cliff up from the shore. As before, is scattered with olives and low vegetation. The landmass form a bay and the sea is quiet with shallow beaches. [map]

Our GPS announced that we arrived, but we were located on top of the cliff with no restaurant or building to be seen. We had to backtrack a little in order to get back to the narrow road down the cliff, which took as to Kottes.

But apparently getting to the recommended restaurant required for us to traverse further by foot (or boat, if we had one). The path itself was quite beautiful, with a couple of taverns, boats and olive trees.

 

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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As described above, we arrived to have lunch at Ψαροταβέρνα Ο Άγγελος.

 

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The waiter / owners was a very nice young guy, his parents were sitting at the restaurant, at which we were the only guests, and apparently the mom is the cook.
 

For starters, he recommended an array of salads all made by his mother, we couldn't pass :) 

Carrot salad with mayo and garlic, and eggplant with mayo. Both simple and quite tasty, if a bit heavy in mayo (I'm not usually a fan of mayo heavy spreads).

The star was a taramasalata - which unlike the one we had on our first day, was brimming with sea flavor, a bit nutty and had a good balance of garlic, lemon and oil. The only issue is that it was quite intense for me, since I don't usually eat fish (well, I don't eat fish meat at all, but can make an exception for fish sauce, and rarely fish eggs).

Served with grilled bread and cold beer.

 

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Grilled crayfish - never had one before, very tasty, but a bit challenging to eat 😅

 

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Fried calamari, another animal I don't usually eat. It was also very good and tasteful, the edges got quite crisp, but other than that I didn't really see the point of deep frying, and I think it would have been better grilled.

One of the calamari had eggs, which is also something I never had before, and they were honestly quite great.

Also, the tomato was very good for it being a garnish.

 

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Dessert on the house, yogurt and spoon sweets (can't  remember the fruit, might have been quince).

 

 

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~ Shai N.

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The top 3 of your 2 recent posts"

- the thistle with the bee. I have an odd affection for thistles beyond artichokes and cardoons

- the octopus legs hung as on a clothesline

-eggs in calamari!  I've cleaned a lot of squid and that has never been present

 

Edited by heidih (log)
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10 minutes ago, shain said:

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@shain, I appreciate you posting about your Greece trip. Do you know what's going on with these squid / octopus legs? Looks like they're being dried. Did you get served any of it? Thank you!

 

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5 minutes ago, heidih said:

The top 3 of your 2 recent posts"

- the thistle with the bee. I have an odd affection for thistles beyond artichokes

- the octopus legs hung as on a clothesline

-eggs in calamari!  I've cleaned a lot of squid and that has never been present

 

 

Thanks! :)

 

So here's a bonus photo of the octopus that also shows the small garden they had there.

It was such a charming hidden gem of a location.

 

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One crayfish also had eggs, but hey didn't taste like much. No photo of the squid eggs. They were clumped together and a quite yolk-like flavor, along with some seafood flavors. 

 

PXL_20210527_134926840.thumb.jpg.7bdc8457632fdfeb055b1a2e2ca4076c.jpg

 

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~ Shai N.

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2 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

 

@shain, I appreciate you posting about your Greece trip. Do you know what's going on with these squid / octopus legs? Looks like they're being dried. Did you get served any of it? Thank you!

 

 

I'm not 100% sure by I believe that it is partially dried in order to be later grilled or cooked, rather than as a method of preservation.

 

We did not have octopus, and for me it's one animal I cannot comfortably eat, my line passes somewhere between squid and fish -

I don't eat fish but am OK with fish sauce and occasionally fish eggs. I don't mind things cooked with fish.

Clams etc. I really don't have any discomfort with. Snails, shrimps etc. I'm mostly OK with.

But octopuses just seem too intelligent for me.

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~ Shai N.

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Octopus - yes dried prior to grilling  https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/06/21/193904507/mastering-a-sea-monster-from-greece-a-lesson-in-grilling-octopus

 

The eggs in the prawns got cooked so - yes - they would just have a slightly marine egg taste. I know female crabs with hopefully eggs are pricier than males for instance, but it does not do it for me. Of course there is a whole culture around "she crab soup" in the American South. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She-crab_soup

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