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


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With heavy hearts, it was time to leave the Pelion area and continue Westwards. A few stops along the way towards the city of Volos.

Pelion was one of the most beautiful and most authentically charming places I had the luck to visit.

 

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~ Shai N.

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Posted (edited)

Volos is a modestly sized city that sits at the bay where the peninsula of Pelion connects to the mainland.

We had a busy schedule with a long drive planned, and so we stopped only for a short visit. We managed to visit the farmer's market. It's not large, but the produce is varied and of good quality. Also very fairly priced.

We bought some fruits for snacking and wild mountain oregano to take home.

Among the more unusual findings are pistachio leaves - both pickled and fresh, unripe plums, as well as some jams, honey and pickles.

 

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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Nice. You  piqued my curiosity with the pistachio leaves and wild mountain oregano which I imagine perfumed your car quite nicely. Any comments on use and taste welcome.

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7 hours ago, heidih said:

Nice. You  piqued my curiosity with the pistachio leaves and wild mountain oregano which I imagine perfumed your car quite nicely. Any comments on use and taste welcome.

Pickled pistachio leaves are eaten as a mezze with drinks, and sometimes in salads. It's a local specialty.

Mountain oregano tastes like zaatar, maybe a bit more mentoly-sharp. It's picked when flowering and is very pleasant.

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~ Shai N.

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4 hours ago, shain said:

 

Mountain oregano tastes like zaatar, maybe a bit more mentoly-sharp. It's picked when flowering and is very pleasant.

How are your gardening skills?  You could take a sprig or two of the oregano and clone it - soon you'll have your own bush!

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

How are your gardening skills?  You could take a sprig or two of the oregano and clone it - soon you'll have your own bush!

 

It was fully dried.

I got it mostly to gift some friends. We get all kinds of oregano, thyme, zaatar, marjoram etc. Between us and the neighbors we can get our hands on many herbs :)

So while it's tasty, I don't think it is unique enough that I would have bothered bringing back home just for my own use.

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~ Shai N.

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An amazing lunch at Bokos Ouzeri in Volos.

 

Ouzerias are restaurants that specialize in serving drinks and food that accompanies them (mostly ouzo and tsipouro, in the latter case they are sometimes called tsipouroias).

It's a bit like an izakaya, but with more of a restaurant vibe than a pub.

In more traditional old-school places, the dishes can are simple tapas - e.g. pickles, fava spread, patatosalata, cheese, octopus legs- served with little fanfare. More commonly noways, the places are full fledged restaurants, serving an often expansive menu, with a strong focus on seafood, fried items and less-basic tapas. Here's an image of some tapas style dishes from this restaurant.

 

In Volos and Pelion area, where tsipouro is at least as loved as ouzo, it is common to have it served in miniature bottle (i.e. airplane bottles). Guests are served a bucket of ice, empty glasses and array of bottles. It is common to see the tables filled with empty ones. I'm not sure why is this practiced, as we ordered the more economic single larger bottle of ouzo. A common sight.

 

Drinks first - a medium (single) bottle of ouzo and a Greek pilsner.

Raw clams.

Greek salad.

Shrimp saganaki in bright sauce.

A tower of plump mussels steamed with garlic and dill.

Fried zucchini with tzatziki.

Grilled bread.

Complementary ice cream. Nothing fancy, but perfect the late noon heat.

 

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I can't help but apologize  again for taking whole months to post about a 10 day long vacation 😅 Busy times.

 

 

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~ Shai N.

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31 minutes ago, shain said:

I can't help but apologize  again for taking whole months to post about a 10 day long vacation 😅 Busy times

Oh please don’t apologize. Thank you so much for sharing — it’s been just great. 

Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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@shain, please, what is the story behind that wonderful building perched on the mountaintop, and what I presume is the old kitchen and utensils inside it?

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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30 minutes ago, kayb said:

@shain, please, what is the story behind that wonderful building perched on the mountaintop, and what I presume is the old kitchen and utensils inside it?

 

 

I was going to ask the same thing.  Also, does that cat belong to anyone?  Fascinating and beautiful photos.  

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

@shain, please, what is the story behind that wonderful building perched on the mountaintop, and what I presume is the old kitchen and utensils inside it?

 

 

33 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I was going to ask the same thing.  Also, does that cat belong to anyone?  Fascinating and beautiful photos.  

 

Those are the monasteries of Meteora (lit. elevated, suspended in air). There were 24 monasteries built on the rock of Meteora, of whom 6 are still (sparsely) populated and maintained. 

The old kitchen is a display of the old kitchen in one of the larger monasteries. 

The cat I believe is stray though it knows where to live - amazing vista and plenty of tourists to feed and pet it. It might also go down to the village, it's a reasonable walk.

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~ Shai N.

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Posted (edited)

This was decorating the the hotel, among other similar (if less adorable) pictures.

 

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And ice cream - 3 flavors: 

Mastica & green peppercorn (tastes like sesame, anise, pepper, resin)

Rahat lokum - rose water flavor with an elastic chewy texture.

Another ice cream that supposedly flavored like a traditional dessert, but I can't recall which. Candied orange, walnuts, vanilla, maybe some cinnamon.

 

 

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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Don't know how I completely missed this wonderful thread...but have just spent half a morning reading it instead of working.  Wonderful trip, great text, beautiful photos.  Well done, Shai. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Spankopita and cappuccino freddo (espresso with ice topped with cold frothed milk, slightly sweetened).

The spankopita, as before, is using a more rustic, thicker and crunchy phyllo, very nice.

 

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Note the reflection :) 

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Bought some sweets for the hike to follow. Nothing ended up being too interesting.

 

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Posted (edited)

A hike under the Meteora cliffs. Perhaps not as majestic, but beautiful nonetheless.

You may notice the caves inside the cliff, which to my understanding were used as chapels long before the monasteries were built.

 

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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Dinner was interesting, but only an OK at the taste rubric.

 

Fried feta with a crispy coating, blood orange preserve, toasted seeds. Very nice, perhaps a bit too bitter.

Fried balls of mashed potatoes and walnuts. An interesting combination, if a bit too mushy inside. Topping some sauce flavored with porcini, which tasted good but was oddly textured. A very nice salad with a lovely mustardy orange vinaigrette.

Orzo pasta with mixed mushrooms, peppers, mild grated cheese, truffle oil (the waiter promised it's applied in "good taste" and he was right). A bit too mild tasting.

Grilled pork with okish fries (my old man enjoy interesting dishes, but with likes meat he prefers things basic).

An OK local red wine.

And dessert on the house, a sort of pudding made of cornmeal, fruits, nuts. With a cinnamon crumble and orange syrup. It reminds me of Georgian pelamushi.

 

 

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