Have you been dreaming about going on your own Greek Odyssey? I finally completed my first, but surely not last trip to Greece. I started my adventure landing in Athens and staying at the Electra Metropolis Hotel which is centrally located, topped with a pool, a restaurant, a bar and insane views of the Acropolis in the Plaka hood right by Syntagma Square. In this piece I’ll cover where I ate and provide some pics of the Parthenon along with Hadrians Gate and the Temple of Jupiter built by the invading Romans.
After dropping off my luggage I walked around the Plaka neighborhood and randomly choose Ta Giouvetsakia for lunch. I started with a classic Greek Salad and had the Veal with Eggplants in a clay pot for my main. The salad was just ok, due to so-so Feta. The Traditional Lamb and Eggplant was very good. Of note, location wise its a great spot for people watching.
After bouncing around the Plaka totally jet-lagged I head toward Syntagma Square and walked along and within the beautiful National Garden Park to Hadrian’s Arch and took pics of it and the Temple of Jupiter, built by the Roman’s, the largest structure in the world at its time. I headed back to my hotel and stopped in at the Ergon House Market for a very good Volkan White Beer from Santorini. Then headed up to my hotels sweet Rooftop Pool.
For dinner that night I went diagonally across the street to Barbadimos. They start you with an on the House Tomato salad and I ordered the Spicy Feta. For my entree their Kebab with youhurt and hot sauce…probably could have done w/o the sauce but it was awesome, just soooo filling. To drink a glass of a dry Greek Rose wine. Though stuffed I went to right nearby Le Greche Gelato for scoops of amazing Mascarpone Fig and Ricotta Bergamot Aperol.
I started Saturday morning with the hotels rooftop restaurant off the charts buffet. I wish I made a later ferry on Sunday just to eat here again. Plus the views of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis were spellbinding. Fueled up I got picked up for my tour of the Acropolis and namesake Museum with CHAT Tours. Our tour guide Joy was a wealth of knowledge and I def recommend their tours. The Parthenon and surrounding structures are utterly amazing and a must see. The museum was interesting but just Ok.
The tour wrapped up around 2pm, hungry I headed back to Ergon House Market for lunch. Enjoyed some very good Hot peppers stuffed with cheese to start and the whole Sea Bream with greens and cherry tomatoes for my main. Drank a tasty Sour Cherry Juice with it. Love the space, the market, the food and the crowd. Service was less than spectacular, though it may have been this one particular waiter. Regardless I highly recommend a meal here and possibly some food shopping.
I then wandered around the Plaka some more and upon recommendation from the hotel staff got some insane mini baklava, one with pistachios, one with cream with an Americano at Xolzn Bakery. Then back up to the Electra Metropolis Rooftop pool where I hung out with some rather entertaining Israeli’s. As the sun started to set it was clearly Negroni time.
I had mine with a splash of Bergamot bitters and a dried orange wheel. The mixologists here are first class. While enjoying the sunset views of The Acropolis I flirted with the restaurants Hostess Eleni who looks like the Love Child of a Barbie Doll and a Disney Princess that led to an immaculate conception.
For dinner I went to Aohnaikon, a beautiful space with some great artwork. I started with the lightly fried feta cheese with honey, sesame, filo sheets and balsamic vinegar which I text to my buds wife since she had raved about it from her recent trip to Greece. For my entree the Grilled Gilt Headed Bream with veggies and a glass of White Wine.
Went back to Le Greche for Pistachio and Amarena (Cherry) gelato this time. Some of best ever I’ve ever had.
On Sunday, up at 5:30 to catch the World Champion Jet fast ferry from Piraeus Port to Naxos. A few things to point out food wise, the food here is awesome and comes in surprisingly large portions compared to most of Europe. The wine and beer are really good as well. Service in Greece varies, but not their strong point. Though they are generally very friendly and accommodating.
Of note, I usually book everything myself, however for this trip I did go through a locally based Travel Agency Fantasy Travel and my agent Makis really came through for me. I was very happy with all three hotels I stayed in and along with the Ferries and Flight (within Greece) that he set up for me, transfers were arranged every step of the way. They even literally walked me onto the Ferry to Naxos. So shameless plug, if your looking for in the know pro’s to help with the planning, coordination and bookings for a seamless adventure in Greece check them out. Upcoming pieces will cover the rest of my Cycladian Odyssey in Naxos and Mykonos.