Sunday, 3 December 2017
A Day Away - photo parade
Last year's Christmas outing was to the Anglican christmas bazaar in Athens. Too far, we decided this year. Also if you're not there when the doors open and the foreign hordes rush in you'll miss out on the best second hand books, clothes and you won't find a seat to drink your tea and eat your scone
The smiling girls on the refreshment stall. Spring rolls, mince pies, hotdogs, Irish coffee or a glass of wine. All homemade by the ex-pats of Athens
Beans, split peas. lentils and chickpeas, sold by the kilo
This year our outing was to the big outdoor market, turning left off the ferry boat, round the coast, up past the oil press and down into the fertile flat lands to Ermioni, about an hour away. The market gardens and olive groves were full of migrant workers, mainly from India and Pakistan. There are no villages along the way, just little clusters of two or three houses. All the same, with so many pickers and gardeners out in the fields it was not easy to find a secluded spot for a quick pee out of the wind and out of sight.
Bottles of last years wine. 2 euros for 1 1/2 litres of the finest/cheapest. Red, white or rose sold also in a 1 litre or a 5 litre plastic bottle
Clothes for everyone
And every purse. This pile was 3 euros a garment, 5 euros for a jacket. Dive in and dig around
Honey. Sold by the half kilo. The cheapest is simply labeled 'flowers' (7 euros for a half kilo), the most expensive labeled 'thyme' or 'pine' flavour (10 or 12 euros a half kilo). We are allowed to taste each one with a sample of honey on a toothpick, and always buy the 'thyme' flavoured honey. The tastes differ according to where the hives are situated, in a pine forest or on a hillside covered in thyme.
Jars of pickled olives, capers, caper flowers, vine leaves and a herb called 'kritamo'. We were going to buy a jar of caper leaves. They push a greek salad into the gourmet sphere. However at 7 euros a jar it was just too expensive
Poinsettias. The Greek Christmas flower
Packing the boot. And this was only the first stop
On to the b-i-g supermarket. Acrobatics help pass the time when you're young and bored
The most expensive of the (artifical) Christmas trees.
You must be joking. It wasn't particularly tall, or green. It didn't have built in snow flakes. I wonder if anyone will buy it.
Greek lettuce salad. Lettuce, and spring onion, which we were burping for hours afterwards. I added the oil and lemon juice. Far too much oil but fortunately most of it remained on the bottom of the plate.
On to Porto Heli at the seaside for something to eat. Even here K found someone that recognised him and come up to chat. The guy on the meat counter in the supermarket was another to recognise and greet him. K was one of the upper echelon of officers at the Naval Training School for many years. So many sailors have passed through there and K seems to have known them all and have made a good impression as well. Not all officers were so popular.
Good for us, we have insiders wherever we go. This taverna on the sea was one of only two or three still open for the winter. We chose the taverna because there were already three tables full of happy eaters. All of us learnt a long time ago that when in an unknown area you go to eat where the tables are full. If an eating place is empty there is a reason for it.
Thick greek yoghurt, local honey and apple slices to finish the meal. On the house, of course.
Can't remember the name of the taverna but here it is if you're ever in the area. Enclosed in plastic 'curtains' to keep out the chill. Nice clean loos. Fresh kalamari, big portions of keftethes (meatballs and chips) for hungry children. Smiling service. Very reasonable prices.