Blogs from Pláka, Athens, Attica, Greece, Europe

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Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka February 4th 2024

Most of you who follow my travels and emails know that I try to connect when I travel. This means making friends, whether in the host country or with other travelers. It is readily apparent to me, that travel guru Rick Steves has copied my approach to travel!!! He shared this in Explore: When Rick Steves talks about challenging yourself by learning about the world when you travel, it relates to his phrase "travel as a political act." This is also the title of one of his books. This idea could mean visiting a country which is slightly out of your comfort zone. Then the challenge becomes taking your broadened perspectives home with you. "Use what you've learned to help bring about positive change," Steves told BookTrib. The overarching theme that drives the idea of "travel ... read more
Friends on the Trans Siberian Railway
Cape Town buddy
Fun group on Halong Bay

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka January 25th 2024

Mastika (also spelled as mastiha) is one of the most unique Greek liqueurs. It is made from mastic tree resin from the island of Chios, the only place where the trees grow. Chios Mastiha has European PDO status. Mastika has a slight piney flavor, making it an intriguing cocktail ingredient. It must be at least 15% ABV. My Greek brothers make their own, and offer it at the end of dinner (usually not lunch). Mastika can also be purchased at most grocery and liquor stores in Greece. In fact, on one of my first trips to Athens, I was having dinner, and enjoying a conversation with some Americans at the next table. After we were served the mastika, they decided to buy some at the store around the corner. They brought back TWO, one for them ... read more
Greek booze
My mastika

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka December 18th 2023

Growing up in a mostly Swedish community, we were always told the Swedes drank a ton of coffee. This map proves it. As you can see, there are very few countries in the "brown" coffee area. Yet, when I travel throughout Europe, coffee places are ubiquitous. Asia still prefers tea over coffee. But around the world, coffee places have become a gathering place, a free Wi-Fi connection, an office away from home, and much more. In the second map, I find it so interesting that Europeans eat later as you move south. I try to stay on the same schedule, no matter where I am. That means the cocktail hour is 5pm, and dinner is around 6pm. I was not happy about our late meals in Spain. And the nightclubs do not open until midnight! I ... read more
Euro dinner

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka November 22nd 2023

A writer on Insider mentioned that of her 40 trips, 20 have been solo. That got me thinking about how many countries I have visited solo. This includes many that I have done with others. Or multiple times. Also, please note that some travelers do not consider traveling solo and traveling alone to be the same. Solo: (Belgrade) Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece (4 times), Bucharest, Romania, Istanbul (twice), Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Lyon, Champagne, Berlin, Lisboa, Porto, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Russia, Japan, Porto, Portugal, Finland, Warsaw, Poland (3 times), Iceland, Thailand, Mexico City, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada, Slovakia. Looks like 25. I do not regard it as a big deal. Most were intentional, a few were not. But rarely do I feel alone. In Athens, I was adopted by my Greek brothers, Stavros, Giorgos, and Vasili. ... read more
Times Square with Kenbob
My Greek brothers and sisters

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka October 19th 2023

A few days ago, I mentioned my collection of travel magnets. Here is even more information to reinforce this idea: From HuffPost: Love it or hate it, souvenir shopping is a big part of many travelers’ itineraries. It’s natural to want to bring home a special memento from your vacation to commemorate the experience and perhaps inject a piece of that travel magic into your day-to-day life. But whether you’re buying for yourself or searching for a gift for loved ones back home, the vast souvenir offerings at tourist shops can feel overwhelming and inauthentic. To avoid filling your house with random knickknacks devoid of meaning, consider taking a more mindful approach and selecting items that will be used or otherwise appreciated. To inspire your choices, HuffPost asked people who work in the travel industry to ... read more
Masters Polo shirt
Melissinos sandals

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka October 16th 2023

“Beyond finding beautiful crafts at local markets, one of my favorite travel souvenirs is a magnet. It fits perfectly in your personal item, every destination has one, it’s affordable and each time you open your refrigerator to grab a snack, you’re reminded of all of the incredible places you’ve been. The fridge is the Louvre of the home, after all.” ― Melissa DaSilva, president of url=https://go.skimresources.com/?id=38395X987171&xs=1&xcust=6364265ae4b0eb51ab0e12bc&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.trafalgar.com%2Fen-usTrafalgar, North America One of the most exciting and appealing tourist souvenirs is a bagpipe-shaped fridge magnet that a user bought at a Scottish airport. Despite its apparent touristy nature, this charming keepsake has a special plac... read more
Some of my magnets
Mrs. DP's mugs

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka September 11th 2023

It’s an early start as we make our way back to Athens where we’ll be staying overnight before beginning the long haul back towards Oz. As far as we can tell there are hardly any flat pieces of land anywhere on Kalymnos. We’re flying to Athens which has got us a bit curious about where they might have managed to build the island’s airport. But no problem there it seems, they’ve just cut the side out of the top of one of the hills. We’re not used to getting stunning views from airports, but that’s exactly what we’ve got here. We must be up on one of the highest points on the island and we’ve got an excellent panorama down over the port and across towards the southern coast. The sunrise is spectacular. Now we’ve just ... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka August 29th 2023

You gotta eat but this is ridiculous (almost!). It’s not long after breakfast so the legacy of a few pastries, some fruit, a good measure of yogurt and honey, a liberal supply of juice and of course some coffee have not worn off. The 3 minute walk did not exactly compensate either. But we were off on the Athens Food Tour. After some chicken and cheese, spinach and cheese, ham and cheese and of course some cheese and cheese pastries followed by some donuts with cinnamon and honey (they are seriously good but I could only eat 2 of the 3 we were offered), some Greek coffee, then helpings of beef meat balls, zucchini and carrot balls, tzatziki, stuffed capsicum, fried cheese, chicken cooked in garlic and lemon, some pork cooked in garlic and tomato, some ... read more
Not quick but skilled.
Some of the phyllo offerings.
Golden donuts with honey and cinnamon. Very good.

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka August 28th 2023

Greet from Greece. In fact from the base of the Acropolis, near the Plaza, between the 2 main squares and near the old Roman Agora. The location is ideal for any activity in central Athens although our hotel which was terrific last year is showing signs of its age. Admittedly our room is smaller and lacks the balcony I had last year so it’s decreased in size but the prices has inversely risen. We paid more for a small bottle of sparkling water than I did for a souvlaki on the streets! And the souvlaki was good. The same bottle of water is less than one fifth the price at the supermarket 3 doors away! But… The view from the rooftop garden here is probably worth the inflated drink prices. There’s not a bad view of ... read more
Special view but in the opposite direction.
Athens Market.
Athens Market.

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka August 28th 2023

Looks good, is good. No it is not the punch line from some rude joke, well really it is but I’m not using it in that manner. The Acropolis and Parthenon look good and are good from any and all perspectives. We, and a few hundred of our friends, ventured up to the Acropolis and Parthenon and happily took photos of this unique historical and cultural monument. We went at a time with supposedly few others yet it was still a busy place. Using the Western Gate helps as the throng of people use the main, more easily accessed gate. It is a great place to visit, you don’t spend ages there but it is interesting at every turn. There’s a beauty is the symmetry and geometry of the buildings. I read about the golden ratios ... read more
Some columns and me.
A stoa. I didn’t know either!
I thought it looked lonely.




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