Friday, June 30, 2006
This must be one of the nicest places to kill a few hours during lunchtime in Athens. The café is called 'Akropolis' (surprise, surprise:), and it's in the old district of Plaka. I had been in that café on my first night in Athens with my friend Spyros for some questionable Greek beer (sorry!) and some mezedes ('varieties', including dolmades, tzatziki, fried calamari, meatballs, filo cheese triangles, saganaki, tomatoes, mini sausages, and limp fries).
On Monday, my first full day in Greece, I had couple of hours free time between checking out of my hotel and catching the train to Volos. And however much I would have wanted to go and visit Akropolis again (I had already been there in 2002 and 2003), the high temperature (ca 35C), intensely bright sun and heavy rucksack meant that I decided against it. Instead, I found my way back to the same café - you take the metro to Monastiraki, then walk for 5 minutes along streets packed with tiny shops towards Plaka - and enjoyed the view of Akropolis from the comfort of my table. The café was pretty much deserted at noon, as it was too late for breakfast, yet too early for lunch. I sat in the corner table, shaded by a palm tree, enjoying the mildly cooling breeze and simply read and solved sudokus for just over two hours. Bliss, and perfect way to gently get used to the heat!
The service was very friendly, promt and attentive, involving questions about my country of origin and purpose and length of the trip. When I told that I'm from Estonia, but live in Edinburgh, the proprietor, beamingly, told me he had heard good things about Tallinn, and that he had once spent a month in Glasgow. Another waiter then went on giving me an update about the Ukraine's performance at the World Cup, which left me somewhat puzzled:)
I also had my first Greek village salad - horiatiki - in this establishment. It was flavoursome and tasty, and truly the perfect & refreshing lunch in that heat. I enjoyed the ripe flavour of tomatoes, and soaked up every last drop of tangy olive oil on the plate with the bread that was provided as part of the cover. Note that the feta cheese is laid as a block on top of the salad, and not crumbled or cubed - this was the case with every Greek salad I had during my trip.
Cover € 1.00, Frappe €3.00, Ice tea € 3.00, 'varieties' € 15.00 for 2 persons, horiatiki € 6.00