Friday, October 24, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Girl gains weight, blames it on entire country

I haven’t updated my famous “Most Boring Blog in the World” in a while, and that’s because I’ve been busy stuffing my face. Ah, remember where I left off, in Meteora, where I ate dolmades and and a stuffed eggplant thing and, of course, a Greek salad? I do, it was grand. The restaurant also had a grand view and a bunch of stray cats begging for food. And one not stray dog.

We need to talk about Greek food. A lot of it, especially the vegetarian options, is healthy in theory, except that it’s probably swimming in olive oil. Now, I fully embrace the latest health craze assuring us that good fats are good for you, but surely you can’t eat that amount of olive oil without some consequences. Take the classic Greek salad for example: cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, maybe a few olives, some oregano, and a chunk of feta. That doesn’t sound too bad, as long as the feta isn’t out of control. But did I mention the cup of olive oil drizzled over it? Hmm.


After Meteora, we went to Delphi, which was believed by ancient Greeks to be the center of the world and the location of their Oracle. It’s now a huge complex of ruins with a museum showcasing artifacts and statues uncovered from the site. It took us a long ass time to get there from Meteora, so we didn’t arrive until probably 10 pm. First we had to walk from our campsite in Kastraki (near Meteora) to the bus station in Kalabaka (only a couple kilometers) and catch a bus to Trikala. From there, we waited about an hour for a bus to Lamia, where we had to wait four hours for the bus to Delphi, which actually wasn’t directly to Delphi and we had to make an unexpected change somewhere that I don’t know the name of. It was long but okay. We spent most of our time in Lamia at Lidl debating whether we should get Nutella or try one of the various other chocolate spreads (we went with Nutella). We also got a 1.5 liter box of wine for 2.30 euro and started drinking it on the bus.

Museum at Delphi
After camping two nights in a row, we were fed up and decided to get a hotel in Delphi, which was only 25 euro a night. Considering how late we got there, that ended up being a good call. Our tent is called “Stargazer” and it’s seriously completely see-through when the rain-fly isn’t on, but the rain-fly is always on, so we get an amazing view of all the bugs that get trapped between the tent and rain-fly. It’s gross. Also, did you know that when you fart in a tent, the smell is magnified 800 times? I think that’s a science thing.

I hope it doesn't sound like I don't like Greek food, because I do, and that's the problem. I love it too much, with the kind of ferocity I normally reserve for pizza and smokey beers. In fact, I'm surprised pizza hasn't filed a missing persons report, considering I haven't eaten it since I arrived in Greece.
Steve's Magnum
Delphi is where I discovered how great it is to eat a plate of fries with tzatziki. I have no idea if this is a normal thing or not but it's amazing, and I like to pretend it's a complete meal. Athens is really where I really started the feeding frenzy, though. Our first full day there we went to a vegetarian restaurant called Avocado, where I crammed a mushroom, potato, and rosemary panini into my face. Steve was so jealous of it that we went back the next day so he could get it. I got an eggplant panini that was just as good. Also on our first day we went to the Magic Pleasure Store, which is exactly what it sounds like...a place to make your own custom Magnum ice cream bar. I got vanilla ice cream dipped in milk chocolate and topped with speculoos, chocolate covered cereal balls, and peanuts. Steve got salted caramel, hazelnuts, and biscuit bits, and I think it was superior to mine.
Everyone we talked to on our way to Athens said it was a terrible city where you should spend as little time as possible. We loved it, though. There's so much to do and so much good food to eat, how could you not?! We went on a walking tour, went to the Acropolis and various other archaeological sites included on the ticket, and went to the Acropolis museum. We also went to see the movie Gone Girl at my insistence, since I read the book last year and enjoyed it. Steve was skeptical but he ended up loving it.

After Athens, we had the opportunity to go the island of Kea, about a one hour ferry ride from the port of Lavrio. My uncle's sister Margaret has a vacation home in the main town where she offered to let us stay, so that's where we've been for the last few days. We've been spending a few hours a day hiking and the rest of the time eating at the local tavernas, drinking wine and/or ouzo, playing cards, writing, and watching movies. Steve actually hates ouzo (an anise flavored liquor) and prefers raki; I liked raki in Albania but now I don't know what I saw in it.

I think we are finally leaving Kea tomorrow and making our way to Istanbul...!

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