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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Winter Trip to Greece: Top Foodie Tips from Athens.

Greece in foodie terms is one big travel dream come true! If you’ve ever sighed to the creaminess of real Greek yoghurt, tasted juicy Kalamata olives or bit into tangy Feta cheese, you will never want to opt for the industrially manufactured counterparts again. Incredible just how good the food tastes out here, at the very source of these well-known products. Even, or especially now during winter, when the sun continues to shine on your full belly with a balmy 20°C …

Greece. Athens. Why now, is the point of my story here today.

Greece is best experienced smiling: Out exploring those “Culinary Backstreets” of Athens with my foodie guide Carolina Doriti!

 

Greece during winter? Sure. The 300 days of sunshine a year continue straight on, with fewer tourists to be seen at this time of year.

In line with my motto to eat my way through a new city, I have taken advice from my travel friend Becki Enright, of “Borders of Adventures”, who has lived in Athens for over a year. She has hooked me up with “Culinary Backstreets“, who offer a tasty food tour through downtown Athens, including many different tasting stops in small grocery stores, market places, cafés and takeaways. Carolina Doriti, my foodie travel guide for the day, not only speaks fluent English, but also the language of the heart, of friendship, and food, quite naturally: She is both a chef and a journalist by trade, runs some TV shows on the subject, writes for several foodie guides around town – and has rejected an offer to work at at restaurant in the USA. “The money was really good”, she explains, only to add: “But I just love my country, the food, the sun and the lifestyle.” So I came back, despite the difficult situation in Greece, she seems to add. And continues to speak with self-confidence: “I work very hard, yes. You have to ambitious, and not give up. I truly believe that if we do what we love, we never fail!”

I love talking and sharing with Carolina all throughout our foodie morning. Check out more information about Athens’ food tours with Culinary Backstreets here. First of all, though, let’s take this foodie walk around town exactly as tasty and juicy as it is (only one word of warning: Do not look at the following pictures hungry!).

Morgenstund hat Gold (bzw. griechisches Joghurt) im Mund: Im Rahmen meiner Food Tour lerne ich, dass echtes griechisches Joghurt in Scheiben angehoben werden kann - ein Qualitätsmerkmal.

The only way to tell (and serve) “big fat Greek yoghurt”, is by being able to pull it from its layers, and enjoy it served with a lot of wonderful Greek honey and nuts. Original Greek yoghurt is made from sheep milk, by the way. Delightful!

 

Weiter geht's ...

And the foodie exploration continues …

 

... mit dem beliebtesten Snack in ganz Athen, einer Art griechischem Kebab ...

… with perhaps Athens’ most popular street food snack, a type of Greek Kebab …

 

... nahe dem Omonia-Platz ...

… near Omonia Square …

 

... im Herzen von Athen ...

… in the heart of Athens …

 

... ebenso berühmt für diese süßen "Donuts", großzügig mit Honig bestrichen serviert werden ...

… just as famous for this type of “sweet donuts” that come with a generous serving of Greek honey, again …

 

... hinein in die Markthallen der Stadt ...

… and from there, on into the market halls of town …

 

... welche ganz klassisch mit dem Fischmarkt beginnen ...

… starting with Athens’ fish market …

 

... und uns zur nächsten Verkostung auf selbigem einladen: Den Geschmack dieser geräucherten Forelle werde ich so schnell nicht vergessen ..!

… where the taste of this fresh fish at our next stop still lingers on my palate ..!

 

Ihr seht schon, bei solch einer Food Tour ist es besser, das Frühstück wegzulassen - auch und gerade weil der frisch gebrühte, griechische Kaffee im Rahmen der Tour einfach umwerfen ist ...

Time for a little break, then – time for a true Greek coffee. As you can tell, it’s a good idea to skip breakfast the morning of any kind of foodie exploration in Athens (or Greece) …

 

... herrlich einfach, das viele Sonnenlicht in der Stadt, auch und gerade im Winter ...

… and isn’t it wonderful to walk those streets full of sunshine, even or especially now during winter …

 

... noch mehr von den Oliven, bitte!

… I’ll have some more of these olives for tasting, please!

 

Und erst die (frischen) Tomaten: 60 Cent für ein Kilogramm!

And look at the fresh tomatoes: Only 69 cent for a kilo!

 

Im Spezialitätenrestaurant Sarri ...

At the local delicatessen and restaurant Sarri …

 

... bekommen wir schließlich einen kleinen Mittags ...

… we are served a super tasty lunchtime snack …

 

... und Nachtisch serviert: Und wieder ist er da, der köstlich-cremige griechische Joghurt! Serviert mit süß eingelegten Karottenstückchen übrigens ...

… followed by this wonderful dessert, creamy Greek yoghurt (again) topped with pickled pieces of (sweet) carrots …

 

... ein Gedicht, findet auch diese Dame hier ...

… Greek food, a poem to the senses. And so the story continues – with a one of a kind honey tasting, this time …

 

... welche uns über und über mit griechischem Honig "eindeckt" und verwöhnt ...

… remarkable, the types of honey produced in Greece. My honey horizon, and idea of what is possible in terms of taste variety, and flavours, is clearly shifting …

 

... so gut schmeckt beispielsweise dieser Original-Thymian-Honig hier, dass ich ihn glatt mitnehme - als Geschenk für Familie und Freunde zuhause.

… finally, I opt for taking this extremely flavoursome Thyme honey home with me – as a perfect gift for family and friends.

 

Der Rundgang durch die Hinterstraßen Athens mit "Culinary Backstreets" - ein echter Gewinn auf allen Seiten ...

Really love my morning walk through the “Culinary Backstreets” of Athens …

 

... vielen Dank für die schöne Tour, liebe Carolina!

… and thanks for a wonderful tour, dear Carolina! I now feel having gained at least three kilos with you, but also super happy for finally being able to hand you my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook” over the start of a new foodie friendship! See you next time in Athens!

 

And in case you haven’t seen enough of Greece’ wonderful food yet, there (really) is more: Apolis Café & Lounge, including picture perfect views over Athens.

If you long for a walk losing some of those calories again, you may walk up the hill – I didn’t. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I got “seriously abducted”. By the most delightful, friendly & funny Greek grandmas any one traveller could wish for to meet on her trip (the story about who I am going to tell you in my next blog post!).

In any case, the view from the top of Apolis Café in the west of Athens right across town and out to the Aegean sea is clearly worth it. A huge city, really: Close to five million people live here today, with only two million some 20 years ago. Most of those migrants came for the prospect of better employment options, and while this worked out for most people in the past, it no longer holds true today. The result – a state forced down on its knees – is something we have come to help with, what with the development project for sustainable tourism in Greece I have been assigned to work on with my international team here in Athens. More about this soon!

Blick über Athen ...

A view over Athens in the waning winter sunlight …

 

... die gute Küche der Stadt ...

… followed by another take on its beautiful food, “fava” in this case, a type of Greek hummus …

 

... insbesondere Meeresfrüchte ...

… orzo seafood dish …

 

... und Fisch ...

… and grilled sea bream with typical green veggies …

 

... sowie die Gastfreundschaft der Griechen lassen die Herzen höher schlagen: Vielen Dank, liebe Maria, für diesen schönen Ausflug in Athen!

… topped by the incredibly warm-hearted, Greek hospitality, make Athens a city destination one could aim for at any time.

 

My entire travel picture gallery from Athens (careful, you will catch even more of the travel bug, and appetite, here):

<a href="https://flic.kr/s/aHskS24PML" target="_blank">Click to View</a>

 

Disclaimer: I have been invited by Culinary Backstreets of Athens on this foodie trip through town. All opinions are my own.

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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