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 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!).
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!
My entire travel picture gallery from Athens (careful, you will catch even more of the travel bug, and appetite, here):
Disclaimer: I have been invited by Culinary Backstreets of Athens on this foodie trip through town. All opinions are my own.