Land of milk and honey

We had breakfast on the rooftop of our hotel, with a view of the acropolis and ruins of the Temple of Zeus. The planter boxes that lined the outdoor terrace were filled with rosemary, oregano, geranium, among other fragrant herbs. A small olive tree grew to my right, with black olives hanging ripe on it. It’s incredible how lush the land is and consequently extremely fertile, explains a lot of the richness of the cuisine and the ancient tradition of food production,  preparation, preservation.  

We took a bus to the Cape of Sounion today, about 75 km SE of Greece. We wound along the Aegean Sea passing gorgeous homes, fuchsia bougenvilia, white and purple oleander, olive trees, caper trees, and more oregano than meets the eye. There’s something about the Mediterranean – the sun glistens off the water differently here, it seems shinier than elsewhere, maybe from all the blood spilled in ancient battles or all the passionate love stories that were made here or maybe there’s just something magical about the Mediterranean. There definitely is. We stopped on the side of the road for a view of the temple of Poseidon (Greek God of the Sea), and continued on our way to the topf of the hill where the Temple is located.  The Temple was built by the Greeks in the 5th Century BC. Apparently the temple was destroyed by the Persians in the 4th Century and rebuilt by the Greeks in the 5th.  It is a 4-sided building, with the traditional Greek columns, 42 originally of which 15 stand today. 
 
Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion, Greece

View from the top of Cape Sounion

Remains of the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion, Greece

Beautiful – I don’t know what tree this is but it wasn’t an olive tree

Partridge!

These flowers were growing up between rocks in seemingly unlivable conditions

Mama and me at the Temple of Poseidon

Enjoying an afternoon freddo cappuccino – a very commmon Greek drink, espresso over ice with really thick foamed milk on top.

The colors at sunset here are incredible. A golden sun set in a clear sky that’s changing colors by he minute, pinks and oranges, soft purples and blues. The closer the sun gets to the horizon, the more yellow it appears and the more pink the sky becomes. Now more purple skies – no wonder people stop what they’re doing at sunset and allow themselves to be mesmorized by the beauty of it.


excuse the quality of the photo, it was taken from the bus but this is the sunset over the Aegean Sea

In the evening, we wound through the old allies of the Plaka to a Tavern recommended to us by the concierge.  It was a bit off the beaten path, nestled in a hill right next to an Orthodox Church. We sat at the top of the hill and let the waiter (who I named Georgous because that seems to be every other man’s name here) choose our meal for us.  We started with a Greek salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, capers, olives and feta cheese, that Georgous dressed for us with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt.  Georgous was a very animated man, “you must eat Greek salad with a lot of olive oil otherwise it’s not Greek salad,” he proclaimed as he threw his hands up in the air. For the next course, mama and papa b had grouper with spinach and monkfish with mushrooms, respectively.  I had lamb cooked in foil with potatoes and cheese – another waiter removed the contents of the foil onto my plate at the side of the table. The food was delicious, tender and flavourful.  One of the times Georgous came to check on us he insisted I try a caper with a chunk of potato and a piece of meat, which I did.  I ate it and smiled and he said “you see, The Greeks, we know how enjoy the food!”  We had this with a jug of house red wine that was spectacular and believe it or not, we did not have dessert!  

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