Sunday, January 10, 2016

Athens Day 2 - Monastiraki / Plaka / Piraeus

Since this is a throwback post (to 2014 actually!), I thought I'll just share the highlights to sum up the rest of our time in Athens.

Street food: Vendor selling a popular local breakfast snack called Koulouri - a plain, circular bread topped with sesame seeds. It's a bit like pretzel but a tad dry for me.
Monastiraki Square: Famous for its flea market on one side and on the other side greek tavernas serving good gyros and souvlaki.
One of the streets inside Athens Flea Market.

The gyros that we bought from a restaurant named Bairaktaris was so good that we decided to be greedy and ordered a platter each for our last lunch there. Big mistake. The meat served on the platter were dry and lack the whatever it was that they put in a wrap. So, stick to the wrap. You won't go wrong with that.
Syntagma Square: Located a few blocks from Monastiraki. We made our way there just before 11am to watch the changing of the guards, which takes place daily and it's definitely worth doing - check out their shoes! You can stand next to the guards for photos, but mind your distance unless you want to be screamed at... oh wait, was that Athens or Riga...hmm...
Sweaty guards in heavy uniforms on a very warm day. Urgh. Poor guys.

Plaka: A lovely area also within walking distance from Monastiraki, has lots of nice little shops selling souvenirs, herbs and spices, olive oil, table linens, clothing etc.

Hadrian's gate: Just steps from Plaka.
Athens Central Market.
Some not very happy bunnies here...
Greek coffee just outside the market with complimentary Turkish/Greek delight. The coffee itself was sludgy but worth trying, just look at the cool pot it comes in. 
 Piraeus: We took the train from Monastiraki Metro to Piraeus to visit some of the places there
that Hubby's been to a long time ago. Train takes about 20 minutes.
Port of Piraeus: You can get the ferry to the Greek islands here.

Marina Zeas in Pasalimani, Piraeus.
Piraiki: The other side of Pasalimani. Pretty Greek tavernas and funky restaurants line both sides of the street. Great place for sunset and seafood. 

 My first Greek salad.
Fried whitebait and Prawn Saganaki. Both good!
Well fed and happy, we took the train back to Monastiraki, and then to Psiri for a night cap to a very enjoyable day.
Monastiraki square at night, and right at the back is the Acropolis all lit up from here.

Ate: Bairaktaris
Where: West side of Monastiraki Square, Athens

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