I am usually one to avoid the tourist traps as we travel. Preferring the real street life of a town without the chaos and competition for the dollar that tourism brings. When in Athens, Greece however viewing the ancient Acropolis at close quarters is worth the bumping of shoulders and selfie background avoidance.
As usual “bikini girl” and I had worked up an appetite by midday as we walked the ancient steps. We wandered down to the Plaka also full of tourists this time eating in the tavernas replicated one after the other down the cobbled lane. After being offered a seat and asked where I am from ten times in twenty steps we decided we needed to get the food outta there.
Around one kilometre away the tourists started giving way to locals and we turned a corner into a shaded oasis in the Athenian sun. A traditional bakery emitting an incredible smell. “Bikini girl” would have preferred to walk on towards a Greek salad but I got my way as we sat for ice coffee and pastry. First a chicken and cheese pie salty and delicious but more suited to beer drinking (FYI Greek beer comes down to a choice of “Cretan” or “Vergina” brands, a no brainer for me.) My partner in crime again nudged me toward the healthier choice but the “Bougatsa” called.
Filo pastry, somehow chewy and crunchy at the same time, wrapped a fresh vanilla custard filling. The pastry was squashed by hand, rolled and tossed to micrometre thin layers inside the restaurant. After baking it was dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon before being served still warm to the tables in the shade outside.
This is what it is all about for me. Discovering new locations, new tastes and new friends as we travel at random around this amazing planet.
Words and Pictures: Wade Ranson Animation: Michelle Ranson