In case you are wondering why I haven’t updated my blog in 4 months, there is a good reason for it. I was in Greece for the whole summer; something that I wanted to do for a long time. I had been back to Greece other times of the year, but I hadn’t been back there during the summer since 2000. I had forgotten how hot and stifling it can get in the summer months; but it was something that I wanted to do for a long time so I welcomed the heat and the warmth of the bright sun.

We left in the middle of June and returned in the middle of September. It was an anxiety-ridden preparation since we had to take my little shih tzu, Nappy, with us. Papers needed to be prepared for his departure, shots that he had to get and getting to the Secretary of State for signatures so that we can bring him back. Then my preparation for the trip began. What to take, how much can I fit in the suitcase, and what do I need to put in my carry on.

The day arrived and we, along with my Nappy, boarded the plane for Frankfurt, Germany and then to Athens. After 20 long hours of travel (our layover time in Frankfurt was four hours) we all arrived in Athens, safe and sound. As soon as I got off the plane, I took a deep breath and while choking back my tears, I inhaled that distinct smell of warm weather mixed with the smell of pollution, and the occasional smell of pine resin.

We stayed in Athens for a couple of days, then rented a car and drove up to Salonika, the city that I was born. On the way up, we stopped at a seaside restaurant and sat at a table under an umbrella, watching the water crash to the shore, while waiting for our lunch to arrive.
Kamena Vourla beach on the way to Athens.  This seaside town is only 2 hours north of Athens.

You are probably wondering what our lunch consisted off. It was, of course, the traditional gyro with french fries, while my shih tzu had the chicken kabob. (I’m sure the Greeks around me were looking at me funny).

We spent a month and a half in Salonica.
The White Tower in Salonika. 

We visited places that I craved to see, ate foods that I could not get the same taste here in the States (something to do with the produce over there; I think less preservatives) or simply don’t exist, and took pictures. Tons and tons of pictures. We went to the beach and my Nappy came with us. We went to Chalkidiki where all the popular and clean beaches are.
My little shih tzu, Nappy at Kallithea Beach, Chalkidiki

We had our anniversary meal at Ergon Deli at Porto Sani Village - a resort village that operates from April to October. The food was exquisite and the presentation even better. We had fries smothered with different cheeses from other places in Greece, zucchini fritters, taramosalata (carp roe spread mixed with garlic and day old bread) melitzanosalata (grilled eggplant dip) and a beautiful baby arugula salad drenched in balsamic vinaigrette.
Ergon Deli meal at Sani Resort.  You can find more about Sani Resort in the following link:

At the beginning of August we began our second leg of the trip – our way to Chios island. We drove back to Athens, took the ferry boat and arrived in Chios on a Sunday afternoon. The island was busy with tourists from all over Europe and Turkey. The sun was bright and the sky was so blue you’d think a painter decided to take the blue color in the palette and paint it.
The Mills in the city of Chios

The whole time we were there, we were hoping for a cloud to pass by and conceal the sun for a few minutes. Unfortunately, no (or should I say “fortunately” for us?). We accepted it and enjoyed it, because we knew back home we’d have plenty of cloudy days.

While at our stay in Greece we tasted everything we could get our hands on. From gyro and their cheesy fries,
Cheesy fries and gyro!

 to gelato ice cream,
They have the most delicious mini ice creams.  The perfect size to satisfy a sweet craving!

and their syrupy sweets,
Syrupy sweets!

to fried calamari and grilled octopus, fresh caught the same day (I’m sorry but I forgot to take a picture of that meal;  I was too absorbed digging into it.) We walked to most places even in the heat. The island had a breeze all the time and it felt good even if it were hot.

The three months went by and we had to come back. I came back refreshed, with new ideas for creating recipes for my website. I’m not sure if they will taste as good as the ones I had over there; but I will definitely try to recreate the tastes and flavors. I learned how to make a St. Fanourios cake that is celebrated on August 27th. And smyrneika soutzoukakia (ground pork or beef sausages from Smyrna – thus the word smyrneika). And I perfected my spinach pie by adding more greens (horta)[1] to it. Going back was another extraordinary experience; and even though I’ve been back to Greece numerous times every time I go back is an added appreciation of how beautiful that country is.

Stay tuned for new recipes. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures while I prepare to post my take on melitzanosalata (eggplant dip).






[1]Greens or Horta are the collard greens, mustard greens, dandelions, dark green endives. All these are used, along with spinach, in spinach pie or just by themselves to make hortopita – a medley of greens into a pie.

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