OK, so the title of this blog may be a little misleading.
I didn’t set out to spend a day in Athens, Greece without my wallet.
But something happened to it.
Between eating frozen yogurt near the Plaka and jumping into a cab outside a McDonald’s that served a Greek Mac (really a hamburger gyro), I lost my wallet.
It’s possible I dropped it somewhere between pulling it out at the fro-yo shop and walking to where the cabs were parked. Or it’s possible it was stealthily taken from my bag, which, I’ll admit, was unzipped. Either way, I was without my credit cards, driver’s license and about $150 in cash.
It wasn’t too bad, though. I called my bank and got both cards disabled. And I stashed some cash in my carry-on back at the hotel, so I had at least another $300 in U.S. dollars there. I would just be stuck for another four days without access to more cash. Good thing my girlfriends have credit cards!
But leading up to that moment — it happened toward the end of the day — wasn’t so bad. We started the morning with a nice, brisk, hour-long walk around town before heading back to the Plaka, which was the only place open on Sunday.
And it was bustling!
Here’s what we did today:
As we walked around the neighborhood — we were taking paths through small urban parks — we found this street vendor selling κουλούρι, or koulouri, a kind of Greek sesame bread often eaten at breakfast.
Right in the middle of Megalis tou Genous Sholi Square near the Hilton Athens Hotel stands this 30-foot statue called “Dromeas” (or “Runner” in English). It’s an impressive glass-and-iron sculpture created by Athens artist Costas Varotsos in 1994.
We found a quaint restaurant with sidewalk seating in the Plaka and stopped for some lunch. Or maybe it was a pre-lunch. Regardless, these two — Lan and Rona — tend to eat all day. My kind of travelers!
In Greece, most restaurants serve dessert and an apéritif at the end of each meal, free of charge. We got served this a lot: basbousa or revani, a sweet cake made from cooked semolina or farina soaked in simple syrup. It tastes a lot like rice cake and is often flavored with fruits like grapes, coconut or orange.
Much of the flea market looked like the Plaka, with souvenir shops selling leather sandals, sun hats, magnets and canvas bags with cats and donkeys on them. But there was an area where people had brought their wares, like old records and camera equipment. I really wanted this typewriter.
Next (and infamous) stop: FroYo, a chain of frozen Greek yogurt shops in Athens that serves plain Greek yogurt — supposedly low in fat and calories — with whatever topping you desire. This is also the last place where I saw my wallet.
One of my girlfriends orders meatballs wherever she goes — at least that’s what’s been happening. So here’s this restaurant’s version of meatballs — it was OK; we’ve had better — paired with fried potatoes.
Follow my #CatTravels adventures in Greece and Crete on Instagram @catherinetoth and on Twitter @thedailydish.