Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now That You’re in Greece, Stroll Through the Plaka - Travel Series Part II

Continuing your trip to Greece, let’s pick up after you’re rested and you’re ready to venture out to go exploring.

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have is what to see first. How about a city within the city—the Plaka? It’s a microcosm of Greece spanning the remnants of the Ancients to tastes of the present day. Located under the Acropolis, two main streets intersect and run through the Plaka: Kdatheneon Street and Andrianou Street. Both are loaded with entertainment, stores, Greek restaurants, and eye candy regardless of your interests.

If you’re interested in flea markets, go down Andrianou Street to where it starts. You’ll be in the Monastiraki flea market. Wind through it and it’ll disappear at the Roman Agora. But don’t give up. You’ll find more of it behind the wall of Hadrian's Arch and Plaka Square. It’s always interesting to see what other cultures value and experience the thrill of bartering.

The Plaka is a plethora of sights, sounds and aromas. Strolling the marble streets with it's hundreds of shops, vendors and eateries is a divine experience - because from many places, looking up to the sky - one can see the ancient Acropolis looming over the Plaka.

The shops have tons of merchandise, including great tees for the kids, beautiful embroidered tablecloths, Ouzo and other aperitifs, deep orange and black colored urns, and TONS of jewelry. Our two boys have asked for worry beads - or Kombolói - which are a niche tradition used by the Greeks as a 'stress reliever' and thus, a way to relax in our busy world and lead a healthier lifestyle. Worry beads are similar to Prayer beads, although not religious in nature. A popular item and symbol of Greek pride and heritage - Greek worry beads have been used for everything from stopping smoking, to relieving anxiety.

Later back at the hotel - we sat poolside and enjoyed a Mythos beer.  Baba has a shot of ouzo, a really special brand called Plumeri.  I have a sip…wow is it good.  So are the beers. I wish we could get Mythos beer in Dallas. Hmmm...... we'll have to check on it when we return.

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