Sunday Song of the Day {Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John}

beach, Greece

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No Stopovers in Athens

Athens changing of the guards I never tire of watching the changing of the guards. I admire the tradition, precision, and art that goes into into it.

 

Athens guards

 

Athens - night view of the AcropolisMy favorite thing about my hotel: the view of the Acropolis from the rooftop, especially at night. ❤

 

Athens - OlympieionThe Archeological Site of Olympeion, where the Temple of Olympian Zeus is located.

 

Athens - exit

 

Athens

 

Athens - Acropolis I can’t even describe the feeling I got when faced with the grandeur of the Acropolis. It is so beautiful (even when under construction), so grand, so historical. There’s quite a climb to get up there, but it’s so worth it.

 

Athens - Acropolis

 

Athens - ampitheater

No Stopovers visited Athens, Greece in March 2013.

Sweet treats in Athens

Loukoumades

Loukoumades, Greece’s version of a doughnut, is best enjoyed warm, sprinkled with cinnamon,  doused with honey, with a side of vanilla ice cream, and shared (because one serving is huge). Oh, and yes, with Greek coffee of course. I got to try this pastry in Athens last year. I admit it, it’s nothing like my favorite baklava, but it’s a sweet treat that’s great in the afternoon.

Greek coffee

Not so traditional, but delicious all the same was the frozen yoghurt at yogolicious. No, actually, it’s even better. It’s the best frozen yoghurt with toppings I have ever had.

yogolicious

They had rows upon rows toppings – fresh fruits, dried fruits, cereals, chocolate (Maltesers, Kitkat, Kinder Bueno!), sauces, macarons (!), and all things good. Amazing.

yogolicious toppings

5 reasons to love Corfu Town

Aside from my favorites parts of Corfu, Kanoni and the beach, I also fell in love with Corfu Town.  The pastel-colored buildings, the bright blue sky, the absence of skyscrapers, and even the laundry lines are immensely beautiful. During my week-long stay in Corfu, I went to charming Corfu Town several times, walking around, eating bread from Panetteria, taking in the sights and taking pictures. Heavenly.

Here are five reasons to love Corfu Town {there are many more, but I narrowed it down}

Corfu town Corfu town Corfu town Corfu town Corfu town

Achillion Palace

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, lovingly known as Sissi, was a beautiful, enigmatic woman. Her youth, beauty, and mystery inspired arts and entertainment – I particularly like Sissi starring Romy Schneider, and the musical Elisabeth. Because her sheltered life made her feel lonely, she started to go on frequent travels. In 1890, she had a palace built in her favorite place, Corfu, and named it  Achillion Palace, after her favorite Greek hero Achilles.

Located in the South of Corfu town, Achillion is easily accessible with bus line 10. If you like royalty, splendor, and neoclassicism, try to visit, but go early to avoid the crowds.

Entrance fee: €7
Audio guide: €3

Achillion Palace

Achillion Palace Achillion Palace Achilles heel

Achillion Palace Trying to blend in with the muses, but that didn’t quite work

Achillion Palace Loved this muse, Thalia, who looks like she is taking a selfie. Thalia represents good cheer and festivity.

Achillion Palace You talkin’ to me?

Achillion PalaceTrying on Sissi’s jewels

Achillion Palace

Thursday inspiration

Oh, Thursday. Thursday always seemed to be a drag for me. In school, it was always the longest school day (or so it seemed). In college we didn’t have cable TV, and Thursday night was when Maalaala Mo Kaya, the Philippine’s longest-running drama series was on. We weren’t into it, so the TV was always off on those nights, and we found other, more creative ways of entertaining ourselves. Now I wish I had kept a more detailed (aside from the boy drama that makes me cringe now) diary at the time, because those nights were pretty fun. I would have liked to remember every little thing we did and talked about – ironic because Maalaala Mo Kaya means ‘would you remember’. Sometimes we played cards, exchanged scary stories, put on silly hats and took pictures, played with Fluffy the dog. Thanks to a drama series that we didn’t enjoy watching, we actually spent so many hours bonding. So Thursdays didn’t end up so dragging at all. Now that I’ve been living alone for many years, I do miss those moments sometimes.

With the week almost over, but not quite yet, we’ve got to hang on for a little while longer. We’ll get through this! Here’s a little inspiration taken from the streets of Corfu. Daydreaming is encouraged…

Thursday inspiration Thursday inspiration

Corfu food tips!

Gather ’round because I’ve got a few Corfu food tips for ya. Ready?

❤ Try Pastitsada, a Corfiot specialty made of slow-cooked, really tender beef, tomato sauce, and pasta. Did I mention the beef was really tender? Because it was; it was really tender. This is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect with wine.

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Order a Meze, or appetizer plate. There is usually a choice of cold and warm plates, but a combination of both is the best. If it’s not on the menu, ask the waiter if you can get a mixed cold and warm plate – they’re usually happy to mix it up. A mix of meats, cheeses, vegetables, breads, and dips, an order is enough to be a meal for two.

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Get a baklava, but ask how big the serving will be. I was shocked to see the pizza slice-sized baklava on my table. Because it is very sweet, it is perfect with Greek coffee. Caution: Greek coffee is rather on the bitter side, so order it to be sweetened – you’ll be asked if you want it regularly sweet or super sweet (okay not in those words).

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Oh, and most importantly, enjoy the view while eating. It’s okay if you can’t decide what to focus on, the taste or the view. I know you’re on vacation, but this is a moment to multi-task.

Corfu food tipsThis was my view while I ate the Meze platter.

 

Corfu food tipsAnd this was my view while enjoying the Baklava.

Ahhhh-mazing.
Happy eating!

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.
– Orson Welles

 

McDonald’s in Corfu

Ah, McDonald’s. It’s so familiar, it’s almost like home. When traveling, I try to eat the local delicacies, but there are a few situations when I give in and eat at McDonald’s, like when I’m really hungry and it’s the closest thing, when traveling with kids who insist on eating there, and when I just miss eating something familiar. After all, whether you call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese or Royale with Cheese, it’s all good. Some travelers, like author Jessica Zafra who chronicled her trips in Twisted Travels, likes to try the Big Mac in all countries she visits. {I haven’t tried that many countries’ Big Macs, but I noticed that the Philippines’ Big Mac sauce is sweeter than Austria’s. The Big Mac in Austria has a rather tangy sauce – I love both}. Others, like Travelling McDonald’s, eats McDonald’s around the world.

In Corfu, I really enjoyed all the Greek food, I never even had a chance to miss McDo. I did love seeing this branch at the Spianada, though. The Corfu branch is located at the ground floor of a hotel building. Low-key without the golden arches and red background, it blended in quite nicely with the pastel hues of the other buildings along the street.
McD McD

Postcard-pretty Kanoni

Kanoni

After seeing a lot of postcards with Kanoni, I wanted to see it for myself. This part of Corfu is named after the canons that used to protect the city. From Corfu town, I took the 2a bus and missed my stop.

Kanoni I should have gotten off the bus when I saw this cannon.

KanoniWalking past the cannon, through a café and down the stairs, this view greeted me: tiny Pontikonisi or Mouse Island, and the Vlacherna Monastery.

I quickly went down the steps so I could get closer to the magnificent view.

KanoniSoon, I found out that the better way to see it is from an airplane, as Kanoni is really close to the Corfu’s runway at the airport.

{I didn’t notice it on the flight to Corfu because before we landed, there was really bad turbulence. I’ve never been more scared in my life. I needed the whole afternoon to recover.}

KanoniThe Vlacherna Monastery of Panayia looks so serene against the background of the bright blue sky.

KanoniLike a gate to paradise.

Kanoni

Kanoni

KanoniThe obligatory selfie.

KanoniMouse Island! You can rent a boat to take you there.

Kanoni After feasting my eyes on such beautiful sights, I had to feast on great food as well.

KanoniTrying the local beer – ice cold on hot days – is a must for me.

I highly recommend going to Kanoni in Corfu – it is a picturesque place that is simple and serene. Truly a postcard-worthy view that you have to see for yourself.

Corfu: white and blue

Summer is in high gear here in Vienna right now, so it’s fun to spend time outside. Today, I’m visiting a Filipino food festival in the morning (it’s an all-day fiesta, but I like going in the morning to avoid midday heat and the crowd), and watching Shakespeare in the Park: Romeo and Juliet. I’ll be arming myself with a fan and sunglasses.

What are you up to this weekend? Hope you have exciting plans (although two days of doing nothing sounds good, too). I’ll leave you with these photos of white and blue Corfu. Happy weekend!
white and blue in Corfu white and blue in Corfu white and blue in Corfu white and blue in Corfu white and blue in Corfu