My iPhone’s solo globe-trotting adventure

Mai tai

Departing Greece bound for Australia, I left my iPhone in a friend’s car when I was dropped off at the airport. I went into a clammy iPhoneless panic. As you do when you and your mobile are inseparable travelling companions (pictured above enjoying freddo cappuccino together on Mykonos) and suddenly realise you’ve lost each other. […]

To Kati Allo homestyle Greek fare

Horiatiki salata at To Kati Allo

In a narrow street directly behind the state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum, Leonidas and Ioanna have been serving traditional food to Athenians and visitors at To Kati Allo restaurant for over 30 years. Oven-baked peppers stuffed with rice, spit-roasted lamb, robust fish soups, hearty moussaka, salads, baked chicken with lemony potatoes. Comfort food that Greeks love and […]

I’m an Athenian

Athens towards Lycabettos

I’m an Athenian. I first came here in 1980. No other city has ever challenged me so much. It’s richly cultural yet abrasive and tumultuous. I’ve had my fair share of love-hate with the ancient Greek capital. My Athenian-born children spent most of their childhoods in Australia. But I keep coming back. So do they. Many visitors […]

Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market

Athens Flea Market

Welcome to the Athens Flea Market where ancient, Byzantine and modern glories are all packed into one gloriously overcrowded mishmash. The entrance is on Monastiraki Square, opposite the Tzistarakis Mosque, built in 1759, which now houses the Kyriazopoulos  pottery collection. You might want to start with a freddo cappuccino and get some fruit to snack […]

Amazing island of Andros

Gavrion on Andros

Andros is a Greek island that blossoms in winter, spring and autumn. In winter it’s green, in spring it’s smothered in wildflowers. In summer it tends to get bashed about a bit by the fickle Meltemi winds sweeping the Cyclades. When there’s no wind, it’s damn hot. Another sweltering rock in the Aegean. By summer’s […]

Best autumn beaches in Greece

Small cove at Varkiza copy

Greek summer is done but autumn’s divine. Come on in, the water’s fine! Many Greeks stop swimming in September. You’re more likely to see peeps in their 20s or 30s, or older and retired Greeks – the type who swim for their health until it’s really too cold (and occasionally old dudes with that creepy […]

Driving me crazy in Athens

Athens traffic 2

This is a view of Athens in autumn from the Acropolis, looking towards the cone shaped mountain of Lycabettos with the city centre crammed, rather than sprawled, beneath the two pinnacles. How beautiful, you say. The Greek capital in all its Hellenistic glory. Stately neoclassical buildings with red-tiled roofs, autumn sun glinting off white buildings […]

What are the hardest languages to learn?

Acropolis

I was shopping for veges at an Athens urban produce market and in my dodgy Greek I asked for a hot dude, not a lettuce.  If you’re travelling through a foreign language country, or spending some time living there, do you learn the language, at least some useful phrases? Or do you assume English will […]

Travel tip: Nail polish detects date rape drugs

Nail polish

A new nail polish detects date rape drugs such as GBH, Xanax and Rohypnol. This extraordinary invention has been revealed on one of my favourite websites Not Impossible Now. Four students at North Carolina State University invented  the nail polish. The brand is called Undercover Colors.  Women can simply dip their fingers into their drinks, which […]