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Bristol Street Art with Kids

Bristol Street Art with Kids

Bristol is a perfect weekend destination and one weekend will not be enough to explore everything that the city has to offer. There is a maritime history, a student city, Clifton village and walls and walls of the world famous street art. We visited just […]

Family Holiday in the Dominican Republic

Family Holiday in the Dominican Republic

When kids are small and parents need a holiday, an all inclusive option is a definite way to keep everyone happy. There is no need to think about cooking and cleaning and there are plenty of facilities to keep little ones entertained from dusk till […]

Athens with Kids: Museum of Illusions

Athens with Kids: Museum of Illusions

If your kids are tired from visiting all the ancient monuments in Athens, take a break and spend a fun afternoon in the Museum of Illusions. Newly opened in 2018, it boasts 2 floors of optical illusions and photo opportunities for a laugh. 

Museum is open until 10pm, so if you dont want to spend time inside when it is sunny, you can always come after sunset. It is an equally good option if it is raining or too hot outside. 

To comply with Covid measures, the museum put a limit to the number of visitors during busy times. I suggest to check museum’s  website for the latest updates on the situation.

Each of the exhibits has a side note, which explains the science behind the illusion and how to operate the exhibit. Museum staff are always on hand to provide further explanations or help  with taking photos if it is just two of you. 

There were plenty of  interesting illusions, it is hard to select which one was our favourite. My daughter went to some of the exhibits twice as she just loved the effects and the fun she had with reflections and weird sights.

 

There is also quite a bit of science behind each of the exhibits, so a great opportunity to engage your kids’ creative and scientific interest. In fact, some of the material on light composition and reflections was related to what my daughter studied at school this year, so it was great for her to see things in action rather than just hearing about them. 

And the museum is a photographer’s dream, as there are so many  opportunities to take cool pictures. The exhibits have photo points – they tell you exactly  where to stand to get the best snaps. We took so many weird and wonderful pictures, and sometimes it is not even possible to guess what is on the picture or how it was taken. 

I loved the kaleidoscope machine as photo opportunities are limitless. We had so much fun making silly faces and gestures to get the best angle for pictures and results were hilarious!

My daughter Letitia loved the upside down room and the room where one person appears as a giant and another one as a tiny human. 

Museum is located on two floors, I thought that the amount of exhibits was  just enough for the kids to get their imagination going and not get too tired or exhausted at the end of the visit. 

Disclaimer: Our visit was hosted by This is Athens but all opinions are my own. 

Must-visit Site in Athens: Panathenaic Stadium

Must-visit Site in Athens: Panathenaic Stadium

Every 2 years the world is watching best athletes competing to become next Olympic Champions. When in Athens,  do not miss the chance to touch history at Panathenaic Stadium, which started the tradition of modern Olympic Games in 1896.  At first, I thought that the […]

Vouliagmeni Lake : A Day Trip from Athens

Vouliagmeni Lake : A Day Trip from Athens

If you are visiting Athens and want to get away from city hustle for a day, I have just the ticket for you. Thermal Vouliagmeni Lake  is a mere 50 minutes away from the centre of Athens, Facilities at the lake are open all year […]

Athens Food Guide: 8 Must-Try Dishes

Athens Food Guide: 8 Must-Try Dishes

I was beyond happy to discover that Athens was on par with Istanbul, Rome and Lisbon for amazing street food and delicious dishes. It is also a very affordable city in terms of food. While you have your usual restaurants. there are plenty of tavernas, hole in the walls places, bakeries and kafenia to keep you happy for days. 

To get our bearings, we went on a food exploration with Anna from Athens Food on Foot and we were not dissapointed. For 4 hours we eat our way through Athens, discovering street food stalls and Greek classics like koulori, kalamari and feta cheese. 

The tour started off with a tasting of traditional greek yogurt, which we later walked off in the charming area of Athens, steps away from the Acropolis. Afterwards,  we walked through Plaka and tasted some more food. Next stop was Athens Central Market, where the variety of food on offer was mind-boggling and we loved watching locals shop and traders advertising their goods. We finished the tour at a traditional cafe, full of Athenians getting their daily lunch. 

The idea for Anna’s company was born out of her desire to introduce tourists to the great food of Athens and save them from a vicious circle of tasteless gyros and overpriced greek salads. I think she certainly succeeded in her mission. We discovered plenty of new dishes , but at the same time Anna gave us a taste of superior versions of foods, I have already tried elsewhere.

While I will not be covering places we visited with Anna on the tour, in case you decide to go on the tour yourself, let’s see what we managed to try in the space of 4 hours. 

1.KOULORI

Traditional breakfast snack for Greeks, which can be eaten on the go. The dough was slightly sweet and the covering of sesame seeds made koulori extra savoury. It was light, spongy to the touch and slightly chewy.

2. SPANAKOPITA

Greeks love their pies and if you stop at any bakery you will be able to see the sheer variety of pies on offer: from vegetarian to meaty and sweet varieties. I am not a big fan of vegetable pies as I always find them a bit bland, however spanakopita is a different story. Beautiful home made pastry, which is filled with spinach and cheese filling, sometimes with herbs to add an extra taste kick. 

3. GREEK YOGURT

This can be your breakfast, snack or even dinner. Thick, rich yogurt made from sheep’s milk, which offers  a higher nutritional value than the usual yogurt.  And to make matters even tastier, you can top it up with honey and walnuts or sour cherry jam. Either way it will be delicious. 

4.BOUGATSA

If you can find a café or a bakery, where bougatsa is freshly made – you are in luck. This cake is made up of numerous layers of filo pastry and can be stuffed with either sweet custard, cheese or meat – variations are endless.

I would definitely recommend to have bougatsta when it is freshly made, as if it is fresh you can become a life long lover. But if bougatsa is reheated you might say “never again”. Sweet version is so generously sprinkled with icing sugar,  at some point you start to resemble Father Christmas with a whit moustache and a beard!

5. FETA CHEESE

Pretty much a staple in Greek cuisine and there is a great variety of choice if you visit a specialist cheese shop. In the UK I only come across hard, aged feta, however on the walk I  tried soft and young feta, which has been matured only for a few months. I want to say it tastes slightly similar to soft goat cheese, but there is more depth. The texture of young feta is heavenly- like whipped cloud inside a slightly harder casing.

6. PASTRAMI AND BASTURMA (PASTIRMA)

If you like cold cuts, Greece will not disappoint. While olives, yogurt and feta readily come to mind when Greek cuisine is mentioned,  spiced and dried meat should also make the cut. Stop off at one of the shops, located close to Athens Central Market and get a tasting plate to try a variety on offer. 

7. OLIVES

The myth says that Athens were named after goddess Athena, when she gifted the citizens with an olive tree branch. Any market in Athens will have several stalls , selling a huge variety of olives. You will try many types of olives in Greece, before you choose your favourite. 

8. MEZE

Meze is a traditional way of serving small plates of food in Greek restaurants and tavernas. Greeks are social creatures and instead of nursing a pint all night, they will turn up in numbers, take a table and start ordering. The communal eating allows for many dishes to be tasted and washed down with plenty of ouzo, light-hearted  conversation and a good laugh. Meze dishes are varied, the ones that we tried on the tour were: courgette fritters, boiled chickpeas, tomato  salad, grilled sardines, giant beans in tomato sauce, spiced cheese dip, cod bites, anchovies, fried squid. I can go on. 

Athens Food on Foot gave us a great introduction to Greek cuisine. If you are a foodie, you will definitely enjoy this tour. 

We were hosted by Athens Food on Foot, but all opinions are my own.

Exploring Athens with Greeking.me

Exploring Athens with Greeking.me

Athens is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and layers of history definitely require a professional to guide you through its rich heritage. Archaic and Ancient Periods,  Byzantium Kingdom and Ottoman rule. Finally, Athens reemerges as part of an First Hellenic Republic […]

Fun Lunch with Trunki

Fun Lunch with Trunki

The schools are back and so are the school lunches. Somehow, every year in August, I find myself looking for a new lunchbox and a packing set, as the one from the previous school year never survives. This year I decided to try TRUNKI range, […]

Family Day Out with Narrow Boat

Family Day Out with Narrow Boat

As many families during this summer, we were looking for ways to spend time outdoors. There are several canals within 30 minutes drive and during lockdown we were enjoying numerous walks along the water.

Another way to enjoy the canals is to hire a narrow boat and explore British waterways. This is exactly what we did one Saturday morning with Drifters Waterway Holidays.  You can hire a boat for any number of days, but as it was our first time we decided to try out a day outing.

The booking process is very easy and can be done over the email. Joining instructions and some guidelines with regard to boat and navigation will be emailed to you ahead of your visit.

When we arrived at ABC Boat Hire at Gayton Marina, we were shown to our boat Daylark and the engineer talked us  through the major points, like turning, stopping and docking. Luckily, my husband was very keen to try his hand at being the captain, so I could relax and trust him with the navigation!

You can dock anywhere along the canal network, avoiding private mooring spaces, so we took the opportunity to stop couple of times for pictures and lunch.

The boat inside is well equipped. I was glad to discover it was also well prepared for any season of the British weather. The outside area can be protected from the elements with plastic cover.  Or if rain gets too much,  you can hide inside the boat.

There are also rain jackets provided for the captain who always have to steer , no matter the weather.  There is even heating if you are boating in the middle of winter! Luckily for us, the weather was nice and we were able to enjoy our outside space to the fullest.

Inside the boat you have a seating area, small stove, sink and a toilet. Cutlery and plates are also provided, so you don’t have to worry about these things. The table can be fixed either inside or outside.

We brought our own lunch and enjoyed sausage rolls, sandwiches and cakes with fresh cups of tea. But if you don’t fancy preparing food in advance, there is a solution.  You will pass a few pubs, conveniently located on the canal,  so you can stop at any of them and have a classic British lunch with a drink or too.

You will be provided  with the map and detailed description of the places that you are passing.  If you have time,  you can get off and explore nearby countryside or have a cheeky drink or two.

The boat does not travel very quickly, so it is a fantastic way to really relax and just enjoy the world passing by at a slow speed.

My kids loved the day, as we were constantly spotting things on the shore, like animals, old houses and farms. We took some bread to feed the ducks and that was a success. They also wanted to help daddy to steer the boat, so it is a great opportunity to share the knowledge and let them be a captain for a day. We  took our fishing net, which was used to catch anything floating past the boat.

There are also plenty of boats moored on either side of the canal, some of them are really interesting with imaginative names, or paintings or pots of flowers or pirate regalia. You literally do not have to do anything, the entertainment comes to you on the boat.

While we were on the canal we saw plenty of families enjoying a similar day out.  There was also a couple of birthday parties in fancy dresses.

I thought the boat day hire was a great opportunity to try this activity without a week long commitment. The whole family loved the day  and we are definitely thinking of having a longer break some time next year.

Boat holiday is a great solution in the time of the pandemic.  The boat is hired by  a single household and you are able to enjoy a bit of exploration without depending on other people.

Britain is criss-crossed with canals and waterways, so if you fancy something similar Drifters Waterway Holidays offer plenty of locations in the UK with various routes and durations. Give it a go- ahoy!

Disclaimer: Our visit was hosted by Drifters Waterway Holidays, but all opinions are my own.

 

Wine Tasting at Arnaldo Caprai Winery in Montefalco

Wine Tasting at Arnaldo Caprai Winery in Montefalco

Italy has the largest variety of grapes, which are only grown locally and cannot be found in any other country. This presents a great opportunity to try wines made from these rare  varieties and save Chardonnay or Merlot for another time. Sagrantino is one of […]