Olives, feta, Amstel and great Greek people!

Trip Start Oct 26, 2006
Trip End Aug 2007

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

When we last left off, we were in Bologna, Italy to visit friends, catch up on emails, write a blog, buy a coffee maker and plan our Greece bike tour a bit more. Our friend Enrico was the most gracious host. He basically leant us his apartment for 4 days while he stayed at his girlfriend's, Barbara's, place. We loved having an actual bed to sleep in! He also helped us find everything we needed to pick up in Bologna. That was nearly 2 1/2 weeks ago. We are now in Korinthos, Greece, having just finished an incredible next chapter in our bike tour on the Peloponnese Peninsula.

If we had to pick one thing that we will miss the most from Greece, it would definitely be the people. We have found the Greeks to be among the genuinely kindest and hospitable people we have ever met. Of course there have been a few exceptions, but for the most part we have been treated with tremendous respect and kindness, both on and off the road. When riding, especially in the countryside away from tourists, about 50% of the motorists give us some form of their approval. Whether it is just a "toot, toot" of the horn, or a "toot, toot" and a wave, they find a way to show us that they do not see us as a nasty obstruction in the way of their vehicle. I can't think of a time that a vehicle with Greek plates has given us a long, blaring sound of the horn, seeming to say "Get the *bleep* out of my way, you damn cyclists", as we received on a regular basis on an island to remain unnamed in the mediterranean. Our hunch, though, is that the Greeks think we are complete nut cases (as may some of you) when they see us on our loaded-up bikes, especially when we're climbing a hill. They seem to stare in bewildered amazement as we pass by. Then they show even more amazement when they find out that we have come all the way over here from the States, and brought our own bikes with us!

The Food We Eat
Our newest breakfast addition has been our Bialetti stove-top coffee maker, which we bought in Bologna. Our mornings are now 10 times better than before when we had one of those plastic coffee filter thingys. We have also discovered greek yogurt, which goes great with fresh fruit. Our lunches have taken a welcomed diversion from our ham & cheese habit in France to kalamata olive tapenade and feta open-faced sandwiches, generally accompanied by some sugary, cold softdrink. Afternoon snack is normally an ice cream bar, again accompanied by a sugary, cold softdrink. We have noted that traditional Greek food tends to be on the greasy (everything fried in oil) side, which has been very appetizing on a few occasions. For the most part, though, we still cook on our own. We have been a lot of greek salads for dinner, with delicious local olive oil, kalamata olives, feta, tomatoes & cucumber, and the Modena balsalmic vinegar we got in Italy. I have now started experimenting with making my own tzatziki (more garlic is better, according to Seth), which goes great with rotisserie chicken and potatoes fried in olive oil and herbes de provence. Our newest, and most refreshing, addition to our dinners have been big, cold bottles of Amstel beer. Oh, and then we came upon a great local beer, Mythos (also found in big, cold bottles). And of course, the now famous tuna-mac from our stay in Karkalou, is another dinner option.

Happy Greece Highlights
-   Meeting Toni and a Night in Zahlorou
-   Eating ice cream after dinner in the town square of Klitoria watching the kids play
-   All nights when we stayed in a hotel (4 total)
-   Seth's Birthday Bike Ride!!

Notable, but not so nice at the time, Highlights
Getting woken up at 1am in Kalamata campsite due to outdoor live music night club (music     didn't stop til 7am)
-   All night windstorm in Stoupa with ~50mph gusts. Amazing that our tent wasn't torn to         shreds (another night of no sleep)

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