The ship docked early. The day was a sunny 70 degrees. We joined local PK Travels for our prearranged tour, alongside a family of four from London, in contrast to the typical busload of 40-50 with the cruise line. Dimitris, our driver, zig-zagged through narrow, crowded streets as Michael, our guide, shared Athens.
Michael interjects myth and history entwined as we take in the Acropolis. The artful brilliance is not lost over time.
He is good with the 11 and 13 year-old brothers and they stay engaged. We can’t help but feel a connection to our own family unit twenty years ago.
There’s free time in the Plaka. Michael recommends the gyros at Bairaktaris Tavern, and we are soon seated inside, feeling hopeful with the bustle, the good food smells. Huge rounds of grilled meat. The family-run tavern, established in 1879, was alive. Did we want chicken, beef, lamb or pork gyros? Our server, smiling, brought samples to try. We dug into Greek salad piled high with feta, super tzatziki, grilled eggplant, and fragrant, sumptuous lamb gyros and pita. Tasty beef kebabs were on the house.
Mandolin music filled the air. We relished each bite and each moment.