Saturday 13 March
Today, the weather was perfect. I laid on my lounge outside all day (at one point, I turned the lounge chair sideways, brought out the pillows and lay there, admiring the view between snoozes; this is, indeed, the life). I’m even a little red, in fact, by the end of the day and not, I hate to say, from the effort.
Of course, it wasn’t all beer and skittles. I clambered up my steps and visited the bakery and the market in the morning, carrying more water down. As usual, at around 6pm, up I went to admire the sunset. There was Taki again! (his second visit to Oia’s sunset).
On my return journey, I notice one of Santorini’s numerous half-built houses, and cannot quite believe how magnificently the dying light of the sunset plays in the background. This is one of about 5 photos straight from the camera (one day I will learn to use photoshop), and I hope you are as amazed by this beautiful sight as I was, standing there.
Afterwards, I headed to Polski Lokal for a souvlaki. The Polski Lokal is one of the few places open here, only in the evenings. As the name suggests, it is Polish, serving a respectable combination of Polish and Greek food. The front page of their menu lists such a large variety of dishes, it includes tzatziki, hamburgers, french fries and (wait for it) spring rolls! I don’t dare order the spring rolls, but the tzatziki is one of the best I have ever tasted, thick and garlicky. The main menu offers goulash and schnitzel, along with many standard Greek favourites.
There are six tables in the Lokal, around 20 seats, and a friendly, not unattractive waiter. In the corner, plastic leaves cascade from a hanging basket, above olive oil and vinegar caddies. A model ship sits in a carved-alcove beside a 3-seater table. At the front, a plastic curtain, which can be raised on warmer nights. In the back you’ll find the chef in his kitchen, and another table in a narrow area.
I order two wrapped souvlakis, and they are (how do I put it) SENSATIONAL. Thick, warm pita dusted with spices, enclosing tomato, lettuce, tzatziki, grilled chicken and french fries (yes, you read that right – standard inclusion in a proper souvlaki), all tightly and expertly wrapped in greasproof paper and a paper napkin. If this is Greek fast food, I’ll take it.
A word of advice if you visit Greece: If you want the wrapped souvlaki, you have to ask for it specifically to be sure you’re getting the right thing. If you order “souvlaki” you are most likely to end up with a plate piled high with skewers of meat resting on the same ingredients as the wrapped souvlaki, but with pita bread cut into quarters (making it all but impossible to “wrap” your mini-souvlaki in if you want to mix all the flavours). It also costs more, but is tasty enough, and you get more on the plate.
Because the tzatziki is so sensational, I order two serves to take away. The total bill? E9.40.