One Night in Athens

May 11, 2009

So after a black and tan (okay, a couple) we lurched back to the Grande Bretagnge for a much needed little nap. I konked out for 2 1/2 hours and when I woke, I told hubby “Good Morning! It looks like it’s going to be another beautiful day in Athens.”
He said, “You haven’t even had dinner yet, dummy.” Oh.
We were (okay, I was) still kind of out of it, but luckily we had–according to the Best of 2009 issue of…some random magazine I read a few months ago–the best night time view of the acropolis in our very own hotel. On the roof even!

So we cleaned the stink off us and headed up to the GB Roof Garden. We watched the sun set, drank kir royales (15 euros a pop, cough) and were lucky enough to see this
I was so in love with the view that I couldn’t be bothered to eat dinner elsewhere.
“If we eat here, it’s gonna be a huge-ass bill,” SOMEONE reminded me.
AHEM, excuse me, someone has had no sleep and hardly any food in the past 24 hours and has been walking for HOURS and who are you you cruel bastard who wants me to walk some more, when I feel like shit? Even though everything is my freaking fault, which is totally not the point.

I won. Dude knows not to mess with a feral beast.

Dinner was delicious: local fish and amazing bread and tomatoes like you never knew. And a really nice bottle of wine, which we hastily polished off.


And guess what? All the waiters in Greece are cuties! And so helpful! Amazingly, they all have cousins who own tavernas that we need to visit tomorrow! And one of them has a cousin who plays in band who we must go see…now!

Yeah, I don’t know why he married me, either.

But he paid our huge-ass bill and took me to see Rembetika and we got in for free with the royal treatment because our waiter at the GB, Evangelos, did indeed have a cousin playing and had called ahead to alert them.

Rembetika, as Evangelos (and my husband, who annoyingly knows everything about music) explained, is the music that the “real” people listen to–you know, the ones who don’t like pop. Rembetika, they explained, is the music of the urban poor, the disenfranchised. They sing about drinking and drugs and anger and past injustices.

Yeah! My kinda attitude! My kinda music! I almost shook my fist in the air on the cab ride to the club. I pictured some Greek Kurt Cobain kinda dude, wailing into a microphone.

What I got was a tavern full of older people/families and a band that included an accordion, a violin and a tambourine. But they kinda rocked it, they did. The audience knew the songs by heart and sang and danced in the aisles and the singers belted the melodies out with feeling. And after a glass or two of the house wine–the wine of the Immortal, they said–I was tapping my foot right along with them.

The bar, should you ever find yourself in Athens in need of some Rembetika, tasty snacks and happy people, is called Stoa Athanaton. Music doesn’t START until midnight, so I suggest you hustle up to the rooftop of the GB for 15$ kir royales and the most gorgeous Acropolis sunset you will ever see. But that wine of the Immortal? Ouch. Maybe not.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

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