Athens, Greece Pt.1

Honeymoon Series:

Athens, Greece

Locations Visited: 

Acropolis, Parthenon, Theater of Dionysos, Hadrian’s Arch, Temple of Zeus, Plaka

Weather: Extremely hot, scorching sun, had to stay hydrated. Evening became bearable. 

First off, I am so flattered how many of you are appreciating this mini series! I’m just trying to do my best in giving pointers to traveling to different countries without panicking (that’s literally the best way I can describe it). Ladies, I cannot express how EXCITED I was to traveling to Greece…here’s a little background information about me. I was always very fond of World History growing up. I was an Art student in College, studied alot about the “Ancient” times, and LOVED my Art History classes. To me, this location was a dream come true…out of the books! The amount of excitement I had traveling to Athens (and Rome) were just out of this world. You know, when your growing up and learn about these places you dream of visiting one day (not knowing if you really ever will) but when you do, it’s a feeling of thankfulness of how God can make things work in mysterious ways Alhamdulilah (Thank God). My mysterious way was/is  my husband ❤ thank you for making my dreams come true, not just here but always.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh… ATHENS! Oh my goodness, this place was AH-MAZING. Like I said earlier, I read and dreamt of coming here and I did, I knew all the history of every single place, literally. I definitely made an itinerary for 2 days in Athens, because one day would NOT have worked. Well, we arrived a little later than our actual arrival time because our flight was delayed 3 times in Bulgaria due to weather conditions. So it was probably around 10-11pm that we arrived to our AirBNB, settled-in, we were starving so went out and found a cute corner cafe “Repeat Canteen”, and must I say…HIGHLY recommended if you go. We had a fresh oven-baked pizza and some yummy pastries. We then headed back, had a good nights sleep and next morning it was adventure time! This is when our honeymoon became “action packed adventure”. Breakfast was again at, Repeat Canteen, I finally had a delicious espresso (I hate coffee) but this was something else…I had 2 of them. Yup. That was my go-to drink in Greece…”Freddo Espresso”. I have asked Starbucks here and they look at me like “huh” so if any of you know the name or what I can get similar here PLEASE share.

We were then off to our first location of the day: “Acropolis”. Majority of the historical locations were here.Also related to as the “High City”, a huge hill looking over the city this is also the home of the famous “Parthenon”. The Acropolis is the authentic symbol of Greek Civilization (going back to the Neolithic Period) with its most important main structures: The Parthenon, The Propylaea, The Erechtheum and The Temple of Athena. Standing at the top of this high hill, you can see almost all of Athens, and remaining sites of Greek mythology. I was overly excited to get this day started, so we walked up through the “Beule Gate” (we did have to purchase tickets to enter) and then there was more walking towards the top of the Acropolis. Today was the day that we officially became sun burnt…we forgot to apply sunscreen when leaving and now it was just too late. In the photos you can see how near the sun was, literally in our faces. We both dressed accordingly to what I read about the weather, HOT. But hey, it was ALL worth it.

We took our time getting to the top, because we were both so fascinated by the architecture and this is where we came across the “Theater of Dionysos” also known as the birth place of European theater (how cool). The Greeks would hold rituals for the God Dionysos but now unfortunately the theater has become very old, so it has limited performances, while we were there they were preparing for an orchestra. It was beautiful to see. As we began to make our way to the top of the Acropolis, it was peak time of “tourist traffic”. I think this was the most difficult place to take pictures, it took us plenty of tries to get a few good shots ( P.S. this is when my husband started getting annoyed of me LOL). Now since this is a very old location, there were some handles made to hold on to and ramps on top of cracks and holes for the safety of the tourists it was still a little dangerous but the security did a great job of monitoring everyone so two thumbs up there!

And finally we were at the top of the Acropolis and like a kid in a candy store I stood there, looked around and spotted my eye candy…the Parthenon. My smile, if it could stretch off of my face in that moment I’m sure it would have, yeah THAT’S how happy I was. It was so beautiful, so historic, so real. This was the worlds most ancient surviving structure of Ancient Greece, let that sink in. Built for the Goddess Athena, this structure has gone through many places of worship- a fortress, a mosque and a church. I had a final on this image, and I remembered every little detail I had written on my 5 page essay (known by heart) on this piece. And I was there, standing right in front of it, knowing every details of the columns, representation, and so much more. Ladies, I’m literally pouring my heart out here haha.

My husband was standing next to me, and saw all those expressions on my face and was like “wow, this meant THAT much to you?” Yeah husband, it did. I think the entire time we were up there, I kept turning around to him and saying “thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing me here” and just smiled back and said “I’ve learned so much from you, you have so much knowledge of all these places”. Now that was the cherry on top <3. I promise ladies, I am trying to make this post VERY to the point because if I sit here and go into details, trust me it’ll end up being a book. We then explored around, took our time reading, took many photos, bumped into so many different kinds of people from around the world. Acropolis was done and checked off the list, and we began to head towards “Hadrian’s Arch” and the “Temple of Zeus” they were literally right next to eachother.

Hadrian’s Arch was a quick stop because it was a huge Arch on the road way, which basically divided “Old Athens” and “New Athens”. With that checked off, we made our way to the temple. Now this was the largest temple in Ancient Greece, bigger than the Parthenon. The temple used to have statues inside, but due to time they became ruined. One huge pillar is on the floor, it was mentioned of an earthquake had ruined the temple. By this time, the crowd had become less and we just sat down and took a break watching the sun getting ready to set and have its rays on the temple. The weather had become a liiiiiittttllleeee bit cooler than what we were going through. After a good half and hour of relaxing, we made our way to find some food and that was towards “Plaka”. 

Plaka, as I read would be one the most “enchanting places in Athens” and you know what? It lived up to that sentence. This was a village within a city. Narrow streets filled with beautiful homes turned into strips of cafes, restaurants, live entertainment and loads of shops for shopping. It was extremely busy, but I loved the vibe. Each restaurant/cafe had their menu listed outside, we read through them and noticed majority of the menus were the same so we just picked a romantic restaurant and sat outside. The vibes of this place was so beautiful, we had a live violinist, candle lit dinner, delicious foods (we tried the Greek speciality which were stuffed tomatoes) and drinks. I must say, everyone was SO welcoming and kind, positive vibes everywhere that I felt like a true honored guest ❤

After having a beautiful dinner experience, we just explored around Plaka. Of course I had to get myself some souvenirs, so we shopped around.  As we were walking around, I saw so many people with this interesting looking ice cream and those who know me know I LOVE ice cream. We then came across a long line, and guess what it was? The cool looking ice cream! I forgot the flavor I got, but oh my goodness it was SO delicious. I obviously didn’t want to share so made my husband get me my own :-). The remaining of the night we just enjoyed in Plaka, the weather became lovely and Athens was extremely lit at night. And that ladies, concludes part 1 in Greece. Stay tuned for my next post because it’ll take your BREATH away! Trust me ❤

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

Looking at the Acropolis. 

Theater of Dionysos

Theater of Dionysos

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

 

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

“DaVinci” Ice Cream at Plaka.

Plaka 

Top view zoomed in from the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus on the left.

At the Top of Acropolis. 

Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #4

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe # 4 }

This should have been my FIRST Ramadan Cook Book post, seriously. How could I forget?!

It honestly, is NOT Ramadan when there is no Rooh-Afza! It’s basically “our” version of “strawberry syrup” but its not strawberry (its way better). It has a delicious rose water taste to it, and it is a bit more sweeter. There are many ways to make this drink. I will list below the three different ways you can make this drink! Give it a try if you have not, trust me you will not regret it! Best thing is, takes less than 5 mins to make!

Ingredients:

ROOH-AFZA #1

-Milk
-Rooh-Afza (Found in any Asian Store)
-Ispaghol (Found in any Asian Store)

Instructions:

-Its just like making strawberry milk! Haha.
-Mix it all together in a Jug.
-The more pink it is, the sweeter!
– Add 1 to 2 spoons of Ispaghol
-Mix well
-Leave in the refrigerator until Iftar time, so it can be nice and cold.

ROOH-AFZA #2

-Milk
-Sprite or 7UP
-Rooh-Afza
-Ispaghol

Instructions:
-The same as ROOH-AFZA #1, except you add about a half cup of either Sprite or 7UP to give a good tingly feeling!

ROOH-AFZA #3

-Water
-Lime
-Rooh-Afza
-Ispaghol

Instructions:

-Fill jug with water
-Add Rooh-Afza (as much as you like)
-Squeeze a whole or half Lime (your choice)
-Add Ispaghol (1-2 spoons)
-Mix well
-Leave in the refrigerator until Iftar time, so it can be nice and cold.

If you are trying this for the first time, I would love to know what you thought of it! Do not forget to follow me on Instagram: @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo

Enjoy!

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #3

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #3 }

Who’s ready for a new recipe? I know you all are ❤ Today is the second week of Ramadan! Seriously… it’s going by WAY too fast this year. I hope everyones first week went great, and the remaining weeks to be even better Inshallah (God Willing).

When I take photos of these foods, please take note that I am fasting and I may forget to take a picture of a vegetable or spice haha. So bare that with me! So from the feedback I have received on the last recipe, you all were very pleased! Thank you ❤

Here is another light recipe for your Iftar!

Cholay (Chickpeas) Chaat
(Choow-lay Ch-aa-t)

Ingredients:
-2 canned Chickpeas
-1 onion
-1 Jalaepno
-2/3 Garlic (your choice to add, I did not)
-1 or 2 potatoes
– Fresh mint leaves
-Salt
-Black Pepper
-Chaat Masala
-Red Chili Powder
-Imli (Tamarind) Chutney (Found in any Asian Store)
-Lemon Juice (not in photos)
-Cilantro (not in photos)

Instructions:

-Drain and wash canned Chickpeas
-Chop onions, Jalapenos, Tomatoes, Mint Leaves, Cilantro
-Place all into bowl
-Bake or put potatoes into microwave and warm up. Set aside to cool (last thing to add)
-In a small cup take about 2-3 spoons of Tamarind and add VERY LITTLE water and mix. Set aside.
-Add all spices, as much as you want for taste.
-5 full spoons of Lemon Juice
-Add Tarmarind
-Mix
-Chop potatoes, in a medium size and add and mix.

Your Cholay (Chickpeas) Chaat is ready to be served!

Another very light-weight Iftar appetizer, usually made during Ramadan. Do not forget to leave your feedback, I love reading them! I am so glad this cook book is helping many around the globe, means so much!

Do not forget to follow me on Instagram: @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo so I can see how everything turns out!

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #2

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #2 }

Before I begin this post, I just want to say THANK YOU to all the love and support from family, friends and amazing bloggers. You have given me so much love and positivity that I am glad I have started this. I am also so happy all of you are finding the Cook Book so helpful. Thank you. For those who have messaged me for “special” requests, I got you 😉

Ahhh! I do not know about you all, but is this Ramadan going by WAY too fast? I mean, it always does but this year its just flying by. It’s already the 5th fast! And soon it’ll be a week… ;-( I always get so emotional. I hope everyone’s Ramadan around the world is going good Inshallah (God Willing).

Ramadan is such a blessing that some foods are just meant to be made during this month! I find that so beautiful. As many of you have asked, besides all the “fat food” that is prepared and served during Ramadan, which is so unhealthy (trust me I already have heart burns) we still try to keep it healthy at the same time. But then again, cravings occur… With that said, here’s another simple, yet healthy recipe for your Iftar, which many of you love that I make ❤

Fruit Chaat (ch-aa-t)
(Fruit Salad…yummy yummy)

Ingredients:
NOTE: You can add as much fruit/salt/seasoning as you like it all depends on your taste.

-2 Bananas
-2 Kiwis
-Handful or more strawberries
-Handful or more blueberries
-Green/Purple grapes
-Pear
-Apple
-Baby Guavas
– Guava Juice (Any type of fruit juice is great! I prefer Orange Juice, but I used Guava this time)
-Pomegranate (not in the photos but you may add)
-Melon (which I added later)
-Chaat Masala (available in any Desi/Asian Super market) This is more of a combination of spices, so it adds the perfect taste to the fruit salad (why it’s called Fruit “Chaat”).
-Salt
-Again you may add ANY fruit ❤

Instructions:

-Peel: Kiwi, Apple, Bannana
-Chop all fruits EXCEPT blueberries and grapes.
-Grapes slice into 2 pieces.
-Add all into bowl.
-Add in Chaat Masala (I say about 2 spoons is good, again choice is yours)
-Salt is your choice to add or not
-1/3 cup of Juice.
-Mix
-Ready to be served!

This is also great for a “after Tarawih Prayer” snack before Suhoor (the early breakfast before the Sunrise). A very light-weight snack, that you wish you had made extra.

Hope you ladies enjoyed this post, I would love to hear feed back! Don’t forget to follow my Instagram page @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo ❤ ❤ ❤

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book-Recipe #1

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #1 }

I hope everyone’s “First” fast went amazing! To those who are new, during Ramadan every year I post 30 days of foods that I cook for Iftar (breaking the fast) on my Instagram account (@fashion.with.nelo).

After MUCH demand for the last 2 years, this year instead of posting what I cook I am going to share with you all how I cook it. Yayyy! I know, finally right?! I will be sharing my home recipes with you all so you can have a taste of it as well ❤ Much love and thanks to my mother who taught me well, and I just picked up from there!

I always get questions on how I cooked what, and here you are! I will post 2 times a week for my “Ramadan Cook Book”. I will be sharing special Ramadan cultural dishes. If there are ANY special requests do let me know, and I will gladly teach you.

One of the complicated (not really) things is, during Ramadan you don’t eat (duh). So when it comes to preparing Iftar (breaking the fast) not knowing the taste of your food can get a little tricky. The secret to that is… PUT A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY SALT. You can always add more later, after you have broken your fast. In all of my cooking I use Olive Oil. With that said… here is the first recipe!

Pirakee (pi-ra-kee)

In prep for Iftar: Make sure you begin early! If you are new to cooking, have a helping hand.

Ingredients:
-Egg Roll Skin (rectangular)
-Cabbage
-1 to 2 batches of Cilantro
-Jalapeno (or any green chili of your choice)
– Green Spring Onions
-Fresh Garlic (as many as you like) 5-6 max.
-Turmeric Powder
-Red Chili Powder
-Black Pepper
-Papprika
-Salt
-Olive Oil
-Bowl of Water

Cooking Instructions:
-Chop Cabbage, Cilantro, Jalapeno, and Spring Onions.
-Mash Garlic
-Place all into mixing bowl.
-Add all spices ( it all depends on how spicy/mild you want it)
– Mix
-Heat Olive Oil (VERY LITTLE) in another pan, on low heat.
-Add all into the heated pan, cook for ONLY 10 mins.
-Stir occasionally.
-After cooked, place filling and let it cool.

-Once cooled, prepare the egg roll skin.
-Lay egg roll skin in place, only get a spoon and a half and spread the filling leaving the corners empty.
-Once spread, take index finger dip into the water and go around the egg skin (all 4 corners). Remember NOT too soggy.
-Then fold into either a hotdog or triangular shape (pay close attention to the photos on the layout of the filling for each shape).
-Press well, not too hard or else the filling will come out.
-Repeat steps, until it is completed.

-In another flat pan, heat Olive Oil.
-Once heated, place 2 at a time and cook until golden brown.
– Ready to be served!

Note: You can also serve with a side of yogurt.

I hope you ladies enjoyed this recipe! Do comment below and do share on how it turned out, I would love to know!

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

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