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During a trip to Greece we decided to take a ferry from the port of Piraeus to the island of Hydra for a nice day trip.  Hydra was highly recommended to us because it was close to the Greek mainland and because no cars were allowed on the island making it quite quaint.  And that it was!

Since no cars are allowed on Hydra, there are two ways to get around.  Walk or take a local "taxi."  Local taxis are donkeys and small horses!  Really!

We strolled around the base of the town located on the side of a hill and checked out the many little bistros that lined the main street right next to the harbor.  They had awnings over them to keep the sun out and it was shining brightly.

The harbor kind of forms a horseshoe and we wandered all the way around to the side opposite of the ferry landing and walked up a gradual hill.  It was about lunch time and we saw a very crowded outdoor spot called the Sunset Cafe.  It looked good so we gave it a shot.

The restaurant sits right on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea with great views and nice breezes.

We couldn't help but notice what our fellow diners were enjoying--lots of fried squid, fish, freshly boiled shrimp (heads still on) and strange little discs of some sort.  The folks at the table next to us polished off one plate of "the discs" and ordered a second and then a third.

We started off with fried squid with a fresh lemon on the side and it was great.  We both had eaten so much fresh fish on the mainland that we opted to go with an all time Greek favorite -- moussaka for our main course.  This dish can be made several different ways but in this case the bottom layer was made of potatoes.  That was topped by roasted eggplant.  Mincemeat (ground meat) with tomato came next.  The whole thing was topped with a thick, one inch layer or béchamel sauce and baked.  It was the best I've ever had.

As we watched the next door neighbors order up their third plate of those strange "discs" I gave in and summoned the waiter and asked him what they were.  He said "fried potatoes."  So we tried an order. They were okay but not as good as they looked.  Some were kind of soggy.

Local Taxis in Hydra!

As we finished our meal little did we know that something awful was about to happen back home.  This day was Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  As we sailed aboard a hydrofoil ferry on the way back to the port of Piraeus, terrorists would attack the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the United Airlines jet over Pennsylvania.  Still, we have fond memories of Hydra and the Sunset Cafe.

If you'd like to read more about this charming restaurant, they have a web page here.


Taverna Arsenis - Amfithea

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