Feasting Around The Med -Cruise Countdown- Friday – Crete- Baked Lamb meatballs with tomato, aubergine and feta.

I cheated today and bought a supermarket greek dish…. But it would be easy enough to make and was very tasty.

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Feasting Around The Med – Thursday – Turkey

Having to suspend the food from around the Med tonight as we are jumping straight in the car when Helen finishes work and heading to the City of London to watch an Anton Checkhov play The Three Sisters.

Mike our son is operating sound for the show which is the first to be staged in the brand new Milton Court Theatre.

We are hoping to arrive in sufficient time to get a backstage tour.

That said I’ve put together a Mediterranean picnic for Helen to eat in the car on the way to London.

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Beware the Greek Tax Inspectors when bearing your gifts!

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Keep your receipts for restaurant and shop purchases whilst in Greece. The Government is cracking down on tax evasion.

It has been made offence for the seller not to issue a receipt, although this has not been well received by many Greeks.

You may be stopped by tax inspectors in Greece, and can be on the spot fined if you haven’t kept your receipt for goods and services purchased.

They may stop you and check your receipt when you leave the restaurant or shop or when returning with purchases to the ship.

  • In August 2013 … The top tourist destinations of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete had tax avoidance rates of more than 56 percent, and authorities ordered 12 establishments closed for a month and additional 14 shutdown.

    There have been disturbances complaining about the reintroduction of the need to keep receipts.

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    Feasting Around The Med – Food and Drink on board

    Not long now... Two questions are been answered.

  • What is the menu like on board
  • How much does it cost when you are thirsty on board?
  • I'm really happy to see a cheese board option on the main dining room and room service.

    I will be in heaven even if my cardiologist won't. The cheese board used to be a main stay dessert option on UK restaurant menus but is rarely seen today. Helen still doesn't understand why she needs evening wear for a youth hostel in the Alps.

    I realise now that cruising is something best savoured and planned for over many months or years, not as I've tried to do it in a couple of weeks.

    I'm not normally so OCD over planning but as Helen's not been involved in the planning at all, the pressures on to get it right.

    Buon Voyagiao, Bon Appetito, Bon Chance.

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    Greece vs Not Greece

    Next Wednesday we arrive in Greece.

    I found this video which tries to explain the facts from the fiction in a fun way. I hope you enjoy this introduction to Greece, I did.

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    Feasting around the Med – Cruise Countdown – Tuesday – sea day.

    I’ve been feeding Helen food from the countries we will visit next week as a clue to where we are going on holiday. She thinks she’s is going to Italy and is hoping its a cruise.

    As it’s a sea day it’s fish today with a homemade ratatouille and oven baked potato wedges.

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    I’ve been keeping an eye on visitors to the blog , here’s the data and where the visitors come from.. Always interesting to see.

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    Feasting around the Med – Cruise Countdown – Sicily – Sicilian Meatballs ala Forno

    1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Put the lamb, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, lemon zest, soaked raisins and their juice, oregano, sun-dried tomatoes, most of the parsley (saving a little to serve) and half the parmesan in a bowl. Season, then mix together well.
    2. With wet hands, roll and pat the mixture into 24 meatballs (the size of golf balls). Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan over a high heat, then fry them for about 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Set aside.
    3. For the arrabiata sauce, heat a good glug of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, anchovies and chillies, and gently fry for a few minutes, until soft. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and cinnamon and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often, or until reduced. Pour in a splash of red wine vinegar, season well, add the sugar if you think it tastes too sharp, and mix through most of the basil leaves.
    4. Cook 12 oz of Pasta in salted water until al dente, then drain and transfer the pasta to a 25–30cm ovenproof dish, porn on the arrabiata sauce then dot the meatballs on top, along with the torn pieces of mozzarella. Sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves and parmesan, and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

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    Visiting the Colosseum, the Forum and Palatine Hill and how not to queue for 40 minutes.

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    Public transport route planner

    The standard entrance ticket to the Colosseum also includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. All three attractions have separate ticketing entrances. You can walk between the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum without exiting.
    The ticket kiosk at the Colosseum has by far the longest queues.

    Buy tickets at Palentine Hill and use the empty entrance on the left when entering the Colleseum.

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    If you want to visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill do yourself a favour, buy your tickets at the Palatine Hill entrance.
    Then walk uphill exploring the Palatine Hill is more gradual than from the Roman Forum with more shade. After performing a circuit of the Palatine Hill you will get a great birds eye view down onto the Roman Forum as you descend into it, getting a good initial orientation in the process.
    The entrance of the Roman Forum is a long way from the Colosseum, but there is an exit only gate from the Roman Forum right next to the Colosseum.

    The ticket gate for the Palatine Hill often has no queues at all and is midway down the road Via di San Gregorio that runs from the Colosseum along the base of the Palatine Hill less than 5 minutes walk from the Colosseum.
    The Roma Pass also covers The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

    Directions to Palentine Hill entrance

    You’ll arrive at the Metro Colosseo stop (just above the Colosseum on the map) walk across the street, then down the path toward Constantine’s arch (keeping the Colosseum on your left). Go past the arch and in a few moments you’ll reach Via San Gregorio. The Palatine Hill entrance is on your right — on the map, it’s where the white T-shaped area is just above the “e” in “Gregorio.”

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    OPENING TIMES:

    The Colosseum is open every day of the year, excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, and opens at 08.30 AM. Closing times are as follows:

    Last Sunday of March to end August, 07.15 PM
    September, 07.00 PM
    October, 06.30 PM
    November to February 15th, 04.30 PM
    February 16th to March 15th, 05.00 PM
    March 16th to last Saturday of March, 05.30 PM

    You might like to follow this 1/2 day walking route in the area. The image below shows the indexed route but visit the site to see the detailed entries.

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    Our Rome Plans

    I’m still finalising the Rome plans but at this time…

    Before the Cruise

    On arrival we will check in at our Hotel near Termini and have some lunch then make our way to:

  • Saturday evening a Passeggiata
  • Next morning prior to leaving for the Port, if we are up in time:

  • Sunday Morning Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

  • After the cruise we will return to Termini and leave our cases in the station lockers and then spend another day exploring Rome.

  • Starting at the Colosseum, the Forum and Pallatine Hill
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    Feasting Around the Med – Cruise Countdown – Italy – Bruschetta and Olives for lunch.

    I baked the bruschetta then sliced it.

    Mixing olive oil with chopped tomato, garlic, red onion and mixed herbs I then spread this on the slices and then grilled to your liking.

    Served with green and black olives on an olive olive oil, lemon Juice and garlic marinade.

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