Daily Archives: August 18, 2014

Culinary journey with Flavours of Greece


The annual festival of Greek cuisine takes off tonight in Melbourne, with a Greek Gourmet Walking Safari in Oakleigh.

The end of winter in Melbourne will be celebrated again with Flavours of Greece, as the Greek community of Melbourne’s annual festival of Greek cuisine takes off.

Presented by Barbaresso Oyzo, for four weeks, a selection of Melbourne’s Greek restaurants will share their favourite dishes – and some of their culinary secrets – through a program of special dinners and events, each designed to showcase the best of Greek cuisine from the country’s numerous regions.

Melbourne plays host to some of the most celebrated Greek eateries in the country, which vary from the romantically traditional to the most recent emergence of Greek street food.

Now in its fifth year, Flavours of Greece will capture the spirit of this ever-evolving phenomenon, presenting a mix of regional cuisine, classic feasts and contemporary culinary expression.

The festival began on Saturday, as Food Safari’s Maeve O’Meara and writer Victoria Kyriakopoulos took lucky foodies on a guided walking tour – Greek Gourmet Walking Safari – of the vibrant Greek suburb of Oakleigh.

The safarians spent a lively Saturday morning among the horde of shoppers who flock to Oakleigh on a weekly basis, where local butchers fire up their barbecues on the street and cook up delicious loukaniko sausages, while the multitude of cafes and zaxaroplasteia were buzzing with atmosphere.

Visit The Greek Deli and Taverna in South Yarra for a spring dinner, Philhellene in Moonee Ponds for a delicious seafood menu, Alpha Ouzeri in Fitzroy for contemporary Greek cuisine, or set out on a culinary journey to traditional Crete with Zimari in Windsor.

Other participating venues include Pireaus Blues (Fitzroy), Spitiko (South Melbourne), Argo Fish Shop (North Fitzroy) and Kalimera (Oakleigh).
To make a reservation for Flavours of Greece, visit www.antipodesfestival.com.au/antipodes-events/flavours-of-greece

Event guide:

Event 19 August – 16 September
Spring Dinner @ The Deli
The Greek Deli and Taverna
Bookings: (03) 9827 3734

Tuesday 19 August 2014, 7.00 pm
Psarotaverna: Greek Sea Flavour
Bookings: (03) 9370 3303

Thursday 21 August 2014, 7.00 pm
Contemporary Greek Night
Alpha Ouzeri
Bookings: (03) 9078 0582

Thursday 28 August 2014, 6.30 pm
The Road to Crete
Bookings: (03) 9529 7894

Thursday 4 September 2014, 7.00 pm
Contemporary Greek Night
Alpha Ouzeri
Bookings (03) 9078 0582

8 September – 16 September
Argo’s Seafood Flavours of Greece
Bookings: (03) 9489 8714
Thursday 11 September, 7.30 pm
The Odyssey
Pireaus Blues
Bookings: (03) 9417 0222

Tuesday 16 September, 6.30 pm
Kalimera Souvlaki Art
Bookings: (03) 9939 3912

Thursday 18 September, 7.00 pm
Food from the Greek Gods
Grecian Scenes: Meze Ouzeri
Bookings (03) 9388 1558

Saturday 20 September 2014, 9.30 am
Greek Gourmet Walking Safari
Oakleigh Bookings: www.gourmetsafaris.com.au/cart/index.php?mod=events&catid=47

Wednesday 24 September 2014, 7.00 pm
San to Spiti Sas
Bookings: (03) 9690 2600
Saturday 18 October 2014, 9.30 am
Greek Gourmet Walking Safari
Bookings: see above

Sunday 26 October 2014, 11.00 am
Mediterranean Spring
Angela’s Kitchen
Bookings: 0417 106 147

source: Neos Kosmos

Kύπελλο Ελλάδας: ΑΕΚ-Φωκικός, ΑΕΛ-Ολυμπιακός Βόλου


Πραγματοποιήθηκε η κλήρωση του Κυπέλλου Ελλάδας και στον πρώτο γύρο η ΑΕΚ θα αντιμετωπίσει τον Φωκικό. Η Λάρισα κοντράρεται με τον Ολυμπιακό Βόλου ενώ ο Απόλλωνας Καλαμαριάς με τον Άρη και ο Ηρακλής με την Λαμία. Σε δύο γκρουπ με 14 ομάδες το καθένα, τα οποία βγάζουν 7 νικητές, έχει χωριστεί ο πρώτος γύρος του Κυπέλλου.

Οι πρώτοι αγώνες θα γίνουν στις 28-30 Αυγούστου ενώ οι επαναληπτικοί 12-14 Σεπτεμβρίου. Οι 14 ομάδες που θα προκύψουν από τον πρώτο γύρο θα κληρωθούν με τις 18 ομάδες της Σούπερ Λίγκας και θα σχηματίσουν 8 ομίλους τεσσάρων ομάδων. Η κλήρωση θα γίνει βάσει γκρουπ δυναμικότητας.

Αυτά είναι:Στο πρώτο γκρουπ μπαίνουν οι 8 πρώτης της περσινής σεζόν. Δηλαδή, Ολυμπιακός, ΠΑΟΚ, Ατρόμητος, Παναθηναϊκός, Αστέρας Τρίπολης, ΟΦΗ, Εργοτέλης και Λεβαδειακός. Στο δεύτερο γκρουπ είναι οι Παναιτωλικός, Πανθρακικός, ΠΑΣ Γιάννια, Καλλονή, Πανιώνιος, Πλατανιάς, Βέροια και Ξάνθη. Στο τρίτο γκρουπ είναι οι δύο ομάδες που ανέβηκαν από την Φουτμπολ Λιγκ, Νίκη Βόλου και Κέρκυρα και όσες ομάδες καταφέρουν να προκριθούν.

Οι αγώνες θα είναι μονοί στους ομίλους με γηπεδούχο την “αδύναμη” ομάδα και θα περάσουν στην επόμενη φάση οι δύο πρώτες του κάθε ομίλου. Από εκεί και πέρα, στην επόμενη φάση ξαναμπαίνουμε στην διαδικασία των ζευγαριών και των διπλών αγώνων, διαδικασία που θα πάει μέχρι τους ημιτελικούς. Στις 9 Μαΐου στο ΟΑΚΑ θα πραγματοποιηθεί ο τελικός.

Νότιος όμιλος
Ηρακλής Ψαχνών-Επισκοπή
Καλλιθέα-Απόλλων Σμύρνης

Βόρειος όμιλος
Αναγέννηση Καρδίτσας-Εθνικός Γαζώρου
ΑΕΛ-Ολυμπιακός Βόλου
Αιγινιακός-Αγροτικός Αστέρας
Απόλλων 1926-Άρης
Δόξα Δράμας-Ζάκυνθος

Πηγή: Madata.gr

Burnley are ready to upset Chelsea


Title favourites Chelsea are set to unleash some of the club’s major close-season buys when they launch their campaign at Barclays Premier League new boys Burnley.

Jose Mourinho’s men finished last season third, faltering as a dramatic title tussle with Liverpool and eventual champions Manchester City reached its conclusion. Chelsea moved quickly to try to they last the course this time around, bringing in striker Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, and former Arsenal playmaker Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.

Both players are set to be pivotal figures for Mourinho in 2014/15 and Filipe Luis also has come in from Atletico to replace the long-serving Ashley Cole.
Returning hero Didier Drogba adds further muscle in attack, but is a doubt for the season opener after sustaining an ankle injury during a pre-season friendly against Ferencvaros.

But perhaps the greatest intrigue surrounding the Chelsea squad is the battle for the goalkeeping position. Petr Cech has been a mainstay of their success during the modern era, but Thibaut Courtois’s return after three years on loan at Atletico, picking up the Spanish Liga title and starring en route to the UEFA Champions League final last season, leaves Mourinho with an unenviable decision to make ahead of the Turf Moor showdown on Monday.

“I can’t tell you [which goalkeeper will play] because they don’t know and the team doesn’t know,” Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference. “What I can say is that in my opinion, with all respect to fantastic goalkeepers around the world, I think Chelsea has two of the three best goalkeepers in the world, which is unique.”

Mourinho continually played down his team’s title prospects last term, but he accepts that Chelsea are among the front-runners this time around.

“This season obviously we bought some key players, we believe and we are feeling that the new players have brought the squad and team into another dimension,” he said. “Yes, we are title contenders. If you expect me to say we will win the Premier League I can’t say that. I can’t because I have to respect the competition, which is the only [league] that has more than two title contenders. I have to respect the opponents and efforts the other teams made to improve their already top teams, but we all feel we are title contenders.”

Burnley undertook a more low-key approach during the close-season following their surprise march to an automatic promotion place in a magnificent 2013/14. Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Stephen Ward became the club’s seventh recruit on Friday ahead of their top-flight return, while Lukas Jutkiewicz has enjoyed a prolific pre-season since signing from Middlesbrough. Jutkiewicz is expected to partner Danny Ings in attack as Sam Vokes continues his lengthy rehabilitation from cruciate knee ligament damage.

“There will be a vast gap in resources available, that’s the reality of it,” manager Sean Dyche, who is nicknamed “The Ginger Mourinho” by the Burnley faithful, said at a pre-match press conference. “There are probably still eight Championship clubs I could name off the bat who have got a better player wage level than we have now.

“But look at what you’ve got, not what you haven’t. We have to find a way of operating to get where we want. Behind my extremely bouncer-like look, there are a couple of brain cells in there!”

Five years ago, Burnley won their opening Barclays Premier League home match of the season 1-0 against Manchester United and Dyche is not ruling out another upset.

“Never say never,” he said. “Was it Cardiff who got three points off Man City early last season? I don’t think many would have been expecting that.”

Burnley (from): Cisak, Gilks, Heaton; Duff, Lafferty, Long, Mee, O’Neill, Shackell, Trippier, Ward; Arfield, Marney, Jones, Howieson, Kightly, Reid, Taylor, Wallace; Barnes, Ings, Jutkiewicz, Sordell.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Courtois, Schwarzer; Ake, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Christensen, Ivanovic, Luis, Terry, Zouma; Fabregas, Hazard, Matic Mikel, Oscar, Ramires, Salah, Van Ginkel, Willian; Costa, Drogba, Torres, Schurrle.

Match Appointments
Michael Oliver. Assistants: S Burt, D Cann. Fourth Official: M Dean.

Don Hutchison’s view
Talking point: It’ll be tough for Burnley, despite their unknown factor, with Chelsea’s an excellent opening-day record.
Main man: I am a big fan of Diego Costa, of his workrate and physical approach, and I think he will hit the ground running?
Prediction: BUR 0-2 CHE. The atmosphere at Turf Moor will carry Burnley for the first 45-60 minutes but Chelsea’s overriding quality will show in the end.

source: premierleague.com

Liverpool FC: We will get better, says Rodgers ahead of trip to Man City


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has promised his side will improve on Sunday’s scrappy 2-1 win over Southampton at Anfield.

Rodgers’ men lacked the fluency and attacking spark they showed last season against Southampton and victory was only sealed with 11 minutes left when Daniel Sturridge poked in from close range.

Raheem Sterling’s opener had been cancelled out by a Nathaniel Clyne effort and at times, Southampton looked the more likely of the two sides to win. Liverpool, who faded late to finish second in the Barclays Premier League last term, did just enough, with Sturridge’s predatory instincts around goal proving crucial.

Rodgers felt the nature of the match made Liverpool’s win more special as he now looks ahead to a trip to face the team who pipped them to the title, Manchester City on Monday 25 August.

“We had to grind out a result,” Rodgers said. “Today was a brilliant win for us because it was a tough game. [I am] really, really happy with that determination and character to win a football match.

“As the season rolls on, we’ll get better and more fluent. [It was] very hard-fought. They’re a good side, I don’t think you can think that just because they have lost players, that it was going to be a walkover.

“They’ve got some very, very good players and an experienced manager [Ronald Koeman] that’s come in and got them organised. It was always going to be a difficult game. So to get the three points was vital. We had to show guts and determination. I thought it was a great win.”

Rodgers has added several players to his squad in the wake of Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona and was pleased that he had the options available to change the match.

“Thankfully today, we could change the game,” he said. “We got to one [goal] each and I can look to the bench and think we can change the way we work. So we flipped to a diamond and put big Rickie [Lambert] on and he unsettled them a bit. They obviously know his qualities [as a former Southampton player].

“We started to cross the ball into the box and obviously that led to our second goal, where Raheem wins a great header and Daniel makes a lovely touch on the ball to get the winner.”

Rodgers also reserved special praise for goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who made an outstanding reaction save to deny Morgan Schneiderlin in the closing stages, and revealed that Suarez had sent him a text message on the morning of the match wishing Liverpool good luck.

Koeman confidence

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insists his side will take plenty of confidence from their display at Anfield. The nature of Southampton’s performance, particularly after the break, pleased the Dutchman, who urged his players to believe in themselves.

“We played a great, impressive second half,” Koeman said. “After the [Clyne goal to make it] 1-1, there was one team on the pitch playing and that was Southampton.

“We did everything well, minus to score the second one. We create two great possibilities, opportunities, but the quality of Liverpool – they don’t need a lot of opportunities to score two goals and that made the difference. The way how we played, that brings us a lot of confidence. And if we play like [that], the points will come.

“We have to believe in our qualities. That was one of the messages that we gave the boys before the match. Little by little, we did it. We played a great, impressive second half and that’s the way we like to play. If we play like that, with that team spirit, I don’t think we will struggle [for] the whole season.”

One area that Southampton can improve on, though, is their defensive shape, something Koeman intends to target in the coming weeks.

“How we did the pressing, the high pressing, in the second half, it was a little bit different than in the first half,” he said. “In the first half we lost a little bit of attention in the transition to attack of Liverpool, because they got two chances about that, one was the goal.

“It was not a good defensive organisation at that moment [when Sterling scored]. [But] we played well, we deserved a better result and that gives us a lot of confidence.”

source: premierleague.com

Australia’s Tony Abbott signals compromise on tough budget


SYDNEY Aug 18 (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signalled on Monday he is open to compromises with opposition lawmakers on his unpopular budget, a major concession to help push the austere savings plan through a hostile Senate.

Three months since handing down its first budget, Abbott’s conservative government has failed to win enough support in parliament’s upper house for measures such as increased medical fees and cuts to family welfare payments.

The Liberal-National coalition government argues that the tough budget, which prompted public protests in May, will overcome unsustainable deficits totalling A$60 billion ($56 billion) over the next four years.

Critics say it is unnecessarily draconian, noting that Australia’s AAA-rated debt pales in comparison to most developed nations and the savings measures might actually damage the economy.

Abbott for the first time opened up the possibility of “adjustments” to the plan, although he provided no detail and stressed he would stick to the budget’s “fundamentals”.

“You have to deal with the parliament that you’ve got and that’s what the government is doing,” Abbott said. “We’re prepared to talk to the crossbench senators.”

Abbott’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb warned that a senate block of major reforms would worry foreign investors.

“If the current Senate continues as it has, it will affect the perception of sovereign risk in Australia,” Robb told The Australian newspaper.

Mining magnate Clive Palmer, whose neophyte Palmer United Party (PUP) holds the balance of power in the upper house, has vowed to block the budget in its current form.

Palmer has already held the new Senate hostage this year, delaying the government’s repeal of Australia’s controversial carbon tax for weeks as he haggled for concessions.

“The budget is very unfair, it’s unfair to all the people in this country, it robs our children of their future, it’s not something we can support,” Palmer said.

Palmer opened up a new front on government policy, calling on Abbott to close Australia’s controversial immigration detention centres instead of introducing a new fee to see a doctor under the Medicare universal healthcare system.

Health Minister Peter Dutton has indicated possible exemptions to the introduction of the A$7 ($6.50) fee for every visit to a general practitioner, saying talks with crossbenchers have been “productive”.

Other controversial measures include an increase in fuel excise and cuts to university funding.


Australia has fared better than most developed nations in the past decade, having avoided the implosions of the finance and housing sectors suffered by the United States and Europe, while Chinese demand for resources fuelled a boom in exports.

But the government, which swept to power last September on a pro-business platform of budget reform and the abolition of a tax on carbon emissions, argues that the benefits of 22 years of unbroken economic growth have been squandered on a bloated bureaucracy rather than investing in badly needed infrastructure.

Poll results show the government’s popularity sliding since the May budget announcement, while a number of gaffes by ministers have undermined its attempts to sell the controversial package.

Treasurer Joe Hockey apologised on Friday for saying that the planned fuel excise increase would not affect poor people much because they do not drive cars or drive very far, prompting widepread ridicule and condemnation.

Abbott had previously raised the prospect of a dissolution of parliament and fresh elections if the budget was blocked, but has not threatened that measure since his slide in the polls.

source: reuters.com



Αμφίπολη: Τα μυστικά της ανασκαφής


Το βλέμμα της παγκόσμιας επιστημονικής κοινότητας έχει πλέον στραφεί στον τάφο της Αμφίπολης, καθώς -όπως όλα δείχνουν- βρισκόμαστε μπροστά σε μία τεράστια αρχαιολογική ανακάλυψη.

Ο τύμβος Καστά είναι έτοιμος να αποκαλύψει τα μυστικά που κρατούσε, επί αιώνες, βαθιά θαμμένα στη γη της αρχαίας Αμφίπολης.

Η αρχαιολογική σκαπάνη, ολοκληρώνοντας τον κύκλο του ταφικού περιβόλου, ανακάλυψε την πύλη που οδηγεί στο εσωτερικό του μακεδονικού τάφου. Χρειάσθηκαν πολύμηνες, επίπονες προσπάθειες μέχρι να καταφέρουν οι αρχαιολόγοι να φθάσουν στον ταφικό διάδρομο που τους φέρνει ένα βήμα πριν από το ραντεβού με την Ιστορία.

«Δώσαμε τη μάχη του…χιλιοστού», μας έλεγαν συγκινημένοι, πριν από λίγες ημέρες, κάποιοι από τους αρχαιολόγους που παίρνουν μέρος στην ανασκαφή.

Η είσοδος βρισκόταν, όπως το περίμεναν, στο ανατολικό τμήμα του, μήκους 497 μέτρων, περιβόλου, εκεί όπου «έβλεπε» το λιοντάρι της Αμφίπολης. Ο ταφικός δρόμος έχει πλάτος 4,5 μέτρων και ύστερα από 13 σκαλοπάτια καταλήγει στους τοίχους που περικλείουν τον ταφικό θάλαμο. Αγρυπνοι φύλακές του, όπως ανακαλύφθηκε, είναι δύο ολόγλυφες σφίγγες που βρίσκονται και αυτές «προστατευμένες» από τους, ύψους 3 μέτρων, τοίχους. Οι τοίχοι, μάλιστα, του διαδρόμου είναι σμιλεμένοι με την ίδια τεχνοτροπία του κυκλικού περιβόλου, σε λευκό μάρμαρο της Θάσου.

«O αρχιτέκτονας του μνημείου ήταν πραγματικός καλλιτέχνης με βαθιές γεωμετρικές γνώσεις», τόνιζαν, από την πρώτη στιγμή, οι αρχαιολόγοι. Το απέδειξε, μάλιστα, η ψηφιακή σάρωση του 2013 από το Τμήμα Τοπογραφίας του ΤΕΙ Αθηνών. Ο ταφικός περίβολος αποτελεί έναν τέλειο κύκλο με διάμετρο 158,40 μέτρων, αποδεικνύοντας τη μοναδικότητα και την επιβλητικότητα της κατασκευής.

Στις έρευνές τους, που -ειδικά τις τελευταίες εβδομάδες- έγιναν κάτω από άκρα μυστικότητα, οι αρχαιολόγοι έκαναν αρκετές φορές χρήση της προηγμένης τεχνολογίας. Ετσι, με ειδικές ακτίνες Χ, κατέληξαν ότι πίσω από τους τοίχους θα πρέπει να «κρύβονται» τρία διαμερίσματα, δίχως, ωστόσο, να μπορούν ακόμη να γνωρίζουν τον αριθμό ή την ταυτότητα των νεκρών. Αυτό θα το διαπιστώσουν μόνον όταν καταφέρουν να μπουν στον τάφο, που εύχονται να μην έχει συληθεί. Βέβαια, όπως μας μεταφέρουν, η είσοδός τους στον εσωτερικό θάλαμο δεν αποτελεί ένα ιδιαίτερα απλό εγχείρημα.

«Υπάρχουν τόνοι χώματος, και για τον λόγο αυτό θα πρέπει να κινηθούμε πολύ προσεκτικά», επισημαίνουν κάποια από τα μέλη της ανασκαφής, έχοντας στο μυαλό τους τις κατολισθήσεις που τους ταλαιπώρησαν το προηγούμενο διάστημα.


Four Greek sponsored teams will contest the FFA Cup in the round of 16


Football is the “biggest sport for our community” John Anastasiadis believes. Photo: Kostas Deves.

With Bentleigh Greens’ win last week, four Greek sponsored teams will contest the FFA Cup in the round of 16, showing just how important the sport is to the community.

As the fourth and final Greek sponsored team to make it into the round of 16 for the FFA Cup, the feat isn’t lost on Bentleigh Greens coach John Anastasiadis.

A player in the NSL days and a legend in the Greek Australian football community, seeing his team and Sydney Olympic, Aris, and Olympic FC make it to the top 16 of the nation shows just how deep the love of football still is in the community.

“It’s the biggest sport for our community, no doubt about it,” Anastasiadis tells Neos Kosmos.

“The Greek community has been a leader in the sport of football in Australia and it continues to be so.

“It’s dropped off a little bit with the generational changes, but I still think there’s a strong bond between our community and soccer.”

Bentleigh Greens managed to upset local team Blacktown City this week to make it through to the next round.

Travelling up to Sydney, it seemed like the Greens brought the weather with them, as rain pelted down on the synthetic pitch, giving them quite an advantage.

City have been known to falter with inclement weather, and as the first droplets fell before the match, the local team weren’t feeling as confident.

Tipped as the best thing out of the A-League, City struggled to get a hold of the game, as they were unable to get past the Bentleigh defence, and get a good enough position for a strike.

After Greens striker David Stirton kicked the lone goal of the match, City came back with a vengeance, desperate to equalise.

Goalkeeper Alastair Bray kept the onslaught at bay and made several outstanding saves to keep the Greens ahead.

No one is prouder of the team’s efforts than coach Anastasiadis.

“They really put the pressure on us, but the boys held out, and they got their just rewards,” he says.

Currently, Bentleigh are in a bit of a comeback, not conceding a game in three matches.

Their NPL race continued Friday night, when the team took on fellow Greek team Port Melbourne Sharks.

Anastasiadis rested a couple of players, giving some players suffering from ‘niggly’ injuries a chance to recuperate.

Travelling interstate will have given the boys a real taste of professional football, but their opponents last night have the luxury of a full week of uninterrupted training.

Anastasiadis says the full fixture can work in the team’s favour.

“Sometimes playing a lot of games is good for the players because they don’t have to do a lot of training, no one likes training, so they’d rather keep playing all the time,” he says.

Bentleigh Greens will find out who their opponents for the next FFA Cup match when the final round 32 matches are played.

source: Neos Kosmos

Athens in August has a lot to offer its visitors in the last month of summer


Turquoise seas, impressive mountains, scrumptious food and crisp wine are among the things that brought 17 million tourists to Greece in 2013.

More are expected this year but Athens will not feature high up on their list of destinations during the summer. In fact, the Greek capital feels a somewhat lonely place in August as locals and tourist scamper off to the islands. In some ways this makes the height of summer the best time of the year to be in Athens to enjoy its myriad attractions, even though the city’s intensity drops a few notches under the searing August sun.

The heat means that mornings are the best time to visit the sites. The Acropolis is open from sunup to sundown. With a 6 euro ticket for students (12 for adults), you will be able to see the Ancient Agora, the Parthenon, the Temple of Zeus and the Roman-era Herod Atticus Theatre. Tours can be relatively cheap and informative. The walking tour with Athens Backpacker organisation, for instance, is only 6 euros and lasts three hours. In general, tours range from 10 euros to 40 euros and usually include a tour of all the archeological sites that are within metro and walking distance.

The Acropolis Museum is included in some of these tours but if not it should definitely be part of your itinerary. For only 5 euros, you will be able to see some of the most fascinating artefacts the world has to offer. You can also enjoy an air-conditioned break at the museum’s restaurant. The Acropolis Museum will also be hosting a special event for the full moon on August 10.

You may also want to check out sites like www.alternative-athens.com and www.bigolive.org for alternative and unique tours. Alternative Athens specialises in giving tours of a different nature, ranging from cool food tours to street-art and bar-hopping walks. These tours usually last for three hours and cost about 40 euros per person. Big Olive focuses more on art, architecture and literature tours that last about two hours and cost around 40 euros per person.

If you want to experience Athens on your own, you can head to Monastiraki or Syntagma square to enjoy some shopping, or relax at a cafe or restaurant.

The Athens Flea Market by Monastiraki metro station is a long pedestrian street filled with quirky shops full of handmade leather sandals, jewellery, instruments and many souvenirs. The long pedestrian Ermou Street, which connects Monastiraki and Syntagma, is home to international brands and has great sales during the summer. For even more up-market shopping, head to Kolonaki, where there are also numerous cafes and eateries.

If you want to sink your teeth into something traditional, then Thanasis and Bairaktaris, located on Monastiraki Square, are among the most famous kebab and souvlaki joints in Athens. If you are in the mood for fish or seafood, Mikrolimano, near Piraeus port, provides a picturesque backdrop for some finer dining. For a more modern (and expensive) take on Greek cuisine, you can try Funky Gourmet in Kerameikos, which has received rave international reviews.
Classics such as Strofi and Dionysos at the foot of the Acropolis are also on the pricey side but offer great views as part of the package.

For a quiet evening, head up Mount Lycabettus, which offers great views over the city and wonderful sunsets. If you decide to walk up the hill, you can reward yourself with an cold beer at the restaurant at the top. Other cafes with beautiful views of the city are A for Athens (part of a hotel) and 360, both on Monastiraki Square. The side streets around Syntagma, home of the Greek Parliament, are also full of side streets with bars and cafes such as the Thea Terrace Bar and Baba Au Rum (which has the largest selection of rum from all over the world), among other selections. Gazi and Psyri are also hubs for nightlife, home to many popular and alternative bars.

If you are in the mood for a late night, Athens has numerous nightclubs that stay open into the early hours of the morning and are mainly concentrated on the southern coast.

Beating the heat is not hard to do as the greater Athens area is surrounded by dozens of beaches. They range from small, rocky secluded beaches to popular sandy stretches with beach bars and sun loungers. Rafina, Porto Rafti, Mati, Schinias and Loutsa (Artemida) are on the eastern coast of Attica.

Many public and private buses leave from the Aghia Paraskevi Square and the Nomismatokopio metro station. If you want to stay closer to the city, Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni on the southern coast are easy to get to but many organised beaches along this part of the coast charge an entrance fee. You may have to pay separately for umbrellas and sun loungers. The tram from Syntagma Square stops at several beaches along the southern coast, including Glyfada and as far as Voula. Public buses go to Varkiza and Vouliagmeni, while there are also regular routes to areas such as Sounio, where you can combine a swim with a visit to the Temple of Poseidon.

Even in August, when many of the city’s residents have headed off on their holidays and visitors are usually just passing through, Athens offers a wide range of things to do. It’s no coincidence that most of these popular attractions are in practically every guidebook about Athens – after all, they offer a glance at the history, beauty and uniqueness of the city. In fact, you wonder why more tourists don’t stick around.

Source: ekathimerini

Australian ISIS supporter who stormed off SBS Insight, arrested!


A MUSLIM teenager who sparked a wave of controversy after storming off the set of SBS Insight has been arrested after racially abusing a cleaner, it has emerged.  

The teen, named by Fairfax as Abu Bakr, allegedly abused the cleaner in an attack last weekend at a Western Sydney shopping centre.

Bakr, 19, who attracted headlines over his fiery performance on the SBS show last week, allegedly threatened and intimidated another man in Bankstown.

The teenager walked off the SBS set after being questioned over his passport being revoked as well as his support for Islamic State fighters.

Abu Bakr, who had his Australian passport cancelled on security grounds, arrived at the SBS studio wearing an Islamic State flag on his jacket.

Police confirmed the teenager was charged with affray and intimidation following the incident last Sunday.

Police said a 43-year-old cleaner at a shopping centre on North Terrace in Bankstown was approached by two men, one of whom allegedly verbally abused and intimidated him.

Bakr and a friend were allegedly kicked out of the centre but returned an hour and a half later and began abusing the man again.

The cleaner contacted security after becoming “fearful” and the men were escorted from the centre.

Police were contacted a short time later and launched an investigation.

The Bankstown teenager was arrested on Friday and police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Bakr was given strict bail conditions to appear at Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday 10 September 2014.

source: news.com.au

Australia’s biggest oil discovery in 30 years


Apache claims it has found the largest Australian oil deposit discovered in decade offshore in WA’s Canning Basin. Photo: Source: Apache

US oil and gas player Apache has made what is being heralded as the country’s largest oil discovery in the last 30 years, and the first in the offshore part of Western Australia’s Canning Basin.

Shares in Australian company Carnarvon Petroleum, a junior partner in the venture, instantly more than doubled on the news.

Apache’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for the international business, Thomas Voytovich, described the result as “exciting”, while cautioning that the results were still in the early stage of evaluation.

Even so, he said the qualities of the reservoir found “point to a commercial discovery”.


The Phoenix South-1 well found oil in at least four different sections of the hole, and testing has shown the reservoir to be productive, with potentially up to 300 million barrels of oil in place, Apache reported on Monday.

“If these results are borne out by further appraisal drilling, Phoenix South may represent a new oil province for Australia,” Mr Voytovich said.

Carnarvon Petroleum one of the three junior partners in the Apache-led venture, described the result as “one of the most significant developments in Australian oil and gas in recent times”.

Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook said the find was “the most significant new oil play in the North West Shelf since the Enfield discovery opened up the Exmouth Basin almost 20 years ago.”

“The implications on the rest of our acreage are still being assessed but the potential is extraordinary,” Mr Cook said.

Carnarvon shares, which closed Friday at 8.1¢, surged as high as 20¢.

Carnarvon owns 20 per cent of the WA-435-P drilling venture, as do Japan’s JX Nippon and unlisted Finder Exploration, while Apache owns 40 per cent and is the operator.

source: smh.com.au