I’ll go ahead and admit to you now, this trip to Greece was not to explore ancient history or keep myself busy with guideed tours. I traveled here to see a new culture while visiting my dear friend Florian and of course try the food!
I’m hungry at the moment, so I’m going to begin with the edibles! My favorite thing about Cretan food? The abundance of organic, real and raw veggies. The restaurants are locally owned and operated and most ingredients are gathered right in their backyard!
Not so favorite fact… the lack of spice! “Hot” to them, means there is black pepper on the table.
Typically, you’ll get complimentary bread and butter before every meal and after, they bring you fruit aside a bit of Raki. Also known as Tsikoudia, this strong distilled spirit contains approximately 37 percent alcohol and is produced from the must-residue of the wine-press. I was told that Cretans are often disappointed when they travel abroad and these two customs are not delivered.
Our fancy meal of the trip was sword fish, stuffed mushrooms and greens. Followed of course, by the complimentary dessert and drink. Sorry, we devoured the delicious mushrooms before I took this photo.
This italian restaurant claimed to have fresh pizza from a wood burning stove. Turns out they were advertising the truth! Here’s the afternoon delivery of fresh wood, followed by the pizza that the boys ordered.
For this lunch stop, Hayden went for crougette balls (fried zucchini) and a typical cheese dish.
I thought I’d branch out and order the “special salad” (that was the actual name of it on the menu) and the only special thing to me was the 1/2 cup of mayonnaise in the middle. Why is this necessary and what we’re they thinking?!
Hamburger and fries? Yes he did!
A morning market treat for me was pomegranate and Greek yogurt. I added lime juice to make it into a dressing for my carrot, cucumber and mushroom salad. Top it with crushed almonds and viola, a scrumptious breakfast!
Lets head to the beach! On this specific shore, you’ll find clear shallow water with fine sand to kiss your feet. I really don’t need to describe much else, as the photos say it all. Florian took time of his busy schedule to show us around the water. What a wonderful way to spend a day under the blue sky!
Same sunshine, same beach… Different day. Time for a handstand!
By night, you can be entertained by the usual bars, dance clubs and restaurants. Then there’s the not so well known options that we chose! First pick was heading to the sand with tiki torches, an adult punch bowl and Florian’s guitar.
This was a Sunday night in which Hayden and I got spoiled with a local bar that was willing to play American football for us. Turns out there was another couple that had requested it as well. Before long, we had new friends, snacks, drinks and the Raiders game… What a night!
Dear Jennifer and Joel, it was a beautiful surprise to meet you two and I truly enjoyed our conversation! Cheers to what started with hand shakes and ended in hugs. I send you nothing but the good stuff!
One of the last nights there, the city called for a power out during a rainstorm. This doesn’t slow them down at all! What was once loud bars filled with music and lamps is now candle lit rooms with the sound of waves crashing between conversations. Extremely peaceful and yet so thrilling with every unexpected strike of lightning and thunder.
To my dear Florian, Daniel, Jule, Johanna and Irene. Our time in Crete has been marked “special” due to your enthusiasm and welcoming energy. To “the program”, we shall be in touch soon about future plans.
This is when my current partner in crime departs back west to the states as I journey east to Japan. I’m not sure I could possibly come close to properly describing my gratitude for our adventures together. Hayden, you and I both know that when I say “adventures”, I use that term in the least. Cheers to the next path crossing my friend!