Hello virtual friends! Remember me? I know it’s been a hot minute, but I swear I didn’t forget about you.
I was just too busy eating everything in sight to write to you. Turns out a ten-day trip to Greece can do that to you.
I really did not know what to expect before I left [my previous knowledge of Greece was limited to Greek Salads, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Zeus], but WOW. What a great trip.
For ten cloudless days my parents and I [sorry, brothers] explored the cities, ancient ruins, countrysides, open waters, and cuisine of Crete, Athens, and Santorini. I ran along ports and fortified walls dating back five thousand years, climbed to the top of the Acropolis [and had dinner overlooking it], swam in the fantastically clear Aegean Sea [Aegean Blue should definitely be an Essie color by now], crashed a Greek wedding, went on a food tour through Athens, watched the sun set into the ocean, and ate.
Actually, it was a lot of eating. Greek salads with plump, juicy, delicious tomatoes, impossibly fresh Greek cheese, capers and olives of all shapes and sizes, wholesome and hearty freshly baked bread, real Greek yogurt, fresh caught grilled fish [and anchovies… and sardines!], homemade olive oils, figs straight off the tree, fried and honey soaked donuts, baklava, endless sesame spice cookies, Greek desserts [specifically wedding almonds], local wine, after dinner drinks…. And basically anything else we could get our hands on.
I’ll stop talking now and just show you a few highlights from the trip. You will probably notice the absence of food pictures. While the photographer and food blogger in me apologizes for that, my taste buds and over eager appetite stand their ground.
When we finally managed to drag ourselves off the balcony, we learned that Crete unofficial food heaven of Greece, where the waiters offer running commentary and advice about your ordering, the olive oil is fresh and homemade, and the produce cannot be beat. No matter where we ate one thing was obviously – Cretans are proud of their food culture and want you to love it as much as they do. And we did. We had a meal so good my mom actually hugged the waiter at the end. Talk about service.
You know how sometimes travel must-sees can be a little anticlimactic? [spoiler: The Mona Lisa looks about the same in person as in pictures]. Well the Acropolis is not one of them. And the Olympic Stadium and ancient temple of Zeus aren’t either.
But for a little insight into current Greek culture, my dad and I went on a food tour with Tina from Authentic Athens. Walking through the streets of an Athens unseen to foreigners while eating bread straight from bakery conveyer belts, sipping cherry vinegar like an aperitif, strolling the local food, fish, and meat market, sampling rare cheeses at famous deli’s, swapping travel stories and recipes with our tour guide, and learning about the culinary culture of Modern Greece… hands down one of the best parts of the trip.
Not a bad way to end a trip.
p.s. – I love you Mom and Dad! A million thank yous!