Tuesday, September 4:  This morning, I  head out at 8:20 a.m. into the old town to search for breakfast.  I’m surprised to find the whole town is practically shut down, except the dependable Cafe Galero.  I order a Continental breakfast: a boiled egg, orange juice, coffee, toast and marmalade, and coffee; after, I check my emails at the internet cafe upstairs.  I head straightaway for my car near the Fort, and drive the southern route to Plakias.

on my way to Crete ~ golden rolling hills

the gorge leading to Plakias

the view on the drive to Plakias

I drive a curvaceous & hilly route south to Plakias, a quiet resort on the south coast of Crete.  The beach is set between two huge wind tunnels, the gorges of Selia and Kourtaliotis.  I drive through the Selia gorge and experience the wind tunnel effect; I feel like I’ll be blown over the edge of the road into the depths of the canyon.  I pass by a beautiful white church and graveyard and when I stop to take some photos, the wild wind whips my hair into a frenzy and nearly knocks me off-balance.

a church inside the gorge

little white church

cemetery and church on the way to Plakias

I arrive in the beautiful seaside town and see the beach chairs and umbrellas lined up like candy on a shelf.  I want to get a feel for the town, so I drive through to the other side where I can see the shining Mediterranean, glowing like a mirror of sunlight.

I love this view of the Mediterranean from a point west of Plakias

the glowing sea south of Crete

looking back toward Plakias

another view of terraced gardens and the Mediterranean

After my little drive, where, believe it or not, I get lost and head up and up into the mountains and then get pointed right back down again by a local lady, I go to lounge on the beach and swim in the sea.  I relax here for quite a while, reading and just soaking up the sun.  I don’t know why, but the Mediterranean Sea feels as blue and cool as it looks.  Not too salty,  it’s like floating in a liquid sky.  I could float here the whole afternoon.

the beach from my lounge chair

blue beach chairs at Plakias

A lumbering Greek man comes by to collect a fee for use of his chair & umbrella.  It’s about 2 euros, but all I have is a 20.  He disappears with my 20, telling me he will bring change.  He doesn’t come and doesn’t come and I begin to believe I’ve been ripped off.  Finally, I see him collecting and giving change to other sunbathers and I go to track him down for my change.  He looks startled that I am confronting him.  Does he think I will forget 18 euros?  Finally, he goes off again and comes back with my change.

the beach with the town of Plakias at the far end

i love the color of these umbrellas

After lounging and swimming, floating and reading, I wander down the street looking for a restaurant that appeals to me.  I find the Kri-Kri Taverna, with a pine awning-type roof, potted tropical plants, and lively Greek music circling the room like a Cretan folk dance.  I order “mineral water with gas” and aubergines saganaki, a piping hot dish of aubergines, tomato, and melted feta cheese.  I eat slowly, savoring every bite, and think about this love affair I am having with Greek food.  I wonder why everything tastes so good here.  Is it the dry, cool and breezy air?  Is it just the simple act of sitting at an outdoor cafe in Greece?  Is it because of the idea of being on a Greek island and tasting food that comes fresh off the land?  Is it the romantic reputation of Greece?  Whatever it is, I have yet to taste a bad meal.  With each bite, I soak up ambiance, ancient history, and whimsy.

the Kri-Kri Taverna where I have lunch

outdoor dining with a view of the sea

aubergines saganaki and “mineral water with gas”

After my delicious lunch, I hop back into my car and head east toward Moni Preveli and Preveli Beach…

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About nomad, interrupted

As of July 15, 2015, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 24 countries.

25 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on a nomad in the land of nizwa and commented:

    exploring beaches in Crete….

  2. ferragudofan says:

    what amazing photos – I feel like I want to visit Plakias now – the views are amazing! thank you for sharing this

  3. Carol says:

    Thank you for taking me along on this trip – I am loving every minute of it! Well, since you got your luggage, I’m loving every minute. The little Mediterranean hillside villages are so picturesque, so charming, and I agree, the Greek food is divine.

  4. adinparadise says:

    You keep posting these wonderful pics of Greek food, Cathy. Now I feel ravenous. 🙂 I think the green umbrellas are wonderful, so much cooler looking than the usual blue ones. Here you can hire red ones, but that would just make me feel hotter, not cooler. Such beautiful views over the Med. Thank for sharing.

    • Thank you, Sylvia. I love the green umbrellas too! I think you’re right, red ones just look hotter, and probably do make you feel hotter! I miss Greece so much right now! The food, the sea, the wine, the outdoors!

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Fab images of the land and seascapes Cathy, just beautiful 🙂

  6. Stunning views of that azure blue water. Beautiful and serene place.

  7. Awww lovely shots! And it’s still summer in Greece! 🙂

  8. Marco says:

    That water looks so inviting and coming from someone who doesn’t like water deeper than his ankles I’d say you did an awesome job with your photies! That cheeky Greek sneak – I hope you gave him a piece of your mind – trying to make off with your money like that. He should be tied to a wheels and rolled down those hills, ha ha. Er or so I’m told 🙂 Are you making any Greek-style food for yourself now that you’re back home again?

    • You don’t like water deeper than your ankles, Marco?? Do you not know how to swim? You’re funny! I’m glad you like my photos, even if you don’t like water. Yes, that guy, maybe he was honestly trying to get change for me, but when I saw him giving change to other people that ticked me off! No, I haven’t been cooking Greek food since I got back… as a matter of fact, I haven’t been doing much cooking at all. Mostly vegetarian. The other night, I made sauteed Brussels sprouts, walnuts, & onion, served over pasta. I actually quite enjoyed it, but then I like Brussels sprouts!

      • Marco says:

        No seriously, I don’t but luckily I can swim – not the best/ strongest swimmer ever but I won’t sink either. Think I was put off water when I was about 3 years old and nearly drowned. Well okay the tube I was on capsized and then I sank – not a happy memory at all!
        Hmmmm, I don’t think you can go wrong with brussel sprouts, even just steamed and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar…

      • That’s good you learned to swim; to avert more drowning catastrophes!! Nice to find someone else who likes Brussels sprouts. Steamed and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar?? Mmmmm, have to try that next!

      • Marco says:

        All this sprout talk is making me hungry – time to go and get some shopping done, ha ha. (to the sprouts, I’ll have you and you and you on you – not to forget you and your friend and their friend…)

      • I’m getting hungry!

      • Marco says:

        tell me about it – making spinach/feta pies for supper tonight, shall I send you some? now what did the cats do with those carrier pigeons…?

      • Those cats!!! Hopefully you can find some carrier pigeons still alive who can bring me the spinach/feta pies!!

      • Marco says:

        I think I might be able to catch some of the roof. If you hear screams, don’t worry, it’s just me falling off again.

      • Oh no! Not again! Careful, Marco!

      • Marco says:

        hehe what could possibly go wrong (famous last words)

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