Sunday, June 21, 2009

summer in sumeria

I’m home! And man oh man I am OVERWHELMED with delicious food pictures and stories and… GOODNESS!

I don’t know exactly what order I’m going to do things in, but I want to get posting already, so this will likely be a little spastic, due to EXTREME jet lag!

One of my favorite days in Greece took place when we stayed in Crete. We woke up at 5 am to get picked up by a bus for a fun, multilingual trip (Rhethymno, the town we stayed in on Crete, was PACKED with Germans—tour guides spoke German and restaurants served schnitzel. Very odd).

Our bus driver drove us through windey, cliffside, really sort of scary roads to the Sumeria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe at 11 miles.

My it was beautiful:



Along the way, we were able to refresh ourselves at the beautiful, clear natural springs along the trail. There are so few places left in the US where it’s clean enough to do this, and it’s SO COOL to do it in Greece and think about all the other people who’ve reached their bare hands in to drink from this spring.


Speaking of OLD, look at this tree:


The gorge is used by nearby farmers, and they let their goats sort of ramble through. The ruins are totally open for exploring for passersby, and also means that some privileged goats have their own front porches.


The whole hike was very dramatic—look at the cliff to human ratio!


At the end, we were pooped. It was hot.

Buuuuuuuuut… here’s what was waiting for us!


With this overlooking it:

sumeria restaurant

At the end of the trip, the tour we were with gave everyone free time to refuel in the tavernas in the little town and enjoy a swim in the beautiful water. And no, we didn’t have to hike the return trip to the start of the gorge- we had a ferry to take us back! So we could eat up with no anxiety for another long walk. Yay food!

As we did for virtually every meal in Greece, we got a bunch of mezze for sharesies.

We began with octopus, for which Crete is well known. We went for it in salad form:  sumeria lunch octopus salad

Look at those colors! This octopus was very tender and not rubbery at all!

We also got some horta:

sumeria lunch greens  

You just cannot go wrong with fresh gorgeous greens (haha, on the menu this was referred to as “local weeds”) dressed simply with olive oil and lemon. My grandmother used to make delicious horta… made me think of her! Everything on this trip made me think of her.

We also got stuffed vegetables. Again, a Cretan specialty.

sumeria lunch stuffed veg 2

GOD they were good.

I actually always thought I was not a huge dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) person, which is basically heresy for a Greek, but I had been eating the canned stuff in the US, and the real deal in Greece is not even comparable. HEAVEN!

Finally, we got taramasalata, which my sister was craving:

sumeria lunch taramosalata

Don’t the red peppers look like another octopus? Presh!

Everything wiped up, as we got with every meal, with luscious bread.

sumeria lunch bread

Perfect refueling!

Then we went for a dip in the Libyan Sea, which is the clearest, cleanest, most perfect water I’ve ever been in.


Doesn’t even look real, does it?

No comments: