Friday, June 26, 2009

to be beside the sea side

Is a lovely thing!


Our guidebook called Prevali, a spot along the southern coast of Crete with a Libyan Sea beach, the prettiest beach in Crete. So we went!

We hopped on the bus (which, incidentally, had one of the most heart stoppingly handsome men I have ever seen as its conductor) and made our way through some ridiculously beautiful terrain. As you go south on Crete, the landscape starts to get drier, and it’s said to resemble Africa. It was beautiful!

Our first stop in Prevali was the monastery, which was the site of some pretty serious action! First it was the first site on Crete where the flag was raised for Greek independence from Turkey. Then, during WWII, the monks and villagers, at great risk to themselves, sheltered British and Australian airmen from the Nazis.

I couldn’t take pictures in the monastery, but here’s the somewhat startling memorial:


Monk with gun!

Then we made our way over the hillside to the beach path. The air was soooooooooo fragrant with the smell of wild herbs. Here’s some sage, just by the side of the road:


Then we made our way down the frighteningly steep hill to the beach. The views were unreal:


But so was the walk!


That smile was not totally sincere. Note my totally inappropriate footwear! We walked down for QUITE awhile, almost VERTICALLY.

We were relieved at the bottom, however, to immediately see a sign at the bottom for the BOAT that took you to the beach at Plakias, which had a  bus stop at BEACH LEVEL. Yessss. So we could enjoy this lovely sight:


Let me tell you, it was tricky to take this picture and stay within the Blogger rules of conduct. French ladies don’t wear swimsuit tops!

After the intense walk, we were hunnnnnnnngry. There was just a simple cantina serving food, but it was CRAZY TASTY!

prevali lunch

What you’re seeing there is the first whole wheat bread that we had at a restaurant in Greece! (and it was DELICIOUS, and I must recreate it!), khoriatiki salata (again, no lettuce! That is proper Greek salad! And a slab of feta, with oodles of oregano, on top, the traditional and more delicious way of incorporating the feta), and….

the best spinach pie ever. Everyone who’s had so-so spinach pies at greasy diners (yes, my people go to America and immediately build diners with greasy food and bad coffee), everyone who’s had that happen needs to taste this.

The phyllo dough was definitely THICKER and HEARTIER than any phyllo I’ve had in America, and wasn’t greasy at all. It was flaky and luscious! But ohhhhhhh the filling. The filling had that AMAZING CRETAN NOTFETA CHEESE! That and fresh spinach, some simple seasoning. Heaven!

So we hopped aboard the boat and headed for beautiful beach #2 at Plakias. The view from the boat was of some seriously intense coastal caves, but the pictures don’t do it justice. So we move on to the beach!


This water was shallow! That is me wayyyyyy out there! And, yknow, astoundingly clear, because wayyyyyy out there I could still perrrrrrrfectly see the bottom. Yay Libyan Sea. The Atlantic Ocean is just not going to do it for me anymore.prevali cafe

After our swimsie, we went to a nice lil cafe along the promenade to refresh ourselves (again, a bunch of virtually identical places with the same fab view. Again, did the “which has the most happy looking people” test).

I had one of my looooooooooooooove:

prevali frappe

They had Nescafe at work. I tried to make plain coffee with it, thinking it would at least REMIND me of a frappe. It did not x_x

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