Out of all the places we have lived in the world, the picturesque island of Crete remains one of our favourite’s thanks mainly to the friendly locals, the beautiful landscapes and the Greek food!
The largest island in Greece and one that is renowned for its natural beauty and hospitable people, Crete is more like a small country than a big island, and one could easily spend a year or two discovering the hidden coves, hiking the magnificent gorges, cycling through monasteries, and tasting the delights of Cretan cuisine.
We rented a small house in the mountains and after installing our most important piece of equipment – the BBQ, we set off exploring the tiny villages and quaint towns in the rugged interior. It didn’t take long to come across an abundance of fresh produce, and we were soon laden down with freshly baked bread, ruby-red tomatoes, freshly pressed olive oil and hand reared meats.
Mediterranean cuisine at its very best, the Cretan diet consists of ‘life-prolonging’ ingredients such as fresh fruit and vegetables, natural honey, freshly brewed coffee and Raki (or Tsikoudhia), a rather potent but delicious schnapps that warms your heart and leaves you feeling all fluffy inside!
Within just a few days, our Greek (non-English speaking) Olive Farming neighbours had become our very best friends, and not a week went by without us receiving an invitation to dinner, a bottle of olive oil, a bottle of Raki, or a piece of Lamb from their own farm.
Greece may be suffering economic problems at the moment, but it is a country rich in beauty, friendliness and pride, and if we all make an effort to visit during the next few years, we can help restore Greece, and our beloved Crete, to The Land of Gods.