I have to confess, when my husband suggested that we go to Crete, I had other ideas. Johnny has never been to the Cyclades: Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Andros, Syros… and these are the islands Greece is famous for.
He had been to Greece around 4 times, and I figured he’d start asking me if the white houses with the blue windows and doors were a myth or not.
I wanted him to experience that perfect white and candid blue. Everyone in the world wants to. And hey, we could probably spot a Hollywood celebrity there (Leo DiCaprio and Gerard Battler were just there)
My husband then said the following magic words which made me forget all about Gerard battler abs, (he probably lost since the movie 300 anyway): “but the food is excellent in Crete.”
Each traveler interprets vacation time differently. For some, vacation is the time to unwind in a peaceful place probably by the beach. To have lazy morning and lazy afternoons, that would make up for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For others, vacation time is one huge party. It is the opportunity when you can start getting drunk at 3pm all the way to early morning. Mykonos is a popular destination for party-lovers. I have friends who love to absorb the energy, the vibe of it all. I have other friends who travel solely for the shopping experience. Show them a center filled with things they cannot usually get from home and they are in heaven.
Johnny and me love to travel so that we can eat… No, I am joking. We take our vacation very seriously. It is the European way after all to live life awaiting the next vacation time. We both lived in Europe at one point, by the way. He lived in France, where he probably learned all that careful planning and I lived in Greece where I did not learn any planning whatsoever. I just learned to love beautiful Greece. Anyway, we have a checklist, whenever we are discussing a new vacation location. They have to have all the below:
1) historic significance, must-see museums, or important excavations;
2) breath-taking scenery, jaw-opening architecture, paradise beaches;
3) and yes, I am not going to lie, we purposely choose locations that are famous for amazing food.
Crete has the most important excavation of all of Europe, the earliest European settlement, at Knossos and with Crete’s strategic location, the Minoan settlements are only the beginning. You can visit Venetian castles, turned Ottoman strongholds. You can visit monasteries that have played critical roles during the Greek revolt against the Ottoman empire, or during the resistance in World War II.
When we looked at images of the natural beauty of Crete,we were thunderstruck. So to see, so little time. And lets not mention the beautiful beaches like Balos and Elafonisi… I can’t even describe how ignorant I felt about Crete. I had no idea Crete had such beautiful beaches. I was ashamed to call myself Greek…
Paradise location, check!
Last, but certainly not least is the culinary experience. Does Crete really have great food and how did Johnny know? Well during our honeymoon in Corfu there was a Cretan carnival, and yes there was glorious food everywhere. So with the third check for yummy-yum-yum food, we had our bags packed, our tickets bought, our passports in hand and ready to go to our first Cretan town, Hania!