One of my favorite scenes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding is when the aunt exclaims in horror, “HE DON’T EAT NO MEAT?!! …. It’s ok. I’ll make lamb.” Cracks me up. Every time. It only seemed fitting to me that on my first trip to Greece, I eat a lot of lamb. Prior to the trip, however, I expected to eat a lot of fresh seafood. I pictured salty, old locals stringing octopi on the ropes of a dock and us eating it grilled and fried and covered in olive oil until we needed to bribe a local child to roll us back to our hotel. Alas, this was not to be. Much of the seafood served on the island is of the frozen variety and so I discovered that I’ll have to save my dream of eating the day’s catch for another rock in the Aegean. In my grief, however, I was comforted by a variety of delicious treats. Here are a few:
The local delicacy of Dakos: a crusty bread (rusk), topped with olive oil, tomatoes, cheese, and olives and capers. S and I ate this as an appetizer to pretty much every meal on our trip.
Winding around hair-pin turns and gazing out at the sun-drenched, olive-covered hills of Crete, a cool breeze blew through my hair and “GOAT!” There’s nothing like a loud excited scream from your fiancé, seated next to you in the back seat of a very small two-door Panda, while your friends drive you through the majestic interior of the island of Crete.
When I think Crete, I think early civilization. When I think early civilization, I think Mrs. Lewis’ middle school social studies class learning about Mesopotamia and the civilizations that grew out of it. It all seemed so dry…dry as in sandy and hot. I think, to me, it seemed extra dry and hot because in the old movies that we watched in class like Ben Hur and Laurence of Arabia (obviously, I lumped all early civilizations together…Greece, Jerusalem, Rome…and they say students in the US don’t properly learn world geography….), everyone was always so sweaty and dirty. When S and I decided to go to Crete for a long weekend in July, all I could think of was a hot and dry, rocky, dusty island. And, of course, the Minotaur. Trapped in a labyrinth, being chased by a half-man-half-bull, while great exercise, did not sound like my ideal vacation.