If there is a heaven I hope it looks like Naxos.
It was a long way to get there, three and a half hour by plain (just a day before the eruption in Iceland) an hour by bus and six hours by boat but all uncomfort is forgotten as soon as you set foot on the island. It’s a nice chaos when the people, cars, trucks who go off the boat meet the ones who try to get on in the middle. It seems so unorganized but somehow it works so who cares. We arrived at night and were welcomed by the lights of the city and masses of nightshades. Our host dropped us of at our little apartment with view to the sea and a little island with a massive ancient doorpost just before the coast, and invited us for a coffee in the morning.
The view from our apartment
Every island has its own specialties and Naxos is famous for its potatoes (of which they order the baby potatoes to grow with from Holland), it’s citron liquor, wild oregano, sausages.
Unfortunately I was to early for the figs, the fig trees grow absolutely everywhere on the island but the fruits were not yet ripe. The island is maybe not famous for it’s bread but compared to Santorini or Athens it was quit special! The baker sold it to me with the dough dried on his hands, if I would have been more awake I maybe had remembered to ask which flour he used. I went to the bakery and cheese shop, vegetable shop every morning to get us breakfast which we ate in the sun in front of our apartment.
The Greeks are very nice hosts and they give something every time you make an order. Is it not a little bowl of chips next to your ouzo or a glass of water next to your coffee then it is raki or a dessert at the end of the meal.
It doesn’t take long to discover what the most famous drink in the country is…. It’s not ouzo, it’s frappe. Everywhere you look, either when people are sitting on a terrace or when they are working, they have a cold coffee close by. Every place sells it and even in the most deserted villages we visited you could count on the classic picture of some local old man sitting in the shade enjoying a frappe. It didn’t take my boyfriend long to adopt this habit, he blended right in.
Of course we brought some coffee with us and recreated the drink at home. We have been arguing about if the nestle instant coffee they sell in Greece has a special taste and is different from the one they sell in Holland. My boyfriend thinks its something special, I think it was just the sun that added the special flavor.
nestle instant coffee
Dissolve a tablespoon of coffee in half a cup of water, add half a cup of milk, some sugar to taste and mix it for a couple of minutes until it becomes creamy (best to use half full milk) add some ice cubes and a straw. I think it would also be nice to mix it all up in the blender including the ice cubes but I did not see this version in Greece.
If you, like me, have trouble to pick what you want to order from the menu because you want to try it all but your stomach is to small, order the mixed starter/mezzes. We did this in one restaurant and it was the best choice we could have made. In one try we got to taste, dolmas, keftedes, courgette cookies, squid, eggplant dip, tzatziki, salad and fried cheese. There was no room left for a second dish, the Greek like their portions big.
My heart cried when I had to leave the island I fell in love with it, it was such a relaxing and great stay but there was a boat waiting for us to bring us to Santorini.
We did learn from the previous trip that you better take a picnic if you want to eat something on the boat because Goody’s (the local Mc Donalds) isn’t exactly all that.