Elounda & Mochlos - Greece

I've arrived at that point of the year where I want to go on holiday again. I've only been back from Greece for a month and I'm already craving the weather, people and scenery as if it's just as much a necessity as food and water. It's time for the final instalment in this year's three holiday posts and writing this and staring out of the window at the gloomy UK provides little satisfaction.
Elounda


The fishing town of Elounda along the northern coast of Crete first appealed to me after discovering that the island of Spinalonga (you can read my post on it here) sat happily just across the water only a boat ride away. If you've read my previous post you'll already know that after reading a book about Spinalonga and the lepers that once inhabited it, it became one of the many things that I found myself really interested in. Before visiting Elounda I spent more time looking up the island adjacent to it rather than the place itself. I am actually very grateful to myself for this because waking up the morning after our arrival and seeing the view that lay ahead of me topped anything my eyes had witnessed previously.

Due to my parents love for Greece I am lucky enough to have been to some incredible places across the country that I too have learnt to love. I've seen the blue waters of Zante's Shipwreck Cove and ran around on Kassiopi's sandy beaches on the northern easterly coast of Corfu. All these experiences are ones I will treasure and are equally beautiful but Elounda was somewhere that topped them all.

Everywhere you looked there was something worth capturing. It was one of those places that only your eyes can do it the real justice it deserves. The camera just wasn't enough and I struggled to snapshot its true wonder through a lens. Whether we ate in a selection of lovely (but slightly pricey) Tavernas along the waterfront or in a tradition Taverna up in the mountains there was always the lovely view of water complimented by the moon. One night we were visited by a white moon, other nights a blue moon or a red moon and its colour seemed to adjust as the days went on.

I always struggle to pick a favourite part to my holiday but this year I actually managed to narrow it down to about two. A night in Pano Elounda and the Greek Night hosted by the apartments we were staying at.

We like to stay out quite late in the evenings in Greece and I often find that without an afternoon sleep or a "siesta" (not to be mistaken with fiesta) I can't quite make it. I'm often known for my early bed times and I take no shame in that whatsoever because I'd be a much grumpier person without them and I'm sure many of you think I'm grumpy enough already! My parents, on the other hand, like to go on a walk whilst my brother Craig and I sleep (or I should say whilst I sleep and Craig plays on his phone). During one of their walks they found themselves in Pano Elounda, Pano meaning High or Upper in Greek. Pano Elounda is, as the name states, situated slightly elevated up in the hills. It is full of older style buildings and traditional looking streets with cats of every colour lurking in shaded doorways. They returned to Pano Elounda in the evening with Craig and I to a very traditional Taverna run by a local man and his son. It was here that we had one of the most delicious meals of our lives. There was no menu and the man came to our table to read off a list of meze dishes and would wait after each one for us to say "yes" or "no" if we wanted it or not. Of course we said yes to about 90% of the food and it was one of them nights where you really could have done with an extra table. The smell of calamari and fried courgettes soon wafted around the room and our table was full of homemade chips, tzadziki, sausages and a selection of our favourite Greek delicacies. Each dish came out as soon as it was ready, giving us time to eat without having to stuff our faces all at once. The food kept coming and the drinks kept pouring. The bill was what made it very special. It came to a total of about 38 euros. On a normal night we would end up spending around 60 euros and would eat and drink far less than we had in our night amongst the villagers. We ended up leaving a much larger tip than usual because it felt almost as if we were robbing the man and he had provided us with the most amazing night full of the most delicious food. It's making my mouth water just thinking about it. The look on his face after we left him the tip made it so worthwhile and it's nights like this surrounded by the wonderful Greek people that make my time there so special.

A holiday in Greece isn't a real holiday for us Huxtables without a Greek night!! It just so happened that the apartments we were staying at hosted one every Sunday. The area of Elounda wasn't the only 'best' in the history of our holidays- the apartment was another favourite. We are used to very basic showers with little water power and having to hold the shower head over us and although that might bother other people it's all a part of the experience. Hiona Apartments were run by the most welcoming family and Manos, who was behind the bar in the evenings, made the most incredible milkshakes it was as if I was drinking a strawberry flavoured cloud. On Greek Night Kosta, Eleni and Manos along with their family and the majority of people staying in the apartments all come together for a BBQ, a lot of dancing and some fire. We spent the whole evening twirling around, stuffing our faces with the most incredible potatoes (maybe that was just me... I love Greek potatoes) and everyone was constantly smiling. I got trapped into dancing with some professional Greek dancing man for what felt like half an hour but my fear of having two left feat was quickly forgotten as I was span round and round and round. The floor was set on fire and everyone danced among the flames. I have a feeling that there may have been a hangover or two the morning after.

Both Elounda and Hiona impressed us so much that my Mum was on the computer the morning after we arrived home booking our return for next year.



Mochlos


Although the area we stay in is always wonderful it is always an aim for us to see a little more of the island before we leave. And what better way to do it than in an open top Suzuki Jimny- unless it's raining of course. Surprise surprise, that's exactly what happened. It wasn't cold or miserable and there was so signs it was coming but suddenly I could feel large splats of water pounding down upon me. We happened to be in the middle of quite a busy road and with no where to pull over Craig and I resorted to shoving towels over our head in fits of laughter. By the time we managed to pull over it had passed just as quickly as it had arrived and all we had to remember it was some very wet towels and a selection of photos taken by my mum in the front of me resembling ET.

Before the surprise downpour we were advised to take a trip to the village of Mochlos in eastern Crete. Here small houses were suffocated in the spreading of a plant covered in pink flowers. Every street you turned to these bright fuschia colours seemed to explode out of every corner. I'd spent the start of my summer working in a flower shop and the thought of more flowers made me want to cry. I was having flashbacks to weeds, soil and mud. These flowers on the other hand looked like a blanket and I just wanted to wrap myself up in them. We found a small waterfront cafe with a view over the blue water which sparkled in the light. There were locals swimming and I had yet another freshly squeezed orange juice as my mum and dad plotted to buy a house out here when they retire. They have so many plans for their retirement they ideally need a whole life to complete it all.

No matter where our travels seemed to take us we always appear to be greeted by the loveliest people and this year the inhabitants of Crete welcomed us like we were old friends. The media spent a lot of time making Greece out to be somewhere awful and when I mentioned it to people they made jokes about how we would get mugged. This couldn't be further from the truth. In Athens there is a problem, but the smaller islands and tourists destinations are getting on with their lives just fine and are relying on us to keep them going. If you're hesitating to book a holiday to Greece due to their financial situation there really is no need to worry.

After a walk along along the front and an exploration of the surrounding village we returned to our jimny and went for another long drive to see what we would find. Ultimately, we ended up at ANOTHER waterfront restaurant eating ANOTHER meze. I bet you didn't expect that did you. Yet again we feasted on just about everything and it still surprises me that I didn't return to the UK with an extra kilo of baggage... in the form of myself. How I am not now obese still confuses me everyday!!

So that's the end. Once this blog is up my holiday will officially be over as I won't be able to re-live it through my words. I know the extent of my posts on Greece this year contained a lot more content than last year and I hope this was a good thing. I've really enjoyed looking back and it's nice because I often like to read my previous posts on places I've been to remind me of how I felt and of the little things I had forgotten. I think this is quite possibly the longest post I have ever written and I hope you're still awake and breathing- that would be ideal.









8 comments

  1. This place looks gorgeous! I love how much thought you put into this travel diary.

    www.lauryncakes.com

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    1. It really was! Thank you so much.
      Katie x

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  2. I used to write a lot about the places I visited when I was a teenage, it is good way of keeping the memories! These photos are so beautiful!

    www.elabellaworld.com

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    1. I think it'll be really nice to look back on them in the years to come. Thank you!
      Katie xx

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  3. This place looks really beautiful, and your pictures are amazing! It's lovely that you write about places that you used to visit when you were a teen.
    Have an amazing day, lovely xx

    selenaponcestyle.blogspot.com.es

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    1. Thank you very much, it really was lovely.
      Katie xx

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  4. I would looooove to go to Greece! I need to come back here when I plan my trip!

    Gina
    Pink Wings

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    1. It's so worth it, you should definitely go!
      Thanks for your comment,
      Katie xx

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