Today we got up and went early to drive up to the Lasithi Plateau. We planned to hire bikes here but none were to be found. Typical of Greece, some things are obviously able to be done but who knows how or where? The Lonely Planet Guide tells you to be flexible when visiting Greece as things can change at a moment's notice and so they do, so we set about being flexible.
First we visited Dikteon Cave, this had a steep climb up a hill to reach it. The walk was good. There were donkey rides for 15 euro return but you have to justify the Greek food somehow so no donkey for us. The cave was good but not as good as we have in Margaret River. What was lovely was a stop at the cafe on the way down. We haven't been having lunch in Greece, just some fruit and a coffee but we decided to try the juice in the cafe, freshly squeezed OJ. This is the local specialty, a few little cafes with oranges and juicers. The juice was great and they served it with a traditional home made dessert (you get it whether you want it or not) which was a lovely cheese filled pastry, warm and drizzled with warmed local honey. The cheese was like a ricotta. It was delightful. They were selling local honey and recycled plastic water bottles of home made wine. The bottles looked really good, lines of red wine, a softer colour for the rose, slightly coloured white and clear Raki (the local alcoholic drink). Too bad about the bottles!
After this we explored the plateau thru the villages, taking some interesting things the Greeks call roads but we call goat tracks. Complete with goats. We had fun and saw an overview of the plateau from both on it and above it.
Lots of Russian tourists on Crete. So many Russians in fact that there are shops stocking Canadian furs everywhere, despite the warm climate here. Maybe they can't get them in Russia.
Back to the apartment mid afternoon for some emails and other work stuff. We planned to visit the Iraklio wine region this afternoon but we've decided that a catch up afternoon is the go. We have some readings and blogs to catch up on too.
Tonight we return to our friendly Yiannis with the bow tie and Bartender of the Year 2013 award. This is a family owned restaurant where they grow their own herbs and vegetables as much as possible, make their own oil, cook all the food, including the bread and excel at it all. Yiannis is the son and the one and only waiter, he speaks seven languages but gave up on French last year, says it's too hard. We stumbled on the restaurant trying to find our accommodation two days ago when we stopped to ask for directions. Yiannis was ever so helpful, even apologising that he didn't have time to get out his bike and show us the way. He then gave us the hard sell about their restaurant being No 1 on Trip Advisor and asking us to come for dinner. The lady who runs this place said it was good so off we went and now we are going again. You can't beat the family owned places over here where Dad is the chef, Mum cooks the traditional food and a sister does some of the desserts. Cousins help in the kitchen....
Tomorrow, off to the holiday Island of Santorini - cant wait!!!! :-)