On Monday the 11th of August, we left Santorini on the ferry and arrived in Amorgos, another wonderful Greek island. It’s where a lot of the locals go for their holidays and a lot of French. The movie The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) was filmed here.
Sox and I had arrived at 10h30 and his nephews, Yiorgo and Yianni and Yianni’s girlfriend, Amvrosia were only arriving at 13h30, so we hung around the port, ate breakfast and enjoyed the sunshine.
They arrived soon enough, drove their car off the ferry and collected us and our luggage. We drove into the town Chora (Xora), which was just absolutely picturesque. Cobbled streets snaking their way between white and stone buildings with blue shutters, red shutters and sometimes even green shutters. Quaint churches, windmills and the famous pink bougainvillea and grape vines weaved in and out. Cats and kittens laze around in the sunshine and the air smells faintly of fresh origanum and olive oil.
I am in love.
We ate lunch of organic freshness – the food here is like no other. Vegetables and fruit are plucked right from the tree or the ground and are juicy and delicious. The meat is organic, fresh and tasty and not full of pesticides or antibiotics respectfully.
I mentioned in my previous blog post that the tomatoes are incredible… They are huge and you can literally eat them like an apple. A big, juicy tomato/apple.
Anyway… Let’s continue. After lunch we headed to our accommodation. There was a bit of confusion at first. We had thought we had booked right on the beach. Turns out we had booked up on the hill – a 10-15 minute drive to the beach. Not ideal, but again, we are big believers that everything is as it should be.
We got settled and into our swim gear and drove to the beach to soak up the rays. It was the first sandy beach I’d been to in Greece, so I sunk my toes in and got salty in the clear turquoise water.
We ordered frappe’s and freddo cappuccino’s and watched the sun set after 8pm.
The sunset was absolutely stunning and we watched it turn the ocean to gold and amber until it sunk behind the mountain and turned the sky into a peachy pink delight.
We took a walk into the town, ate yet another delicious dinner and waited for Amvrosia’s friend, Aggeliki to arrive on the late night ferry.
I’m learning so much Greek – I had already started a little in Cape Town but I have picked up so much from being around the language and hearing it 24/7. It’s difficult, but I’m managing.
The next morning we ate a quick breakfast of thick Greek yoghurt and (apologies for the many mentions of Frappes and Freddo Cappuccino’s, but seriously… they are amazing and addictive. Gasp! I know! This coming from the biggest tea lover!)
I love them so much, I even took a Frappe selfie (read dork!)
We all got into the car and headed to a little beach that had the most brilliantly clear turquoise ocean I have ever seen. It was a pearler of a day and a scorcher too!
Applying SPF and swimming is seriously hungry business and we welcomed the bougainvillaea shaded taverna for lunch.
|Yiorgos, Aggeliki, Amvrosia, Sox, Me and Yianni|
This little guy was forever hopeful that we would drop a morsel.
That evening… at around 11pm we drove into the town, Chora.
I donned my red dress and the girls donned red lips. I learned to not try the heels on the cobbled streets (I’m clearly not as seasoned as these Greek lovelies.)
Greek music got louder and softer as we walked past various restaurants and bars and their delicious aroma’s wafted through the streets.
We drank red wine, ate the cuisine (way after midnight, which takes some getting used to) and headed onto a bar for some drinks and head and knee bobbing. I call it dancing.
The rest of the week pretty much consisted of us exploring Amorgos and it’s various beaches… We really got a great workout from all the walking and the 1000’s of stairs up and down to the beaches.
I was pretty damn happy eating fresh cherries on the beach and thick Greek yoghurt…
I can count the number of cups of tea I drank in Greece on one hand. Gosh I miss my tea and I made an amateur move and forgot my Vanilla Tea teabags at home.
You can see the bliss on my face after that first sip…
After an excellent day in the sun, on the pebbled beach and exploring the various coves by swimming in and out of them, we headed to a taverna that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. There was a beautiful blue domed church, a few homes dotted around and this taverna that had fairy lights entwined with the vines, and tables dotted around with the most scrumptious smell of great food in the warm summer night.
I got introduced to Psimeni Raki, which is Raki (Fire water) baked/cooked with honey. It is sweet and delicious and has a great kick to it.
I also tried goat for the first time and it was absolutely delicious! It came in the most incredible sauce that I literally wanted to pick the bowl up and slurp every last drop. Sadly I didn’t get a photo of it because we all tucked into that dish so fast.
The following morning we headed to another beach. Only it wasn’t really a beach at all… We walked and walked and walked all the way down, walking past the quaintest little church until we got to the water. No beach of pebbles or sand, but rocks and water. We became lizards lounging on rocks, sunning ourselves and then jumping into the ocean to cool off.
No nudism on the beach please… Spoilsports!
In case you don’t believe me about the stairs… They go all the way to the very top. Who knew that Sweat 1000’s Treadmill incline training would help me so much in Greece.
On the evening of the 14th of August, we walked into the town and followed the live Greek music. It was a Panagiri (Pun-ah-yiri), a celebration on the eve of St. Mary’s Day (15 August) and I just didn’t know where to look. Men were singing and playing instruments, people were dancing, food was being whisked out on huge trays and taking up tables, hands were passing food around or clinking glasses together with shouts of “Yamas” and I felt like I was on a movie set. In fact, Greece feels like one big movie set. It’s incredible.
I keep feeling like any minute, some director is going to yell “Cut!” and someone is going to wheel away these backdrops.
I even attempted the Greek dancing and loved it…
The next morning, I felt a little fragile and tired. Nothing that a lazy day couldn’t cure. The water was absolutely incredible and as smooth as glass.
It was perfect for a lilo, which also happens to be an excellent Freddo Cappuccino/drinks holder. Just saying.
I eventually pushed Sox off and floated away….
Until he pushed me off and took over. Bugger.
That clearly needs a hat…
We took a break from the sun and went in search of a crepe. A banana nutella crepe to be exact, and it was phenomenal. Sox and I shared it and I think we could win the “Fastest Crepe Disappearing Act.”
|Now you see it…|
|A gooey chocolate and fresh banana mixture oozing out the lightest, fluffiest crepe|
|Now you don’t!|
That evening I wore a floaty, maxi dress and set out under the stars in search of more food and Greek music… What a wonderful thing to be on repeat.
Now it may have been Eat, sleep, beach, repeat… but I actually did work whilst I was in Greece. Each morning I’d check my emails on the extremely slow island WiFi and look after my social media clients and other important deadlines.
Sox ran into a Mini market to get us some cold waters. I saw this man sitting outside and asked if I could take his photograph.We needed to swim off the crepe and watched yet another wonderful sunset, whilst being in the warm water.
He nodded and then told me to sit down (in Greek.) He didn’t speak a word of English, but we had a conversation thanks to the basic Greek I knew and lots of hand gestures. I also took this opportunity to practise the things I had learned and we had an in-depth conversation like: “The ocean and the beach is fantastic.”
“I’m trying to learn Greek.”
“Can we have one salad with no onions”
“Can I please have 2 Frappe’s with milk and no sugar.” He looked very confused with these ‘orders’.
What I didn’t realise is that he would want to sit so close. With his arm around me. I kept getting these whiffs of this delightful combination of alcohol, cigarettes, body odour and fish coming my way and kept looking towards the Mini market entrance wondering why it was taking Sox so long to get waters.
He eventually came out with 2 grocery bags full. My new friend wouldn’t let me go until I had a photograph with him and I’m so glad I did.
I was actually pretty thrilled that Sox bought us waters and cold meats and cheeses, which we gobbled up quickly before forcing ourselves to the beach again.
It was so hot, that Sox moved his chair into the water.
Later that afternoon we headed back to Chora…
We watched how they make Pasteli, which is a honey sesame seed biscuit.
Heat the honey…
Pour the sesame seeds in…
Once the honey and sesame seeds are well coated they pour the mixture out onto a wooden board that’s been washed in red wine (it prevents sticking.)
Red wine coated wooden sticks flatten the mixture down
They allow it to cool and cut it into pieces, served with the Psimeni Raki. Yum.
Sox and I took a night to ourselves and had date night… We found the most romantic place with bougainvillaea hanging down from the ceiling and tiny lights dotted around.
For our final day in Amorgos, we took a boat out to another little beach for another day of sleep, eat, beach repeat.
Early on Monday morning, we left Amorgos on the ferry and arrived back in Athens 8 hours later… After a quick shower and packing fresh clothes, we climbed into the car and travelled 2 hours out of Athens and headed into a small village high in the mountains. When people think of Greece, they think of the islands. Myself included. I got to experience a part of Greece that I didn’t know existed. We headed into what I called “Mini Switzerland”, but we’ll save that soul happy journey for another blog post.