After an incredible time in the mountains, Sox and I headed to Akrata taking 2 bus trips to get there. I loved watching the Mediterranean scenery pass us by! Thousands of Wild Olive trees, the little church models I mentioned yesterday, dotted along the road, the coast line with it’s patches of turquoise and the various buildings with their red roofs.
Obviously, I had to take a selfie with the sleeping Sox.
We arrived in Akrata, a gorgeous seaside town, where Sox’s aunty Vicky and Yianni have an amazing apartment right across from the beach. I loved that we could just walk across the road and be on the pebble beach or sit on the balcony watching the ocean and the other holiday makers.
|View from the balcony|
I absolutely loved meeting Vicky and Yianni – what incredible people with so much heart and warmth!
We ate a quick lunch before the sea and pebbles were calling us.
I wanted my final week in Greece to be all about the beach and the ocean and that’s what we did. We drank Freddo Cappuccino’s, ate delicious food – seriously, I haven’t had one dish I haven’t enjoyed and soaked up the sunshine, letting it dry the sea salt on my skin and in my hair, knowing that I would soon be returning to the Southern Hemisphere’s Winter.
|My Adonis emerging from the ocean.|
Just down the beach was a restaurant called So White with its billowing white cloth in the warm breeze overhead marshmallow white cushions, crisp white umbrellas and white deck chairs. It served delicious Freddo Cappuccino’s that came in the ice buckets and had WiFi (slow but still) where I was able to do my work and get my deadlines out.
When we weren’t at So White, we were on the warm pebbles listening to the Greek music coming out from a group of people who had a whole set up of chairs, tables, a music system and of course Tavli (Backgammon.)
I love the fresh markets… We bought a tub of sweet figs and my beloved Greek yoghurt for a good snack on the beach.
I had seen several sunsets in Greece, but I hadn’t seen a sunrise yet and Akrata boasted a beautiful one, rising from behind the horizon’s clouds and ocean with the promise of another hot, carefree day.
A common breakfast in Greece is a cheese pie. We had to try one and a chocolate croissant, because, well, why the hell not? We found a bread van selling fresh pies and breads.
I have to say, they weren’t my best and after really looking forward to trying them, I was left disappointed. Sox told me that these weren’t actually fresh and they should have been warm.
Our lunch with a view was so much better. Lemony roast chicken and a fresh Greek salad.
Speaking of food (again), Akrata buzzed at night. Children played on the swings and ran around kicking soccer balls or riding their bicycles – yes even after midnight. I was surprised to see this, but it’s a completely different culture. Very safe and very relaxed. Restaurants’ fairy lights twinkled amongst the grape vine ceilings, laughter and Greek music came in waves and those delicious aromas wafted.
After a great dinner, we headed to a bar where the men watched soccer and I ordered a Pina Colada. It is officially the strongest Pina Colada I have ever tasted. I genuinely think they poured pure alcohol in and a drop of pineapple juice for taste.
It went down well. So well that I was tipsy and suggested night swims. Obviously.
Cocktails are expensive in Greece – or perhaps it’s just our horrid exchange rate. In a way I’m glad I only needed one drink. This time I can’t even call myself a “cheap date.”
The following morning we repeated our ritual of a fresh morning swim, a Freddo Cappuccino at So White, suntanning, swimming and eating.
I suggested a Hot Stone Massage to Sox and this is what I got:
For our last evening, Sox and I took Yianni and Vicky out for dinner.
I had such an amazing time, but it was time to move on to Patra, the 3rd largest city in Greece. Sox’s Aunty Ellie and his nieces live there and we were going for a night.
I loved looking out on to the streets from the apartment’s balcony. If I lived there I would just people watch all the time.
It was absolutely boiling, so we headed out for an iced coffee and a stroll…
Everyone gathered to watch the sunset and I discovered another English Bulldog. The second one I had seen. The first one I saw in Santorini.
Later that evening, we drove out for a dinner with the family…
The following morning, I woke up to fresh coffee and a fresh Bougatsa custard pie still warm from the bakery down the street. As I bit into the pastry it was fresh, buttery and crumbly and the custard was perfection. I savoured every bite.
It was such a short visit, but still better than nothing! We rushed to get the bus back to Athens…
I still needed to get more gifts for all my loved ones and I couldn’t believe I was leaving the next day. I did so much and yet it flew by. There were days when I felt like I had been away forever and days where I felt like I had just arrived.
I enjoyed Athens all over again…
I loved this girls style…
After a long day of shopping and wandering, we arrived home to the most amazing feast from Sofi, Sox’s sister…
After a delicious dinner and the most incredible melt in your mouth Greek sweets, I said a very teary goodbye and had to rush to the airport to make my 5 hour flight from Athens to Dubai for a 5 hour layover and then a 9 hour flight from Dubai back to Johannesburg – alone. Sob!
Sox is still in Greece with his family and returns next Friday afternoon. Lucky bugger.
I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday. I couldn’t have asked for a better boyfriend who showed me around, introduced me to his family and I loved every single moment. The memories we made will definitely be some of my best for the rest of my life!
Thank you for reading all my travel diary blog posts and for your awesome comments! It means a lot.