This was going to be an easy day. We put on our bathing suits under our clothes, then down to the lobby to meet with some of the other gals for a day in town walking around. I remember this place from 4 years ago being here while on a Cunard cruise with another dear friend.
As we departed from the pier we reminded each other of some of our intentions … to stop and notice the smells of the day, to be kind to others expecting nothing in return. We spied a rose bush heavy with beautiful red blooms, some open wide and some perfectly formed buds.
Today about six of us, the groups size expanded and contracted like an accordion as we stepped into little shops selling local wares.
We talked about and decided to experience the authentic Greece. Feta cheese, local olives and a taste of ouzo. We wanted it, we spoke it and then we put it out there to the universe.
We spied a long row of cafes and bars, with seating facing out toward sea, beautiful blue skies above sparkling like jewels on the teal green water.
We tried one establishment, rearranged chairs for those who wanted the sun, and those who wanted shade. And then we found out they could not provide what we requested. Haha. The server indicated that his type of business was a “bar” and he had no feta and no olives to serve us. He pointed to some places down the way, on the boardwalk that might meet our needs. We apologized and moved on.
We spied santorini blue and white plaid cloth table coverings … spotted and immediately felt welcomed.
I stretched my arms out as far as I could and walked toward a short Greek gentleman who worked in a restaurant, as if he was a long lost friend. The five other women who know me thought I knew this man … and were surprised when I confessed I had never seen him before in my life.
His authentic “opa” greeting to us made us feel welcome and part of his Greek family.
We celebrated our human connection with hugs and cheek kisses through the greeting, the service, and then our saying goodbye. This man, we shall call him Nic, or Vic, although he says his name is Pete had a fantastic experience as well. He brought over friends and maybe family- other men to meet us and share his good fortune. I am sure this will be a topic of conversation for some time to come.
The shopping and sense of human connection ….flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the highlights of this trip, is touching local culture in a deeply personal way. Not just to visit a place, not just to act like tourists touching the local creations, souvenirs, and walking sidewalks and roadways…. but reaching past generations and through thousands of miles and years of separation to truly share an experience and moment in time, where oneness is felt.
Unorthodox. Unique. Subtle yet poignant. Maybe a little enlightening and certainly entertaining and happy making.
The flavors of the olives, soft and firm, rich and pleasant. The feta, the texture and taste is not like we have at home. This is heaven. Served in a block, smothered in light olive oil and spice.
We walked away, toward a beach, close by the ship but still pleasant enough to step in out of the hot suns rays to enjoy the fresh cool feeling as the salty sea covers the beach. We swam for a while and enjoyed the refreshing experience.
Back to the ship for a late lunch, followed by happy hour and dining in Red Ginger.
I will write more soon. Sleep is calling. Tomorrow is our forth and final stop on GREECE.