On our last day in Ierapetra, we decided to head out to an island quite close to it, called Chrissi Island. Costing about 10€ for a round trip, we booked our tickets, choosing from one of many boats headed there. Since we had some time on our hands before we were to set sail, we hung around the beach and also visited a Greek orthodox church.
The architecture was one of many things that made this church stand out from the countless others that I had visited. Having been intrigued, studied and practised Christianity for a bit, experiencing the orthodox traditions of the Greeks was fascinating and so enlightening!
Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the interiors but from memory, I can recall the interiors being very dark and the idols placed on shelves almost doll-like. They were draped in traditional clothing and fabrics and greek scriptures were hung from pillars and tapestries. The air inside was daunting yet extremely pious. I wish I had the chance and time to experience one of their sermons but oh well! beggars can’t be choosers.
It was soon time to head out to the island. The journey there was heavenly. With wind in our hair, flicks of salty sea sprinkling over us, the hour and half journey was completed in no time.
Chrissi Island had two beaches for the visitors. There was one that was more visually appealing while the other was more rocky with massive wooden logs strewn all over. It being a windy day had caused the sea to turn quite rough one one side of the beach. Turns out, it was the more picturesque beach that was facing rough waters, so it was out of bounds. We therefore, trudged over to the other side where we hogged sun beds as soon as we caught sight of them.
Fun fact about the island: Chrissi Island is strewn with Cannabis plants. The whole island had a subtle scent of cannabis and we saw massive bushes of them sprouting here and there.
On more than one occasion, multiple names crossed my mind of people who would have lost their marbles had they known of the free abundance of cannabis on this island, their hippie souls having found paradise.As much as I would have enjoying gifting these friends of mine their idea of nirvana, the law abiding citizen in me made sure my hands stayed far away from these plants.
Mary and I took a quick dip in the sea and had the scariest time on our way back. The sea bed was known to be filled with sea urchins and we kept yelping and jumping in our skins, thinking every other moss covered rock was a sea urchin. The fear was fuelled further by the news that Mary’s sister had spent the night before in the ER, having the spines from a sea urchin taken out of the sole of her foot. I did not wish to spend my last day in Greece roaming the sterilised walls of a hospital! Thankfully, we reached land without facing multiple stabs.
For the next three hours I think, Tony, Mary and I simply slept. The wind and crashing waves were a gentle lullaby and we nearly missed our boat back home!
Having arrived back, Mary treated us to Gyros, a traditional Greek dish. With meat stuffed inside a massive flatbread along with mustard, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce, the dish is too big to fit into your mouth. Add to that, french fries are stuffed inside the flatbread as well and trust me when I say this, you’d have to open your mouth as wide as a hippopotamus to fit one bite in.
Extremely ravenous, I hogged on it but couldn’t finish the entire dish. Wordlessly, Tony slid my plate over to him and cleaned it up as smoothly as he had his own. I think from the time we met, Tony and I have had an unsaid deal where I finish off the fatty, cheesy junk on his plate and he cleans up the greens on mine.
We ended our perfect Greek vacation by eating Souvlaki (another Greek dish) for dinner with honey raki, of course.
My vacation/visit to Greece was brilliant and filled with love and laughter. Having good friends around me made the trip all the more sweeter and I will never, not cherish the memories I made there. Plus, the water baby inside me was extremely satiated and somehow, I left Greece with a relatively decent tan. Indians, more often than not, don’t tan well, especially dark complexioned ones. I’m glad I did not resemble an aubergine by the end of it.
I have to thank Mary for being such an amazing host and guide. Without her and her family’s hospitality, the vacation wouldn’t have been half as beautiful as it was. Her kind gesture didn’t stop at being a host though. She gifted the boys with books about the Greek islands and the girls with jewellery; symbolic and carrying special meaning for each girl individually. Mine was a turquoise filled star as you can see in the picture below, meant to ward off evil, store the good and bring in radiance. I absolutely love it and am so grateful for it. Thank you Vasi, for the trip of a lifetime!
Here’s to Greece and visiting you again, sometime, someday.