The Greek Sails

Chrissi Island

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.

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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.

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Chrissi Island from afar.

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.

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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.

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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.


Mary and me.



Coriva and Almyra

With only three of us left, we decided to slow down and just let time pass us by. In between all the touristing and driving and sight seeing, I think all three of us (Tony, Mary and me) were quite socially burnt out. I think, we were a tad bit exhausted. Surprisingly, doing touristy stuff can get quite draining as well!

So we decided to take a bus to Coriva Hotel Beach, having bid adieu to the two people who had valid driving licences. The fantastic thing about beaches in Greece is that they are all public property. This means that even if a hotel or resort is built on the beach, the beach is not the property of the hotel. Others, those not checked in to the hotel, can simply walk in and head to the beach and relax.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Having arrived, we headed straight to the beach. The beach itself was serene and a shade of blue darker than what I had seen previously, in other locations. The sand wasn’t really sand. It was actually black pebbles which made it a bit difficult for anyone headed out for a swim. The stones were blistering hot and walking on them to get a quick dip meant frying the soles of your feet. That unfortunately, was not fun.

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Mary didn’t wish to swim so Tony and I headed out. I think mid way, we both got really competitive and started swimming really fast towards the buoy visible at the horizon. Mind you, this competition began without any words being spoken. I have no recollection as to who won though. I do remember returning and slumping on my sun bed, exhausted and breathing very heavily.

This was perhaps the only beach where I saw women topless. Almost all of them had their bikini tops off, lying face up, soaking in all the sun. It was while I was lying face down, dozing off, that Tony decided I should join the ranks of all the rest of the women out there. Without me realising, he undid the strings of my top. How I sat up and got Mary to retie the knot without flashing anyone is beyond me but hey, I did succeed.

So score 1 for me, 0 for Tony.

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We then headed back home to dress up for a fancy dinner. Mary took us to Almyra, a five star restaurant in Ierapetra. Situated at one extreme end of the island, the view this restaurant provides, is spectacular.

Built atop rocks, one gets a breathtaking view of the sea at night along with a panoramic view of the entire island, glowing like fireflies.

Having dined on some exquisite pasta and sea food, we were just paying the bill when catastrophe struck. All the bills Tony pulled out of his wallet, were blown away by a gust of wind. Running and jumping, Tony chased after his money while Mary and I looked on in horror. We were worried the bills would blow out to sea. Thankfully, they didn’t. Tony caught them two floors below our seating and had to fish one out of the swimming pool. Nevertheless, he retrieved all his money.

Our walk back home had us capturing Ierapetra in a state of stillness. It wasn’t something I had witnessed before and it was an experience all in itself. The otherwise bustling, exuberant crowds had disappeared with barely any people on the street. Our voices seemed usually loud as we debated politics on our way back, the click-clack of our heels and the swaying of the trees all round us, possibly the only sounds giving us company.


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Wearing six inch heels allowed me to reach Mary’s height cause on any other day, I think I reach her shoulder.


Bidding Sarah farewell was an adventure of its own. She had to take a bus from Agios Nikolaos to the airport, so we decided to make a trip of it.

We left early morning so as to have more time on our hands to explore Agios Nikolaos. Despite it being 8 or so, the sun was bearing down on us, making us sweat like crazy.

Unlike Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos attracts more tourists and is more stereotypically Greek in its layout. The landscape is similar to Santorini with more white exteriors and architecture. The terrain isn’t flat and has a lot of uphill/downhill driving unlike Ierapetra which is flat and stretched out.

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Since none of us had grabbed breakfast, we stopped by one of the finer Greek cafes which were reputed to serve the best frozen yoghurt and coffee. As is well known of me, I conveniently forgot to document the name of this cafe. Oops. BUT, the frozen yoghurt, oh my god! I am very selective about my yoghurt, half of them taste medicinal to me. I was therefore, weary, despite Mary urging me otherwise. I gave in and ordered a frozen yoghurt with muesli, mangoes and cranberries.


My extremely divine yoghurt.

I fell in love with it. Is it possible to fall in love with food, because I did. I guzzled down the yoghurt within three, maybe four spoonfuls and was already contemplating, ordering another one. Unfortunately, my extremely massive cup of coffee decided for me. Now when I think of it, my order must have seemed so weird, piping hot coffee with a size of Fro Yo. Hah!

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Once we had catered to the needs of our tummies, we decided to head out to the bus stop to drop Sarah off. Unfortunately, Mary was unfamiliar with the directions. Greeks are so incredibly sweet! Even if they were unaware of the route, they still tried to help. This didn’t bode well for us, since we were more often than not, sent off into the wrong direction. The time spent following the wrong paths had us all tensed since we were all worried Sarah might not make it. In our panic, we also almost died at one point. Dipa had taken over the steering wheel since Sarah was too stressed to drive. We were going uphill and had to stop, to get directions obviously, when the car started rolling backwards. I think all of us swallowed our screams and thankfully, Dipa got back on track and we didn’t encounter anymore almost-accidents. Thankfully, just in the nick of time, we reached the station and we made sure Sarah boarded her bus.

Once we bid adieu to her, post relaxing and freshening up, we headed to Mochlos.

Mochlos is a small village that serves food right by the sea. The view is absolutely breathtaking but getting there isn’t easy. The roads are winding and topsy-turvy. One has to be extremely skilled to drive down the roads to get to it but the views on the way are spectacular. On our way there, we stopped at Panorama, a tourist spot from where you can take pictures and get a wonderful view of the horizon.

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Come evening time, we had safely arrived at Mochlos. We seated ourselves at Kapilio where we all decided to dine, pescetarian style.

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Spaghetti with octopus braised in red wine.

While Dipa and Tony decided to order the fish platter which had an assortment of fish, Mary and I decided to have Spaghetti with fish on the side. I loved my dish and still dream of tasting it again, sometime soon. Having never tried octopus before, it was a first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I think I prefer it more than squid now, which is saying something.

While we dined, we had the most beautiful view. Honestly, I don’t think any meal since, has trumped my experience there.

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As it was getting quite late, we decided to head back, which was another adventure of its own. The roads were pitch black with no reflectors placed anywhere, nor were there any lamp posts. It was a little scary, especially when turning on the mountainside, since there was no way of knowing if there was a car headed from the opposite direction until too late, but we reached home, safe and sound, nonetheless. We crashed soon after, the sights of Mochlos making for the perfect dream.


Sun Kissed

With the delicious smell of melted cheese and ham wafting through the air, I woke up, all smiles, on my second day in Greece.

After gulping down chocolate milkshakes and munching on crunchy sandwiches, we decided on heading out to the beach. Mary being the delightful host that she was, had it all planned out. Sun screen and water bottles packed into our bags, we had soon hit the road.

The beach Mary was leading us to was called Mikri Poli, rather it was a resort with a very picturesque beach.

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The beach at Mikri Poli

From the minute we landed, Dipa and I were a tad bit too excited, having stumbled across an Ictotherapy Spa. For all of you who don’t know what it is, Ictotherapy is a kind of spa treatment where you dip your feet in water and tiny fish come rushing towards you and nibble at your soles, eating away at all the dead skin, making your toes and feet extremely soft to the touch. Since it did not open till mid evening, we decided on heading to the beach and having a lovely dip in the sea.

Our way down to the sea was tiring but so beautiful.

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Dipa and Mary decided to try out the very fancily designed swimming pools, so it was upto Sarah, Tony and me to find beach beds, a task that didn’t take up too much of our time. Soon enough, we were swimming and splashing around in the sea. Having brought wooden paddles and tennis balls with us, we tried our hand at the Greek version of tennis and were not so bad by the time we stopped after being terrible at it for at least an hour.

Hey, practice makes perfect. There’s a reason why we say it.

We were joined by Mary and Dipa, who had lazed around in the pool and had had their own fun while we frolicked in the sea. Dipa and I then headed to the spa to get our feet nibbled at by fish and boy was it an experience.

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The sensation of these fish going at it at your feet is a weird mix. You feel ticklish but relaxed all at the same time. After about twenty minutes of feeding these fish my dead skin, I was allowed to take my feet out of the water and have them massaged and cleaned up. By the end of it, I kept hugging my feet, THEY WERE SO INCREDIBLY SOFT !

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Having planned our spa treatment perfectly, we met the rest of the gang outside the resort and headed to the village called Makris Gialos where we would dine on divine Greek cuisine. The setting of this village was extremely beautiful and calming and the gentle sound of the waves crashing on the rocks made for the perfect tune while we chatted and licked away at our plates.

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The village of Makris Gialos.

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I have no recollection as to what everyone else ordered at the sea side cafe, but I can still taste the silky smooth Cheese Cream Chicken with fries, said and rice that I had decided on savouring.

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Amazing Cream Cheese Chicken with Fries, Salad and Rice.

Before we headed back home, we decided on capturing a picture of Manos Stephanapolis, the name we had given to our car and its two fantastic drivers, since Sarah was leaving the next day.

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Sarah and Dipa with Manos Stephanapolis.

Once back home, we showered and dressed up and hit the city. We dined on food and raki at a restaurant called Meraki and then spent the rest of the night, walking around Ierapetra.

We walked past and around the fort guarding Ierapetra and then spent countless minutes staring at the clear sky, wishing to come across a shooting star.

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The fort guarding Ierapetra.

We ended the night by sitting on the beach, munching on amazing gelato and sharing stories of places we wished to travel to and what we would call ‘our happy place.’

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Here’s a blurry picture of all of us. From left to right: Dipa, Tony, Mary, Sarah and me.

Keep your eyes peeled Mavericks, another post about my travels in Greece will be up before you know it !

Till then…

Sand In My Toes

With 2014 coming to a close, my friends and I, huddling together to fend off the biting London cold, decided on a summer trip. With one too many demands about what we wanted to experience during this vacation, we decided on Greece, the land of delicious food, sun and sand.

Tickets booked, plans made, all that was needed was the date of departure and soon that too happened.

Funnily enough, none of us booked our tickets for the same date or place.

Ian and Sarah booked their tickets to Athens and from there, a boat to Ierapetra. Dipa would join them and Mary (our lovely host) in Ierapetra and they would finally be joined by Tony and me, two days later.

Unfortunately, this meant, the entire group would spend only one day together because Ian would be leaving the next day for his Euro tour. So we decided on making the most of the one day we had to spend together.

After a LONG 11 hour journey ( 4 hours of flying, 4 hours of chilling at the airport and 3 hours of travelling via bus), Tony and I finally arrived at Ierapetra, tired and sweaty.

The first and only sunrise I witnessed in Greece thanks to a four hour early morning wait at the airport.

Soon enough Dipa and Mary had come to pick us up. We entered Mary’s lovely summer house only to be welcomed by a snoozing Ian, wrapped in bed sheets. I put an end to his deep slumber right away by placing my ice cold cherry flavoured slush on his bare chest. He was displeased to say the least.

Despite it being almost mid afternoon, everyone excepting Mary and Dipa were still sleeping. They woke up (thankfully) once we arrived and we headed out to brunch since all of us were extremely hungry. Mary being not just our host but food guide and translator extraordinaire, led us to a cafe called Aperitton where I got to munch on some of the most delicious savoury crepes ever.

Also, the portions served were GIGANTIC.

From left to right; Tony, Dipa, Mary, Kate, Ian and Sarah.

Once we had satiated our tummies, we headed back to our house to slather ourselves in sun screen before we headed to the beach.

After a breezy hour’s ride, we had arrived at our destination, although I was sweating bullets by the time we reached, not because of the heat but because there was a wasp chilling next to me the entire ride there and had I mentioned it, Dipa, one of the two designated drivers, would have screamed our ears off in fear and then driven us off the cliff or something.

I know, I know… my heroic act saved us all. Guys, you can thank me later. Sooner than later though okay ?

The beach Mary had brought us to was called Blue River simply because the sea was joined by a frigid cold river from the side.

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The entrance to Blue River.

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The ice cold river joining the sea.

We found ourselves a few beach beds and having dropped off our bags and sun hats, we were stripping ourselves of our clothes, running for the clear blue sea.

I have always known I was a water baby and my soul jumped in happiness the minute my feet touched the water.

Pure love for this.

While Sarah, Mary and I swam as far out into the sea as we could, Ian and Tony decided to sun bathe while Dipa decided to first practice her swimming skills in the two swimming pools placed close to the beach. After an hour, she too joined us and we spent most of the afternoon, coaxing her to swim further into the sea. Dipa being Dipa refused to budge if her feet didn’t touch the sea bed.

After we had convinced Ian to go for at least one dip in the sea, I decided to be a human totem pole. This was extreme fun right until Ian decided to fall backwards and dunk me in the water. I knew something was up and was holding onto his head, thinking he would fail if he tried to throw me off, but it never struck me that he would just fall backwards and dunk us both.

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Being a human totem pole.

Dipa, not the best with a camera, actually captured this hilarious incident and took a brilliant photograph of Ian and me, where the only things visible are our feet and a lot of froth. I shall refrain from uploading that picture though.

We then decided to clean up and head out for dinner but not before Sarah and I had a picture taken in the pretty alcove next to the river. This meant me wading through the ice cold water which was not fun but oh well !

My moonstone and I.

Before we left, we decided on a group picture because why not ?!

Dipa then drove us to a beautiful restaurant overlooking the sea and the historic Leper Island where Greeks suffering from leprosy were shipped off, called Spinalonga where we were treated to delicious sea food and fresh salads. Yet again, the portions were gigantic and I realised I would have to get used to this generous act of the Greeks with no complaints.

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Spinalonga Cafe.

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The Leper Island

Sarah took over the driving on our way back and I… well I dozed off. This would not have been an issue had I not claimed my ability to go without sleep a few minutes before my eyes decided to glue themselves together. I was teased about this the rest of the night although in my defence, I had way too much Raki (Greek alcohol) in my system.

Once we reached home, we showered and dressed up, to own the night.

Basically, we had one too many bottles of Raki and food. We looked amazing while we did that though.

Soon enough, it was time to hit the bed since Ian would have to leave early morning the next day and Tony and I were exhausted from our long arduous journey.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next Greece post with more beach stories and more food Mavericks !

Signing off with a picture of my adorable goofballs.

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From left to right: Ian, Sarah, me, Mary, Dipa and Tony