Monday, June 29, 2009
The laundry's done, the refrigerator's restocked, and we're all ready for our next group of house guests who arrive this afternoon. But while I'm taking care of business in Paris, my mind is still miles away in Greece where we spent the last week hiking, sea kayaking, and eating plenty of fresh tomatoes and feta cheese.
Our trip started with a day in Athens for the obligatory visits to the Acropolis and Agora. As predicted, Athens was busy, dusty, and hot. Still, it's hard not to be impressed by the sweep of history, even if it's not easy to wrap your brain around events that transpired thousands of years ago.
But the real treat was Crete. Thanks to the team at The Northwest Passage, we had the adventure of a lifetime, experiencing the beauty of the Cretan landscape up close and personal. We kayaked on six days along the south coast of Crete and hiked three, including a five-hour breathtaking descent into the Samaria Gorge. The kids sat in the front seats of our two double kayaks and worked hard, especially the day when we started with an hour hike along the cliffs and followed by 20 miles paddling in the Libyan Sea. (That one kicked my tail.) My husband took the prize for effort, making the two-hour open sea crossing from Agia Galini to Matala on the last day.
For souvenirs, we brought home a few postcards, some strange tan lines, odd bruises from getting in and out of kayaks, and lots of happy memories of breakfasts of crusty bread and yogurt laced with Greek honey, the tinkle of goat bells on the mountain trails, white buildings trimmed in blue, the warm sun shining on turquoise seas, and hilltop views that took our breath away.