It seems that many Greek towns, including those on the island of Crete, have their tame White Pelican often to be found on the harbour front. We found Siteia's Pelican at the ancient submerged roman baths which are just behind the harbour wall. I believe the Pelican is called Patrogas. I guess it is fed regularly, and perhaps its wings are clipped to prevent it from flying off, but the Pelican seemed in good shape and was happily preening itself when we spotted it.
Patrogas is seen here with its friends the domestic geese.
Baklava is a honey-nut pastry, very sweet and delicate.
The ingredients of baklava are: puff pastry, honey, thick sugar and nuts.
You can find this exquisite pastry in each pastry shop in Crete.
The small baklava is sold by gram and the big after the number of pieces.
The manufacture of the baklava is mainly handicraft and this is a reason for the high price of it.
The best baklava that we had in Crete was in a pastry shop in centre of Ierapetra.
The Greek Salad is a very popular food in Greece.
It is very fine and delicate.
The elements of the salad are:
After taste, one can give also other ingredients to it.
In Greece, people live by the GMT- time, which stands for "Greek Maybe Time". The Greek people have a very different attitude to time. They don't live by the clock.
When the bus is scheduled to come 10:30, it means it will come between 10 and 11, depending on the traffic, how packed and busy is his bus, and many other small things.
In Greece, dinner/supper doesnt start until 9 pm (at the earliest!). We often ended up having dinner at 11pm, midnight and even 1am one night! So, do not rush...enjoy your day at the beach or sight-seeing and then take your time relaxing and getting ready in your room...Youre in Greece! :)
However, Siesta Time, between 3.00 p.m. and 5 p.m. is sacred. You'll find that many stores and restaurants are closed during that time of the day. Be prepared.
Be patient and don't be angry with Cretan people. If you get angry, you 'll get the opposite of what you are looking for. And especially they feel insulted pretty fast, so pay attention to what you say !
A meal at a restaurant in Crete is often rounded off with a small glass of Raki or Tsikoudia. A colourless spirit made from grapes and similar to the Italian made Grappa, it is an acquired taste but I found it quite pleasant and has more of a "bite" to it than the more commonly known Metaxa.
Greeks are haveing many traditional dances and the most beautiful music in the whole world (to me). If you can see what is going on on this picture I will tell you: There is a table, on the table is a bottle, on the bottle is a glass and on the glass is a Greek dancer!
Raki is an alcoholic drink which borders on battery acid. It is quite potent. Many bootleg versions are made but it all tastes pretty much the same. It is made from grapes after the juice that is used for wine. It is given at the end of every meal and is customary to drink one "shot" at the end to help in digestion. It doesn't go down very easy but that is part of the fun right? It is just polite to take some and say thank you. Especially when you dine in large groups like this one, it is a social thing. Greeks work on their own time. They have gotten used to many of the tourists who visit Crete but you have to keep in mind that they may not have everything on the menu and it may not get to the table as quickly as you expect. But they will bend over backwards to make sure you have every reason to come back.
I’ve already told you about the proud and independent character of Cretans. They introduce themselves as Cretans first, and then as Greeks. Cretans are also known for their intense localism and there is a rivalry even amongst the island’s areas. Here is good joke I heard while I was in Crete and is related to this fact. Someone asks someone from Heraklion:-What separates men from animals? And the other answers: -Rethymno (Note:Rethymno is the town situated between Haniá and Heraklion the two largest towns of Crete).Yet, I guess the answer would be the same even if the question was asked to someone from Chaniá,with the difference that he/she would mean that the "animals" are in the opposite direction!
Crete has been a part of many empires. It was ruled by Phonicians, Romans, Venetians, Turks, Germans and of course Greeks, but has always had an independent character. The large island is a strategical place in the Eastern mediterranean and thus many nations had put their eyes on holding this 'fortress'. At Rethymnon's Arkadi-monastery one can truely feel this urge for independance. Here the Cretenzer rebelions rather blew themselves up, then surrender.
Crete embraces - like the rest of Greece - the Greek Orthodox church, which is quiet different from other Christian believes and stands at the cradle of the Russian Orthodox church. A sad, but pictoresk image are the many little chaples at the sides of the roads (if you realy use your eyes you see many little details of a country). These are remembering traffic casualties and the amount of them proove how dangerously (some) Greek drive.
This is a very delicate pastry with a wonderful savour.
I have eaten this desert in a very elegant café house in Heraklion, on the shore of the sea.
I was enthusiastic about it.
Crete sewerage pipes are smaller than the rest of Europe, so you will see notices telling you not to put toilet paper down the toilet pan, put in the bin provided, or you will block the system.
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