Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Greece Trip (Day 4) - Rethymnon

Castelvecchio Cafe in Rethymnon

After a late night out at the Taverns, we selpt in and finally woke up to catch the public bus to Rethymnon to the West of us. The bus systems there are pretty easy to use, as long as you are on time. They have a lot of stops, but whenever the bus shows up and the last person gets on or off they go, no waiting for anyone else. So, needless to say we were never late for any of our bus trips.
We arrived in Rethymnon (pronounced Reth-em-no) and walked along the ocean sidewalk to the Fortress. It was a very pretty veiw and the sea was such a blue color. All over Greece we saw graffiti, from the little towns to the big city, much of it related to the symbol Theta 7. We later asked our waiter in Santorini if it was because of people saying something about politics or the banks. Nope, just the soccer fans. Soccer is really big in Greece too. A lot of the government owned banks did have graffiti we saw later on in our trip.

The Fortress is built right up against the cliff walls. There's not too much for building structures left, but the view to the city is very nice.

Outside of the Fortress

View of the city from the Fortress

After seeing the Fortress we walked down into city and to look around and do some shopping. On our way down the hill we saw a menu on a side street restaurant that looked really nice so we decided to stay in town longer and take the late bus back since it didn't open until 6pm.

In the town there is a really well known ice cream shop right by some fountains that people come to see. They had flavors like pistachio, ameretto, hazelnut, and nutella. We walked around for a bit, got some local Diktamos (Dittany) tea which is a mountain flower that grows on Crete. It looks like a fuzzy little purplish bud and I'm interested to see what it tastes like. We wandered around the town a bit more. I got some sandles and a purse. They have the most amazing leather products on Crete. So nice, but you have to watch out for fakes and buy what you like.
We settled down for a Mythos beer at a family run Tavern down the hill from the restaurant we had picked out. We watched tourist go by and the children of the family who owns the two taverns on that street tease each other till the mothers came out and scolded them.

Finally at the stroke of 6pm we headed up the street with high hopes and a beatiful view. We sat down, being the only people there at the time and found some of the most amazing food we had on our trip. It was a family owned place, the father came out in his apron after grilling our food, the son was our waiter, and the mom was the baker. The son's little girl was reading a Dora book to herself and her mom was setting up the tables. It was so quaint and had a wonderful 'home' feeling to it.

We ordered the Aubergine dip which was so simple and so so so delish. It's a smooth dip with roasted aubergine (type of eggplant), mayo, gruyere cheese, olive oil, walnuts, and parsley. We will be trying to make this soon :) We ordered a really good bottle of wine there also, a Chateu Nico Lazaridi. The wine comes from the Drama region and is a really nice light blend.

Other pictures of the meal are below. My personal fav story is how the son brought out the cake with the check (we were so full we didn't even think about desert at this time) and said "here here, you must have some of this cake, my mamma made it this morning." And what could we say? We had to eat it, even though we were stuffed. It was that good and we felt like that much more a part of the family. The Greeks really do have hospitality down.

(From Top) Sun Dried Tomato, Olive Oil, Feta with Fennel, Aubergine Dip

Grilled Swordfish with eggplant and baked potatoes

Foil wrapped Pork with Feta, Tomatoes, and Potato Fries

Mama's Walnut Honey Cake

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