I had to get my act together immediately if I was to make the weekly market in Agios Nikolaos while I’m here in Crete for it takes place on a Wednesday morning. In other words, my first morning. Still, never one to miss a good market and a chance to mingle with the locals and see what foods are filling their baskets, the little Kia and I set off around 9.30, retracing the road back towards Heraklion that we’d taken the day before.
Before we move on to Agios Nikolaos though, here is a photo of the bay as the darkness fell last night and I made my way to Kavos Taverna a little way down the road for supper. The restaurant looks over Voulisma Beach – also known as the Golden Beach. I received a typically warm Greek welcome. I ordered a starter of oven backed feta with tomatoes and peppers.
I’d not eaten cooked feta before – other than in little filo pies – and it was delicious, softer and creamier than the popular halloumi. I had moussaka for main course but this was disappointing. It was made up as a single serving in a terracotta bowl and served very hot – so hot I couldn’t eat it for ages. This is unusual in Greece where hot food is normally served warm – even lukewarm. There was also far too much cheese on top for me, overwhelming the taste. Were they cooking for the tourists? Back ‘home’ I had a very early night after a long day, to be up early and ready for my market trip in the morning.
I found a good parking spot not far into the town where it was convenient to walk into the centre and find the market and also get out easily for the return trip. I asked a lady the way to the market and she took me there! We couldn’t really talk as she spoke only a few words of English and my Greek doesn’t get past kalimera, but what kindness as it was a few minutes walk. The market was heaving with shoppers. Some obviously tourists but mainly not.
I bought a few things for a snack – tomatoes, peppers – but not a lot because I’m not planning to cook seriously. I was interested to see these lovely dried broad beans – used in the local fava dip, and would have loved to buy some if at home.
Of course, only now does it occur to me that I could have bought some as they could easily be transported home! I took my bags and some other purchases from a couple of shops back to the car and then sought coffee. It was definitely coffee time. I found a nice little cafe and ordered a cappuccino.
Back in Istron I walked down to the beach – 7 minutes walk – in search of the restaurant Manolis had told me about. Thought I found it – closed – but have discovered I didn’t walk far enough so will try again. Meanwhile I had a nice lunch of two starters at the restaurant just below the apartments: Meraki.
The little fried pie with cheese inside over which sesame seeds had been scattered and honey drizzled was gorgeous. As were the grilled peppers served simply with oil, vinegar and fresh herbs. I had a small beer and when I’d finished the guy brought me a plate of the sweetest little grapes.
I finished with a Greek coffee … when in Greece … As I paid, the two guys told me that on Friday there was live Cretan music so I happily agreed to go back then and reserved a table. Then it was time for a little siesta, a read of my book, a blog post written and now a gentle wander back down to the quiet beach to see if I can spot that other restaurant for another time.