Well, it had been promised. But it was a particularly dark and forbidding morning I woke to. Over breakfast, I decided the best thing to do was head back into the town of Agios Nikilaos; at least in a town there are cafes, shops and museums to shelter in. Then the rain fell, the wind got up and I wondered how sensible it was to take the little Kia on an expedition. But the rain soon went, a strong rainbow curved from the sky apparently into the bay below and I decided to just go. If the weather got too bad, I’d just stop and shelter until it died down. On the road to Agios, the sky pretty much cleared. I pulled into a bay at the side of the road to photograph my approach; Agios in the distance.
A good thing about setting off early was that I could easily get a space in the little car park I discovered on Wednesday. With the cost just €3 for 2 hours or €4 for all day, I went with all day so I didn’t have to worry about the time. The sky over the marina, near where I parked, looked ominous again.
These little doughnuts, flavoured with honey and cinnamon, or in this case honey and sesame, are a Greek speciality. As I looked in the window the old woman sitting on a chair just inside called to me. Come in! Where was I from? (Everyone wants to know where I come from!). Every morning we (by which I guess she meant we Cretans) eat loukoumades. Well, I had to buy some. But how many? They’re quite small; not much bigger than a golf ball. Two? I gently suggested. She laughed and I was immediately reminded of A’s shock via message the other day when a small bottle of raki was put before me: he could hardly believe I only drank one shot! But I didn’t want lots and I didn’t want to carry round a bag of sticky doughnuts, however nice. So I stuck to two. My word, they were wonderful. Thank goodness I didn’t give in to buying more because I wouldn’t have been able to stop eating them! I wandered on and it was still wonderfully quiet.
I took a small passageway down to Voulismeni Lake. Quite why there is a lake so close to the sea and harbour, I don’t know. But it’s pretty. There’s a tiny church built into the rock at the far end and a number of healthy looking cats wandering around.
I passed a ‘fish spa therapy’ place where women sat on the kind of seats used for pedicures but in this case had their feet in fish tanks in which many small fish swam, nibbling at their feet. I’ve heard of this before but definitely wasn’t up for trying it. Instead I moved on to the Folklore Museum. It was supposed to open at 10am. It was 10.30 and there was no sign of it opening. I asked in the Tourist Information next door. The girl looked at her watch, shrugged and said probably in a couple of minutes. This is Greek time. Don’t ever try to be in a hurry here! Half an hour or so later, it was open and I paid €3 to go in.
It was very small but there were some gorgeous woven rugs and carpets, embroidered clothes and pottery. When I came out Agios was filling up and had become very busy. I decided to head back to Istron for lunch. Manolis had shown me a cabin cantina on another beach which did, he told me, good souvlaki.
It’s such a pretty place but the weather was turning threatening again. I ordered souvlaki and frites fried in olive oil (because that apparently is the thing to do) and sat under some awning near the beach where a couple sat eating at another table. The rain came. I thought it was blowing through the side open ‘windows’ but no, the awning was mesh with holes in it. From the cabin men shouted to us. I may not speak Greek but I got the message. We were herded in. Space was made at the tables which would stay dry. My souvlaki and chips came and I’d picked up a can of cold Amstel beer.
The couple were from the Midlands in UK, on their honeymoon. We all talked and laughed together with two old local men, communicating by sign language; one guy giving me a bottle of lemon dressing and indicating I should put it on my souvlaki. It was all great fun. The rain petered out but it clearly wasn’t going to be for long. I made my way back to the car. The beach was understandably empty.