Jul 9, 2008

BACK FROM PARADISE...

Hello everyone! Yes I know, it has been a while that I haven't posted anything on my blog... The truth is that I went through a total blogging procrastination phase. I was still going crazy with the cooking, but took a break from the blogging... Also, I was just counting the days to get out of Paris and fly away to... Mykonos & Santorini! I just spent a fabulous week on these two stunning Greek islands, and the only thing on my mind now is when will I be back there! Last year, I had spent just a day in Mykonos, and the rest of the time in Paros and Athens. This year, I told myself Mykonos deserved a lot more then just one day... which indeed turned out to be very true.
So where do I start? With the breathtaking views? The perfect weather? The picture-perfect sunsets? The lazy beach moments followed by an incredible nightlife? Or the mouthwatering food??? And even the most shaky plane ride ever from Athens to Mykonos? Well, I guess I'll share a bit of everything through the selection of photos I decided to post here. If you want to see more, you can check out the full set on my Flickr stream.

Above: a view of Super Paradise Beach which is part of the popular South Beaches in Mykonos. We wanted to go check out the North Beaches too (i.e: Agios Sostis, had heard so much good about it!) but it was too windy so we stayed south.





Above: the famous Mykonos Windmills. Below: the famous bar-club Astra which was a great place with fantastic music & staff!



Above: view of Mykonos from the plane.

And then of course, there was a lot of ice-cream involved! Without a doubt, ice-cream has got to be my favourite holiday food. There was a lovely place near the windmills in Mykonos which had delicious flavours, and some that were interesting such as Rice Pudding & Cinnamon and Mille Feuilles (above). Some other ice-cream places also had flavours that were absolutely fantastic such as Mastic (below) or Liquorice (below, with the infamous frappé on the left). There was also a great place in Mykonos town called "Kayak"- if you ever go visit Mykonos and are an ice-cream amateur, please check it out. You will be amazed by the flavours they have on offer...



Then of course, when in Greece, feta cheese is a must. Many restaurants had grilled feta cheese (above) on the menu which was (for me personally) nothing THAT special. But an another day we had the most superb feta ever- with honey, phyllo and sesame seeds (below)! Something I will definately have to make at home... and soon!! Throughout my stay I kept wondering just how many kgs of feta Greece must be producing each year...and how much of it is consumed by the tourists! The portions of feta are so generous (at least compared to going to a Greek restaurant here in France) which made me wonder how much of it is made in the country!

Generally the food we had was just perfect, especially perfect with the hot weather and island-life. It was all about freshness and simplicity. Nothing was too heavy and flavours werent coated with heavy sauces and what not. I really love the diet of the Greeks (and generally the Meditarranean region) which I fortunately grew up on. I love using olive oil instead of butter, I love the abundant use of vegetables, and I love the way fishes & meats were prepared. Sigh, this is all making my tastebuds sad and missing Greece...




Then of course I had to make a stop at many bakeries, where there was trays and trays of baklava and phyllo type pastries. In Santorini, I had the most delicious Karydopita (above, left). I am definately making Karydopita at home (and for a recipe, check out Peter's blog). I also tried this other amazing pastry which actually turned out to be a complete surprise for me. I had just randomly pointed out to one of the many tempting trays when I chose a classic looking phyllo dessert. I was quite sure that I would be biting into a nutty-based stuffing...but instead, there was a loukoum! Rose-water loukoum wrapped in phyllo and drenched in syrup... how sinful does that sound? Just the thought of how much sugar must be in there can frighten me... but I'm telling you, it was worth it and if someone gave me a piece this very instance I would eat it without second thoughts!




Santorini turned out to be beautiful indeed, living up to it's reputation. We stayed in Fira (which is the center) and had an amazing view on the Caldera. But of course we wanted to also check out Oia- especially when the sunsets. Driving up to Oia however was a bit crazy- the roads on these islands are such a circus, but I guess that's part of it's charm too... I noticed that there were tons of American tourists in Santorini- lots of couples of course, but lots of families too with little kids (the latter I did not expect). Mykonos on the other hand was a blend of many profiles, however of course with a dominant younger spirit. There were an insane amount of Italian and Australian tourists in Mykonos- which I am not complaining about as I love Italians and the Australians were just great fun and unbelievably friendly! My friends & I decided that Australia is definately our next spot for holidays...
Above: the famous donkey rides in Fira, Santorini
Above: the Red Beach and the black sanded beach (below)- both in Santorini
So, that is pretty much it...although at the same time there is so much to say about beautiful Mykonos & Santorini. However I think this post is long enough already, and if you are still reading then... wow! Thank you!! :-)
Being back in Paris was very tough, especially as the plane was about to land and all I could see was grey clouds above us... Well, I just think to myself that having been to those islands is still better then having not gone at all! I had an amazing time- thanks to my friends, and thanks to the wonderful magic of Mykonos & Santorini!
P.S: If you do plan on travelling there soon and are curious, then please do not hesitate to contact me, I'd be more then happy to give some tips and advice!

25 comments:

Peter M said...

Welcome back Marianna...you've triggered fond memories of my visits to these two islands.

The photos are gorgeous and you've laid out photos that would make anyone want to go there!

linda said...

I was starting to wonder where you were....
Looks like you had a great time. Your pictures of all the food makes me drool. Especially the one with the lokum inside!

Peter G said...

Such memories! Welcome back Marianna! Glad that you enjoyed the islands. Your pics are just beautiful...karithopita is a favourite of mine too. And I'm glad yu think the Aussies are friendly!...hope to hear more from you soon xx

kim said...

i am going to santorini and crete at the end of the month, and now i'm looking forward to it even more, if that's even possible ;) love your photos!

matt wright said...

This looks incredible.. you lucky lucky person you. Great photos too! awesome saturation.

Cathy C said...

Hi
This is my first visit to your blog and I will be back - I loved Greece and Santorini was breathtaking. I remember the nightly "pilgrimages" to watch the sunset, the food was amazing and the beaches were like nothing I had ever seen before.
Thanks for sharing the photos and for bringing back to a place that I fell in love with.

Cheers
Cathy
www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

Holly said...

Gorgeous photos! Looks like you had a lovely trip...I'm jealous!

Esi said...

This brings back so many memories from my trip to Mykonos last year. Thank you for sharing!

Jo said...

Wow, wow and wow ... I wish I was there. The pictures are wonderful!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Welcome back. I've missed you so much on my site! I am envious of your amazing holiday and I might just take you up on the offer and let you work out a culinary tour for me!!!

diva said...

woowww!!!

that is indeed paradise. what amazing pictures you've taken. i'm so envious. and that black sanded beach is awesome. how i wish i was there too

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, beautiful!! I have missed you around here!
Your photos are amazing, tks for sharing - not to mention the amazing food you ate... ;)

xoxo

Cindy. Lo. said...

Those pictures are amazing,
Especially loved the ones with windmills and your feet!

Faye said...

It is a paradise, the sun,the beach, the sea, the food,and all the white builtings, this is my dream place.

Mónica said...

Wellcome back Marianna.What a lovely trip and such beautiful photos!

Heather said...

mmmmm those grape leaves look amazing.

maybe if you brought back any uzo you could stop by my blog and submit a rockin cocktail for my first blog event? i'd love to see your creation!


http://diaryofafanaticfoodie.blogspot.com
/2008/07/cocktail-and-my-first-
event.html

Latifa said...

wow!...looks you had a great vacation. I love islands.

inga said...

The photos were beautiful! And you made me totally hungry with all this food that you took pics of! :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I feel like I just took a trip. These photos are stunning. Thanks so much for sharing them.

Christine said...

wow, the food, the landscapes-- EVERYTHING looks amazing!!

bcommebon said...

Un très beau reportage plein de saveurs méditerranéennes…

susand said...

your pictures are beautiful!
Welcome back

Stephanie said...

I so want to go there!!! I've been wanting to go ever since I saw the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 1 and then just recently 2. Someday I'll take a trip there, so I may have to take you up on your offer of tips whenever I do decide to go.

*Stephanie*
www.expressionsofacaffeinatedaccountant.com

beti said...

Love your photographs...I linked this post in my blog, so anyone can have a rest if needs fresh air!
Congratulations, everything looks incredible.

Sevan said...

Hi, I stumbled upon your blog looking for recipes with rose water. You recipes are wonderful and I was hoping I could use one or two of them on our website.

You can e-mail me at sandra@sevan.se