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Heloise On The Road: Greece

Heloise (r) with Vickie and George Daskalaki on their front porch looking over the valley. Town of Masa, on the island of Crete, Greece.

My husband, David, and I visited Greece several years ago and were lucky enough to spend some time on the beautiful island of Crete. We were invited to a memorable lunch at the home of Vickie and George Daskalaki, who live in the tiny village of Masa, up the mountainside from the lovely small town of Vrysses. 

While gazing on a breathtaking view of the mountains and valley below, we savored a delicious lunch on their front patio. We sipped George's homemade wine accompanied by the tasty almonds they grow. The table overflowed with homegrown food offered with open-hearted charm. Platters of baked artichoke hearts, two different tomato and cucumber salads, along with a feta, squash, zucchini casserole were a vegetarian's delight. Mushrooms were dressed in tasty Cretan olive oil and served with rice and pork. 

To hear the wind blow through the trees, to enjoy good conversation, laughter and the company of friends, along with fabulous food, sums up a special lunch. Completing this perfect scene was Billy, their friendly little dog, who appears to have never met a stranger. Another highlight? Descending into the family wine cellar, where we saw wine casks, some that belonged to George's father, and others that we sampled, provided a complete picture of this wonderful Crete family and their traditions. 

We finished with coffee, three desserts and then said our warm goodbyes. 

Heloise (center) with George and Vickie in their wine cellar— located directly below the bedroom of their charming home high in the mountains.

Our next adventure was a careful drive down the very narrow single-lane road that winds through the picturesque village. Efkhareesto, y'all.

Travel Hints:

  • Bring extra hair shampoo because you can also use it to launder washable clothes.
  • Pack a clothespin or two to keep curtains closed or hang clothes you wash.
  • Make copies of all prescription medication, travel info, like airline tickets and travelers checks, as well as passport and credit cards. Have your traveling companion carry the photocopies! 
  • Take more batteries, chargers and film than you think you will use because they may be expensive or hard to find out side the U.S.
  • Learn the most important words in the local language—please, thank you and good day! In Greek parakalo (please), efkhareesto (thanks) and kaleemehra (good day).


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