If I could describe the island of Crete, I would say it looked like one big long sunbathing mermaid, whose body is divided into four uneven parts: the west, where her head and hands are; the mid-west, which constitutes her petite bust; the mid-east, where she keeps her big wide hips; and the east, where her tail is located.
That westernmost part is called Hania, the one with the small head and two outstretched hands. I live on the northern coastline, just below the left hand side of the mermaid's head. On our first outing for the summer (our last family taverna meal was at Therisso), we drove westwards, to her first hand - the bigger of the two, Rodopou peninisula. On the left hand side, in the middle of the peninsula, we stopped at a seaside village called Ravdoucha. There, we encoutered the Waves on the Rocks, where we enjoyed our first summer meal out (this map is from their website). This is the second time we have been to this restaurant.
To get there, we had to travel over mountainous terrain on a small narrow road littered with rocks, fallen debris from the winter's rains and adverse weather. We could see the mermaid's other arm (called Gramvousa) in the distance across the sea. It is barren and arid, unlike Rodopou, which is covered in greenery in its greater part.
We finally came across the beach, which resembled a lagoon, filled with sapphire blue Mediterranean seawater.
We sat outside under the shade of two great big mulberry trees. The only sounds were the sea, the patrons of the restaurant - and the generators, which was tucked away in a neat corner, but whose hum could still be discerned.
From our table, we had a direct view of the sea.
We ordered some tsigariasto (which was cooked in a little tomato - the meat was falling off the bone),
stamnagathi (slightly blanched, turned into a cold salad, a little bitter as it is ending its season now, but still, very tasty),
calamarakia (fried squid ringlets),
grilled octopus (superb),
fried zucchini, eggplant and mushroom slices, and a plate of potato chips; the owner of the taverna cultivates potatos for the exclusive use of the taverna. We had also ordered a beer, and were treated to one more by the owner of the taverna (he saw me taking photographs of the food).
At the end of the meal, we were bought a dish of cold caramelised carrot (no, it isn't the famous Greek quince in syrup, but it sure looks like it - and if we had some yoghurt or ice-cream, I'd know just what to do with it), as well as some tsikoudia, the locally produced fiery white spirit of Crete. We drank in the sea air, and went home feeling very relaxed. Total cost for four people: 40 euro, including tip.
©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.