Crete: day 2
This trip was planned around food and nature, nature and food. Also drinking and dominoes. No museums, no churches, no historical Minoan sites. Not this time.
Our first full day in Chania began with a reconnaissance trip to the market. We'd suss things out, then go back at the end of our stay to shop. What were we thinking?
We came home with cheese, olives, nuts, and a small bottle of rakomelo. Rakomelo is a new development since my last visit (10 years ago). Raki is the Cretan version of ouzo, slightly stronger and harsher than the bottled stuff on the mainland. It's served at the end of every meal whether you order it or not. Ask for the check and you get it with a small bottle of raki and a set of glasses. Raki should be downed like a shot; it puts hair on your chest and quickly warms you up. Tasty? No. Pleasant to drink? Not really. Rakomelo is raki blended with honey and boy does that make all the difference. The best rakomelo also includes spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Rakomelo is best served cold and is a lovely accompaniment to an evening's entertainment. But more on that later.
I'd done some restaurant research before leaving NYC and had a few places in mind. Lunch was at To Karnagio. Harbor view, excellent fish, and like many traditional Greek restaurants, you're invited into the kitchen to choose your fish and discuss how you'd like them cooked.
The rest of the afternoon we wandered the narrow and unbelievably picturesque streets of Chania,
stopping for coffee and a visit to the local t-shirt shop for our official Chicken Foot Tournament uniforms. Cayce and Joe (bless their hearts) had schlepped a full set of double-fifteen dominoes to Crete for the First Annual World Cup Chicken Foot Competition, and we required regulation garb.
After a brief siesta and another excellent meal (there wasn't a bad one the entire trip), we took over one of two rooftop gardens back at our hotel and began the first round.
Fortified with our market purchases, we played long into the night.