lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Super Human Liver September 11, 2018

Have you ever met someone and thought, You are a caricature of a human?

I met one such gentleman in Chania, Crete.

He was a restaurant owner with homemade Raki. And his homemade Raki was better than the store made kind. His version of the traditional liquor didn’t have the terrible burn of the types the husband and I had sampled before.

The restaurant owner was about in his fifties, the cheerful silver fox type, and liked to lure people into his restaurant by offering them free shots of his Raki. It worked. Between the yummy Raki and beautiful live music, the husband and I were hooked.

The thing is, he’d do a shot with you. And with the next people who came into the restaurant. And with the people who agreed to get up and dance. And with the couple who ordered dessert.

We tried to count, and he took like fourteen shots while we were eating dinner. And the man was still standing! I don’t even know how that’s possible!

There was another English-speaking couple sitting behind us, and they finally asked how many shots he usually took in a night.

His response: “It depends.” (more…)

 

Raki for My Friends August 10, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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There are times in life when you have to push through in order to find something amazing.

The husband and I had a push through moment the night after our amazing hike of the Samaria Gorge.

We were hot. We were tired. We were in pain. We were dirty as hell. And we were hungry.

We got back to Chania, the nice little city where we were staying about an hour from the gorge.

It was like nine at night by then. As we limped our way back toward the hotel, we searched for food. Some restaurants were too nice for us to go in as filthy as we were. Some didn’t have any food allergy-ridden me could actually eat. The grocery store had no pre-made food to be found. It was rough.

I wanted to go to the old town, but it was a long walk away and we were so dirty.

We finally found a mom and pop place that didn’t have any food left, but they had some advice: just head toward old town and you’ll find something to eat.

It was one of those moments in travel when you have to choose between a Cliff Bar and Sleep or good food and fatigue.

We headed toward old town. That part of Chania is surrounded by an old stone wall, so we had to cut back to go over to loop down. It was a whole thing. We made it to old town, and the first thing we saw was a restaurant in the middle of the street.

Restaurant in Old Town

The owner came up to us with a menu (completely ignoring the massive amount of trail dust we were covered in). He told us there would be live music and that we should have some of his homemade raki.

—If you’ve never had raki, it’s like a less burning version of vodka—

We said we loved raki, so we’d have a look around and come back.

He blinked at us like we were crazy and said, “You like raki? Two shots of raki for my friends!” (more…)

 

Danger: Move Quickly! August 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I am a pretty adventurous person and have a very low self-preservation instinct when it comes to hanging out in nature. Cliff edges don’t bother me, rushing water is totally fun. There are very few things that naturally occur on this earth that make me go “Nope!”

So the husband and I hiked the Samaria gorge this spring. It’s one of the longest gorges in Europe, and over the course of planning this trip the idea of doing the 10-ish mile hike became something of a pilgrimage. I’ve hiked so many beautiful places in the United States. If my goal is to be a citizen of the world, then I need to be a hiker of the world. It made a lot of sense in my head.

So, we ferried to Crete from Santorini specifically to do this hike.

US

The trail is all downhill (which is not actually as great as it sounds) and takes you past some truly breathtaking vistas. (more…)

 

The Crete Blockade May 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I present you all with a mystery.

The husband and I are currently putting the finishing touches on our trip to Greece and Italy. Because that’s what you do as soon as you finish living on a bus for seven months: you go travel more.

Things were going really well as far as trip planning, but then we got an email cancelling our flight from Crete to Venice. Which is weird. I mean, I’ve had flights changed, or been merged onto a later flight. But they just canceled. Sent an email saying, “Oops, you’re on your own to get off of Crete.” (more…)