Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Heaven ‘Scent’: Our Greek Orange Odyssey

Sometimes it was soft;  a feather tickling our noses with a hint of sweetness. . .
illusive and fleeting. . .
Sometimes the air was thick with the heavenly scent of 
~ orange blossoms ~

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When we planned our Greek travels we didn’t realize that both  our destinations - the Peloponnese and Crete -- are two of the country’s major orange producing areas.  Greece, in fact,  is the European Union’s third largest orange producer, just behind Spain and Italy, respectively, and just above Portugal and Cyprus.

GreecePt12013 049Our Orange Odyssey began with the first whiff of the tiny, but pungent, blossoms on the island of Poros, a stone’s throw from the  Peloponnese. 

The Odyssey sent all our our senses into overdrive.  We saw, smelled, touched, and tasted oranges; from those tiny little white blossoms to the end product. (We drank orange juice by the gallons it seemed, sometimes each glass seemed gallon sized.)



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Born and raised in Pacific Northwest agricultural areas, we are conditioned to think of fruit harvest as taking place in the fall.  In Greece, we learned, Valencia, the thin-skinned ‘summer orange’  is harvested between February and October with peak harvest falling in May – July. 

GreecePt12013 134While in Nafplion, that Venetian-style city in the Peloponnese, we bought a bag – filled with a dozen oranges for one euro ($1.30US) – from the display pictured below – one of many at the city’s  street market.







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As we wound our way up and down, over and under the Peloponnese hillsides, we  traveled through the Laconia prefecture’s Evrotas River valley – one of the largest citrus growing regions in Greece.  Here we rolled down the car windows so we could enjoy the area’s aromatherapy.

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Pt1Crete2013 083We continued our Orange Odyssey in Crete, where we restocked our citrus supply from this selection at Elounda’s street market.

Pt1Crete2013 149Elounda, on Crete’s northeastern shore, is where we spent several days revisiting favorite places. We ‘deck dined’  at our studio apartment feasting on breakfasts of Greek honey, fresh strawberries, home-canned cherries and, of course, oranges.


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Sfakia2Amster2013 010In Hora Sfakia, on Crete’s southwestern coast, we watched the orange vendor as he parked his truck, announcing his arrival and product for sale using the horn mounted  on the cab.








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His oranges were likely the ones that the owners of nearby Delfini’s Restaurant used in their display to lure tourists and visiting hikers – it worked on us each day of our stay.

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That is our contribution to Travel Photo Thursday, an armchair travel event hosted by Budget Traveler’s Sandbox each week.  Head over there and take a few more trips  today. GreecePt12013 072 

Nancie McKinnon, a Canadian, who created both the BTS blog and the weekly photo event, lives and works in South Korea. . .she’s heading home to Halifax next week for a visit.

And guess what? 

She and I will meet for the first time ‘out of the blogosphere’ on Monday and you’ll never guess where. . .come back next week and I'll tell you!

20 comments:

  1. there is nothing like a fresh picked orange straight from the tree. And what better place to try than than in the Meditteranean. Though I must say the ones grown in my backyard, and fruiting at the moment are delicious! I just go out and pick one when I want one. It is winter here at the moment, so I was surprised to hear they had a summer variety.
    I love travelling around with you and have you take me to places I dream about. But they are making me want to go there even more!
    Have a wonderful week, and thank you for stopping by my blog today. It was great to hear from you.

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    1. We dream about a year-round life of being able to go pick an orange from our own tree! Envy! Thanks so much for stopping by today Jill!

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  2. I love oranges too... great post

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    1. Thanks for joining us on the Orange Odyssey this week!

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  3. YUM love anything orange!! Good post!

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  4. wow, that is a very long timeframe in terms of harvest - no wonder oranges are so bountiful and inexpensive, I'd probably eat a bag a day also :)

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    1. Yes, the price of oranges and fresh-squeezed orange juice made us giddy. . .there is nothing like a tree-ripened orange!!

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  5. What a marvelous adventure - and delicious too! :-) I love oranges and fresh orange juice makes my heart sing. :-) Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. It is lovely to meet you. :-)

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    1. I love your blog! It is a favorite stop of mine in the blogosphere. Hope you'll be a returning visitor here as well!

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  6. Can't wait to see where you and Nancie meet up! I am surprised that Morocco is not high on the list of orange producers. We drank fresh orange juice several times each day there (at 40 cents a glass) and regularly in Spain as well. When we drink fresh orange juice it makes me wonder why we would ever drink Store bought juice.

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    1. You will be surprised as to our rendezvous destination. Morocco probably does rank highly in orange production, the only stats I looked for were for Greece and where it ranked. One of our treats when traveling in Europe is drinking orange juice - in the U.S. it is often bottled stuff and pricey. Love the 'real thing'. Thanks for visiting, Jan.

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  7. Love this Orange Odyssey you two had! I admit living in Southern California, I take for granted passing by orange groves and seeing oranges on truckbeds along the roads. This is a fun way to see, smell and taste the islands. So great that you get to meet Nancie. I'm guessing Vancouver? :) Have a fun visit!

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    1. Mary, I did think of people like you who are lucky enough to be surrounded by Orange Odyssey opportunities every day and wondered if you would think, "Orange blossoms got them excited?" Stay tuned for tales of "out of the blogosphere" when I tell you where we met!

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  8. Crete is a beautiful area and who doesn't like oranges, right? Looks like you two had a nice Orange Odyssey.

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    1. A fabulous Orange Odyssey, we had! Thanks so much for visiting today and taking the time to comment. Hope to see you back here in the comments again soon!

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  9. I had no idea that Greece produced so many oranges. Weren't you lucky with your timing!! To me there is nothing better than a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice especially when it doesn't break the bank. I love the look of your breakfast - especially the yougurt-cherry mix.

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  10. We dream of real Greek yogurt. . .afraid no one back home is making that creamy to-die-for version like you get in Greece. We are also dreaming of oranges that are ripe from the tree. . .an amazing taste treat!

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  11. The scent must have been heavenly. I've seen orange orchards in S. California, but this looks so much better than that. Also, I can't wait to hear about you meeting Nancie.

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  12. There is nothing sweeter than the smell of an orange blossom! But then again I might be biased because I live in florida and that is our state flower!

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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