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 ~
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.
Our 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.)
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.
While 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.
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.
Elounda, 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.
In 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.
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.
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.
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!