For a week we lived in an apartment overlooking the sea and dark sand below.
The mama kissed us hello every morning and rubbed our backs with love. The even older mama offered us too ripe mandarins from her dank pantry that was also home to a tiny bird, hanging in a cage in the mould covered corner. Although I was concerned for its happiness, and for the health of the fruit, you should never say no to a greek mama.
Open air dining rooms made up the restaurants along the harbour - walls don't exist in such ferocious heat. Rows and rows of squished tables and chairs all meshed into one long party of tables waiting to be filled with fresh seafood and lemony potatoes when the sun goes down.
I am not European. I do not understand the idea of a siesta, eating dinner at 10:30pm at night and consuming merely an espresso, cigarette and sweet biscuit for breakfast at 11am. However, Naoussa really forced me to chill the hell out and get used to the idea of slow living.
While the rest of the island slept through the days, Hugo and I slowly wandered through the skinny, stark white alleyways. Miraculously one morning we found a breakfast cafe hidden deep in the town maze that said it opened mid morning. A cute, small, classic cafe with white walls and pastel cushions scattered on an outdoor bench. It was closed. I desperately pressed my face up to the tiny, curtained window - I could barely make out the word smoothie on a smothered blackboard and thought I saw a mention of the word muesli. Habits are funny things - even in a country with the best food in the world, we were back the next day, aching for a breakfast that felt like home.
It did not disappoint. Smoothies made out of local, seasonal fruit bought per order at the grocer across the way. Almond butter, rye toast, bircher and yoghurt - I'm pretty sure I even saw the word acai on the hand scribbled menu. Unique to Naoussa, but not to the rest of the world. We drank an insanely simple green smoothie, and ate slices of dark rye covered in thick tahini and drizzled with thyme infused honey. Non fussy and delicious, and a welcome change from olives, bread sticks and cured meats.
Thyme Honey and Tahini on Rye Toast
A few slices of rye bread, toasted
A generous smear of thick, unhulled tahini
Fresh thyme leaves
Toast. Tahini. Honey. Sprinkle with thyme. In that order. Eat
Big handful of Spinach
Flesh and water from 1 fresh coconut
1/2 a banana
Combine all ingredients. Blend. Drink.