Wow the past few weeks have been a blur!
In early May - on my birthday, actually - I was enjoying a glass of wine with my husband when an e-mail came through on my phone. I was invited on a press trip by The Charming Taste of Europe to Greece to see the local kiwi and cherry productions, as well as a culinary tour. How could I pass this up?!! I eagerly responded back yes and the planning began!
In less than 3 weeks later I was on my way to Greece! I had never been to Europe before and had always dreamed of visiting Greece one day so I was in complete shock that this was actually happening!
The flight over to Greece was breathtaking. I ended up getting a window seat and was able to see the beautiful views, sunset and sunrises.
I also decided at this time to sign up for my 5th marathon this fall - the Twin Cities Marathon. What more inspiration did I need to sign up than a trip to Greece?
The trip to Greece took 3 plane rides and about 14 hours altogether. I'm really thankful I came across these Jet Lag pills on Amazon because somehow with all the travel, I was ready to go as soon as we landed in Thessaloniki.
The trip began with us traveling to the island of Thassos, which is about a 2-hour car ride and 40-minute boat ride from Thessaloniki. The drive over was absolutely gorgeous - the landscape of mountains on the sea was breathtaking and while I probably should've caught up on a little sleep during this time, I just couldn't. I was too excited!
When we arrived on the island we quickly checked into our hotel before heading out to a quick dinner. The downtown area was so cute! It was a little seaside walking area with a ton of little shops, restaurants, and bars. We stopped at a restaurant and ordered a bunch of appetizers and dishes and everything was delicious. Everything was so fresh and I loved how light and flavorful all the dishes were.
The next day we had a rest day and got to spend some time at the beach and the resort. I had my first taste of Greek Iced Coffee - or Frappe as it's called there - and was instantly hooked. The Greek Iced Coffee is more frothy than iced coffee in the United States (and even more frothy than what you'd make in a Nespresso machine). I liked mine black, but you could order it with milk and sugar if you'd like. I really need to figure out how to make these at home!
Over the next few days we did more exploring of Thassos and eating all the food. We tried a bunch of different restaurants and I was really impressed with how good the food was everywhere we went. Nothing was overly touristy, and it was nice to get an authentic feel for the island. It was also really cute that everywhere we went there were cats!
After a few days in Thassos, it was time for us to start our agricultural tours! We started with a kiwi agriculture tour at Kavala Coop.
I was surprised to learn that kiwis were harvested in Greece, but it's actually an ideal place to grow them because of the mild winters and dry summers. Kiwis were introduced into Greece in the 1980s and Greece is now ranked as the 5th producer in the world!
We had a chance to try the kiwis and they were delicious. They were slightly more sweet than kiwis that are available in the United States, as well as they were a little larger.
After our fun morning at the Kavala Coop, we went to lunch at a beautiful seaside restaurant and then a little sightseeing before traveling to Thessaloniki.
This post ended up getting a little longer than I thought! Click here for part 2 of my trip to Greece!