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July 23, 2007

Road Trip Day #8: Agii Deka, Maria and Manolis K.I.S.S.I.N.G., and the milky, milky coffee

Well, I'm in the UK for a couple of weeks, so won't have much chance to update the site, or indeed write about life in the Crete, so it seems an appropriate moment to pick where I left off about the road trip which we took some time in the early 21st century around Crete.

Last time I was writing we had endured a filthy cup of coffee in a rude and surly taverna perched high above Crete's south coast. After we left there we pressed on to Agii Deka, which means the Ten Saints or Ten Martyrs.

The village is based around a church that marks the graves of some of the earliest Christian martyrs on the island. Agii Deka itself didn't seem to be much more than a one-strip town, but if you went into the side streets you soon found yourself at a quaint old 12th century Orthodox Church.


This wasn't where the martyrs were buried though, so we followed some haphazard signage through the streets until we reached a second small church. We approached cautiously as there were some bags and coats left outside the entrance, and we didn't want to give the cleaning lady a heart attack or anything like that.

Actually, in the current UK security climate, the pile of stuff would probably have been blown up as a suspect package.

Anyway, we crept around the side of the church looking for the graves of the dead martyrs, only to stumble upon a couple of very much alive young Greek lovers. Maria and Manolis we christened them, as we crept away, wondering who was the more embarrassed out of the two couples.

We had a quick look at the graves of the martyrs which was on the other side of the church, and then rushed off before Maria and Manolis got too carried away.


We made our way back to the main street and looked for somewhere to have a coffee.

We picked a crazy looking old kafenion, and it turned out to be crazier than we could have imagined. The old guy serving was in his late sixties if he was a day, had very bad shakes, and was pretty much deaf. Oh, and didn't speak any English. Or follow much of our Greek. He kept talking to us in German, a language which, fortunately, thanks to our stay in Salzburg, we have a grasp of when ordering coffee.

He didn't manage to grasp that we didn't need milk though, and to our further embarrassment after the Maria and Manolis incident, he shuffled across the road to the supermarket, and emerged a couple of minutes later triumphantly with milk for our coffee. Bless.

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