One of the YouTube channels I’ve been getting lost in of late, are the Happy Traveller series introduced to me by my parents.
The series is hosted by ever-enthusiastic and always happy, Eftichis Bletsas and he travels all around Greece as well as the rest of the world showing different places of interest but also the local food.
Some of his videos have English sub-titles but not all, and in the last month, I have been methodically watching the majority of his Greek travels.
The reason why I love his travel shows is that he takes the car and drives to different places so we get to see places BEYOND the tourist trails. We get to see a lot more than just the major travel shows that focus on areas where tourists seem to gather.
Here are his videos where he travels to my parents birthplace Crete – and a place which I love and adore (and have all my wider family living in Chania – on the western side of the island).
Here he checks out the southern side of the island on the west – a place called Sfakia. Don’t mess with the proud people here. They have a long history of killing Turks and Nazis and they’ve got (had) a thing with vendettas between families who have long standing feuds between each other that last for many years. They’re also blonde and blue-eyed! They’re quite a handsome people. Just don’t mess with them (as other Cretans say).
He travels towards around Heraklion which is the largest city in Crete. It’s also the place you need to get to if you want to spend a day at the site of the Palace of Minos. It’s a busy city if that’s your thing, otherwise head out of it for wonderful little villages and drives.
Here he travels to the university town of Rethymno which admittedly was my hangout while in Crete. (I tasted my best yoghurt and honey dessert there one evening and I’ve never been able to replicate the it since then. As I speak and understand Greek, I overheard people at the next table say I was a bit odd).
Some years back, I was made redundant (for the 4th time) and had only just met Andrew at the time. I told him in the early days that I was heading off to spend 4 months in Greece. I figured if the relationship was meant to be, it would be fine. I travelled all around Greece, met my girlfriend Steph, a crazy New Zealander and we became the best buddies. She even came and stayed with me in Chania Crete and met all my relatives who made her feel more than welcome. They were such great memories.
In some way, I’d like to do this again – to travel around Greece – but of course with my husband who’s a keen traveller himself. The only thing is he prefers things a little bit upmarket while I’m happy to just grab some things in a back pack, hire a car and rough it a bit staying wherever. Still, I’m not complaining. I’ll take any travel at the moment 🤣
If you’re ever in Crete, you MUST walk the Samaria Gorge. It takes a whole day but it is worth it.
Happy Traveller has made life a little bit more bearable and made my travel bug even worse. So much so that I cannot wait now to retire from work and hopefully, by that stage, the blasted covid virus is no longer. I want to experience places, meet people and eat food from different localities in Greece (and in France) – in fact, all of Europe and it simply can’t come quick enough.