Spring on Crete is a time for renewal, for moments of solitude and pondering the world surrounding us, and for enjoying life in every breath of fragrant air we breathe on this glorious island paradise. Today, I want to share little pieces of perfection, that exist only here.
“There us a kind of flame in Crete – let us call it “soul” – something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble. (Report to Greco)” ― N. Kazantzakis
Not many people from outside Crete realize, but even when the wind and humidity of Fall and Winter chill the bones, the seas are still a swimmer’s element. Here, a visitor from Switzerland wades in the perfect aquamarine in March.
The next share is from the Municipality of Amari, which is the vibrant heart of Crete, the valley where mighty Zeus played as a child, they say. The springs from high up in the mountains are rushing water to nurture the amazing flowers of Spring, as you can see here. We’ll be visiting our Cretan family at Aravanes soon, at Thronos, the most spectacularly serene place on this island. We long to hear the morning rooster crow, and to be awakened by the bells of the sheep, to watch the hand of God whisk away the morning clouds over Mt. Ida.
We speak a lot about the role of olives in Crete. At Vouves in Chania Prefecture, visitors will find perhaps the oldest trees on Earth, some say they are over 4,000 years old. Today, our friends on Crete all seem to be returning to the trees, in a sort of ritual despite or against the pandemic. My friend Stelios, the man who talks to his trees mentioned last week, how amazing it is that all the Cretans seem to be returning to their roots. Crete has the potential to rule the olive oil trade once again, as the ancient Minoans once did.
When I saw this share, I instantly missed the wonders of east Crete, and in particular Vai Beach, where Europe’s largest palm forest hugs the perfect sea. Once a hippie hangout, Vai is also close to Itanos, where once a fantastic Minoan port shipped precious goods to Egypt and the far east. This part of Crete is truly mysterious and magical.
Feel the need to get your mind right? I get you. Well, there are places here on Crete where your mind cannot actually go wrong. The magnetic appeal of these places, their seeming connection to the eternal, just washes away all negative thoughts. On Crete, and especially in Spring, there is a sense of rebirth, of possibility and potential, and an overbearing sense that God is here and that he or she cares.
Few outside Crete know this, but the cirrus fruits here rival those from any place on Earth. At Fodele, just a few kilometers from our house in Heraklion, a fertile little valley of orange and lemon trees perfume the air above. And in Chania, where the tastiest oranges I’ve ever had grown by the billions, the blossoms are coming out like bright beacons of hope from mother Earth.
I cannot express well enough, the majesty of the flora and fauna of Crete island. The share below from Spinalonga island shows a tiny fragment of the colorful life only the almighty can paint. If you come here in mid-spring, you will never want to leave.
This next share has me missing our friends at Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort, arguably the most spectacular beach resort in Greece. This beach is magnificent, and it’s deserted to early summer. The hotel sits in an ideal location, and the owners and staff are simply the best. In the village, right up the river valley from the beach, our friends own Jasmine, one of the finest traditional tavernas on the island. The lamb chops there, are beyond compare, trust me.
Crete has hundreds of spectacular beaches, gorges, caves, mountain plateaus, glorious plains, and villages that dot the island like shiny gems of wonder. I am not sure there is a more beautiful place or feeling, though than Falasarna at sunset. This fantastic stretch of sea and sand in the far west of the island is a close second to the brilliant smile of a modern-day Minoan priestess we met once. :)