Crete is a continent. It’s also a village. Everywhere, people are fond of saying “it’s a small world,” but on Greece’s biggest island you’ll quickly find, everybody knows everybody. And this is how I came to know the most beautiful, talented, and genuine people here. One thing leads to another, so they say. Check out the best kept secret of Crete.
In the feature photo of the amazing Erini Tornesaki and my dear friend Aggelos Kipreos share this legendary island’s greatest gift, brilliants smiles from the heart. The story of how I came to know these two wonderful people, seemingly from two different neighborhoods of Crete, is typical of how things work here.
Back in 2018 my amazing friend, my brother by another mother Evgeny Marushkin came to visit us for vacation. Evegeny, who has been one of the most important TV producers in Russia, is one of the seven human wonders of my life. I first met him via an interview he requested for Russia’s top news show, Sunday Time, some years back. Our story is a long and interesting one, but when he came to Crete I tried to show him all the best places and people over a short period of time. At length, I took him to the Lion’s Square and the famous cafe Φυλλοσοφίες (Phyllosophies) where bougatsa and perfect cappucinos flow like the waters of Babylon. Anyhow, our pals there were taken with the fabulous Russian.
Two years later one of the extraordinary friends at this cafe, Angelos (above) quizzed me about how Evgeny was. To be honest, I was a bit shocked he’d remembered Ev, since the restaurant is the busiest in the city. But, this is how Angel is. He, Giorgos Iatrou, Antonis, and Vassilis Moustaka, are people no visitor to Crete should ever miss out on. As for Angel, he’s a musician, a former soldier, student, and hospitality superstar, he’s one of those people who never forgets you, and who you can never forget. I love him, and not just because he conveys an unshakable sense of hope. Now Here’s where the secrete of Crete story and this photo’s part in it gets interesting.
Erini Tornesaki is one of the most talented singers in Greece. Her whole family, in fact, possess music in their souls like the embers of some everlasting fire. We met Erini, and her marvelous and beautiful sister Eleni via yet another Crete superstar named Michalis Skoulas, the director of Delina Mountain Resort in amazing Anogia. Musicians and singers of traditional music all, sooner or later, gravitate to Delina, which was established by his father, Crete music legend Vasilis Skoulas.
To break it down. My nebulous slash visionary thoughts on the secret of Crete, that is. What are the chances a retired American meets up with a bachelor chef slash Russian TV celebrity, a famous music teacher and performer, a legendary Crete musician, a soldier and hospitality superhero, events organizers, famous physicians, scientists, the world’s most imminent archaeologists, chefs, tour experts, resort owners, boat captains, limo drivers, butchers, bakers, and the world’s best ceramic makers, and Russian cosmonauts – and they all know one another?
LOL — well, it seems beyond coincidence to me. Now if Maria Zhakarova decides to let us hook her up for summer vacation this year. The circle will almost be complete ;)