This past weekend August came around with blistering heat, which is natural for Crete of course. Not too many tourists are on the island, even now, so the local people are hanging out even at the northern beaches, which is atypical during tourist season. The southern beaches are even less crowded than usual too, so a few of our islanders headed to places like Agiaferago Beach and Ierapetra. Anyway, here’s some experiences from Crete for the first week of August.
My good friend Paul Potouridis is a man of so many talents. An entrepreneur, coach, wine expert at Enopolio, he is also working with as an artist with his wife Helen doing fascinating work at some Crete beaches. Now get this, this past weekend he was busy at the beach painting stones to depict the magic essence of the island. He and Helen sometimes sell the painted beach stones to give money to charities in or around Heraklion.
Nature lover and girl adventurer Irin Manousaki is on vacation this week from her security job at Chania Airport. Irin is always hiking, running in various sporting events when she’s not hiking, mountaineering, or discovering Crete’s amazing wilderness areas. Here she is with the Naturalist Club of Heraklion.
The Project Manager at Wine Walkers Crete, Stella Astirakaki is a local Heraklion girl who loves sharing the wine and gastronomy culture of the island. She’s at the Zacharioudakis Estate in the Instagram above. She’s working to help create a new video series for Wine Walkers so that people who cannot come to Crete on account of COVID-19 will be able to experience this amazing Island. (Story to follow)
Our friend Eirini Geniataki was at Votsalo Beach (above) in Agios Nikolaos this weekend cooling off under the bright Cretan sun. August is the hottest month here, so islanders head to the pristine seaside as you’d expect when they get off from work. Eirini is a Greek language teacher who’s on a mission to visit all of her home island. Eirini’s father is famous for his breeding of one of the world’s rarest breeds of dogs, the Cretan Hound. We met Eirini through her Dad, who we begged to let us have one of the pups. More on this story later, but just know that Eirini’s roots here on Crete are deep.
And this weekend, like every other weekend, my dear friend Grigoris Koudounas (Γρηγόρης Κουδουνάς) was busy preparing the finest traditional Cretan cuisine at his family’s Το μουρέλο του Λαδωμένου (Young Olive Tree of Mourelo). Grigoris is probably Greece’s most promising new chef, but he’s also one of the hardest working people I ever knew. When he’s not at his restaurant in Galatas, he’s working at one of Crete seaside resorts. And when he is not there, he’s in the olive groves or elsewhere on the farm.
This morning I finally caught up with my dear friend Manolis Kanoupakis, a fantastic and renowned cardiologist who with his team, just happened to have saved my life once. Manolis, besides patching up damaged hearts, manages to be an adventurer, lecturer, and most importantly a great dad, and dedicated husband. He’s on vacation this week, so he sends me this really crappy image of him by the blue bay at his hometown of Ierapetra. I will certainly have one of my Nikon camera’s refurbished to give to Manolis, or buy him a proper one for his birthday :)