Those first days in Crete

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We arrived in Crete Thursday afternoon. Having never touched the territory of Greece before, I was excited and ready to explore its rich culture and deep history.

Before heading to Crete, I was told the temperature could reach 40 degrees. The prediction wasn’t quite reliable fortunately. The temperature was high no doubt, but I´m sure it was well below 40 degrees.  The weather was actually quite comfortable late in the evening, a bit windy, which makes the evening stroll a perfect ending of the day. 

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Longing for a jog beside the sea, I got up early next morning. The sun was already high, the weather dry and warm. I jogged alone the seaside and was constantly distracted by the beautiful views.

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Then I turned into the direction which led me to a small village. It was quiet, not many people to be seen but those I encountered, mainly the locals, were friendly and they had no hesitation in giving me a warm smile. Not speaking a word of Greek, I nodded to them and offered my brightest smile. I should at least learn to say “Hello” in Greek, I said to myself. Google did the job, “Yassou” was the word, after checking the pronunciation, I was ready to test it out.

The jogging was getting a bit hard when the road turned uphill, and it crossed my mind that, with my poor sense of direction, I might get lost. The curiosity about the local culture, however, overrode the worries, so I kept on running.

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The small houses alone the street were all painted white, and most of them were decorated with flowers. Some of the houses kept a higher standard than others in the area.

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Then a church appeared, in a style that was very different from those I´ve seen before, No one could be seen inside the church, it was only Friday, certainly too early for Sunday prayer gathering. I was surrounded by tranquility.

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Following the coastline, the way back to the resort wasn’t too complicated.

Waking up at 05.45 (04.45 Norwegian time ) Saturday morning, and unable to sleep again, I got an excellent idea. Sneaking out of the room, I walked down the road in the direction of the beach. Many aspects of yoga are about being in the moment and its connection with nature. Nothing is better than the smell of the ocean. I made it.

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Having never had a desire for lying on the sunbed, I persuaded my daughter to go for a walk in the afternoon, the hottest time of the day. I didn’t call it a walk, I called it an adventure.

The traditional Tavernas appeared in every corner, many of them were located on the seaside. None of us was hungry, the kitchen in the resort fed us well. However, I was determined to experience the cosy and homely atmosphere in a taverna, so we went to the one with a charming outlook. It seemed to be a family-run cafe, both the waiter (who may very likely be the owner) and the bartender were attentive and friendly. I ordered sword fish which I thought would be a light meal, and she went for apple pie with vanilla ice cream. I got it wrong, I was served a whole plate of food and her apple pie was enormous. The Greek style coffee tasted a bit unfamiliar to me but I liked it, dark, strong and aromatic.

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I noticed a little girl sitting in the corner and was playing some kind of game. After the bill was paid, I asked the waiter to pass an Euro note to the girl. She might feel a bit lonely playing on her own in that corner. When we were about to leave, the waiter and the girl came towards us, he was asking the girl to thank me for the money. When I told him I came from Norway, he got excited and urged the girl to speak Norwegian to me. With her perfect eastern Norwegian dialect, she said “takk” (“Thanks” in Norwegian), and we started a pleasant conversation in Norwegian. It turned out that her mother was Norwegian and her father was Greek. These kind people waved cheerfully to us when we were walking down the street.

What a lovely co-incidence! Life is full of magical and beautiful moments.

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Author: Isabelle

Content writer / editor & Language advisor

4 thoughts on “Those first days in Crete”

  1. Isabelle,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences from Crete:-) I’ve been to Crete once but wish to be there some day. It would be lovely to come back at some point.

    You just remind me the surroundings of beautiful houses, delicious food and kindness you can expect in every step you take there. Greeks are very nice and kind but I think the language is not as simple as English:-))

    Have you taken any excursion throughout the island yet? I recommend doing that, we’ve been at many places worth seeing such as Chania, the beautiful city, crowded by people of various nations.

    I had heard before that temperature can rise even up 40 degrees in the middle of summer season, so we decided to get there in June, it was 4 years ago. Amazing memories.
    Have you noticed small chapels along the streets at some points? They commemorate locals that were dead due to the crash car or another accident.

    Thank you and looking forward to reading next parts from your trip

    cheers

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me Agnes! We’re staying in a place called Makrigiolos, in eastern Crete. It’s quieter compared to other more developed tourist destinations. I’m having a boat trip to the island Spinalonga tomorrow. If you’ve read the novel “The island ” by Victoria Hislop, I guess you would remember Spinalonga. Lots of people visit the island every year after the book had become a huge international success.
      I didn’t know about chapels, will pay more attention when I walk alone the street next time.
      I look forward to the boat trip tomorrow:)
      Thank you again for taking time to write the comment Agnes! Very much appreciated 😊

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  2. It looks amazing there in Crete. 🙂
    It must’ve felt great to do yoga on an empty beach in the early morning. I remember running along the beach couple of times and I loved it. I imagine yoga would bring even greater joy.

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    1. Yes Ethan, it’s a amazing feeling doing yoga on the beach 🙂 I’ve done several times, in the morning (refreshing, peaceful, a good start for the soul), in the midday (a bit hot, with people walking around wondering what I was doing) and in the evening (harmonious, accompanied by the sound of rising waves). I would love running by the sea, I did it every day when I was on holiday in Tenerife, a place which is less hot than Crete obviously. It was a great treat for me. Love it!
      I only did once this time which is really a pity. The coastlines are beautiful and sky clear blue, it’s just that I can’t quite stand the high temperature, and in addition, I’m allergic to the sun. You should have seen how my skin looks like right now…
      Otherwise everything is fine, I love the place and people.
      Nice to have a chat Ethan! Thanks for taking time to write me a comment. Appreciated very much! Have a good day and make the most of it. Take care.

      Like

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