It´s Crete again you might think. I hope you´re not bored with the title, I´m making an attempt to record some of the best experiences I´ve had on the island. The highlights. But there´re many random thoughts stuffed in my head, how can I organise and put them on paper?
In addition to the island Spinalonga and the White River Cottages which I´ve already written about, I also visited the small coastal towns Sitia, Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos and Kolokita Beach.
Instead of giving a detailed description of each place (which I´m sure they deserve), I´m presenting you with some highlights from the trips I took during the holiday.
The first one out is Sitia. The small town Sitia is no doubt my favourite, two daily trips went to this lovely place. Sitia is considered one of the least “touristy” places in Crete, and Cretans living in Sitia are said to be the most friendly and cheerful people you could hope to meet. it´s not a myth as it turned out, it´s a fact.
Cosy and relaxed atmosphere in cafes on Saturday morning, people obviously enjoyed a good talk with family, friends and neighbours.
Walking alone the sandy beach which was close to the city centre, people we encountered were mainly locals. Unlike many islands in Crete which are jam packed with tourists, it seemed that those charming seaside cafes were occupied by retired residents. Despite language barriers, the encouraging smile and reassuring nod revealed their friendliness and generous nature.
We stopped at one of the cafes, they were playing some kind of board game which I had no knowledge of, the kind old player asked me to stand behind him and watch him playing. And they showed me a few tricks which I didn’t get unfortunately.
The boys were using chess pieces as building blocks, wrong purpose but entertaining enough to keep them sitting for a while.
The cafe served a variety types of food, I went for seafood. Spiced with just sea salt, the grilled scampi were delicious and went down in no time. Simple is often best.
We made our way to the Folklore Museum, a small-sized museum hidden in the residential area. When we eventually spotted it, the museum was to be closed at 14.00 and that meant we only got 15 minutes left. The woman behind the desk didn’t only let us in, she offered us a guided tour and half price for the tickets.
We passed by it twice without recognising that it was actually the museum we were looking for. It looked almost exactly the same as other small houses in the neighbourhood.
Though the museum was to be closed in 15 minutes, our guide wasn’t at all in a hurry, she took us around and gave detailed descriptions of the items being displayed. Here she showed us how a kitchen looked like in old days.
The bedroom belonged to a relatively wealthy family.
A painting of an old man was hanging on the wall between the first and second floor. Is he recalling some sad memories or longing for something distant and unreachable?
An exhibition of contemporary art was held in the museum at the time we visited it. Beautiful works.
Walking down the street to the bus station, outside a bookshop, a book of red-black cover in the top-left corner grabbed my attention, it was written by the award-winning Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø. It would be good to read it in Greek.
It was boiling hot, I was hiding myself in an air-conditioned bus on my way back to the resort, half asleep. The bus stopped at a spot and I witnessed how the children coped with the intense heat, they were sitting down on the ground in front of a house and playing cards. I couldn’t hear them laugh but I suppose they did. I could sense it from their expressions, the joy wasn’t to be mistaken. From the children I´ve learnt something again – how to handle the heat and find happiness from little things.
It seems I have to stop here as I don´t want the post to be too long, will write about Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos and the Kolokita Beach in my next blog post.
At the end, just want to share a few pictures taken in Sitia.
Fortress of Kazarma in Sitia
I´m not quite satisfied with this post, it´s a bit random. Just want to give you an idea about how Sitia looks like, hope you enjoyed it anyway 🙂