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The original world nomad "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius.

Heavenly days

GREECE | Saturday, 13 October 2007 | Views [1615]

... at the end of a quite magical day.

... at the end of a quite magical day.

I will never cease to be amazed at how a journey can turn on a dime and memorable days pop out of nowhere when they are least expected. Were you able to engineer them and string such days together, life would be rich indeed.

Our day started ordinarily enough, as they often do, this time by hiring a car and heading inland up into the arid hills that lead to the famous Samaria Gorge, passing through quiet tiny villages that really looked as if nothing much happens and not much has changed in at least 40 years. Not having a hope in hell of walking even a tiny portion of the Gorge with two kids in tow, we meandered our way on miniscule winding roads over the hills and down to Sougia, not in any rush nor expecting too much.

The best thing about Sougia seems to be that the package tour industry has never heard of it. There were obviously tourists, especially walkers, but it was blissfully empty and laid back and we spent a couple of lazy hours with the boys building huge rock castles from the millions of pebbles that form the beach. We could have stayed for hours but instead wound our way across to Paleohora on tiny farm roads connecting villages with the sun low on the horizon providing long shadows to the harsh burnt land.

Arriving in Paleohora it seemed as though the hippies who first 'discovered' this little gem must have smoked so much pot here that it seeped into the very fabric of the town for that is the atmosphere that remains. As dusk arrives, the town closes the main streets to even the small amount of traffic that makes it this far and all the tavernas move their tables and chairs out onto the street. This gave our two license to go nuts chasing cats, each other and other kids without us having to worry about safety, while we enjoyed the best food we are likely to get in Greece, courtesy of the Lonely Planet guidebook recommendation. The grilled Octopus was just sensational.

So nothing special actually happened but it was a very special day.

The next day we headed further south to a place that rates half a short sentence in the Lonely Planet guidebook. We suspected it might be rather nice, but didn't want to hope for or expect too much.

A short ferry ride around the coast you arrive at a picture postcard perfect cliché Greek coastal village with brilliant white houses clustered around the turquoise green seas against a backdrop of harsh orange hills. The nearest road is several kilometres away so you only have the sounds from the wash of the waves on the shingle beach and the clatter of plates from the many Taverna.

I didn't know places like this still existed

Perhaps in the summer it would be ghastly and crowded with tourists, but in mid-October it was almost deserted and spectacular.

Tags: children, crete, family, greek islands, loutro, magic, travel


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