Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 5: The Heraklion Journey Continues

 At the end of this day we will have covered three of the four prefectures of Crete. We decided to deviate from our agenda so that we could go look for our apartment that we lived in when our son was born. 

 The day was started with breakfast at the apartments. Liza makes an omelet that is different than any we've ever had. We headed downstairs to the veranda to eat and of course, I had a frappe. The grey section, 2nd floor is our terrace/balcony. We were greeted by her daughter Julie, that we had met the night before. She is a charming girl. Michael and I feel honored that we got the chance to not only meet her but to see her again. She is very witty and has such an infectious laugh. Liza, Julie and a frappe first thing in the morning is delightful!

One of the things that I adore about the people of Crete is that they are proud of their heritage and respect their motherland. They don't take more than they need and yet they are very giving. They remind me so much of our Native Americans. They understand and respect the circle of life. We finished up our meal and headed for Kokkini Hani. Michael parked at an intersection by a sign placed where we place our stop signs. As usual I gave my two cents worth and suggested that maybe he not park on the narrow street and especially right by an intersection. He assured me it would be fine. It's not like a bunch of traffic goes through these dirt roads. We walked the few blocks to the apartment. 

First we saw Yorgo, our landlord 27 years ago. He was outside working and he tried to converse with us. He directed us to his wife because he didn't recognize us nor understand a word that we were saying to him. We met with his wife, she couldn't understand what I was trying to tell her even though she speaks some English. I kept pointing to the second floor and then pointing to Michael and myself and telling her that we used to live there, right above her. She shook her head no at me. I cradled my arms together and tried to explain that we had a baby while we lived there. She said, "No, no baby."  Because at that time I mostly saw dark headed, dark eyed Greeks I thought for sure she would remember that Brandon was very different looking. So I cradled my arms again and said, "I had a baby boy. He turned one year. His hair was white and stood straight up." I used my hand and showed her how his hair stood stick straight in the air. She smiled then laughed and said, "Yes, yes I remember you." She then hollered up to the window of the apartment we used to live in and asked the tenant to come down.

Agatha came down and translated for us. We had a wonderful visit on Katherine's back patio. It was shaded by a pergola with grapes growing over it. She continually brought us plums, melon, grapes and cookies. And then she became my new best friend. She asked if we would like a coffee or frappe. Michael looked at me because he knew I was smiling at the whole idea of getting another frappe so soon after the one I had for breakfast. 


We were finishing up with me telling Katherine that I have a few pictures of her children when they were little. She went got her pictures of her grandkids and showed them to us. We took a few pictures of Katherine and Yorgo, very kind people.

And then she brought out something that look like fruit and started cutting it up for us. It was from her cactus plant. It tasted really good. It reminded me of kiwi except the cactus fruit was orange.  I'm not so sure that Michael like it.

He looks a little perplexed about eating something from a cactus.

 We got up to leave and Katherine went back inside and gave me two bundles of Jordan almonds wrapped in tulle. It was from a wedding she had been to a few days before. I love Jordan almond candy. It felt like Christmas to us. With the fellowship, the free flowing food and the warm heartfelt gifts. I love the people of Crete because they are everything I strive to be. 

Just as we were pulling away from the intersection where Michael left our rental car, his international phone rang. It was "Just" rental. The company where we rented the car. He said that someone had called the police on us for blocking the intersection. The police called "Just" so they could call us and have us move the car. Michael explained to them that we were leaving right then and that we wouldn't park like that again. We headed for Chersonissos, or what we military folks used to call the "The Ville" As soon as we started to stroll the streets I saw a police station and had to get Michael's picture, with him being the little law breaker and all.

We left Kokkini Hani with big smiles and fond memories and hugs all around. We got to "The Ville" and started strolling the streets. It had changed a lot as far as congestion and way more shops and restaurants.  In America we love for the customer to touch the merchandise. It's believed that if the customer can touch it, feel it, they are more apt to buy it. On the Island of Crete, if you touch it they would prefer that you buy it. If you're not going to buy it then don't touch it. 

We spotted this callous eating spa. You simply stick your feet in the tank and fish chew away at your dried skin. You couldn't pay me big bucks to stick my feet in a tank that hundreds of feet have been in. We just walked on by...

After lots of window shopping, we decided to sit along the sea and have lunch. We ate a salad, fried cheese and tzatsiki with bread at Il Camino's. The view was picturesque and tranquil.

That's Michael, mentally casting his worries to the sea.

 That's me looking pensive about casting my worries to the sea.



We were entertained by a few gulls while we ate our lunch. 


Before we headed back to the apartments we stopped and got two bottles of wine. I couldn't stand not having something to give back to George and his wife Eva when we were in Fodele and I had nothing to return again when Katherine and Yorgo continually gave to us. I know nothing about Greek wine nor does Michael, so the shop owner helped us select appropriate wines. The photo above is a typical scene in Greece. Women offering wine to a Greek god.

We took a little rest and then headed for Lygaria Beach but on the opposite side this time. I discovered rocks. Lots of them, huge ones. I love to climb and this was perfect. I kicked off my sandals and started climbing gypsy style; barefooted.

 Photo: Going rock climbing barefooted. It was awesome!
I found this area so liberating. I could easily cast my worries here. This is my new favorite spot, one of the gulfs at the beach by the apartment.

 My worries are gone. It felt exhilarating to have the wind blowing on my face, barefooted and so very alive.

I got so caught up in the moment that I felt like Athena for about a split second.

Then we descended and it was time to go back to the apartment. The water was still too rough for me to swim.


Photo: Day 3 purchase this at Heraklion.
We stopped at a souvenir shop on the way home from the beach. Most of them were closed but this one happened to be open. The Lygaria area was pretty much tourist free while we were there. We were lucky to find a shop such as this still open. We went inside and I found two more of the much sought after figurines that I never got around to getting almost 30 years ago.                                                

We freshened up a bit and headed to the other side of Lygaria and ate a taverna that our landlord recommended. We had swordfish, kalamari and Greek salad.                                                                

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