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Winter in Crete

Back to Crete

The day after Christmas I boarded my last flight of four on my journey from Cambodia to Crete.  There was no chance of hearing safety announcements on board.  The Greek people are a loud people and the plane was packed with families and friends in a jovial mood.  The happiness was contagious.  I was the only blonde on board, much like my flight to Jeju Island, South Korea.

Chania, Crete

Winter in Crete – a local resident in Chania, Crete

Upon arrival, I immediately felt like I was home.  And that is unexplainable to me.  For whatever reason, I feel right here, more so than any other place I’ve been and this year, having been to over 100 destinations, that says something.

Winter in Chania

What a difference a couple months makes in Chania.  Now, half the restaurants at the harbor are shuttered and the sea, so crystal clear and aquamarine in the Fall is now a rough steely blue that sloshes over the harbor walls defiantly.  Families are out together.  I admit I get a pang of loneliness from time to time seeing all the groups of friends and families together enjoying the holiday.  Now that I am alone and not drinking as I was with Max or Hans, it is more difficult for me to see breaking into these gatherings.  But, my loneliness does not last long.  And I am a firm believer that the right people appear when I need them.

My first day, a piece of spinach pie sitting in a glass case called my name.  I wandered into the tiny cafe to meet “Mike”, the old man who cooked that pie.  And poured raki for me.  Three times, despite it being only noon.  At the end of my feast, I asked if he had coffee.  He grabbed my cheeks firmly as if to kiss me and said: “For you, I make special Greek coffee.”  I love this affection that comes about in everyday interactions.  Being solo, believe me, you take what you can get.

Chania in the Winter

A very quiet Chania in the Winter.

The air is cool and fresh.   The sky is overcast.  The old ladies sweep the streets diligently in the early morning.  I wander the deeply quiet cobblestone alleyways.  The tourists are few and far between.  There is a real romantic sweetness to this type of melancholy that I feel.  I thrive in this state.

Down one alley, I hear typewriter keys being pounded.  I wonder who’s in that ancient stone building with the lace curtains.  Maybe a kindred spirit, an eccentric who appreciates the clicking of the keys?  Maybe the next Hemingway writing the next best novel?

The child on rollerblades carries a lute and serenades captive families in restaurants for small change.  The familiar cats and dogs at the harbor are now being fed by shop owners.  A walk through the city market bombards my nose with the smell of anise and fennel.  Cheese and olives and herbs are on display.  Goat heads and pigs in the butcher case.  The old men sit for hours in the cafe rolling their beads in their hands.  The lovely sound of the Greek language I hear when passing strangers.  I drink it all in.

Everything about me feels right here, right now.

This is my bliss.

Photos of Winter in Crete and Chania:

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