I took off my ankle bracelet this morning making it official (at least for me) that summer is over on the island. Not bad though, considering it IS November. We had a delightfully long autumn with sunny days and little rain. My morning swim yesterday (hopefully not my last if I can brave the colder water) was, in the words of my Brit friends, “Quite fresh!” Last night we were awakened with a huge clap of thunder and this morning we have the typical sideways rain beating at the window shades. Winter has arrived on Crete – Perfect weather to hunker down with a cup of mountain tea and daydream over some photos from this summer days and nights on the island.
A good deal of the summer was spent in, on or around the water.
And there were many new places to explore….
…such as Knossos’ rival sister city, Phaistos, on the south coast. Heralded by archeology purists as the most authentic ruins of Minoan culture on the island, Phaistos is set high above the plains with panoramic views over Matala and the sea. Nearly every weekend of our third summer here found us on some road trip seeking out new experiences. We enjoyed wine tastings at local wineries, biking to Sellia, relaxing at Stephanos Village Hotel in Mirthios, playing in the seaside villages of Damnoni or Loutro, boating around the Akrotiri, hiking in the mountains and camping by the sea.
But perhaps the best memories were wrapped up in the simple brown paper of everyday life here. Memories captured in the playful joy of children on the beach, long afternoon walks with the dog, Farkel games and sweet freddo cappuccinos at Koukouvia Cafe, fresh salads at Melika’s sea side taverna at Blue Beach, girls-days-(and nights)-out, outdoor cinema at our house on warm evenings, moonrise over the water, sweet scents of jasmine and gardenia, and long dinners on the terrace with friends. Even the little surprises were laced with sweetness.
If it’s true that God is in every moment, then there’s always something to smile about in every day – sometimes you really have to look hard to find it. Other times it’s just around the corner…