The carpenter, the cobbler and the Greek barista

Melanie and Richard Crane

Melanie and Richard Crane

As I look back on the five years we’ve lived here, I realize that this comfortable feeling I have is because I’m settled in here and have allowed this place to get under my skin.  This feels like a home away from home to me.  Sure, I’ll never be Greek, I’m an American, but somehow I’ve managed to ease into the interesting lifestyle of Crete which is characterized by a slow, easy pace punctuated by bouts of extreme chaos.  Hania, Crete will always have a special place in my heart mostly because of the people that have colored my experience here.  Besides our many dear friends from numerous cultures, we have surrounded ourselves with some of the “best of the best” service people.  You know how it is when you face a big move and panic because you just realized you can’t take your favorite hairdresser, mechanic or doctor with you?  That’s where I’m at, and so, with a grateful heart I want to give a shout out to these wonderful people who started out as favorite artisans/merchants and ended up as friends because of their generosity and helpfulness.  We’ll miss you!

Martina at Elke’s hair salon – I’ve NEVER had a better haircut or so much fun getting to know my hairdresser.  Can you fit in my suitcase?

George at Blue Planet Bikes in Kounipidiana – thanks for keeping us rolling and for sharing your bicycle expertise and enthusiasm with us.

The Traxalakis family baristas at our favorite “Feel Good” coffee cafe in Souda Bay – great service, great coffee, great, BIG smiles!   I wonder what else they put in their coffee because they’re always so HAPPY…and it’s contagious.

Margarita and Mixalis Kerdelas at Margaritas Shop in Chania – we love visiting you in your shop over a cup of tea or raki.  Your talented artistry is second only to your hospitality and friendship.

Eleni, the “modestra” (seamstress) – So much love sewn into every one of her beautiful creations, and always a sweet smile to match her sweet spirit.

Angeliki – the long, relaxing, amazing pedicures – WOW, just WOW.

Eletherias, the cobbler in leather alley in old Hania – he is almost as old as the city but still working hard at making boots and shoes that will last long after he’s gone.

Theodoris, the carpenter extraordinaire – your impeccable style and attention to detail make you a artist to be admired.

Stavros, Costas and staff – Vets in Kounipidiana – From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you do for the animals on Crete;  Both pets and strays are treated with respect and care, which is an admirable feat considering the number of  ferrel cats and abandoned dogs on this island.

Petros – the “Eye Guy” in Kounipidiana.  Professional, friendly and so accommodating.  He always goes the extra mile in customer satisfaction.

Maria and family at the Sunset taverna in Tersanas – I will SOOO miss our meals of mushroom pie and Xarma beer under the grapevines.

Manto, the beautiful and talented artist/hotelier in Paleohora.  A visit to our favorite beach town in all of Crete was always highlighted by your hospitality and your smile.

Babis, the “sweetest man in all of Crete” and the extraordinary creator and host of Villa Kerasia, our favorite B&B – elegant charm and THE best place for R&R on the island.

Thank you all for the years of service and your smiles of friendship!  And on those days when you feel like you’re going to melt from the heat of summer and you need a quick getaway,  grab a cold frappe, sit back and enjoy these photos of your beautiful island in the winter.  Click on the photo to make it bigger….Feeling cooler already…

Warm regards, Melanie and Richard




About Melanie A Crane

Quote: "The best journeys ask questions that in the beginning you never thought to ask." (Anon) Here's my journey: Enjoying my short life on this earth one moment at a time by being intentional with God, family, traveling, cooking, gardening, Colorado living and all the perks that come with it, playing guitar, listening more and talking less. I've discovered that both cooking and travel can be messy at times but the risks can have some amazing results. The same goes for life lived with passion.
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4 Responses to The carpenter, the cobbler and the Greek barista

  1. says:

    Just beautiful Mel ! Such a wonderful tribute to the people who touched your lives and for sure you touched theirs xx Sent from my HTC

  2. Doug & Mary Cooper says:

    Looking forward to seeing you back in the states. If and when you decide to publish your blog in book form, we want one. It’s been marvelous experiencing your travels via this blog.
    Best wishes, Doug & Mary C

  3. Is this your last blog post before you head home? I have so enjoyed reading about your travels in and around Greece. I love Greece as well and find the countryside to be second only to the wonderfully hospitable and passionate people who live within her borders. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful experiences and every day beauty with me♥

  4. Linda Armstead says:

    Aww, Mel, your post was so beautiful. It only makes me wish I had half the wonderful experiences that you and Richard had in Greece! I know you always wanted to live overseas, what a great answer to a prayer. Welcome back to the United States! (soon) I know your return will be celebrated by many! Love,Linda

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