Heraklion or Iraklion the birthplace of El Greco and Nikos Kazantzakis can at first seem a nightmare, particularly if you arrive expecting to see a picturesque little island town.
Heraklion is a very busy port town, but for some reason it didn’t float my boat. Maybe it is overpowering with modern and ugly mixed architecture with a narrow hight street heaving with shops? Maybe it’s the traffic or the concrete and dust? Perhaps if we were staying longer there, we would find things to like, or maybe I was just not in the right mood this time. However, please do not be put off by my comments. If you are ever are in Crete, do go to Heraklion by any means and decide for yourself what to make of it.
“Crete’s mystery is extremely deep. Whomever sets foot on this island senses a mysterious force branching warmly and beneficently through his veins, senses his soul begin to grow”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco
Have you ever been to Crete? I’ve never, until a few weeks ago and both of us (Mark and I), we really enjoyed our time there.
I’m not going bore you with the history of the island. What did strike us the most, besides the historic heritage, is an abundance of wildlife, plants and flowers that are unique to the island. Scents of wild herbs and flowers, olive plantations, booming fruit orchards, bright colours please you wherever you go. Bathed in clear sunlight much of the year, the climate is one of the best in Europe. We met some very nice local people during our stay there, whom were not only extremely friendly and hospitable, but also very proud of their country, which I found really endearing.
Crete is blessed by nature, fertile and wild. Locals say whatever you drop on the ground, everything will grow here, from humble potatoes to exotic avocados and bananas.
The place/village where we stayed (Agia Pelagia) is a bit remote but really unspoiled location. Hope it’ll stay this way for a long time 🙂
Anyway, here is just a little preview of our experience to get to know this wonderful location: