After Athens, we spent 10 days on the island of Crete–the birthplace of Europe’s first civilization. Everyone knows of Knossos, the legendary home of King Minos and the labyrinth that Sir Arthur Evans discovered. We visited the site last year. This year, however, we explored other fine Minoan sites where one can wander without ropes. Also, if I could go back to grad school, I would study Cretan Byzantine frescoes. There are about 800 frescoed churches on the island, most of which are unlocked and off the beaten track. They are also terribly preserved. Still, I was blown away by their imaginative, fresh style. Some dated to the 10th century and showed a level of artistry that, in my mind, rivalled the frescoes of Giotto–the 14th century Italian painter who I was taught set the Proto Renaissance bar.
But let’s get down to brass tacks. We spent six days in the region of Chania (western Crete) and four in southern Heraklion (eastern Crete).
Tagged cave of Panaghia Arkoudiotissa, Chania, Crete, Elafonisi Beach, Falassarna, Katholiko, Kissamos, Maritime Museum, Menies Beach, Rokka, Sanctuary of Diktynna, Tamam
When we went to Greece last year, we approached it a bit like one might a buffet. On the first pass, sample what you know and think you will like, and on the second pass, return to the things you love.
Our first trip was a whirlwind of checking off sites–the Athenian acropolis, the Oracle of Delphi, Olympia, the Minoan ruins of Knossos–that I’d dreamt of visiting, with a few wild cards–the Mani, Santorini–thrown in. This time around, we spent the majority of our time on the island of Crete, where the food, wine, beaches, and people enchanted us in 2016, where we said “this place is extraordinary. We will come back.” And we did.
We’ve been on a real good soup kick. I made a butternut squash soup the other night using this Thomas Keller recipe, which seemed pretty complicated so I just removed all the complicated bits–the bits that made it a Thomas Keller soup, essentially. Still, it was pretty good.
On Friday morning I was stung by a wasp and basically now I know the pain of childbirth.
I was home sick on account of a cold. The Beast was out on a bike ride. I went up to the deck to read. I put up the umbrella, and placed my hand directly on top of the fucker, and its stinger pierced that fleshy part of my palm, right between my thumb and index finger.
This morning I happened upon my Google history from last night:
How many calories in sleeve saltine crackers?
How many calories in saltines with chedder [sic] butter?
Harry Dean Stanton Straight Story
David Lynch quote ‘sit back and enjoy the mystery’
Pablo Escobar Narcos actor
So we were upstairs folding laundry when the trouble started.
Foodie: What is that?
Foodie: THAT SHIRT. It’s camouflage.
Beast: Oh that shirt. Listen, before you get mad, let me explain.
My mom hadn’t had a solid meal in three days so on a Monday I took her to The Little Beaver, a restaurant beside a gas station in the rural town of Komoka, Ont.
I’d read about the forty-year-old diner and bakery in a London magazine while we waited to speak to someone at St. Peter’s cemetery about burying Russ, my mom’s partner of 20 years.
Russ had passed away three days earlier.