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Back To The Past.

Posted by Wim, 05 December 2007 - - - - - - · 3,642 views

I wasn¢t captured by Joni Mitchel¢s music but by the sound of music that belonged to Zorbas dance, and it seemed to come from a place where people had fun and were smashing plates at each other. I sat down at a table and enjoyed the pleasure everybody was radiating, none the less of all the shattered dishes. I learned that it brings you luck and who doesn...


The "experience"

Posted by Wim, 25 December 2006 - - - - - - · 2,256 views

Next morning I was woken up by a strange sound.

Still half unconscious I tried to tune my ears for a while, cause it was hard to recognize, and wondered why the sky had turned grey and the light so pale. But, after having cleaned my eyes from the nightly dust, I realised it was the ceiling of my room and the light peeping through the shutters. The sound was not a machine gun but the soft "kepoff-kepoff" of a fishing boat entering the harbour.

I took a cold shower and hurried to Acrogiali, a nice little restaurant just down the steps with a fine view over the quay where the fishermen were unloading their catch. The scenery rang a bell but I couldn't find the clapper, for Mary-Yo arrived and started to ask for my attention. She looked very fresh, like a fruit just picked from the tree, the nectar in her eyes glittering in the morning sun.
We had a nice "Saganaki" with a lot of coffee and orange juice.

We had just finished our breakfast when Mimmie made her entrance. She was a friend of Mary-Yo and I invited here to sit with us and have a coffee. Within three seconds, it could have been 5 though, the three of us were entangled in a discussion that roughly flashed between Kazantzakis, Mary Renault, Evans, Wunderlich and Nikis Xilouris. It seemed I had found my match and wondered if it would be fun to go for some "excavating".

We planned a route from Galini to Phaistos and from there on to Ayia Triada and Komo beach for a nice cool dip in the "Messara Bay", and have lunch in Matala.
And so we agreed. We bought some fresh water and fruit and got ourselves on the road, passed the Barracks, almost killed a dog in the main street of Timbaki, turned right to the road to Phaistos and drove up the hill that would take us to the parking.

We lounged the area for some time and stored it all in our memory bank. Mimmie and Mary even imagined themselves walking in the Palace area, wearing the traditional Minoan dresses and have all the men admire their bare bosoms....we even looked for some snakes to have them wriggle in their hands just like the statue, but there weren¢t any. And yes of course I encouraged them to do so. They smiled mysteriously at me, the way woman do when they want to give you a present they can't afford.
We came to the conclusion that the Minoans knew to pick the places for their palaces and went to Agia Triada just a few miles further on with a twisting road leading to the little parking lot.

-“The little Byzantine chapel after which the place is named was the background of what would happen next. All the time in the car Mimmie had been caressing my leg so by the time we came to Triada I felt like a tensely strained Cuckoo¢s clock at twelve”.

Agia Triada used to be a Minoan summer residence. It wasn't hard to imagine some of the inhabitants doing the Volta on the "Piano Nobile", walking in the direction of the little warehouses and servants homes. I love this little excavation. Happily, its not well known to the tourist. So even in the summer season it's still a romantic place that has an amazing effect on people who listen.
By the time we had seen and admired this little Minoan gem we felt a bit worn out and decided to have a refreshing swim at Komo beach. Which actually is supposed to have been the harbour for Phaistos.

-"My heart started to beat and leap by the idea of seeing this beautiful picturesque and peaceful beach that meant so much to me in a strange way, as if it was a part of memories that had been carved out of my brain cells but that was kept alive by some phantom nerves".

I was so much occupied with thoughts of strange remembrances that I almost forgot to turn to the right at the crossing after Kamilari and would have end up in Sivas in stead of Pitsidia, but happily Mimmie helped me out while Mary-Yo was soaking the landscape.

(Later that evening she would tell me, after some glasses of mavros, that she experienced a kind of deja vu with herself walking this road as a Minoan girl in a procession to the honour of the Sea Deity.
She told me she was leading the goat that would be sacrificed that afternoon at sunset to compel the blessings of the Gods, because in those days Crete was depending on Her being a seafaring nation).

We slowly drove down the sandy road and parked the car just near the excavation of the old Port.

http://www.online-gu...tures/komos.jpg

The sun had raised its ultimate azimuth so we ran down the empty beach, meanwhile undoing ourselves from the sticky clothes, and jumped into the nice cool arms of Messara Bay.
I heard the water close above my head and the rumble in my ears, and noticed the sandy sea bottom and the remains of the harbour that had been used for centuries by the Minoans.
A peaceful “sound” overwhelmed me and after a while, I had a feeling of having been here before and as if being peeped at, and strange experiences overwhelming my thoughts.

-“The bull from the sea had come alive and was caressing his Europe right down and there in the land wash. her perfect body lay beside him and he had the feeling that his body and brain were all over here. He could not think straight any more, a red haze had blurred his vision and that¢s something a bull can¢t stand and makes him really horny.
So while the steam was coming out of his nostrils and with his hooves planted deep in the sand and while mounting his princess …”

All of a sudden I realised that I was lying in the land wash while something great and beyond imagination was slowly overwhelming me.
Far in the distance I could hear the ”Siren” like voices of Mimmie and Mary-Yo calling me.
But the magic was tearing me in half, one segment sort of alive and the other living through this miracle of being part of the ancient world.

-“Sagapo” I groaned in one long sigh and then, I saw the bull proudly raising his head and I got my hands out of the sand they¢d crawled in while having this heavenly encounter.
The sky opened and I had a blink of heaven, I saw the angels clap their hands and heard them calling “encore” and Zeus was right out of his mind, he had climbed his throne and started to sing “poly agapimeni” he “did it” my way” as if he were Alexis Zorbas + Frank Sinatra in one person".

Slowly and with the help of Mimmie and Isabella, who were cooling down my overheated body, I came to consciousness. I saw the girls look anxious and eager to know what had happened to me, especially because I seemed to have wriggled my body in a lusty way.

The blurs that had reduced my “vision” slowly faded and my voice came alive in a squeaky way when I started to tell them about my experience. Their anxious and curious eyes slowly changed into greed and lust while coming nearer and nearer…and nearer..!
Next thing I remember was us having a ball there, right on the waterfront of this spiritual landscape; we knew that the Gods were happy to see us fooling around and having fun.

Because, after all, this island was their playground and Zeus knew all about that!!

We rested for a while before we started to pick up our clothes.
Mimmie suggested not to wear them for the rest of the day, but Mary-Yo, more practical, was afraid it would cause some nuisance from the local boys, and I had to agree after a look at our tanned bodies.

We got into the car and made our way to Matala this beautiful little village that was frequently visited by the “flower people” back in the sixties and seventies, also by Joni Mitchell who wrote the song "Carey" about it.

So to the Mermaid Cafe; we went.

"Mermaid Cafe"

Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will
Buy you a bottle of wine
And we'll laugh and toast to nothing
and smash our empty glasses down

From the song "Carey...


Sorting Out.

Posted by Wim, 05 July 2006 - - - - - - · 2,162 views

Even in November it was no problem to find a nice place to eat. Just go for the music and laughter coming from the alleys running down to the quay, where the little harbour showed a peaceful scene of some late fishermen who, lighted by the sunset, were unloading the catch of the day.

It made me even more hungry and I hurried to the little restaurant wher...


Welcome Back Home

Posted by Wim, 23 April 2006 - - - - - - · 2,484 views

For a while my thoughts slipped away and were caught by memories; the meeting with Sylvia in Trikala far north in the Peloponnesus and the fun we had while eavesdropping the neighbours in the next hotel room.

The visiting of the Meteora Cloisters, these huge grey stone masses with monasteries on top. In addition, the anticlimax of the romance in Athens, where she lived, and everyday life readjusted her to daily routine. The Thission Hotel I stayed in is a nice and simple one with a great view from the roof terrace over the Agora and towards the Acropolis and the city. It was still hot for November and the midday sun blazed the streets with a dusty sunshine. Apocalypse Tora had its premiere.

It must have been at Apo or Kato Vianos, and the dog born on a Sunday. He came from under some rubbish and was almost crushed if some movement in the eye corner had not warned me. The car could just stop in time, but almost all the music cassettes landed on the floor. Stupid dog. He stopped a side the road and looked, tongue hanging from his mouth, as if someone had done him great wrong. Actually, the car had. He had aroused the sleepwalker. Later I learned that Apo Kato means upside down. Well the dog surely was.

I had decided to spend some time at Agia Galini. The little tourist guide I had bought in Agios Nikólaos described it as “a picturesque little harbour with some hotel accommodation”. And that it is advised to go there before it is spoiled by the tourists. I hoped I was still on time.
Nevertheless, before getting there I still had to finish the road winding through places like Skinias, Kasteliana, Pirgos towards Agia Deka en Mires. Every turn of the road opened a new view. It was the way that Crete revealed its natural inner beauty.

Driving through Timbaki almost made me feel as if acting in a black and white B movie from the fifties. Motor bikes, dogs and cars used the road at will while chasing pedestrians. I left this mad house and kept left following the coastal road that after some beautiful views and nasty turnings opened a landscape with soft gliding hills set in a décor with the Messara Kolpa as background.

The sun was ending the day and covered the sea with an orange and copper coloured blanket. I stopped a while at a little Iconostasis at the corner of a steep road, and realised that that driving can kill.
I sucked the view in my hard disk.

After having finished the last kilometres of asphalt I officially entered the village because the sign said “welcome back home” and funny enough I felt that way. I drove down to the quay, parked my car under the trees and sat foot in a little place with a big heart and lovely people.
I started to look for a place to sleep, eat and get drunk. Yes I was in that mood.


Roza Eskenazi sang the blues: Tupsara o gios.


The Morning After.

Posted by Wim, 26 March 2006 - - - - - - · 2,072 views

The next morning,
I had a slight headache and wondered where it had been all about the night before. The smell of my clothes, with the scent of wine, cigarettes and perfume gave me a hint; the third cup of strong coffee almost made me a clairvoyant.

I packed my gear and went searching for my car, to start my first trip on the island of Crete. I had decided to go east. I wanted to visit Elounda to see the site where the BBC series “Who pays the ferryman” were shot by Michael J. Bird, also famous for his first BBC series “The lotus eaters” shot in Agios Nikolaos. Therefore, I could visit both places at one time.

I passed Heraklion harbour, the airport Nikos Kazantzakis and entered the old coastal road that took me along Nea Alikarnossoas, Amnissos and Niro Chni. I absorbed the landscape and entered the “highway” near Gouvai. I love that road. With the Aegean on my left and the Dikti Oros with all its promises on my right, I slowly moved towards Neapolis and Agios Nikolaos.

The view down to the bridge and Lake Voulismeni is a wonderful welcome. I decided to have a stroll and another coffee and sat down on the terrace of a cafe neon at the euphemistically called Square Limeinarcheiou. The restaurateurs were preparing for lunch, tablecloths were cleaned and chairs arranged. After I finished my coffee I walked the quay along the harbour but first visited the town information office which was just around the corner and got me a travel map of Crete and a guide to help me find a place in the late summer sun for the months to come.

Elounda was daydreaming while Spina Longa and the caiques were floating the surface of Mirambelo Kolpa. It was just as I imagined it to be. The detached bell tower of the church, standing off site as if to watch over the village, tinkled me a welcome while fragments of the “The Ferryman” were called to mind. I memorised the moment on my “hard disk” and after a last look at Kalidona with its Venetian bastion I slowly drove back towards Kalon Chorison where I turned to the right heading for a picturesque drive through the mountains. I passed little dozed off places like Prina and Kalamaka and turned west at Gra Liga.

This southern road leads you westwards, along the sole of the Dikti- and Ida Oros and seems paved with patches of olive trees, orchards and yellow grass. In the meantime I was considering where I¢d sleep that night.



Rita Abitza sang the blues: Trava Spaggo


Getting Acquainted With The Blog.

Posted by Wim, 17 March 2006 - - - - - - · 1,496 views

I'm not much of a chatter and never made a blog.
But it looks as if it's a nice way to get your voice to far-away places. Even pictures. Gosh..

Getting to known the blog's button positions and what's hidden behind it,(what I call the touch), is the first thing, losing your post after pushing the wrong one the last. Strange and unexpecte...


In The Midst Of The Wine Coloured Sea...

Posted by Wim, 17 March 2006 - - - - - - · 1,853 views

In the midst of the wine coloured sea lies the land of Crete that came slowly floating towards me while standing on the half deck of the ferry that had so smoothly taken me on board. I was curious. For the evening before this old sailor in the bar at the harbour of Piraeus had told me about the “lying man”.

It was a picturesque bar for its...





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