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So Very Different When I Visited Zoniana


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#1 Tim

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 01:31 PM

A few years ago my wife and I together with a Cretan friend and his partner, visited the caves of Zoniana. The place seemed deserted as we drove towards the village and my Cretan friend seemed rather nervous. As we pulled up by the caves, a young man came out to see what we wanted and, when we said we hoped to go into the caves he was as helpful as possible.
The place seemed so very different to the Zoniana described in recent press releases such as the following http://www.ana-mpa.g...amp;service=100 but at least my Cretan friends concerns are clearer now!
I do find it slightly ironic that some of the 'talents' of the locals, which cause such problems for the authorities now, are the very same 'talents' that were so valuable some sixty odd years ago!

#2 Tinks

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:16 PM

Wow, I went there two years ago and had read that there were some problems in certain areas, but I didn't know that was one of the places concerned.

It seemed very calm and serene when I was there, and the caves were stunning!
Curiouser and curiouser.....

#3 lars

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 11:23 AM

In September last year we were on our way up to Anogia when we were stopped by the
police (the blue guys in the jeeps) just outside Zoniana.
They checked us and then told us there was a funeral in the village.
"Go easy and do not disturb"
We did and stopped in order not to disturb.

The police was heavy armed and seemed a bit nervous, maybe they were expecting something.
We noticed five jeeps on one side of the village and couple more on the other side.
It is a rough country up there.

We have been stopped one more time, that was early one morning in Amari. Also this time it was the blue guys. They looked through the Volvo and checked our papers.................and one thing is for sure, they did not smile, not even tried to. B)
I asked what they were looking for, no answer, just one word fige, go.

Yes Tim, your last lines describes what first came to my mind. It is really odd, is it not.
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#4 ellemm

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 01:36 PM

We drove through Livadia and Zoniana in October this year on the way to Anogia. Between the two villages some schoolgirls were walking down the road towards Livadia and waved us down. They were leaning in the car windows and chatting in English...a bit overwhelming but they seemed pleasant enough.
We left them and drove on round a bend in the road and met another group of kids heading up the hill towards Zoniana. This group of boys and one girl were spread across the road and would not move for the car. My partner eventually revved the engine and they parted.
As we passed a young boy on my side spat through the open window on me.

We also had noticed even younger boys in both villages, gesturing and shouting at our car as we passed.

We were quite taken aback by this apparent hostility and rudeness as it is something we have never experienced in all the years we have been visiting Crete and decided not to stop in Zoniana and in fact drove straight through Anogia without stopping which was disappointing as I had been looking forward to seeing it and it was a long journey to get there.

We spoke to Greek friends in Rethymnon who put us wise to the goings on in the area and she said that local people were quite affronted as people in mainland Greece thought the entire area was lawless as she described it.

Obviously we will not be visiting that region again!

#5 lars

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 10:22 AM

Change your mind and visit Anogia, it is a great place.
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#6 Tim

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:28 PM

I agree entirely about Anogia lars. When we visited in 2005 with the expedition party, and in the hands of Yannis, we were shown considerable hospitality by all we met there, from the mayor and the priest to people in tavernas in the platea. Great people.

#7 Dinny

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 10:10 AM

When I visited Anogia some months ago with my friend Christine I wasn't even aware that we were in a "danger zone" - and therefore we neither expected nor noticed anything 'strange'. We actually had a wonderful day and was pleasantly surprised by the kindnes of the people in Anogia (Christine is German as was a bit sad about being even remotely connected to what happened there). Afterwards we drove up to the cave of Zeus and enjoyed the wonderful view and the extraordinary silence, it was fantastic.

#8 Tim

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 04:51 PM

Just to clarify things, I would NEVER suggest that tourists, or indeed locals, should have any doubt that they will be safe and welcome in Anogia.
Tim

#9 Retired in Crete

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 10:32 PM

I would like to endorse Tim's statement and would add that many tour operators run coach excursions to the caves and villages during the summer months without the slightest hint of trouble.

John
Cornwall - Great at any time of the year.

#10 Emma1310

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 05:51 PM

More news
Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.

#11 Wim

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:12 PM

Yes, Tim referred to an old war some odd 60 years ago, I'm afraid a war on drugs has replaced it, and not only in Crete/Greece.

I remember though that some 30 years ago the police in the Timbaki region was also very alert when you started to roll a cigarette. In some harbours you could find battered, black painted speedboats, that were seized while running drugs from Africa.

They told me the Libyans had a sort of monopoly on running drugs, which is not so strange taking the nearness of Crete into consideration and the changeable coastline with numerous inlets that give shelter.

:D
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."