While my poor HøFSis nurses her Achilles tendon, ruptured during a particularly dynamic game of tennis, I am being thwarted by another Greek deity, Zeus, who has deemed that Crete should receive heavy rainfall for an indeterminate period of time. Someone in our little group must have been behaving badly, and looking round me I’m fairly certain it’s not any of the others. This morning, just as I was considering proffering myself to the Gods, in return for a bit of sunshine, the rain eased and little bit of blue appeared. So I’m hopeful that self-sacrifice is off the cards.
Having been to Crete as children many times – our father was a creature of habit – we have visited every tourist attraction more times than we care to remember. From the old leper colony Spinalonga in the East to ancient Knossos in the North and lively Chania in the West. So when the sun decides not to pitch up, all that’s left to do is eat Moussaka until it’s coming out our ears and drink Raki (a Cretan drink made from the leftovers of wine production) until we can no longer stand. I write this on Day 4 of our holiday and if I am offered another shot of Raki I might have to throw myself into the Aegean. In fact, there won’t be any conscious effort I will just stumble into it, very unceremoniously.
Botanical Gardens Of Crete
We did, however, manage to fit in one or two new Cretan experiences between the downpours, as vouched for by our recent Instagram Stories (if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen, so they say). First on the agenda was a trip to the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Crete. With walking sticks and straw hats we strolled up and down the mountainside looking rather like hobbits, admiring every flower, fruit and herb in our known botanical repertoires and more. It was a beautiful walk, and one which smelt quite delicious. A reminder of how much this bountiful planet offers us – why we feel the need to consume endless processed foods and sugary drinks I still have no idea (guilty, as charged).
On the way home we stopped at the pretty Manousakis Winery (above) to taste some of the local Cretan wines – the reds were delicious, and the rose eminently drinkable. A fantastic place to stop off at if you’re in the area, with chatty, friendly staff and a pack of handsome looking hounds, for the dog lovers out there.
Our next excursion was a little way East down the coast to the pretty town of Rethymno. Here we visited the Museum Of Contemporary Art which featured a pile of heels representing the consumer’s obsession with having unnecessary numbers of shoes. This isn’t really a problem when you have large feet, but the message was one close to HøF’s heart.
We returned back to the villa to be welcomed by the most striking, stormy sky, and settled down to watch the rain with moussaka and raki. But I may not need to throw myself into the Aegean just yet, as the storm clouds are finally clearing.