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Crete: Like a glass of cool water…

09/07/2016 Top Stories
Crete: Like a glass of cool water…

It is simply impossible to describe Crete, the largest, richest Greek island, with mere words, especially in such a short note.
It is rather superficial to try to portray this miraculous place in the classic manner of a travel guide, praising its magnificent scenery, beaches, culture, culinary pleasures etc. etc.
First and foremost, we must attempt to fathom its essence, its spirit, its soul breathing heavily down the centuries.
And what better way to do this than to turn to one of its proudest children, the great Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most important Greek writers, poets and philosophers of the 20th century.

Bridging three continents
He sensed that this island, between Europe, Asia and Africa, was intended by its geographical location to become the bridge between these three continents.
This is why Crete was the first European land to accept the light of civilization that came from the East.
Two thousand years before the Ancient Greek miracle,the mysterious, so called “Aegean Civilization” flourished in Crete, still silent but full of life, drunk from colors, finesse and class that still surprise, delight and impress.

Trail of the past
Vainly do we resist the trail of the past. A magical secretion radiating from the sanctified soils that struggled and suffered gravely. It is like something left after the disappearance of people who fought, cried and loved in such a piece of land.
This radiation of bygone times is extremely intense in Crete. It runs through you as soon as you step foot on the Cretan ground.
Then another feeling, more concrete, takes you over.

Struggle for freedom
If you know the island’s tragic history during the millennia, you get overwhelmed by the fierce struggle of man striving for his freedom against the oppressor who rages to crush him. Cretans have become so familiar with death that they are hardly afraid of it anymore.

They suffered so much for eons, discovered that death cannot overcome them, so they arrived to the conclusion that it is necessary for the triumph of their ideal, that on top of despair grows salvation. It is difficult to digest the truth but Cretans, hardened by battle, ravenous for life, swallow it like a glass of cool water.

Like a glass of cool water
What do you think of life, Pops?” Kazantzakis asked one day an old Cretan, over 100 years old, full of wounds, blind. He was sunning, crouched outside his hut’s backyard. He couldn’t hear well so the writer repeated the question: “How do you think of your great life, of your 100 years, grandpa?”
Like a glass of cool water,” he answered.
Are you still thirsty?”
Cursed is the one who loses this thirst” he exclaimed, raising his big, calloused hand abruptly.
So, this is how you must relish your travel experience in this magical place, Crete:
Like a glass of cool water…

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