Saturday, June 27, 2009
I took an overnight trip to Milia, a small community I had read about in my Rough Guide, which sounded absolutely enchanting. It was. Their website does it better justice than I could here (or rather, than I feel like trying to...I'm somwhat run-down right now, feel like I might be coming down with a cold or something). Here's the link, I've attached a bunch of photos I took along with some brief comments: http://www.milia.gr/english.html
This was not the road to Milia. This was just part of the road on a wrong turn, which took me about 45 minutes out of my way. Still, I liked the foreboding look of the clouds, and thought that it seemed more like the Scottish Highlands than Crete (not that I've ever been to the Scottish Highlands).
I finally arrived at the parking area, and proceeded down the path towards the restaurant/reception area, meeting up with a few goats along the way.
This is where I stayed.
These are just some other buildings in the community.
After a lunch of horta (boiled greens) and smoked meat, I took the short hike that Jorgos had recommended to me. Jorgos is one of the founding members of the community, and he joined me for a few glasses of Raki after my meal. He doesn't speak much English, but it was fun trying to converse with him in Greek. He's an incredibly nice guy with a very gentle nature, who made me feel very welcome.
When I first encountered this guy, I must admit I was a little frightened. The moment he saw me come around the bend, he headed straight towards me and I wondered if he was going to bite me or kick me or throw me off the side of the mountain. Turns out he had no evil designs in mind for me, and I petted him and told him what a nice donkey he was. I've admitted in a previous post that I'm afraid of big dogs. My fear extends to equine creatures as well, apparently.
Cresting a ridge...
I'm brought into a meadow/plateau with more views of the distant mountains ahead...
and and that spectacular sea-view that I was hoping for on my right.
Heading back now, before the sun goes down.
I could see the road that I drove in on, across the valley.
Just thought this was a nice picture.
This is the path leading back from the parking area to the village. It's incredibly lush, and far different from the rest of Crete that I've experienced so far. The forest here is cool and green...a very nice place to come to escape the heat of summer.
Walking around the grounds, I got to meet some of the critters who may someday end up on the menu at the restaurant. With few exceptions, the community is completely self-sustaining.
Took this one for Merit. These kitties were completely wild and feral, not the usual hybrid you run into in the more populated towns on the island. I like this situation better, because they almost seemed like real wild animals, like a baby lion you'd see in a game park or something. They also wanted nothing to do with me, which was a welcome relief. Better than the beseeching stares from all the other cats I've run into.
Getting ready to hit the hay. There is no electricity in the village, just some solar powered lights and hot water. The lights in the room were so dim that the candle light seemed better.
I had a good nights sleep, happy for the quiet in which I was surrounded.
I really liked this place, it feels very natural and peaceful and I plan to go back again, if for no other reason than another quiet night's sleep.