My Homeplace - Crete
πάντα η Κρήτη διαφορά έχει από τσ' άλλους τόπους
γιατί 'χει αντάρτικη ψυχή και κουζουλούς ανθρώπους
Μια αστραπη ειν' η ζωη και στ' αναμα που κανει
οτι προλαβει ο ανθρωπος... τα υπολοιπα τα χανει
...we believe that Crete is the best place in the world. I personally understand (and many friends have noticed!) that this might be annoying and -of course- very subjective. Having that said, please excuse me for my very subjective opinion/image of Crete.
From a geographical/topological point of view, the unique feature of the biggest Greek island (and the fifth biggest in Meditterenean Sea) is best descibed by one word: contrast. The landscape combines phenomelogically very different features. Calm sandy beaches cover a large part of the northern coast line of the island. On the contrary, wild coasts with imposing sharp rocks decorate most of the southern sea front. The surprises for the visitor don't stop here though. On spring time, within a traveling distance of about half an hour, a visit of the mountains full of snow can give its place to a relaxed walk next to the sunny and calm sea.
Besides the geographical characteristics, the contrasting pictures are part of the lifestyle in the island. The vivid daily as well as night life of Heraklion the whole year, as well as of the other cities mostly during the touristic period is strongly contrasted by the more calm life in the inner part of the island. The visitor of Crete has the option of staying in one of the many luxurious hotels and enjoy an elegant, well presented dinner or a fancy cocktail next to the sea, or to visit some small villages a bit far from the coast, where maybe small treasures wait to be (re)discovered. Traditional meals in small, usually family-run taverns may not deserve an award for their appearance, however, they will definitely win a special place in your memories.
Being the homeplace of the first advanced European civilization, the Minoan civilization, Crete unambiguously has a very long history. The various rulers of the island, posessing vastly contrasting cultural backrgounds, left their marks on the character of the island. The visitor is invited to discover and welcome to be part of the Cretan culture, being the blend of the island's rich historical and cultural memories and modern civilization.
A visit to Crete will concince you it was worth it !