The island of Crete is the birthplace of Theodorakis, Mouskouri and Kazantakis, giants in music and literature of the Greek world. The diminutive - akis- seems to be the norm on the island but there is nothing little or small about these people who are proud and strong as they showed time and time again, perhaps most recently in defending the Allied Forces in the Second World War. They showed support particularly for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who will forever owe them a debt of gratitude for hiding them and ferrying them away from the Germans sometimes at the cost of their own lives. They are hospitable and friendly and somehow have stuck to their traditions and their earth better than most of us. They are the fruit and vegetable basket for Greece, their cheeses and wines are wonderful and their countryside is breathtakingly rugged and unspoilt.
We have driven through gorges, walked through others, visited monasteries where we spent some time looking at the interesting architecture and a little more time choosing some of the monastery's wine and honey and swam in water that was so clear and translucent you felt your body was enveloped in cool goodness. There was no one around - we had the place to ourselves - I guess not everyone would want to do the steep gorge walk down there. But what a reward for those who do !