A summary of my time… (Summer 2006)

Washington Travel Blog

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Perhaps it is a little late to write about my trip to Crete this past summer, but I feel as if I needed the time and space to truly reflect on the trip.


This was not my first time traveling to Crete. My father had been born in Arhanes Crete, and after his parents had made their wealth in the States, they returned to their home. For the most part going there had always seemed like a chore. Looking back I see how immature I was and how little I appreciated it. But while my peers were able to see new place, even if they weren’t as costly as a trip to Europe, it seemed as if I was always heading to the same place and people. Every two years it was the same.


Then I joined the Marine Corps. I missed a trip that year and it hit me hard. I really came to appreciate how lucky I was. And how I missed everyone, waiting four years is truly a long time to see those you love.


When preparations for the trip this summer 2007; I was excited and ready to head back. Things had changed; I was a wife and mother. This trip would be a whole new experience for me. I would be flying with my husband and 5 month old. It terrified me. I remember how I felt being stuck behind a crying baby on a long flight. And the layover in Germany was a first for me. Always I had gone into London or Athens.


The day of the flight, the airport was extremely crowded. Delays were happening everywhere because of weather and I was worried that we would be stuck in the airport. My daughter was a trooper, not a peep was made until she was hungry.


The flights to Greece were pleasurable. Sophia was do good that we even got many compliments. I was a proud mother to say the least. We have an easy going flight and a great plane of people.


Arriving on the island of Crete was like it always had been, chaotic. I found that there were more American’s there, which I haven’t seen in past years. I speak Greek, though poorly, so I was confident in finding my way. My father had actually come in the where the luggage carrousel was so he assisted us with out stuff.


The ride to Arhanes was different to me. They had since put in a ‘highway.’ But in the nature of my people, since no real exit to Arhanes was on the highway, they had made their own little off road way. (The only exit to Arhanes was through Knossos, and we all know what a trap and trouble going through there can be.) I laughed at this little ramp they had made, but in a strange way it warmed my heart. I was at home.


During my stay my family, minus the children, men and myself wore black. My grandfather had died over the Christmas holiday in 2006, and we had a year of mourning. Only woman wear black for a year and since I had recently had a baby I was exempt.


In some ways the town seemed so much like the same and other things different. The small store I used to run down to as a child to buy sunflower seeds was gone. But the old men and their worry beads were sitting in the café, just as they had three years before.


My husband and Sophia were the big bonus to the trip. I think this trip made him see how very Greek I am. And for Sophia it was a step in the right direction for her to understand where her family has been. I think this trip has made me want her to be brought up more Greek then I had. My dad wanted us to be all-American and at times I wished we had been able to cling to our traditions.


For the sake of my husband we did the tourist things. Sophia saw the sea and the sand, but at 5 months she could care less. But we went to Star beach like the other tourist for Europe and enjoyed the baby pool.


We only stayed 10 days, very short compared to my normal 3 months. But my husband had to work and I didn’t think that Sophia should be gone so long at her age. It was sad for me, because I worry that my Yiayia will not have much longer.


The flight home was okay. We had a family next to us, and the parents did not seem to care that their children were throwing things and acting up. Sophia was asleep for the most part.


As I write this now, I miss it. I miss the blue sea and the mountains. Most of all I miss those I love.


Another year seems so far away.





ehancy says:
That is a very nice story. My sister was born in Crete because my father was stationed at the base, which has since closed. I was very young when we were there, but my parents have fond memories of Crete and beautiful pictures!
Posted on: Jan 03, 2008
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