Marvelous May - springtime in south Crete
May Day is another celebration, and cars will be winding there way up to the village of Melambes only 11 kms from Agia Galini, while such a short distance separates them, they couldn't be more different. One a traditional mountain village with more than its fair share of kafenions and the other a picturesque coastal village with its charming port. If you are interested in property in this part of the south crete, there are some gems to be had. Traditionally this day is for picnics in the countryside where the fields are carpeted with beautiful wild flowers. Cars are traditionally decorated with bunches of wild flowers stuck under the windscreen wipers or tied to the aerial, even tied over the number plate, it a jolly day out. Flowers will be collected to make a wreath to hang over the front door. Another wonderful feature of Crete is the public bus company which will take you to most places. They run on time, and do excellent connections for airports, ferry boats, hospitals etc. What most people dont know is that the driver is the owner of the bus. He is going to do his best as this is his business. While he is contracted to run certain routes, he owns his bus and amazingly only his brother, son and nowadays daughter may drive the bus. He cannot simply employ someone. There is usually some clever banter going on and even if you only have the slightest understanding of Greek, I am sure you will get the gist of the conversations. Greeks are outgoing people and do not shy away from any subject.
This year, because of the winter which enjoyed exceptionally good rainfall, the sage along the roadside is spectacular and in full flower. Some tavernas line their breadbaskets with fresh sage and the olive oil is infused with it. Added to scrambled eggs and it makes for an amazing change, do try it.
For those who like walking or cycling it is the perfect time before the summer sunshine get too hot. Also one of the best times to visit the Minoan and other archelogical sites. The weather is good for walking around for a few hours and the increased number of tourists that come with the high season haven't arrived yet, so one gets to enjoy the magic of these Minoan palaces.
I must add a bit about Cretan Fresh orange juice. This is a place where fresh orange juice means exactly that. Someone is going to squeeze fresh oranges after you have placed your order. It is truly fresh and the flavour seems to be better than anywhere else in the world. Treat yourself, whether it is at a very small corner cafe or a rather upmarket establishment the juice will be simply amazing.
Photo of Agia Galini