Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sounds of Crete (Ήχοι Κρήτης)

The only smell I remember very strongly of New Zealand was the fresh damp aroma of wet grass, which I sometimes get a hint of here in Crete, but only very rarely. It doesn't rain enough to evoke that freshness. But in Greece, the smells revive much stronger memories in people who have passed through the country and no longer live here - jasmine, orange and gardenia flowers, pine, the sea, and in the islands, especially Crete, the herbal scent of almost all the mountains: mint, thyme, sage, and 'ouzo', which comes from the abundance of fennel plants.

Smell is not something I can convey to you directly from the internet, so I will stick to sounds and images. My very observant friends who visited Crete recently sent me three videos that they took while touring the island. What made the biggest impression on them were the sounds that I am often surrounded by, which of course, I take for granted. They give an impression of timelessness to my homeland.

Dancing swallows chirping playfully in the old Venetian port
Carefree cicadas breaking the silence of the Therisso Gorge
Tinkling bells of ruminating goats near the Omalos plateau

Cretan fauna can be just as noisy as Cretan people.

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