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I have never seen such beautiful skies as those that come to us in Chania in the winter. From November into February, give or take a little, there are times you think you are encountering Shakespeare when you look up from your modest earthly viewpoint. Although that’s a little askew. What I should really say is that you feel you are encountering Homer, Zeus, Poseidon
With one exception, all the photos here were taken in January and February 2020. The gossamer pink angel wings, above, viewed from a rooftop terrace in the Koum Kapi region of Chania, were captured on December 6, 2019.
Of course, we encounter the occasional beautiful sky at other times of the year, but, for the most part, the extended summer period (April to October) is spectacular for other reasons – bright, endless Aegean blue skies with a dazzling sun shining down on killer beaches. No question about that – that’s what most people love. And with good reason. But as a weather enthusiast and a lover of extremes, I cherish the winter skies. They are filled with personality. They speak to you. They inspire you. They take your breath away. They change as you watch. Blink, as my grandmother used to say, and you’ll miss ’em. They remind you at every moment that you are alive on a mysterious planet of extraordinary, inexplicable beauty.

Text and photos © John Freedman, 2020.

The West side of the Venetian Port in Chania.
The West side of the Venetian Port in Chania.
Looking out to the open Sea of Crete from a vantage point between Chania Old Town and Nea Chora to the West.
A puff of pink cloud over a streetlamp as evening comes upon Chania’s Venetian Port.
The Firkas fortress at the mouth of the entrance to the Venetian Harbor in Chania as a spaceship-like cloud advances behind it over the Sea of Crete.
The Chania lighthouse in early evening as a spaceship-like cloud cruises over the Sea of Crete in the background.
The Venetian port in Chania, looking west as the sun sets.
Looking out to Akrotiri and Stavros from Koum Kapi.
Koum Kapi’s Venetian Sabbionara bastion is dwarfed by the riot in the sky on a day mixing heavy rain with bright sunlight.
Ariadne’s lace over Koum Kapi, looking West from the neighborhood’s farthest eastern corner.
Looking from a roof terrace in Koum Kapi toward Chania’s Venetian Harbor (not visible, but who cares?)