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I grew up in Southern California, so I know roads and driving. I also know how long it takes you – and how many traffic jams you must fight through – to get from where you are located to the great Highway One, aka, the Coast Road, or any of the spectacular roads leading through Arizona, Nevada or Utah. On Crete – give me 15 to 30 minutes and I’ll have you on a road that will make your head spin. The Greeks know the value of the road. One of Greece’s greatest poets C. P. Cavafy is the author of one of Greece’s most famous and most beloved poems, “Ithaca.” It is known and loved with good reason. Take this little trip with the poet and let it sink in:

Keep Ithaca always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

You see (and you can see further by the photos below) that it is not Ithaca that makes you rich, it is the road that takes you there, no matter where that road may wind. [Photos restored Dec. 10, 2019]

Text and photos © John Freedman, 2019.

Arriving at Ligres beach, south of Crete.
Emerging from a mountain road on the way to the south of Crete, the Libyan Sea in the distance.
A gorge in central Crete.
Arriving at Triopetra beach, south of Crete.
Heading out of Sougia, south of Crete.
A road just east of Paleochora, southwest Crete.
Road from Sfinari, heading toward Kissamos, west Crete.
Road from Kissamos, heading toward Sfinari, west Crete.
Old Town Chania, west Crete.
The road heading to and from Vai, northeastern Crete.
Heading west toward Agios Nikolaos from the northeastern corner of Crete.
A city street in Agios Nikolaos.
A portside road in Agios Nikolaos.
The Koum Kapi neighborhood, Chania.
A jungle-like road on the Akrotiri peninsula, just east of Chania.
A street in Old Town Rethymno.