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Virtually everyone reading this, no matter where you are, is in some sort of lockdown. We in Chania are in lockdown, too. Beginning today, only essential public places have the right to be open on Crete. Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies and gas stations are still open, but that’s pretty much it. Cafes and restaurants can only offer take away services. Schools, universities, clubs, coffee houses, etc. have been closed for at least a week now. One sees less and less activities on the street, although we have not reached the extremes that many in Italy and Spain are experiencing. People stand at a distance outside the few places that are still open – only a few people can be inside store at the same time. Nothing new here, pretty much what everyone else is dealing with around the world. We have been relatively fortunate in Greece so far, the numbers of people contracting coronavirus have remained relatively low, the numbers are far lower on Crete. Anyone entering Greece at present is subject to a 14-day quarantine. That’s the news in a nutshell. What we are left with is the natural desire to get out and be a part of the life on this gorgeous island. I can do it with my photos, and I can share them with those who have had to cancel trips to Crete, or who are holding off making reservations until time passes. It is clear that this tourist season will hit Crete hard. May some of these photos soften the blow.
I took these shots about two weeks ago, maybe three. The location is one of the most unique in the immediate Chania area – Agioi Apostoloi, which is located about a 20 minute drive from the city center. This is a large swath of land that covers four beaches, a forest wood and many rocky seaside cliffs. I’ll collect the beach photos later in a single post; today I’m interested in the fabulous walk through the woods and over the cliffs. Probably the best place to start your walk is from the cliff overlooking the beach at Chrissi Akti. There are plenty of parking spaces for vehicles. The woods are not terribly large, but are dense and beautiful. There are few places on Crete with such thickly wooded territory. As you follow paths into thickets you feel as though you are stepping more and more deeply into a fairy tale. When you do finally come out, you are greeted by some spectacular rock formations that would be worthy of the moon or Mars. The silence out here is broken only by the sounds of the waves and the wind whistling in your ears – it was quite windy the day I was out there. Many of the rocks appear to be of volcanic origin, but I hesitate to claim that as a fact. Depending on the source, Crete is said to consist of approximately 14% volcanic activity. The rest of its land breached sea level some eight million years ago due to the movement of tectonic plates. In any case these cliffs are jagged and porous and it is clear that over the millennia humans have come here to fish and collect salt. When you get far enough out of the woods onto the cliffs or the heath near the cliffs, you can turn around and admire some spectacular views of the Lefka Ori, Chania’s White Mountains, which are more or less covered with snow from December into early June.
Agioi Apostoloi is a fabulous place to get entirely away from civilization, even as you still remain within minutes of it by car. I can smell the fresh air coming off the Sea of Crete and whistling through the trees even now as I write…

All content, text and photos, © copyright 2020 by John Freedman

A look back towards Chania provides a rare long shot of the Nea Chora neighborhood.
As always from December to June, the snow-clad Lefka Ori, the White Mountains, loom over all landscapes in Chania.
The forest at Agioi Apostoloi overlooks the beach at Chryssi Akti.