Having visited Mykonos I fancied myself well versed on the Greek Islands (not really), but I was surprised to discover that Crete was very different than what I was expecting. So Mykonos reminded me of every picture I had ever seen of Santorini, with it’s white washed buildings and pristine beaches, so it was a surprise that Crete took an entirely different approach. Why I was surprised I cannot say, but it was decidedly different than it’s northern cousin.

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The Port of Crete. The city looked far more like what I would expect of a modern day port. There were no white washed buildings here and it felt far more metropolitan than Mykonos.

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As different as Crete was from Mykonos it shares a deep relationship and a reliance on the sea.

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We spent most of our time visiting an Olive farm in what likely passes for the countryside (how much countryside can you really have on an island?)

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The Visitor section of the Olive Farm

The visitor section of the Olive Farm. I was expecting trees, but didn’t really see any. My guess is that they were safely behind the buildings and walls that made up the area open to visitors. I imagine they don’t want anyone wandering off to pick olives and messing up their production. Smart!

I was so charmed by this man making pottery, it turns out the pottery he made is used for the olive oil produced on the farm.

I was so charmed by this man making pottery, it turns out the pottery he made is used for the olive oil produced on the farm.

 

Outdoor oven to bake the pottery

Outdoor oven to bake the pottery

Olives fresh from the trees

Olives fresh from the trees

The Olive Press - used to make olive oil

Manual olive press – this one is too small for their production capacity, but it was the one that they used in the past

the actual press they use to make the olive oil - I was surprised to find that it wasn't some sort of automated machine with steel drums. But apparently there is a certain amount of "seasoning" involved in using the old ways

the actual press they use to make the olive oil – I was surprised to find that it wasn’t some sort of automated machine with steel drums. But apparently there is a certain amount of “seasoning” involved in using the old ways

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Distillery - I can't remember what they said they were making, but it was something that was greater than 100 proof

Distillery – I can’t remember what they said they were making, but it was something that was greater than 100 proof

 

A working loom

A working loom

 

 

We ended our visit with a traditional Cretan dance performance

We ended our visit with a traditional Cretan dance performance