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Bering Life: 3 Days, 3 Nights on Crete 

After the night-long passage from Symi, we arrived in Crete. It is one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean and the largest Greek island. Its population is estimated at 670,000 people, and history-wise, the tools found here date back 130,000 years. The Minoan civilization, the first in Europe, emerged by 3,000 BCE. We can still see the remnants of this and other cultures flourishing on Crete during different periods.

Arriving at the port of Elounda, our team first visited the Orange Village Fodele. It is a family-owned orchard with 60 trees that yiyielding orange crops. The owner gave us a masterclass in picking the best oranges – they usually are the closest to the sun – and taught us a very important word in Greek. “Philotimo” means hospitality and compassion for other people, and Cretans proudly display it towards the island’s guests and to each other. 

Stopping at a local restaurant to taste some Crete-grown lamb has become a music and dance festivity for hosts and visitors. The owner’s relatives brought over their musical instruments, and there was no way the Bering team would stay still while others were dancing. Perfect local food helped us stay alert during the three-plus-hour trip to the Heraklion port, when B92 Papillon and BM28 hydrofoil-supported catamaran traveled together in a relatively calm sea. 

The stop at the oldest pastry shop in the city of Rethymno, where we learned to make the famously thin phyllo – Greek pastry dough – was followed by a visit to the Savior Monastery. The 13 nuns who live here are busy praying, painting icons and frescoes, and making praying beads. They use only natural ingredients for the paint, such as vinegar and egg, which makes the paintings in the Church of Transfiguration of the Savior look especially bright and lively.

We could not cover the whole Crete trip in one episode, so the next one will include making knives and picking olives, flying a hot-air balloon, and fishing… Stay with us for more of the Bering Life excitement!