Journal / Bering Life /

Crete: continuing the journey 

Crete is a very big island, and there are so many attractions there! The second part of our visit was quite eventful. It started at a knife-making shop. Just like many small businesses here, the Armenis is family-owned: the father forges the blades, and the daughter takes care of sales and marketing. Every handmade blade has an engraving on it: some type of poetic text and the master’s signature. A knife without a signature is most likely factory-made.

Another business that naturally grew out of necessity is an olive village. Established in 1865, the Vassilakis estate has been supplying olive oil to the village; with time, the production grew and became more mechanized, but it was able to keep the old spirit. There are three qualities of olive oil: bitterness, fruitiness, and spiciness, and the Bering team had an excellent opportunity to learn how to become oil experts from one of the family owners. This visit ended with a sip of locally made limoncello, which was sooooo tasty!

The balloon trip planned for that day was in danger of being canceled, but the winter weather played favorably. No cancellation, no worries – the hot-air balloon carried us over the Lassithi plateau for a stunning and heartwarming viewing experience. However, it was a bit chilly out there, and we ended a very busy day with dinner at the edge of the water. We drank, ate, and talked philosophy. This old, historically rich land gives one a lot to ponder.

The ladies went to bed, and Alexei continued the adventure with the squid fishing. Casting a line from Papillon’s swimming platform brings back all his childhood memories. Catching squid is not easy, and a local fishing guide recommends using specialized Japanese bait to provoke the squid to attack – so long for the old traditional ways! Did you know a freshly caught squid should change color when you trace your finger along its body? 

We end this leg of our trip with a new Greek word. ‘Yamas’ is what people say when toasting to your health. To beat the approaching bad weather, our team departs for Santorini. Another great Greek island will be welcoming us in the morning.