August in Crete island

A very special month in a unique corner of not only Greece but of the whole world.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

A very special month in a unique corner of not only Greece but of the whole world.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

08.08.17

Village of Spili, Chania.

Early in the afternoon, I am walking down the narrow streets of the village.

This is always a good opportunity to explore a place. I see people playing traditional music and singing. They enter a cemetery to pay tribute to a dead musician of the village. It was creepy but at the same time, they sang and played music with an intensity which made it very emotional.

By night they reached a central spot in the village where they continued playing music and sing until early in the morning. The artists are leading and the crowd follows. There is plenty of tsikoudia and tidbits even in the cemetery.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

09.08.17

Village of Anogia, Rethymno.

Here I was, in cooperation with the Mayor of Anogia, who had given us a house for the whole month.

I spent most of my time in the lower area of the village. It has a beautiful giant tree in the middle. In its shadow, I sat down and drank my coffee. It has cafes all around and the home to Nikos Xilouris, which is now a museum.

There are also small shops selling traditional woven fabrics. I saw some old ladies that greeted me. I talked to them, they were wonderful. I photographed them and one of them told me to take a good photo so she can use it for her funeral!

In a street behind the main square, there was a narrow alley, full of flower pots with colorful flowers. Wonderful. In a chair sat a black-haired lady with a black scarf on her head. I definitely wanted to photograph her. Having picked up the conversation I told her what I wanted, she stood up with a suspicious smile. She showed me her house it was like a museum, in its own kingdom. I am lucky to have seen Mrs Zacharoula's house.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

10.08.17

Chora Vrises, Chania.

I came to this village because there were dance performances with traditional costumes.

A cold river runs across the village. Left and right there are shops where you can sit for food and coffee. The event took place on the banks of the river.

In the shop that I ate, people came from the dance club to get dressed. I always try to shoot pictures of the preparation. That's what I did there.

Epirus music began with the accompaniment of dancers. To tell the truth I didn't really like it in the beginning. But when the Pontians entered the scene, and then the Cretans, I realized how much power music and dance can conceal. The highlight and the one that set me up was when they came out to dance together Pontians and Cretans. A kind of fight among dancers. Unforgettable, so much that made me look for dance clubs in Athens to learn how to dance both Cretan and Pontic!

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

12.08.17

Village of Anogia, Rethymno.

Zacharenia had the traditional costume and Mrs. Zacharoula the house.

Traditional costume in a unique place.

This is the great things when you visit a place for many days. You get to know people, they get to know you and everything gets easier. The people in the province are open to doing the best.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

13.08.17

Chora Vrises, Chania.

Again in the village of Vrysses early in the morning (83km Anogia-Vrysses) because they have equestrian games.

There were many horses. We have a big cavalry in Greece. I have seen many horses also in Mesolongi, Aetoliko, Moria Mytilene, Volaka in Drama, Vlasti Kozani, Kala Nera Volos.

Wonderful scenery with old stone bridges and olive groves.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

In the evening I was in Anogia and at the open theatre Nikos Xilouris to watch a concert by Loudovikos of Anogia, Psarantonis (brother of Nikos Xylouris) with local musicians.

A musical evening turned into a lifetime experience. I cried when Psarantonis stepped out of his narrow molds as he had to start banging, humming his lyre with the bow but strangely leaving music. He was beating on his chair, ready to get up and fly. I waited from moment to see him fly like fire.

Psaradonis was born in 1942. He told me things about his life, he taught me things about life the way he played that night!

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

14.08.17

Virgin of Harakas, Rethymnon.

Here I met another phenomenon I have not seen anywhere else in Greece.

Families from the surrounding villages camp in a place behind the monastery. Each family gets a carob tree and makes a draft hut. Here they will stay for 15 days forgetting their daily lives.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

18.08.17

Village of Anogia, Rethymno.

One day before a local wedding and I finally see the traditional way of baking meat. They bake because they have a dinner party at the groom's home and the bride is in her house with her relatives and friends.

In recent years it has been called "opposed" (it puts the meat opposite the fire in a circular formation) but it is one of the oldest ways of cooking and is called beef meat. This method of baking is also reported by Homer in the Iliad.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

19.08.17

Village of Anogia, Rethymno.

Today is the wedding day and preparations have begun early in the morning.

A little outside the village on the way to Psiloritis new meat comes into the fire to cook and be ready in the evening.

All family members are involved. The father is strict with his young son to do everything in the right way. With his daughters, he is not as strict.

Inside the village, at a friendly house gather all the relatives and friends to get ready. They will wear their local traditional costumes to attend the wedding.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

20.08.17

Village of Zoniana, Rethymnon.

Here is the feast of shepherd and cheese today.

Opportunity to visit this place. I'm excited because I've heard a lot about this village. It is one of the few villages that all Greeks know and have never visited.

And here they start with the traditional way of cooking, the opposite.

In the square sometimes they carry a cheese with a weight of about one tonne and about three hundred kilos. It was made with 8 tons of milk offered by the Zonian breeders.

Throughout the evening, local musicians played and danced wearing traditional costumes.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael PappasAdult content
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August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

22.08.17

Psiloritis, Rethymnon.

Visit Psiloritis and the Skinkas Observatory at an altitude of 1750 meters. It is 60 km from the city of Heraklion and 15 km from Anogia. You can go by car to the observatory just as you approach the road narrows enough and you have to be careful if a car comes from the opposite direction.

Landscape only from stone. Stone and fog. It is no coincidence that we started the horror stories with my friends. It was really cold even if it was on the 22nd of August. At dawn, the stars looked like hanging over my head. I have the impression that if it were not the lights of the city of Heraklion that is below the sight would be even more imposing.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

26.08.17

Village of Anogia, Rethymno.

Stay of St. Fanourios.

It is in the morning and I drink my coffee in the lower square of the village and at the next table, Psarantonis is drinking his coffee. A few words. Weighed. In the afternoon he will also ascend to Psiloritis in the chapel of Agios Fanourios for the event.

And here they have come to grill. There is a room full of meat. It impresses me that there are about 10 live sheep there. Then I understand why. The evening was over and the feast began with Psarantonis and the local musicians that lasted until early in the morning. The meat was too much but eventually, run out. So some of the 10 sheep were slaughtered on the spot, cut and ready for baking!

Unique landscape of Psiloritis. Wild beauty, serious, like his people!

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

28 - 29.08.17

Village of Anogia, Rethymno.

For the last two days, I'm staying in the village. Walk on the streets that I did not have the opportunity to see in the past days.

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas

This trip was a unique opportunity to see more sea and earth before my eyes are filled with soil!

August in Crete island - Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
August in Crete island
Greece. Crete. Rethimno. © Michael Pappas
#crete #psiloritis #mountain #island #village #wedding #traditional #costumes #anogia #rethymno #dance #river #vrises #chania #spili #psarantonis #xylouris #harakas #meat #ship #zoniana #fog #breeders #cheese #opposed #fire #monastery #horses

Location

August in Crete island

13is Avgoustou 1944 Anogia
Rethimno, Crete, Greece

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