The Simple Things, Crete

The tourist season has ended, the summer visitors from northern Europe have all headed back home, and things are quiet in Crete. On a grey, drizzly day I headed up into the mountains in the west of the island to visit a museum. Upon arriving in the small village, I was pleasantly surprised to find the museum was actually open, and spent an hour with the owner touring the displays. On my way out I passed a small building, where the owner’s wife ran a little souvenir shop.

She invited me in to have a look, and figuring I would be their only visitor for the day, I scanned the shelves for something to buy. I don’t tend to collect souvenirs, so I was relieved when I found something I could use: jars of home-produced, deep amber-coloured honey. I hadn’t had honey for ages, and it looked fantastic. I grabbed a jar.

Cretan honey, the simple things

The next morning, after camping the night on a beach in the wind and rain, I packed up and headed to the nearest town. I couldn’t face cold porridge for breakfast, and after all, I had honey. I bought a big loaf of crusty wholemeal bread, a litre of milk, and some butter. Well, I thought it was butter, however it turned out to be a weird kind of olive oil margarine.

Breakfast, the simple things

I drove to a headland at the end of the bay, and parked the car overlooking the sea. The wind had been howling for days, and a decent swell was rolling in. So much so that the locals were also coming up to the headland to take photos.

Stormy sea, Crete

When I was a kid, I used to love eating fresh wholemeal bread with butter and honey. I’d set myself up at the kitchen table with a glass of milk, and munch my way into the loaf. I did pretty much the same in the car that morning, with the exception of the strange olive oil margarine, glad to be out of the wind and cold. And the Cretan honey was delicious.

By the time I pulled up most of the loaf was gone, along with half the milk, and I’d put a dent in the honey jar. I sat for a while, pleasantly full and a little drowsy, watching the windswept waves foam and crash their way to the beach. The simple things are, indeed, often the best.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy The Kindness of Strangers, Swallows and Amazons

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Comments

4 responses to “The Simple Things, Crete”

  1. Vicki Avatar
    Vicki

    So true! In my travels around Aus I love stopping at farmer’s markets and picking up some locally produced goods; olives and olive oil, relishes, jams and of course home made bickies! And what a backdrop to enjoy your fresh bread and honey!

    1. Jim Clayton Avatar
      Jim Clayton

      Yeah locally made stuff is ace

  2. Hodgey Avatar
    Hodgey

    Well it’s not Cornflakes and cream but it’s honest. Nice one.

    1. Jim Clayton Avatar
      Jim Clayton

      Mate you are a man of tradition. Actually, come to think of it, I reckon Cornflakes had the ‘Simple things in life’ as an advertising line back in the day….

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