In Greek twilight goes under the name of lykofos, literally (and appropriately) ‘wolf light’.
Over the week we decided to spend some days on the warm Southern coast of Crete.
We knew it would take a long time to get there and a long drive, so we decided to set off on Friday straight after school and spend two nights in Chora Sfakion.
After the pass, past Askifou, we were welcomed by some awesome ‘wolf light’ with a view on the Lybian sea, Gavdos and Gavdopoula. The air was crisp on the mountains, then hazy towards the sea.
In Chora Sfakion we had a look around the small harbour with huge cement blocks before going back to our hotel for dinner and bed. On the first night we did two amazing discoveries. First both Giulia and Sofia were so hungry that they both devoured cabbage and carrot salad. When it was finished Sofia asked for more, and she has requested it again in the following days. Then at night we saw a moonbow, a fuzzy wide light circle around the not quite full moon.
Sunset on Gavdos descending into Chora Sfakion
On Saturday we bought some lunch from the bakery and we set off towards Finikas. We took the long and winding road West of Chora towards Anopoli. We saw many griffon vultures on the way, six flying all together. Past the quiet village of Anopoli, we got to Aradena and stopped for a look around the famous bridge over the narrow gorge. Very impressive drop, we saw signs for bungee jumping from the bridge. It was built only some 25 years ago. It’s made of wood planks resting on the metal structure. The chilling experience is made of the wide gaps between the free-moving planks. It’s impossible to resist the temptation to look at the 100m drop underneath.
Then we took the partly dirt road descending to Finikas. The slow drive let us take in the wild landscape. When we got to Finikas nobody was around, it was like the scene in “Mediterraneo” when the Italian soldiers arrive at the small seafront village and it appears abandoned. Except Finikas is even smaller, and nobody turned up even later. So we put down our stuff on a small jetty and dutifully proceeded to swim in the chilling water. I went snorkelling but the swell was strong just out of the bay and visibility so and so. Giugiu and Sofia bathed merrily in the sun with their floats, playing with the inflatable ball we found floating behind a rock. Even Fiona jumped in, if only for one minute.
So we thought to hike up the hill over towards Loutro. The path is good but a bit steep for Sofia. We stopped at the top and had lunch in the Frankish ruins of a castle. Then we walked a bit more to take a peek of Loutro before turning back. By this point Sofia was tired of walking and the good mood was turning too. We made our way back to the car and drove back to see more vultures flying very close to the road after Anopoli before descending to Chora.
Back in Chora we had showers, then we goofed and walked around a bit more. Eventually we went to have dinner ‘downtown’. We saw some people eating in one of the only restaurants. It turned out to be the owner and his friends, but they were very welcoming and probably a bit drunk. They joked about omelettes while we had our delicious dinner. We had some more good tsikoudia to finish the meal, not quite as good as the one we tasted the night before though.
On Sunday we left Chora and drove to Frangokastelo. On the way we took a turn to a beach a few km before Frangokastelo. The sun was out but so was the wind. We climbed over a rock hoping to find a more sheltered shore, but it was just as exposed and the water was full of shallow rocks. I went in for a snorkel and monofinned my way West. Visibility was not so good by the shore, temperature was decent. I found some rocky coastline but didn’t see much life. I was surprised because I’d seen two spearfishermen and a fishing boat so I thought it would be a great place. Back nearby the beach I found that the sea bottom was more interesting, with plenty of small rocky arches rising from the seabed. I dived under one of them and hit my foot causing my fin to come off. In the meantime Giulia had been playing with the waves a bit.
Then we went to Frangokastelo itself, where we had a look around the castle (literally, because it was closed) and a yummy picnic with leftovers from the night before. Few people around, a mum with her kid, some ‘mature beachgoers’. We also walked to the shore, Giugiu and Sofia splashed around, then we got back in the car. We drove a long time to get home. It was well worth it.