When we were visiting Boston last spring we pleaded with our old neighbors Bart and Ann to meet us in Greece this fall. They were interested but non-committal at the time. Some time later their friends from California, Ken and Athena, also prodded them to come to Greece. So they gave in and set plans in motion. The result is that we all just flew into Chania, Crete and took up residence in a lovely apartment overlooking the harbor for a few days.
It was not just any old apartment, but part of a lovingly restored “palazzo” built on top of Chania’s Byzantine walls during the Venetian rule of Crete somewhere in the 13th to 17th centuries. The building served as the residence of the Venetian rulers until Chania fell to the Turks in 1645, when it became the residence of the Turkish Pasha. The house survived heavy bombing in World War II and was eventually restored by an American painter named Dorothy Andrews. Today it is an elegant monument to all of those eras. Our apartment’s stately rooms and huge rooftop terrace offered sweeping views of the Chania harbor.
It was a wonderful place to reconnect with Ann and Bart — and to get to know their friends Ken and Athena. We also got lots of special insight into Greek food, language, and culture from Athena, who is a native of Greece and a very fun-loving person. (You might guess that Athena Georgakopoulos is Greek, no?) So we had a wonderful few days of socializing, playing cards, sitting on the beach, sipping wine, and exploring Cretan cuisine.
From here Jim and I will stop in the Cretan capital of Heraklion for a few days before rejoining Bart and Ann in the eastern part of the island.