It is a big difference when you're visiting, passing from one place. Surely you know half and definitely feel even less. On the other hand, however, have more "clean" eye, you see that many residents, the locals, the overtake without question, considering the data, initially undefined arresting "sensations" in the air and then you start learning more depth. Then the game becomes more interesting place and are slowly being transformed. It is a simple way to approach the truth, but unfortunately it is very painful as the process. And mention the word "trend" because past experience tells me that I never figured something real from a single visit to a site. Not only the information you shape the field of vision is what ultimately feel after successive "passes". At that point, give up yourself and are based on how you feel the truth. And others may say that this "type" the truth is quite subjective, personal. Wrong. It's true that you taught me and just the place you as the recipient of knowledge and consciousness puts yourself inside it. How indeed expressing this is another matter. When you grab a pencil and paper or keyboard, there must have your mind!


All these thoughts sparked by my last visit to Crete. Books on Megalonisi have read and travel different also, I've seen pictures pile and I have taken so many others, but the island does not possess! Kritikos is not never going to become, because it needs to grow up again with another way of thinking, but nonetheless I love her very much. Mind very much sold out touring, but I also learned to bear this circumstance. Mantinades not know how to say, but with a small child Erotokritos am moved and shed tears. The "Army Mousouron" I nailed several times in the head and sing, but a free man I can not say that I am ... Singing just hope it keeps the walker. What I just want to argue is that Crete I have learned a lot so far. He has taught the same as place and as a way of Cretans. Difficult thing, Morea, being a Cretan. How to diafentepseis yourself in the 21st century and how being a lad ... mustache just not enough. I remember the old Renieri the snails to feed them pasta and talking ... Fuck you too to be able to become such a wonderful person!

With a modern ferry sfakiano veer from St Roumeli in Sfakia. From the start of the journey of two burly Sfakia, dressed in black with eyes that shine in the color of sea and sky, perched on the bottle. For a time and place have their eyes fixed on the sea and on land. Steadfast stay there and when looking at the deck surrounded by tourists have something angry and disdainful at the same time. What they were looking Does tosin hours with such dedication? Only those know ... Besides, are not only Cretans are Sfakians yet ... another race. Better or worse no one can say ... Other breed but sure! The ferry continued to tear the still waters of the Libyan Sea that afternoon and the sun with the last orange rays soften and sweeten the angry landscape of southern Crete.

Today I was one of 1,100 people who crossed the gorge of Samaria. If you figure sounds frightening, it should tell you that summer as day hikers visiting the canyon to reach 2500! Is a small panic in the beginning, gets kourniachtos, but apparently the pass and 2500 simply and quietly. Thousands of people cross daily from May 1 until October 31 in Samaria, but few are those who feel it finally made it hard to 6 hours walking. Most want to see first hand one the most beautiful landscapes of Europe, only some want to try their strength and to say that eventually went from there. Others are drawn by the international reputation and although wimps from the first kilometers reaching grumbling with swollen legs to finish. Few people pass through the canyon to see the island concentrated on 16 km course. Even fewer are those who come to "worship" in asimochromo Gigilos to greet the green-blue stream, to "speak" in Osia Maria, can lay the ruins of the village of Samaria, to smile freely in wild beasts, quenching with water from snow melting, to smell burning bush, to spend reverently from the stone door and redeemed by a dip in the crystal Libyan Sea.

"One is Faragas ..." Sfakians say, "... the other is Gorges." Only in Chania, the number of supernatural crack in the mountains reaching number 50. All of them are beautiful, all of them different and what walked offering excitement. Samaria Gorge, but definitely stands out, not only for your reputation to hold ground, but also for the excellent organization under the designation as a national park (from 1962 please!). Within 18 km of length brings tremendous images, clear Cretan, regal and unbeatable. The name comes from Osia Maria Egyptians venerated in a chapel outside the village in the gorge. Osia Maria / Maria Co / Co Maria / Samaria! There somewhere in the year say that a Titan Crete took a stab in the bowels of the earth and built the canyon. In the ancient city Kaino, in the gorge was born beautiful Vritomartis, the Cretan goddess Artemis loved the wild beasts. But this is always a breeze blowing of Freedom, both at Venetian, Turkish, and German Occupation. What also might contribute to the wild beasts, which straddle dancing Cretan gorge in less than half the time we need today? The History of the plateau for reliability and to the southern coast in St. Roumeli has devoted several chapters and all the important .

The current attraction and passable canyon was an inaccessible, rough but fully functional, living space for wild beasts and Cretans. Feel like home, walking through free and only when the canyon became a National Park dumped on the settlements and the bulwark of the Sfakia. But they became guardians, guardians of the gorge, and now watching this circumstance the monument not to spoil. Times have changed, slowly but changing the Cretans and even later the Sfakians!

The usual path followed by those walking in the canyon is downward. Starting after the plateau mesa, Xiloskalo position (the so called because the old times the inhabitants had built a rudimentary ladder from wood and tree trunks, pinning it to the cliff) and ends in St. Roumeli the Libyan Sea after 6 hours (average time with stops for rest),. The course is started early in the morning and the first four original kilometers downhill through the pine trees need attention (the stones slip, leading a sedentary life are "burned" in the warm-up etc.). At about 2 km are organized rest room with running water, shade, wooden benches, toilets and beautiful names - place names like "Neroutsos" "Fountain", "partridges water" etc.

The first major rest area is a plateau in Agios Nikolaos with huge ancient cypress trees. Here they say was the ancient city of New and near the church of St. Nicholas found fragments of pottery. In the middle right of the canyon road, and after the slope has now been completed, shows the abandoned village of Samaria now. Both the Up and Down the village is now ruined and the few standing houses have been repaired for keeping guards, or shaped in a primary care clinic, toilets, etc. Behind the ruins of the village have the opportunity to see up close the chamois, the ibex, or wild beasts, the sacred animals of the canyon from ancient times until today. Cretan wild goats, clinging to the steep slopes of towering rocks are brown and a black strip on the spine. Although sought after delicacy for Kritikarous maverick, about 2,000 animals protected xemytizoun gorge behind the village of Samaria because they often throw food guards. Near the village is the church of Osia Maria and can see just below the imposing size of the rocks. The path is the bed of the stream and the water now "appears" after the 11th kilometer of the route.

Fifteen minutes after the restroom "Christ" with its beautiful church, raised the "Sideroportes" of Samaria Gorge, one of the most photographed places in the world! 3 meters width, length and height of about 12 rock over 700 meters! It is far easier to spend the winter Doors to the stream download a lot of water, and loose stones from the top is easy all year round! Then the walls loose and open and exit the National Park not far away. In the cave, coming out of the canyon, waiting for the first places for rest and refreshments, followed by scattered old neighborhoods with dilapidated houses, the church of Agia Triada and soon to be seen ultimately the Libyan Sea.

In St. Roumeli, a lovely stone arched bridge has become "blocked" in the creek and the beautiful church of the Virgin Mary, which has built up in an ancient temple, waiting to see it as if you were tired. Place here, historians of the ancient city of Tarra (an important center of the Dorians), which was mentioned by Homer. The modern small city that has been created is far from being classified as scenic, and hordes of tourists arrive fatigued and hungry are filled taverns, cafes, and ferries them go to Sfakia. Besides road leading to Agia Roumeli there, just walk the gorge! The bathroom in the Libyan Sea, was incredibly refreshing. Very cool the ocean and quite deep. Lovely beach with black pebbles, terribly impressive picture of us are too artificial. Last to Know: The more time swimming, the easier it will leave a "grip" away!


From Chania on the position Xiloskalo distance is 42 km from Sfakia Chania back up through the gorge of Imbros, both PC 72. The easiest of all of course is to follow an organized group with a coach and a whole will need a whole day on this trip. Many people go to Sfakia, take the ferry to St. Roumeli placed in the first kilometers of the canyon (to the impressive doors) and return. The opposite, however, the canyon road (from which this description) may be more difficult uphill at the end, but has many advantages. You will yourself to the most beautiful places to enjoy a nice light and early morning dew, while the noon you're already under the shadow of the pines! Actually the crowd has the capacity to destroy all the beautiful pictures and all the senses ... Comfortable you rather be glad to frustrated! Be careful to wear shoes that will (light mountaineering boots are better than sports), the sunscreen, hat in the sun and pagouraki water to be with you for every eventuality. It's so kalopatimeno the path that does not require labeling, but you should know that the care is very good and the sensitivity of local and visiting great. Not only smoke in rest areas, no litter (there are always baskets) shall not cry, do not wade in the stream because the same water to drink in St. Roumeli and many others will read. Those with sensitive noses will have a shock now spring in the canyon. Is important to mention that the 450 species that thrive 70 are endemic and most aromatic!


In the gorge is prohibited stay or camp at any point. If you decide to spend the night, do it in St. Roumeli. When on 6 afternoon, and he left the gorge walker you will feel the difference. Alternatively you can stay overnight in Sfakia or intermediate (no way) idyllic harbor bath.


Either Xiloskalo (best in Smooth) or St Roumeli will have the opportunity to eat whatever you want. You are good to have a small sandwich or some fruit to eat along with plenty of water during the 6 hours walking. Be careful not to overdo it just because it is easy to get up and walk with full stomach!


NEWS, 06/09/2000, Page: N81

Translation with google