The early morning sun, still gentle and friendly on your skin, casts long shadows that lead you to a cafe by the waterfront for a cup of coffee. From your table at the edge of the seawall you see the mediterranean blue, sparkling, streaching all the way to Africa. A few small boats bob gently in the lapping water; The sun on the water is mesmerizing. You decide to linger a little longer; take a morning dive, have breakfast of yogurt and honey, fresh baked bread, just squeezed orange juice, and another coffee.

A walk through the village reveals a portrait at every turn. White-wash walls are interrupted by the blue-painted doors and draped with brilliant bouganvillea. Around the next corner a plump woman hums an ancient melody and comps the raven black curls of her impatient grandson. Another block down a series of red geraniums planted in old cans blaze defiantly.

Continuing out of the village, you walk into the cool green valley. There are trees with blossoms, others with their fruit already beginning to weight down their branches. The shade they provide is in dramatic contrast to the heat of the day. A few hundred meters further is a tiny white-wash church, mostly displaced by the larger newer church in the village, but still used a few times a year. As you admire its simplicity, a tiny old woman garbed in black leads her donkey along the path, and nods as you pass.

Returning to the village, is midday and time for a swim. Nowhere is the sun, silver sand,
and clear warm water more enticing to even most timid swimmer. The gentle sea supports and carresses your body. Then it is on to a cafe for the large midday meal of fresh fish, greens, tomatoes and olives. After a delicious and satisfying lunch, it is time for the mediterranean siesta. You amble slowly back to you clean white oasis of a room. The bright flowers and shady awnings wrap you gently into sleep - a rest to prepare you for the second half of the day.

The evening brings the village to life in a totally different way. The local workers and the tourists have returned from their day's activities. They gather at the cafes not ust to eat and drink the local wine and raki, but if they have stopped at a waterfront restaurant, they can find the native musicians tuning their instruments. Playing the bouzouki, the guitar, the lyra, they call on ancient inspirations and express their passions and emotions; friends and strangers alike, join in songs of love and life. As the music heats up, first one, then a second gets up to dance. They undulate and whirl in time with the music, and before the end of the night, you find that even though you may never have danced before, you are with the others singing, dancing, jugging and shouting "opa".

A short walk in the moonlight leads to the most restful sleep you 've ever known.

You may never want to leave Myrtos but within minutes you can walk to the mountains and visit
centuries-old olive groves and even older ruins. Early in the morning you can walk through the fragrant wild-flowers of the valley, or along the river bed to a magnificent gorge, or to the nearby but remote and primitive villages of Anatoli, or Kalami, or even along the road that follows the sea with its private coves, shady beaches and great rocks.

Cheryl Fragiadakis
Berkeley, California's all about myrtos !
A little Greece

Can you capture an entire country, it's people, its wondrous beauty in only one small village? Perhaps you can if the village is Myrtos on the south coast of the island of Crete.   
Perhaps the chronicle  of a single day thare can illustrate the celebration of the senses that is Greece.