I can see why all those authors, poets and painters found themselves in the Greek isles some times. There’s something very peaceful about the Mediterranean. I found myself this week in Matala, a tiny little village in the south of Crete. The place isn’t much more than a handful of houses, hotels and restaurants around a beach and a cliff face, and in the summer is overrun by busloads of tourists, but somehow it still manages to retain a lot of charm. From the stony beach to the Roman grave-caves dug into the rock (overrun, in turn, by hippies in the 60’s), there is a peaceful charm to it.
We avoided the hotels and found a couple of rooms to rent, as is the custom there – a couple have a tiny apartment on the cliff-face, and slowly add another floor, another wing, until they have a 5-room complex connected by metals stairs and bougainvillea. It’s off the main village square, overlooking restaurants, cliffs and the sea, and the view from our veranda combined with the chill September winds at sunset made for a place I can see Hemingway returning to, summer after summer, to sit and write. Start the morning with a dip in the sea followed by several hours at a makeshift desk overlooking the water, then lunch of seafood and retsina, back to some writing, and in the evening sitting in the taverna with German families and British backpackers over wine and olives.
It is not a bad life.
And some of the tavernas have wifi.
|The view from the veranda over the cave-studded cliff-face. ||Bougainvillea-studded staircase.|
|Matala at sunset|