Λουτρό

For our last day in Crete we decided to check out a village I'd been wanting to for the past three years. Straight south, an hour and a half drive, it wasn't far, and the meandering roads through the mountains and along one of the most stunning gorges in the world (and the second biggest gorge in Crete), it was a beautiful, albeit dizzying, journey.

For our last day in Crete we decided to check out a village I'd been wanting to for the past three years. Straight south, an hour and a half drive, it wasn't far, and the meandering roads through the mountains and along one of the most stunning gorges in the world (and the second biggest gorge in Crete), it was a beautiful, albeit dizzying, journey.

Finally past the Imbros Gorge, and right on he cusp of our descent to the southern coast, the road appeared to hover above the cliffs below.

 

 

And then the mountain rests into farmland, which in turn melts into the sea's vast expanse of blue.

We hopped on the ferry for the short ride to Loutro. With no cars in the village, the only way to get there is by boat, or hiking for hours (and hours) along the precarious rim of the mountain.

 

 

 

 

And there it is! The most charming little village, tucked under the shadow of the cliffs above the most amazing lavender-blue waters I've ever seen. A small hodgepodge of buildings dancing along the edge of the water, a little sliver of beach, and nothing more than couples taking kayaks out every so often, or a small fishing boat going out for a run, or a motor boat heading to one of the nearby beaches only accessible by water. For some reason this village reminded me of one of the places in Italy we went to on our honeymoon, but because it's so isolated, it has an air of exclusivity – or privacy – or intimacy (something!) than anywhere I've ever been. It's hard to explain, because there's nothing glamorous or fancy about Loutro – just a beautiful and fetching and a very difficult-to-get-to little speck with magical water and the most charismatic vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Except for when the water is the most amazing turquoise I've ever seen.

First order of business – an iced cappuccino and a round of chess.

"Um, no Alice, you can't play with me. You don't know how."

 

 

 

 

In such a bright and colorful and cheerful place, the giant, ruby pomegranates hanging from the trees that grew out of the beach added even more charm and whimsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott and I marveled (and giggled) as we watched this gentleman out of the corner of our eye. He read at least an entire chapter of his book standing ankle-deep in the water and taking care to rotate his body slowly, making sure he tanned evenly. #LifeGoal

 

 

 

 

That water!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And even though there's really nothing else to see or do in Loutro – it's one beach, a few cafes, and a couple of restaurants – we wished we could have spent more time there. Next time we'll stay the night (or two) 

We knew the proposed boat times, but of course in Greece you can never really count on the posted schedules. Around the time that we thought we should get ready to walk over to dock, we noticed a boat collecting passengers. It wasn't the same boat we came on, and it was much smaller – with only 20 or so passengers spilling out of it. I asked the nearest local if that was our boat and he said yeah, but didn't think we could catch it. So we set off running, me first, in my bathing suit and flip flops, Everett following pretty good, dodging past cafe chairs and sunbathers and tourists with luggage. We got to the boat just as they pulled the rope up and pushed off, and I asked them with all the charm I could muster, if they could possibly re-dock and wait just 2 minutes. To our delight (and regret), they complied, and we managed to board the afternoon boat back to our car. 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course this is what the captain looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those colors! Who knew the sea and the mountains sparkled with lavender flecks on shades of purple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason the drive home was a little more dizzying than the ride there, and a couple of us got pretty seasick from the elevation and the curves. But with the windows open, that warm, fragrant air, and the majestic view around every turn, it was hard to complain.

Just a little roadside traffic.