So, if you have read the previous post and didn’t get scared (or just skipped it), let’s now focus on my favourite part of this place.
I read Gerald Durrell’s “My Family and Other Animals” just a couple of years ago and longed for everything in it (except for the scorpions): the big family and the love for each other, the starry sky and warm nights, solo boat trips along the coast of Corfu and the smell of herbs in the hot sun. And although Malia in 2017 is probably rather far from rural Corfu in 1930s, I feel that I found so many elements here.
It is generally recommended to rent a car, when you come to Crete, in order to be able to explore the island better. We did it during our last stay here and I really agree that it is a good way of exploring.
This time I was really not in the mood to waste precious time on sitting in the car, so the decision was to go macro-exploring: seeing much less in much more detail. And the chosen transport is running. As I’m really a beginner in running, and it’s also quite hot, my area radius for exploration is 2.5 km from the hotel where we are staying, making it 5 km run every day.
So, there is Old Malia Village:
– The woman passes with a big Labrador dog and greets the café owner in British English. She is carrying bags of groceries, I can see cucumbers and courgettes. This amount of courgettes is telling me she is not a tourist, or if so, for a much longer period than I am, making her almost local in my eyes.
– There is little square, a tree with some ribbons on it and a well in the middle. There is also an older local looking man, getting on his motorbike. He has an “I <3 Malia” baseball cap on.
– Around 9 pm the streets are quite empty, though some open bars are almost full. I run through the street with no bars at all, it has a bank, a post office and some medical centre, all of them are closed. The only open place is a little sex shop, it has a table outside with three man sitting there chatting and enjoying their drinks. They greet me as I pass by.
– Another small dark street, and the only light is the slightly ajar door in what seems like the wall. I quickly glance in while running by. There is single bed and a table with several photo frames on it and two men, one younger sitting next to the table, and another one in a wheel chair next to the bed.
And outside Malia:
– A little path goes by the cemetery, which also advertises “Go karts” on the fence. Life and death, eh?
– I run along the beach and during one kilometer pass two little islands some 500 m away from the main shore. One has a little church on it, and another one just the Greek flag stuck into it.
– There are aloe plants in rows, some workers either harvesting something or looking after the plants in some other way. Please help me, I actually have no idea how you look after a huge aloe garden. On the hill there is a little house, and a rope with clothes hanged for drying in the wind. The sea is also just behind the hill, so I expect their clothes to be slightly salty when dry.
– There is a bench for sunset watching, which looks completely lonely and deserted. And I breath in this loneliness and it feels like I could have more and more and more and it’s still not enough.
– Some moonscapes of Crete, which I somehow really like. It does have a lot of “Cretan mess”, and abandonness. Unfinished hotels, untended gardens, projects, which were started with enthusiasm and then just forgotten. Maybe I like it because it feels close – I do abandon projects quite often.