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Because, as a matter of fact:

gaydos.jpgtonnen.jpgThis place has tripled meanwhile, has been dug over, at least six times. Over the years, garbage-dump and harbour have been wandering further around than the jacks from "Mountain-Hiking in West Crete" all together (nothing against it but please in spring or autumn, it's really great then). But you can't see the changes as brutal as they appear in other places. Well, a few old houses have been replaced with new ones, or a lot of new houses have been built, but the biggest part of the new houses is in an area where there used to be a swamp. Honestly, the houses are more pleasing than the mosquitos in the early years. Those have become kind of rare. Last year I didn't have a single one in my room in four weeks. Those, maybe three, languishing bloodsuckers, who made it up to our home at the Sandy-Beach, were maybe eaten by some bats or blown to where they belong. To the fishes. I like the almost constantly blowing wind, which makes the brutal heat of the summer become pretty bearable.

Of course there has been street-construction too. Today you don't have to walk through sand that is blown into your meals and your wine, all over the village. And it only takes you 4 hours to get from Heraklion to Paleochora,  instead of 1 or 2 days, like it used to.

Maybe this isn't in the original sense of travelling, but it's extraordinarily advantageous for families.

Here my particular thanks go to TAXI-Spiros and his team, who manage to drive approximately 36 hours a day in summer.



But back.

This place is kind of special. Every year you can meet people who have noticed that too. Lots of girls and boys from the early years, meanwhile with children or even grandchildren. And everyone knows: Go there and meet some people you know, will always work. Maybe we all got formed there in some way, in the old days. Living there was, despite the temporal limitation, somewhat more real than playing the hippie in your hometown, with your rear end on the cold street. Maybe this feeling remained in some of our bones. Finally, the cordial reception through the local people was an experience you couldn't make at home. This incidentally didn't change up to today, and I am really grateful to the people of Paleochora, for giving me this experience. I feel like getting home when I arrive there. As I can only be there for 4 weeks a year, I'm feeling some kind of homesickness over the rest of the year. Approximately 3 weeks before we move down there again, some people in Bremen, seen from distance, begin to look like some of the friendly people of Paleochora. Strange? I don't think so. 

muetze.jpgIn former days you had to, and nowadays should still, be sensitive enough to respect the way people behave there. Even today I always wear long trousers when getting into town for the evening. As a sign of respect to the elderly and their traditions and I believe this is understood, although even many Greeks forgot the old manners. My elder son (15, cool with cool backwards-turned black cap) had a catchy experience this year (2002). While Paleochora was celebrating the "Naval-Week" in the old harbour and the whole village gathered eating, drinking and singing (the musicians didn't have a chance to be heard), a very old man jostled him and looked at him, with a rather angry expression in his face. Son asked me: "What does he want then?". I explained to him, that maybe, this old man used to fight against tank-drivers (wearing similar caps) many years ago, adrian-muetze.jpg because during the occupation of Crete  whole families were killed and whole villages were destroyed by the foreign forces. Therefore: "Son, remove this thing, you don't understand how many songs being sung tonight, are about those times". He took it off, the old man smiled at him kindly and later, when he went home, smiled at him even friendlier again. My respect to the old people of Paleochora and the whole Selino. Unfortunately they are getting less each year, the "Palikari", who knew how to get rid of shit. For example the old Pope, I would love to have his "Beretta" on the wall, with which he lurked for occupying forces, in a hollow olive tree in Kandanos. Those forces that wiped out half the population of that village. Unfortunately he died some years ago. But before he gave some Dracula-Chips" to the children and blessed them. This is what I call a "Cool Guy" and I believe the blessing works.

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