Mohos and Krasi
Mohos is located on the hills above Stalis, approximately 37 km east of Heraklion, while Krasi is located 8 km past Mochos, on the way to Lassithi Plateau.
9 am Saturday morning and Haris' black Honda Transalp motorbike is
ready for another run in Crete. We load the cameras and the maps and put
our helmets and jackets on. Haris starts the engine and we set off.
Five minutes later we make a short stop in order to buy a few rolls
of film. It's 9:15 and Iraklion is being left behind as we take the road
to Hersonissos. It's a fine, warm day, so warm that we doubt if this trip
was the right choice; perhaps going to the sea would have been a better
Fifteen minutes later we notice a policeman on the right side of the
road signalling us to pull over. These meetings with the traffic police
are never really pleasant and it proves true for one more time. According
to the traffic radar our speed had 104 Km/hour instead of the allowed
maximum speed of 70 km/hour! The part of the road that we were travelling
on is so straight that it was easy for us to forget the speed limit. It
seems that we were not the only ones who had forgotten about the limit
as, one after another, more cars are pulled over to learn about their
violation of the speed limit. After a short lecture and a fine, we are back on the road trying not to allow this incident to spoil
our good mood.
A few minutes later we enjoy a panoramic view of the Hersonissos
area. It does look crowded with all these hotels and other buildings
but it still looks nice from up here (the new road that bypasses
Gouves and Hersonissos). Soon Hersonissos and Stalis are left behind
and we turn right to Mohos. It's a road full of curves that ascends
on the steep hill above Stalis. The view is getting better and
better and it's always a pleasure to drive here, especially late
in the evening.
We take a break at the central square of Mohos for some
photos of this picturesque little town. Mohos preserves some of
its traditional style and it's quite pleasant to spend some time
here if you happen to be in the vicinity of Hersonissos, Stalis
or Malia. Keep in mind that a traditional Cretan night is arranged
for every Wednesday night.
We keep driving past Mohos and we make one or two stops to enjoy the
view of the Avdou valley beneath us. Avdou is a small town and
many preserved traditional houses can be found if you wander around the
narrow streets off the main road.. There are several nice kafeneia (cafes)
but my particular favourite will always be Mrs. Erofilli's because of
her delicious omelette with fried potatoes (the Cretan omelet).
We follow the sign to Krasi and soon
we enter the pretty village. We drive all the way to the main square of
the village, there where the huge "platanos" (plane or sycamore) tree
"It probably is more than 1000 years old", says Mr. Alexakis who
has chosen a spot by the old aqueduct in order to sell his bottled
raki. We couldn't wait until our coffee was served before taking
the opportunity to sample the raki. The tree is really huge and
its cool shadow is a real joy especially in such a warm day. Some
tourists appear occasionally, they draw some fresh water from the
old aqueduct, look at the tree with amazement and take plenty of
photos. There are several kafeneia (cafes) in the village as well
as some tavernas; Krasi is famous for the tasty grilled meat that
is served here.
Thirty minutes later, one roll of film and some information about the
paths in this area we put our helmets back on and drive to Lasithi Plateau.
As we drive out of town the old rhyme above the spring is still in my
"Thinking, Knowledge and Beauty met together
many years ago in the many leaves of the plane-tree in Krasi. Humanity,
Prosperity, Justice and Freedom were moving like wild branches inside
Article by Yannis Samatas