Telluride Inside... And Out On Crete: The Last Cheeseburger
"They're closing down the hangout, the air is turning cool…
… I come down to talk to me, When the coast is clear…"
Jimmy Buffet, "When the Coast is Clear"
Some days Telluride Inside… and Out focuses on the "inside." Those days are museum, gallery, church, monastery, etc. intensives, total immersions in history for grounding. But not today. Today was all about "out."
On days like today, Telluride Inside… and Out hits the road with the sole intention of having no fixed intention, just inhaling the views from random stops on surrounding highways and byways. We are still in Crete. The weather, gods, kismet, something has gotten in the way of our leaving this Eden, so we gave in (willingly) to fate. Our hotel in Chania, Casa Delfino, became a home away from home and a launching pad for yet another Cretan adventure. Today was all about exploring the island's far west coast. First stop: Falasarna.
Falasarna lies near the northwest tip of the island at the bottom of a series of hairpin turns, and would be easy to miss if you were depending on guide books. We learned about the stop through the grapevine: a friend of our friends the Steels, whose husband Frank is an archaeologist currently exploring the site.
Falasarna lies at the end of a (drivable) dirt road, dramatically situated at the end of one of Crete's prettiest sandy beaches. The ruins in question are of an ancient port, now above sea level because of a violent earthquake in AD 365. Houses were located on a "riviera" above the port. Wandering around, we found walls and wells. Falasarna, which lies behind shielding hills, was once a pirate's nest , that is until the Romans got fed up and pushed the town's towers into the bay.
And while we are on the subject of pirates, at the end of the day at our next major stop, Elafonisos, where Clint and I felt as though we had stepped inside the head of one of the modern world's most notorious pirates. We were inside a Jimmy Buffet song.
To get there, we drove from Falasarna all the picturesque way down the coast: Elafonisos lies at the southwestern tip of the island. (The views along the way were easily as dramatic as the California or Oregon coastline.)
In season, Elafonisos is crawling with people, but the summer on Crete ends at the end of October. And this is the end my friend. There we were nearly alone on one of Crete's most famous beaches on a perfect Indian summer afternoon. We had bypassed a series of wonderful tavernas hoping to find food on or near the beach. More romantic. What we found was vintage Buffet: a grass shack located right on the sand selling burgers and beers and little else. Very little else. We got there as a crew was tearing down the place for the season. I had the last cheeseburger in Paradise.
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