OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES | HIKING
KAVOUSI MINOAN PATH – MESSONAS GORGE
KRITSA VILLAGE – MESSONAS GORGE
When crossing the Minoan Path of Kavousi a feeling of an incoherent time interchange appears, as various signs of human activity emerge. This is also the reason why it is not just a simple path for those who take pleasure being in nature, but rather a space-time passage from the modern world to the Minoan, Late Minoan, Medieval epoch, conveing an image, of a distant yet parallel life of the people from all these times. Starting from the Minoan path we follow the path that the Minoans made thousands of years ago in order to meet their needs and was used from the local until “the outskirts” of the modern world. Crossing it, we reach the settlement of Azoria, where the ruins reveal the existence of a vibrant city, and near we encounter an olive tree which stands proud for thousands of years thus being the world’s oldest olive tree, demonstrating the man’s interaction with nature on the one hand and the early development of Crete due to the location and climate of Crete in particular on the other. Getting deeper to the gorge of Mesonas, we pass by what we might characterize as a sign of the coexistence of ancient and modern techniques to collect water, giving a complete picture of human “poiein”, as Aristotelis refers to, in order to demonstrate the development of human technique, on this planet. Our trip through the gorge gives us the opportunity to “taste” the wild beauty of Crete as well as the inaccessibility of the terrain which is calling us to overcome it. Further on, we encounter several watermills, which were built during medieval times, and were operating until a few decades ago. These buildings are located at the highest point of the route.
Taking the way back, we discover that the same path seems different, but, undoubtedly, one of equal interest. We discover the Cretan vineyards in the mountains and the source of the delicious wine and tsikoudia, as well as many other goods that the vineyard offers. We can observe the unique way of cultivating the Cretan vineyard, which has not changed for thousands of years, thus connecting with a kind of a single historical time line the nowadays inhabitants of Crete with their ancestors. Leaving the vineyards, we meet the castro- castle of the Late Minoan era, where the lack of roads gives the archaeologists the incentive to speculate the possibility of the inhabitant’s connection via the roofs. The final destination of our trip is the picturesque village of Kavousi, where we see the “nude beauty” of Crete: an area of land with scarce trees and a unique tree cluster found right at the end of the path near the village. Eventually, just before arriving to the last stop we are enchanted , entering the village by the architecture of the old houses, the small alleys that bring people as close, while the church reminds the times of Venetian occupation and the strong influence the latter had upon the Cretan culture and architecture.
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