Travel destination or life itself?
Today I want to talk to you about a small village that is very special to me.
It is called "Lastros" and you can find it at the northeast part of the island of Crete, in Greece. It is not a major touristic attraction, it is not an economic or cultural center for the whole region, it doesn't even have enough residents to call it a thriving village, but it is very important to me since it is my home :)
Hugged by craggy mountains and unseen by the sea, Lastros has been inhabited for thousands of years. The name itself originates to the Mycenaean era, long before the rise of Ancient Greece. There are no big monuments to manifest its long historical roots but I can assure you that it is a place with very strong energy that can only be felt.
Before World War II there were around 500 people living here, occupying themselves with farming, stock-breeding, fishing and hunting. All of that in small scale, just enough to support the families in the village. Cultivable land was formed on the steep hillsides with intense labor and collective work. Everybody was planting a big variety of trees, vegetables and grain, while they supported a few animals so that they can fulfill their needs. As I perceive it, the village and the land around it, was running as a large homestead.
At the end of the war the people of Lastros followed the big migration wave that had began. Most of the teenagers and young men and women left the village seeking for a better life. It was only the parents of that generation that stayed behind, giving their blessings to their expat offspring.
Nowadays there are less than 40 people living permanently in the village but the ones that left haven't forgot it. Although there are a few houses in bad shape (which I love taking pictures of) most of the village is well preserved and capable to accommodate almost 400 people and that really happens in August! On top of that Lastros has maintained almost the same look that it had 100 years ago which makes it one of the most beautiful villages of Crete.
If you are thinking what on earth can one do in a small village like that, think again! First of all if you try to revitalize farm land that has been left uncultivated for 40 years (like I do) you have your hands full for many years! Add to that some beekeeping and gathering volunteer herbs and you'll never get bored! On the other hand hiking is in our doorstep. We have excellent routes all around the village and we can spend a day in the mountain as easy as if we were going to the city park. And apart from all of that, social gatherings are happening all the time with every possible excuse. A service in a remote chapel, a fair or even some of the seasonal works like the distillation of "raki', are only a few of the numerous excuses for starting a fiesta!
If you feel like taking a look in this kind of life you can check out some of my previous posts that are related to my stay here:
And although it started as a travel post it turned out to be quite personal so I'll consider it as the third (and final?) part of my introduction post :)
You can find the first and the second part below!
Thank you for reading!
Commenting, upvoting and resteeming are highly appreciated!