After a day of sunshine, the artists and facilitators of the residency in Agios Ioannis all met up close to a trail that would lead us on the path through the neighboring mountains. In the distance, we could hear the bells of goats that wandered on the mountain side. Nothing can erase the visuals of the setting sun over the distant hillside - it was simply breathtaking.
Six months have passed since this unique experience but I can still smell the thyme and lavender that grows on the winding path we walked up and down the mountain. We spent a few moments admiring the little chapel when we made it up the first portion of the mountain before making our way back down the spiraling dirt road. I was continuously dazzled by the purple hues in the sky and fascinated by the archeological ruins and the hints of caves buried at the top of the vast hills. I still remember tripping over my feet as we carried on the three-hour hike to our final destination - Monastiraki.
Monastiraki is a little village located on the opposite side of the mountain from Agios Ioannis. We made our way to the small and cozy taverna where we prepared to eat another amazing feast with great company. As we sat on that balcony, we could hear the cicadas chiming in the distance and see glimmers of lights starting to brighten in the distance. We could see the curvatures of the island when peering out towards the Aegean Sea, as though distance was non-existent, almost like you could reach the farthest point in just a short walk. The thought of reaching every peak came to me often. Crete is a treasure that I want to keep uncovering.
To view or purchase a painting inspired by my journey to Monastiraki, please click here.