Alkionides Days and Kefalas, Apokoronas on Crete

Only 5 km from Vamos, you will find the lovely village of Kefalas. It is located at a height of approximately 350 meters and therefore the highest village of the area Apokoronas. That might be the reason why the Cretans named the village Kefalas, which means “head”. If you take a stroll through the village with its narrow alleys, you can still see the strong impact that the Venetians had on this village: many wells, Venetian walls and buildings still exist. The church of the Holy Cross also dates back to the Venetian times.

Kefalas has several other beautiful churches, like the church of Agios Georgios with its stunning views to the White Mountains of Crete. From this church you can take a track downhill and walk through the amazing countryside towards the nearby village of Paleloni, another name that can be translated. Paleloni means “old threshing circle”. It comes from two Greek words: “palio” = old and “aloni” = threshing circle. In this area, a few “koumos” can be seen too. A “koumos” is an old stone-structure that was used as a place where the shepherds could take shelter during wintertime.

In January, on a sunny day, you can already smell the earliest flowers in blossom. I always feel happy when I see those colorful flowers, the blue sky and the magnificent White Mountains.

Why are there so many sunny days in January? It is wintertime but it sometimes feels like springtime. I have to think of the Greek mythology telling us about the “Alkionides” or Halcyon days. The myth says that Alcyone, daughter of the god of the wind, Aeolus, did not marry the son of a god, but the son of the earthly king Ceyx. The man drowned during a storm and Alcyone felt so much grief that she threw herself from the rocks and drowned as well. The gods showed compassion and transformed the love couple into kingfishers. The god Aeolus ensured that in January warm and sunny days were given to the kingfisher so they could lay their eggs on the rocks.

I love stories like this. It makes me enjoy my walks in the sun even more!Image

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