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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 January 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 JANUARY 2019 13 TRAVEL the mountain and the sea Between Reclaiming the village. Work began on building Thalori in 2001. One of the 20 traditional houses that make up Thalori. Marcos and Popi Skordilakis - founders of Thalori Retreat. and it was at Tin that in April 1942, SOE operative Tom Dunbabin set foot on the island. Weeks later, the first special operations unit was inserted at Zinc to carry out sabotage Thalori Retreat is the perfect place to wonder at the legends that saturate the Asterousia… attacks on German airfields. The same boat picked up dozens more soldiers on-the-run - including a 20-year-old Australian aboriginal infantryman called Reg Saunders. A month later, the British officer who would become SOE's most famous agent on Crete, Patrick Leigh Fermor, landed at Zinc, to begin his first tour of duty. These are just a few of the operations undertaken along this coast; many more took place throughout the occupation. All the while, it was the Cretan Resistance who supported the British agents ashore, and who guided the soldiers to the evacuation points. It was on these beaches, in the dead of night, that deep, lifelong friendships, between andarte and agent began, and it was here that poignant farewells were made, between those leaving and those who stayed behind. These stories are what makes visiting the Asterousia beaches an almost sacred journey. Here, beyond this landscape's rugged beauty, its pristine nature, its gorges and hiking trails, its hawks hanging in the wind - is a place where freedom has been fought for, across the centuries. Thalori Retreat is the perfect place to wonder at the legends that saturate the Asterousia, but you don't have to be a history buff to appreciate this remarkable destination. Marcos Skordilakis and his wife Popi have built a place to savour authentic Crete. Here is tranquility in a stunning natural environment, with great traditional Cretan food and fine accommodation. With its farm and stables (home to 14 horses), its meandering mountain paths, Thalori is a delight for families and children - a place for unforgettable adventures and learning nature's ways. Set between the mountain and the shimmering sea, Thalori reminds us of the essence of Crete - spirituality, generosity and inspiring history. To find out more about Thalori Retreat and the Asterousia coast go to: www.thalori.com * With thanks to Marcos and Popi Skordilakis, and Ian Frazer - coauthor of 'On The Run - Escape Kapetaniana - faith and freedom. With a resident population today of barely 100, the village of Kapetaniana was founded around a monastery which dates back to the early period of the Venetian era. Today the monastery’s tiny church is the only building that survives. Built around 1400, the Church of Panagia contains some of the most important examples of Byzantine art in Greece, painted by settlers from Constantinople. During Crete’s occupation by the Ottomans the monastery was abandoned in 1744, but following the Daskalogiannis Revolt some 30 years later, the village once again began to grow, with migrants from the Sfakia region making the area their new home. A bastion of resistance, it was called ‘Mikra Sfakia’ before being renamed Kapetaniana (the place of the captains) in the 19th century to honour the inhabitants’ heroic actions against the Turks.
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