Driving off the beaten track in Crete often brings lovely surprises, and in this post I’ll look back to the time we found the remarkable village, Avdou. Why did we stop there? No idea. I can’t remember if we were driving through the pretty Lagada Valley on our way to or from Lassithi. It is a lovely road with access to for off-roading, horse-riding, hiking, walking and bird-watching.
However, for something completely different, I recommend a visit to Avdou if you’re in the area. Don’t go midday day in July if you’re hungry though, we only found a small supermarket open, and that was the delight.
We hadn’t wandered far before we saw painted ‘shop’ signs. Some, outside a kafenion or shop made sense, others were fixed above empty properties. Once we realised these the signs told the commercial history of the village, the quest was on…
Each sign had a pictorial description and the dates of operation. Some, like the tinner, had closed their doors many years ago, while the most recent I saw had served local folk until 2002. The slide-show below shares a good selection.
Back in Kritsa I showed the photos to a couple of local people and they laughed aloud at this one. No, I didn’t realise, it was the place to get your rams castrated!
There are many empty shops in Kritsa and I’d love to see an initiative like this. Not only would it be a great contribution to local history, it would encourage visitors to wander beyond the main street of shops and imagine what a vibrant village it must have been when people worked and shopped locally.