PARADISE AMONG THE ROCKS

 

The beaches on Crete are striking for the clarity of the Mediterranean Sea.  It comes across as truly glass-like. At Balos beach, sea and sky paint infinite variations of blue.  From water to sky, the appears an entire rainbow composed of gradations of blue, like someone pulled the turquoise color chart out of a Pantone book.  Strolling at the water's edge, every ten feet the temperature of the water changes dramatically. In one spot it is uncomfortably cold, and a few feet later, scalding.  This array of micro-climates comes through in the pictures as the water moves from blue to yellow to brown. The colors tell a story of temperature and texture.
Preveli beach is hard to access.  Arriving is like stumbling into paradise.  The beach is at the mouth of a river which winds its way through a rocky gorge.  Passing through the treacherous and almost desert bramble of the gorge, the last thing you expect to find at the mouth of the river is two perfect rows of palm trees.  Gazing at the crystal clear turquoise water, the ocean appears jewel-like, and yet the rock-strewn ocean floor is alarmingly painful to walk on. Preveli is a wonderful play of contrasts, the discovery of a hidden treasure.
Elafonisi beach sits right in front of a row of mountains. On this particular day, foreboding clouds hung above, challenging those foolish enough to think they had found a beautiful summer escape.  All day I anticipated the arrival of rain. It never came. The beach stayed sunny and hot. The dark gray hanging over the brightly lit beach was as unsettling and surreal at the time as it seems in the images.