John Sooklaris’ Latest Video Crete 1961

I just had an email from John Sooklaris that said:

Ray, If I had realized that these movies that I sat and watched when I was a kid, and fell asleep to, as my father would show them to all of our relatives, time and time again, would create such interest in the world, I would have posted them a long time ago when my father was alive. Alas, I am happy with the interest that we have received by people like yourself, and my mother is, no doubt, flattered by the interest as well. Yes, I just happened to visit your site yesterday, before receiving this message and even changed the one about Akrotiri in which you said I was confused. I wasn’t really confused, but just ignorant to all of the places in these videos. With the help of people, like yourself, we’ll get this all straightened out so we can properly inform our viewers. But I did take your word for it and changed it to the Agia Triada in Akrotiri. I will read your other comments on the other videos as well, as I do care about the quality of information that I post. Thanks for your help, as I continue to post the remaining videos from that time. John Sooklaris

Here is the latest video from John – part 1 0f 2:

I don’t recognise the first memorial, but the second after a minute or so is certainly the memorial south of Hania on the Omalos road at the Alikiarnos junction. This is a memorial to those dead in the last war when the Germans occupied Crete. There is listed the names of those killed in around five local villages. In the basement of this memorial is a glass ossuary containing many skulls of those killed, each with a bullethole over the right ear.

Later in this movie I see the hospital in Rethymnon which was newly built in those days. The big ceremony/festival near the end of the movie is certainly in Eleftheriou Square (Freedom Square) in Iraklion. That’s the one with all the crowds and marching soldiers. If you watch carefully you will see the Iraklion Morosini  Fountain twice.

Here is part 2 of 2 of this film.

The first part of this film is obviously a trip eastwards from Iraklion towards Agios Nicholas. The first part of the film is a stop at St Georges church in the gorge of Selinari near the village of Vrahassi. I remember this place on the first bus I took when I arrived in Crete going to Agios Nicholas. No Cretan can pass this shrine without stopping. The whole busload got out and said a quiet prayer here.

Most of the rest of the film is taken in Agios Nicholas – you can clearly see the small lake with the boats that connects to the sea. The final part of the film is I feel taken on a trip to the Lassiti Plateau – you can see the windpumps/windmills.

If any of you out there can do better than me and identify more of the places in the film, of which there may be several, then I and John would be grateful. Please post a comment.

I would appreciate it and so would John Sooklaris. In memory of his father who took these great films.

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Blogger to blogger in Crete

I had the great pleasure today to meet Jane of Jane’s Vrahassi and spent a good time talking with her, her husband David and George who is apparently known by some as ‘little legs.’ David is a great guy and we got on with him very well and swapped some stories and enjoyed their excellent source of red wine which is apparently delivered to them every week. How good can it get?

jane.jpg
Here’s Jane.

George is fun too. We were discussing how many people there actually are who live in Crete at the moment. According to George it is over a million. I said no, that cannot be. I would say that it is six to seven hundred thousand at least. Jane, ever practical, went into her office and looked it up. Two years ago it was six hundred and thirty thousand. Fair enough!

But not good enough for George. He told us that with all the Albanians, Romanians, Bulgarians, English, Italian, French and whatever nationality that had been flooding into Crete this year, it is at least a million. Well people do come to the island to work, but they do not become residents we said. Another glass of wine with the associated toasts and other cordialities and the discussion continued. In fact it might have continued for ever. Who knows?

But back to Jane who has had her blog and its sister for some years now – by the way the other blog is Janes poetry and is linked to her site. Anyway there are very few bloggers in Crete and fewer in English and Jane is one of the best. She lives with her husband and her neighbour ex-partner but good friend George who is a shepherd from time to time as well as a local politician as well as various other things, but whatever it rolls on. Jane and David have been many years in Crete and their village is Vrahassi, the place that adopted them. Jane has put her British senses to work and has now produced a brochure called Anavlohos Walks and it is all in English, has lots of photos and information about the various walks that Jane does.There is the monastery walk, the local archeological walk and the village history walk. They all look very tempting and who knows I might comply one day when the wine runs low and the stars cease to shine, but that is just me and we live a long way away. In fact it took over two hours to get home on the national road, the famous motorway of Crete. Oh, and I drive too fast probably.

But the walks aren’t arduous and I do recommend them. Jane can be found in Vrahassi – which is just after Malia on the national road to Agios Nicholas. Look for the signs to Vrahassi. Get a brochure and go for a walk. Or just have a glass of the excellent red wine and you may find that Crete takes over, a meal in Janes Cafe – the Revolution Cafe – and you may feel the contentment you seek.

Crete is like that, all the time.