Mohos is located on the hills above Stalis, approximately 37 km east of Heraklion, while Krasi is located 8 km past Mochos, on the way to Lassithi Plateau.
map of Stalis, Mohos, Krasi
It’s 9 am Saturday morning and Haris’ black Honda Transalp motorbike is ready for another run in Crete. We load the cameras and the maps and put our helmets and jackets on. Haris starts the engine and we set off.
Five minutes later we make a short stop in order to buy a few rolls of film. It’s 9:15 and Iraklion is being left behind as we take the road to Hersonissos. It’s a fine, warm day, so warm that we doubt if this trip was the right choice; perhaps going to the sea would have been a better idea…
Fifteen minutes later we notice a policeman on the right side of the road signalling us to pull over. These meetings with the traffic police are never really pleasant and it proves true for one more time. According to the traffic radar our speed had 104 Km/hour instead of the allowed maximum speed of 70 km/hour! The part of the road that we were travelling on is so straight that it was easy for us to forget the speed limit. It seems that we were not the only ones who had forgotten about the limit as, one after another, more cars are pulled over to learn about their violation of the speed limit. After a short lecture and a fine, we are back on the road trying not to allow this incident to spoil our good mood.
A few minutes later we enjoy a panoramic view of the Hersonissos area. It does look crowded with all these hotels and other buildings but it still looks nice from up here (the new road that bypasses Gouves and Hersonissos). Soon Hersonissos and Stalis are left behind and we turn right to Mohos. It’s a road full of curves that ascends on the steep hill above Stalis. The view is getting better and better and it’s always a pleasure to drive here, especially late in the evening.
We take a break at the central square of Mohos for some photos of this picturesque little town. Mohos preserves some of its traditional style and it’s quite pleasant to spend some time here if you happen to be in the vicinity of Hersonissos, Stalis or Malia. Keep in mind that a traditional Cretan night is arranged for every Wednesday night.
We keep driving past Mohos and we make one or two stops to enjoy the view of the Avdou valley beneath us. Avdou is a small town and many preserved traditional houses can be found if you wander around the narrow streets off the main road.. There are several nice kafeneia (cafes) but my particular favourite will always be Mrs. Erofilli’s because of her delicious omelette with fried potatoes (the Cretan omelet).
We follow the sign to Krasi and soon we enter the pretty village. We drive all the way to the main square of the village, there where the huge “platanos” (plane or sycamore) tree is.
“It probably is more than 1000 years old”, says Mr. Alexakis who has chosen a spot by the old aqueduct in order to sell his bottled raki. We couldn’t wait until our coffee was served before taking the opportunity to sample the raki. The tree is really huge and its cool shadow is a real joy especially in such a warm day. Some tourists appear occasionally, they draw some fresh water from the old aqueduct, look at the tree with amazement and take plenty of photos. There are several kafeneia (cafes) in the village as well as some tavernas; Krasi is famous for the tasty grilled meat that is served here. selling raki in Krasi
Thirty minutes later, one roll of film and some information about the paths in this area we put our helmets back on and drive to Lasithi Plateau. As we drive out of town the old rhyme above the spring is still in my mind:
“Thinking, Knowledge and Beauty met together many years ago in the many leaves of the plane-tree in Krasi. Humanity, Prosperity, Justice and Freedom were moving like wild branches inside those leaves”