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Photographer's Note

I think that if someone showed you this photo, you couldn't guess that's somewhere in Greece. This could be in the Caribean or in Polynesia, but that's a "corner" of Greece, alright!

This is the southeastern "edge" of Chrissi island (or "Gaidouronissi"="Donkey island", but locals from Ierapetra simply call it the "Island"="Nisi"), a small exotic island, a tiny paradise, 8-9 miles south of my hometown, Ierapetra. The white sand is created by billions of shells, getting "rubben" for thousands of years. The first time I went there, about 25 years ago, you could still sea billions of shells, but now there are lot less, because of the visitors collecting whole bags of them during the last decades.

At that time, only a few dozen of people visited Chrissi island each day, but now, especially during August the visitors can reach up to 2.000 per day. The boats leave from Ierapetra at 10:30 and 12:30 and return at 16:00 and 17:00. Camping is prohibited (although some locals defy the prohibition and stay there from some days to some months), so you can only stay there for 5-6 hours but once you are there you have to be very careful with the sun. It burns twice, because it is reflected on the white sand. So, enjoy the crystal clear waters, but try to find some shade, too!

The Island is a protected area, because of the existence of the unique Lebanese cedar forest in Europe. Of course, the golden beaches, with crystal clear, blue, turqoise and green waters are the major atraction, but a walk in the forest, is a great experience and an excellent photographic subject. The trunks of the trees (which in fact are huge bushes), take such extraordinary shapes, and so diferent the one from the other, that remind of natural sculptures and could easily be a theme for a photographic exhibition. Besides that, these trees seem like they are trying to teach us a lesson, the way they are struggling to remain alive, with their roots in the air (!), in an inhospitable arid landscape

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Additional Photos by Hercules Milas (Cretense) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5327 W: 74 N: 16998] (68709)
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