I am trying to steer this blog away from Greek politics (a depressing subject) and the Greek crisis (it’s summer, swimming in the sea is free and there are plenty of tourists who are bringing some much needed revenue so “the crisis” is not as present as it was throughout winter and spring). One thought I had was to start showing a monthly flower photo: one flower a month, something that can be found in Crete during the specific month.
I think that there is no better flower to start with than thyme. Thyme defines the smell of Crete (together with other herbs such as oregano and marjoram). You can smell it as soon as you get off the plane in Chania. It even drowns out the smell of airplane fuel on the airport tarmac.
Thyme grows from sea level all the way up to the alpine zone (around 1800m). You can see the very first flowering bushes in late May (at sea level in warm south facing areas) but its main flowering time is July where it can cover entire hill sides in pink. It is the most important flower for honey production. Many consider thyme honey to be the best honey in the world and it commands much higher prices than any other honey, so beekeepers make sure to move their hives near areas where a lot of thyme is flowering.