I have had a few eye problems this winter . As a result I have become even more aware of the need to protect eyes from the strong Mediterranean sun. I own high quality, very dark glasses for walking on snow and ice but they are not really appropriate for daily use and certainly not for driving (too dark).
I was pretty clear about what I wanted: larger frame than my current ones so that they can also give me some protection from glare coming from the sides, dark lenses, as dark as possible considering that I also want to use them for driving, and preferably polarization. I also wanted them made out of glass so that the lenses would not scratch too easily. And all in a good quality frame because being out a lot I use these things all year round and cutting corners is a false economy.
I had already decided that I wasn’t going to find what I wanted in Chania so I went to my usual optician planning to get them made to order (choose a frame and the glasses separately – even though I was not looking for corrective glasses), willing to spend a lot of money and possibly have to wait some time in order to get THE RIGHT PAIR.
I started explaining what I wanted and why and after 4 sentences the owner interrupted me and said “I have exactly what you want and it’s here” and grabbed a pair of glasses on a small display right in front of where we were standing. Had I not been in this shop many times before my reaction would have been to think “Bullshit, you don’t want to listen and are trying to sell me the first thing that comes to hand” but I have been a customer for years and I was willing to believe her. It was a grey dull evening outside, not ideal for trying sunglasses but I bought them anyway as they were comfortable, a bit large on my face but I wanted them large so have to accept that. It’s a brand I never heard of, called Maui Jim and the model that she picked for my needs is called Peahi. Not cheap, I paid 200 Euro (twice as much as what I have been willing to spend on sunglasses until now), but the reviews I saw online after I got home were full of praise.
Well, the test came the next day on a walk to the very tip of the Gramvousa peninsula. It was a clear day, warm and slight wind. Driving there along the National Road and through Kissamos I noticed that contrast was better than with my older sunglasses and appreciated the fact that the glasses are a little darker at the periphery which protects you from glare and stray sunlight without darkening the central vision unnecessarily. Nice touch and makes driving safer.
Once on the walk came the revelation: the lagoon of Balos look impressive most of the time but this was like watching it in 3D. Every shade of the sea, was really intense, all lines were crisply defined against the sky. WOW! The frame sat well and didn’t feel heavy (even though it is not a small frame) and it protected the sides quite well from wind and sun. That can make them feel a bit warm at times but pulling them a little away from the face sorts this out when needed. And here comes my only small criticism: the black frame is really well made but in a glossy finish and that can throw a little of stray light in the sides when the glasses are not siting flush against your face. Not a huge problem but if there was a choice (there isn’t) I’d prefer matte frames. Maybe not as good looking but less stray light.
I have been wearing them for 3 days now and I still can’t get over how everything looks so much better. I just keep going WOW at every turn in the road.
So if you need new sunglasses and want to experience Crete at it’s best 🙂 check them out and maybe treat yourself to Maui Jim Peahi with grey lenses and black frames.