There are many variations to the spelling. It's pronounced as Anoyia but you often find it written as Anogeia or Anogia. The town is located up on the mountains where the main occupation for the locals is agriculture or sheep husbandry to be exact. Surprise, surprise considering all the baaaing I'd heard everywhere around us. Now the Cretans eat the produce they toil and reap. So what's on the menu where sheep and dairy farming is king? Yes, you've got it. Lamb. Lamb souvlaki. Grilled lamb. Grilled lamb chop. Spit roasted lamb. Slabs of meat. Steve was in meat heaven. He ate L's and my share. He ate for his country. Let's just say I haven't touched red meat since.
What I hadn't realized was how cold it was compared to Iraklion. By nightfall, the temperature had dropped down to almost 14 degree Celcius. However, the view of the stark and rugged mountains from the upper village was awe-inspiring.
A few curious locals sauntered over to chat while I was photographing the sunset. They couldn't understand why I found the scenery all that interesting. You'll still see elderly men dressed in black complete with leather boots, katsuna (stick) and headgear. They wear black to mourn for their relatives who were slain during World war 2. Anoyia was nearly completely destroyed by the Germans. According to Vasilis, an owner of a local taverna, the Germans dropped masses of bombs from the planes and the town was burned to the ground. Their men were hunted down and executed. His 15 year old cousin was killed too.
What amazed me was their resilience. These days, Anoyia is a wealthy town and unlike many other villages in Crete, they don't rely on tourism. They also like their gigantic Toyota pick up trucks, Mercedes, Audi and BMW. It was impossible to find an old rickety car parked on the streets.
Although we were often stared at as they normally don't get a lot of tourists traipsing through their town, most of the locals were exceedingly kind. One elderly lady walked into the produce shop and bought us some oranges. Aristea of Aristea Hotel prepared us a light lunch when we arrived. Vasilis' son gave us a bottle of fresh milk. Straight from the cow he'd milked a short while before and right into a bottle.
The older men would sit outside the kafeneio sipping greek coffee, swinging their worry beads and chat the day away.
It's a pretty town with a profusion of flowers on every corner.
Weddings are a particularly big event in Anoyia where everyone gets involved. To celebrate the lucky couple's nuptial, they would whip out their guns and shoot a few rounds in the air.
Crochet head scarf I've seen on men