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Crete: Hania Prefecture Overview Page Fifteen

Back towards the west of Chania

map Vrysses and Theriso gorgeBack towards the west (inland) is the town of Vrysses (which means 'springs' or 'taps') on the main road south of Kalami, but is also at the junction of the old road and for the road to the south. This town sits on the banks of the Almyros River from Hania, was the hometown of Venizelos' mother, and it was here that the 1905 Revolutionary Assembly was held that led to Crete's finally becoming part of Greece in 1913. The Theriso gorge is near here. There's good hiking both in this lesser gorge though, with it's pretty spots, and in general around this area. You can hike to Meskla from Theriso, a rough walk but not unenjoyable.

Continuing on the road (if you are driving) you'll pass through the ridge-top village of Sourva, with spectacular views, the beautiful village of Meskla below it in the Keritis valley, with a stream and fertile agricultural land with orange groves. There are some nice chapels around here, with frescoes. There is a much-repeated story (more of a legend) , about the Kandanolean revolt, said to have happened in Meskla, which is told differently by different people, the common thread being the wedding of a Cretan leader named Kandanoleon with a daughter of the Venetian nobility and the treachery on the part of the Venetians, who murdered the the drunken Cretan wedding guests, thus re-asserting Venetian hegemony. According to one version, the wedding was the Venetians idea, after a Cretan conquest-the offering of a noble Venetian bride an act to symbolize their submission to the Cretan victory-- but in fact a ruse, which ended with them drugging the wine of their victims and cutting their throats. Another version has it that Kandanoleon had been running a rebel government under Venetian rule, and himself arranged to marry his son to the daughter of a Venetian aristocrat. In this version the wedding guests got themselves adequately drunk enough to be captured as they slept and the leaders taken off and hanged.

There's a large agricultural cooperative in Fournes farther down the road and the birthplace of Venizelos at Mournies.

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