Xalepa is a true neighborhood, an old neighborhood with narrow streets and neighbors that have known each other all their lives. The center of the social life of the neighborhood is the main platia of Xalepa which is in front of one of the most beautiful churches in Chania.
Around the platia we find everything we could need, my favorite being the fresh baked goods at the bakery!
But I think some my favorite things about moving to Crete will surprise you.
I don't receive tons of junk mail. I love to receive mail but the situation is hyperbolic in the States especially since I think I should look at every thing received. At the post office box we receive on average maybe six pieces of mail a month. At the house mailbox we receive a few more. Now unfortunately more stores have started paying people to deliver flyers house to house. Sill the number isn't so high and the recycling container for paper is right around the corner.
The telephone isn't ringing all the time with strangers taking surveys, selling something, phone companies, credit card companies and on and on. I made a mistake once and filled out a card for a drawing at a supermarket. After that I received a couple of sales calls so I never fill out anything at the supermarkets even now that they have started using cash cards "for lower prices."
The doctors here are exceptionally good. I'm sure that not "all" the doctors are great but I have found the best. The strange thing is that the doctors want you to keep coming back when you are sick so they can keep track of how you are doing and change your prescription when necessary. That's the way they help lower the need for antibiotics. They try to catch cough and colds right away, after four or five days they want to see the patient again then, as the virus progresses, they can prescribe changes such as for the proper nose spray and they can check your lungs.
Fresh food and lots of variety. It's very easy to eat whole wheat, seeds and nuts from what we buy at the bakery. We can buy fruit and vegetables at the market around the corner or wait for the weekend and buy from our neighbor who has a big truck he parks at the platia from which he sells farms goods. There are lots of organic food stores in town; some of them offer fresh baked food, too.
From my house I could see the sea to the north and the mountains to the south. The first thing I did every morning was to check from the south window and then from the north to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Unfortunately, there are new apartment buildings blocking most of my view to the south now. I did enjoy the view so much when I had the chance.
And before all the new people built apartments and moved into the neighborhood, I enjoyed very much sleeping on the balcony in the summer.
Did you know people still sing songs at the table after an evening out for dinner? Cultures that sing together are the best, I think.