Yesterday finally we had some time, and of course we went out for caching at a beautiful spring day. We visited and founded a special cache Paliama old olive tree. I feel nice and special when I am closed to these ancient trees this is why I have 6 caches around these historical trees all over Crete.
Here is a little article about olive trees and oil.
Nothing is more characteristic of Crete than the millions of olive trees that grow in valleys and mountainous areas. Cretans have been cultivating the olive tree and have been using olive oil since 3500 BC during the early Minoan period, as archaeological findings have proved.
The olive tree (Olea Europea) is one of the few trees that can still produce fruits even in rocky and unproductive land. Olea’s main characteristic is its longevity and the preservation of its productivity
The olive tree has been the symbol of wisdom and peace. The olive tree was the sacred tree of goddess Athena and Athens, the capital of Greece, took its name from the goddess. Zeus had decreed that the city should be given to the god who offered the most useful gift to the people. Poseidon gave them the horse. Athena struck the bare soil with her spear and caused an olive tree to spring up. The people were so delighted with the olive that Zeus gave the city to Athena and named it after her. Athena is often shown with an olive branch, a symbol of peace and plenty.
At the Ancient Olympic Games, winners were presented with a simple olive tree branch which was cut with a gold-handled knife from a wild olive tree. The Greeks believed that the vitality of the sacred tree was transmitted to the recipient through the branch.
The olive oil is still being used for medical purposes and religious purposes and it has been proved to be an essential ingredient of a healty diet. As a monosaturated fatty acid, olive oil does not have the same cholesterol-raising effect of saturated fats. Olive oil is also a good source of antioxidants. Olive oil, unlike seed oils, remains stable in its chemical structure at relatively high temperatures because of its antioxidant and high oleic acid content.
We hided our first olive tree cache at Kavousi at Lassithi region. It has 137 finds till today.
The second cache is the Vuves tree at Chania region. Till now this is my favorite. It is the most impressive of all.
One friend of us found a tree at Chania region also, and we adopted his cache. This olive tree is interesting because it is not only old but very high also.
Another interesting tree is the olive of Tripodu in Rethimno region. It is located in a very small village. This is the cache with the most fun until now. The most of the cachers who have found it have met the owner also and had some coffee with him. It is great not only for them but for the owner too. You can see many photos of the owner with the lucky cachers on the cache site.
Another one in Heraklion region is located near Panassos village. It was difficult to find it and this is my second most beautiful.
The last which we placed (till now) is near the archeological site of Gortyna. This tree is special because his trunk is holding a roman column. This area and in the archeological site have a few more olives at the same ages, and the cache is in one of them. Because of that it has become a very popular cache.
The last cache was placed by pezoporikos at Paliama village in Heraklion region. It is an easy multi and it is located at a hidden place. It is difficult to find these places and trees without geocaching.
All these trees have been named “monument olive trees” by <<sedik>>, a Greek organization for the oil and olive trees in Greece and Cyprus. In Crete there are five more trees so we still have work to do.
We hope people, cachers or not, will visit these places. They are beautiful and full of history.
We placed a few caches also at old olive mills, but this is another story, for next time.