Monday, October 14, 2013


Dear Friends,

Nestled in the foothills of Crete, only 30 minutes from the Heraklion Airport and only 15 minutes from the beaches of Amoudara, are the Villas Eleftheria (meaning “Liberty”), Kalithea (meaning “Good View”), and Irini (meaning “Peace”).  The beauty and serenity of these Villas can stand alone, but one additional factor that makes them even more special is that they belong to two of our own.  The Crete Family Villas, Eleftheria, Kalithea and Irini, belong to Andrew (Andy) and Jocelyne Kerrigan.  Andy was assigned to the 2115th Communications Squadron at Iraklion Air Station from 1980 until 1985.  Andy worked atop Mount Edheri at the site better known to most of us as “Tropo”.  After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, Andy now works for the Federal Aviation Administration and Jocelyne works as a school teacher.

Andy and Jocelyne built these three villas in 2005 on the edge of the little picturesque village of Pendamodi.  It is a small, quiet village with a population of about 250 inhabitants.  On any given day, you can walk through the village and see old men passing time by playing backgammon (tavli) outside kafeneios (coffee houses) while women shop in the markets buying the freshest of vegetables and meats for the daily meals.  The only sounds that emanate from the village and the surrounding area are the bleating of sheep or goats, the occasional automobile that passes through, and the delightful cries of children playing European football (soccer).

In 2012, I had the very distinct pleasure of visiting Pendamodi and the Crete Family Villas of Eleftheria, Kalithea and Irini along with my Dutch friends, Hans and Henni, and Theo and Coby.  Jocelyne stood waiting to greet us at the door of the Villa Eleftheria.  Villa Eleftheria is situated on one level and can be easily navigated by small children and those with mobility limitations.  The interior of Villa Eleftheria reflects a warm and inviting atmosphere, accented by stone and wood and exposed beams.  There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms and can easily accommodate up to a total of six people.  This villa is well-appointed with a corner stone fireplace, satellite T.V., Wi-Fi access, DVD and CD players, a dining area and a fully equipped kitchen with a full-sized cooker, microwave oven, dishwasher, refrigerator/freezer, toaster, kettle and a coffee maker.  There is also a washing machine in one of the bathrooms.  Outside, there is a shaded terrace overlooking the private swimming pool, which is the perfect place to enjoy that morning cup of coffee or just to sit and contemplate the surrounding beauty of the vineyards and olive groves, or the hills and valleys below.

Because the other two villas, Kalithea and Irini, were occupied, we were unable to go inside; however, Jocelyne escorted us around the outside of these two beautiful villas.  Both are on two levels.  Villa Kalithea boasts of having two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and can accommodate up to six people easily.  Villa Irini is a little larger and features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and can sleep up to eight people comfortably.  If the interiors of Villas Kalithea and Irini are anything like Villa Eleftheria, then they must also be absolutely gorgeous inside!  I might also add that Villas Kalithea and Irini each has its own private swimming pool just as does Villa Eleftheria.  And, just to make the stay more enjoyable, Crete Family Villas are situated at an elevation of 335 meters or 1,100 feet.  This makes for even lower humidity and cooler temperatures during those hot summer months!

The little village of Pendamodi reminded me of the small mountain villages that I used to visit in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when I was also stationed on Crete.  There is a relaxed atmosphere that speaks of a time gone by...a time when herds of sheep or goats sometimes blocked the roads...a time when old men sat sipping wine or raki while deftly twirling their worry beads (komboloi) through their fingers...a time when every meal was not just for eating, but a time for socializing...a time when time was not measured by the hands on a clock, but by the smiles that were etched in memories and laughter that echoed endlessly throughout the adjacent hills and valleys below.

So, when you are planning your next trip to Crete and you want to stay at a place where you can get a genuine feel for the local Cretan culture and customs, and a place that is relaxing, slower paced, and surrounded by nature, please give the Crete Family Villas serious consideration.  For more photographs of Crete Family Villas, or for additional details regarding availability and prices, please go to the following website:  And for additional information, or if you simply would like to re-establish contact with your Air Force friends, Andy and Jocelyne Kerrigan, you can E-Mail them at the following address:  I am sure they would love to hear from any of you who might remember them from when they were assigned to Iraklion Air Station.  When you contact them, just tell them that “Bob Armistead” sent you!

"Click" on any photo below to obtain a larger image.

Your Friend and Fellow “Silent Warrior”,

Bob Armistead

Jocelyne Kerrigan stands waiting to greet us
just outside the Villa Eleftheria.
View of the Villa Eleftheria.


Swim or just relax by the private pool
 of Villa Eleftheria.
Spacious Master bedroom with double
bed in the Villa Eleftheria.


Shower and sink off the
master bedroom of the
Villa Eleftheria.
    Two single beds provide comfort
    in the second bedroom of
    Villa Eleftheria.
The full bath provides all amenities
in the Villa Eleftheira.
Whether you are a "sometimes" cook
or a full-blown chef, you'll find
everything you need in the well-
equipped kitchen in the
Villa Eleftheria.


The ever-consummate hostess,
Jocelyne Kerrigan entertains guests
in the spacious living area
of the Villa Eleftheria.
The beautiful fireplace in
the corner of the living
area of the Villa Eleftheri

Lovely Villa Kalithea waits for you
at the end of a beautifully
landscaped path.
Villa Kalithea offers that rare
balance between convenience
and privacy.


Villa Kalithea sleeps
 six comfortably and
boasts of its own private
swimming pool.

Beautiful Villa Irini sleeps up to 8
guests comfortably and is situated
on gorgeous landscaped grounds.

Just one of the many captivating views
enjoyed by guests at the
Crete Family Villas!
You can swim, relax at poolside, or
simply enjoy the distant vistas from
the Villa Irini.


1 comment:

Lynn Beene said...

Hi Bob,

I've been thinking about going back to Crete since I left in 1973. Hard to believe it's been 40 years. Always glad to see your posts. Great pictures and blog. Keep the faith!

Lynn Beene

X1 - Able Flt., Crete I.A.S. (1971-1973)