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In mid November to mid December 2007, I went to Crete with a friend.
We flew Easy-jet from Gatwick to Athens and took the ferry from Piraeus (the port serving Athens) to Souda the adjoining town to our first destination of Chania. The ferries are comfortable and good value and the most popular routes run all year.
There are so many nice images of Crete on the hard drive, I had difficulty choosing which to share with you.
I had never been to Greece before and Chania was an instant favourite. I loved the elegant harbour-front and the lighthouse at the end of the long curving breakwater. Although we came at the very end of the tourist season, the weather was lovely apart from a few days of rain later on in our trip. We sat by the harbour front and drank cool beer or fresh squeezed orange juice depending on the time of day! A few evenings we went to hear traditional folk music in the few bars that were still offering music in the late season.
The first guest-house we stayed at was in the narrow main tourist area, and bit noisy due to a nearby jazz bar that kept late hours, but we went exploring on the bus the following few days on the routes that were still running, then went to stay at Rethymno for a while before returning to Chania and staying at a lovely guest-house at the far end of the harbour that we had noticed on our first visit. For most days we were the only guests and had the rooftop shared kitchen and terrace to ourselves. It was great (and cheap) to shop at the vegetable market and enjoy our own style of veggie cuisine and wine from the supermarket, whilst watching the sun set over the lovely harbour.
We discovered a gem of a restaurant called Tamam, with a North African style of cooking and décor set in a converted old Hamam in Chania old town and enjoyed dinner with very good wine there on a number of nights; feeling very much “on holiday” and enjoying our special treat!
Another highlight of the trip was helping with the olive harvest at the small holding belonging to the grandfather of the owners of our first guest house. The farmer was 81 and as fit as a fiddle. Although we couldn’t communicate directly with him, his sense of humour and good nature was infectious – a grand old man in the truest sense. Olives are fascinating as well as tasty – I love them even more now I have some knowledge of how they grow and are processed to end up in starring roles in my salads.
We returned to Athens and stayed a while – I shall write more about that on another page and show some images.
The trip has prompted me to take another trip to Greece. This time I will travel by train from Paris to Venice, ferry from Venice to Corfu, then ferry to Crete via Piraeus and back by the same route.
No flying will be a big bonus. All the security checks have made flying no fun at all!