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Trip Report Trip Report Crete May 2016

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Since we had to suffer a transatlantic flight anyway we decided to fly into Rome for a bucket list visit to Florence and Venice. We live on Vancouver Island so it is a monumental effort to get to Europe. First Nanaimo to Vancouver to Montreal to Rome. We flew Air Canada Rouge in the Premium cabin. I call it faux Business Class. There is no lounge access but the seats are comfortable the meal was good, served on china plates and the wine glass was never empty. We also got I pads to access the in flight entertainment. The only real problem is the seats have a minimal recline so you are sitting up all the way across. Sleepezz and wine takes care of that problem pretty well. I noticed once again that there were several Americans in the Premium cabin. I guess the mighty US dollar makes it economical to fly Air Canada to Europe particularly as these flights land in the morning, direct from Canada.

Chania Crete
We flew to Athens then connected to Chania. Our flight out of Athens was delayed for 45 minutes while we were in the aircraft. Apparently Vladimir Putin arrived and all runways were shut down while his aircraft landed and he deplaned.

Once again we rediscovered our love affair with Chania. No matter how many times we visit the old town and harbour area it just oozes charm. We got our old studio room with Natalie from Pension Nora and headed to the east side of the harbour for an ouzo and people watching as the sun set.
We ate at Amphora on the waterfront. Amphora has good service, an excellent location and good food which is well priced. We shared a Greek Salad and a main of stuffed eggplant with a béchamel sauce with wine 28 E.

On past trips virtually every day one of us would say something incredibly stupid or very funny and we had a good laugh but later on we could never remember what we had said. This year we wrote them all down so I am introducing a new feature to this report.

. Quotes of the day
“Don’t get me wrong I loved Italy but it is so good to be back in Greece” Stan
“It’s perilous if you don’t watch where you are walking on these cobblestones.” Lolly

Next morning I went out to take some pictures of Theotokopoulou Street. We have stayed in this area several times and find it ideal as it is full of life, with hotels, mini marts, gift shops and tavernas but all of it low key. It is just far enough from the activity of the harbour to be quiet at night but close enough that you can be in all the action within a two minute walk . I had a photo album of Theo Street hotels but I realized that I had skipped all the other businesses on the street so I re did the album showing everything. I am hoping that this time I have captured the essence of the area.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632118491316

We spent the rest of the day just wandering the back alleys and found the Saturday street market. It’s such a joy to see all that beautiful produce just glistening in the bright sunshine. We arrived just as the market was winding down and when we bought two oranges the vendor wouldn’t take our money just said “my gift to you.” We bought a bag of cherries and sampled several cheeses. I must say I have never had cheese infused with red peppers before. It was hot. I bought a big chunk. We also found the big permanent market building and bought a supply of Honey raki.

Sunset again found us at a bar with an ouzo, watching the sunset. This night there was a cruise ship just outside the harbour. That added lots of people watching opportunities and after dark there was a fireworks display. Bonus, it was directly in front of our taverna. We ate an excellent dinner at Michalis Restaurant Taverna sharing a large Greek salad and a chicken Santos main plus a liter of wine. Cost 30 E. Thanks to Jwugg for helping me with the English translation of the tavernas Greek name.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157671465596275

Quotes of the day
“I wonder what makes you swell up like that?” Stan
“I am going to have to sit here for a while and let my ankles drain” Lolly
“ We still have rooms available so we have to go out and work the street” Natalie, Pension Nora

Sougia
We took the KTEL bus to Sougia for 8 E each. I have driven this route in the past and only now realize that I really didn’t see very much I had to concentrate on driving. The bus is cheap and a professional does the driving. We had 3 nights at Hotel Oceanis right across the road from the beach. It has been spruced up since our last visit with the room newly painted and new bedding.

We come to Sougia for the peaceful location right on the Libyan Sea. It’s a small village with several little hotels a few tavernas the beach the mountains and the sea. It’s a perfect little get away. The first afternoon we just headed to the beach and found a secluded beach bar, Cafe Seaside Taverna. It had tables and chairs where we could sit in the shade and have a couple of drinks. It was a great place to use as a base for quick dips in the sea. Later we walked around the village checking out tavernas. We chose Rebitko taverna and had our favourite beetroot salad. It’s almost a meal on its own. They have three types of house wine and we chose the Organic one. The meal was outstanding and cost 25E

Quotes of the day
“Do I look like a witch on Vacation?” Lolly
“Well you paid the bill, they probably think I am a kept man.” Stan

Next morning we headed up to the little church of Agia Irini which is a few hundred meters up the mountain. The effects of being a year older and a few pounds heavier quickly became apparent. That was a long hard slog. We ended up essentially doing 100 meter stints and taking a rest break. By the time we reached the church we were soaked in sweat but the view, a rest and some water revived us. We did note that last year there were sheep pens and a spring. This year the spring had dried up and the sheep were gone. We hoped that isn’t a sign of drought. Energized we continued up the road and along a path to see the view but after an hour returned to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.

We stopped at Anchorage and asked if the stuffed mushroom appetizer was being served. They said yes so we promised to return for dinner. However when we arrived they had sold out of stuffed mushrooms. What a disappointment. We told them to hold an order of mushrooms for us the next evening and we would be back by 8:30. We knew Polyfimos had their marinated roast pork special on this evening so we moved over there. They told us they had some of the special left but by the time they took our order it was gone too. We ended up with Pork souvlaki with a wonderful shredded cabbage with guacamole and walnuts. With a liter of wine30E

Quotes of the day
“That was intense my legs are still shaking” Lolly
“I am well below my daily Ouzo ration” Stan

On our last day we saw a sign for the hike up to Lissos Plateau. We thought we would give it a go. It’s not a path it’s a climb over boulders up the side of the mountain. I went up a few meters and think I could have continued but Lolly has a bit of a back issue and refused to start the climb. With my bad knee I am sure I could have made it up but coming down; not a chance. So we defaulted to a day at the Cafe Seaside and the beach. For dinner we got our stuffed mushrooms plus a lettuce salad and stuffed red peppers. 28E

Quotes of the day.
“That picture of the girl in the thong may very well cost you your “safe “designation on Flickr” Lolly
“No I don’t want to visit the Naturalist resort” Lolly

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Agia Romeuli and Chora Sfakion

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