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Trip Report Trip Report Western Crete, Paros and Naxos 2015

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Trip Report Western Crete, Paros and Naxos 2015

We visited Greece for the 13th time from mid May until Mid June. We wanted this trip to be all about the places we liked best from past trips with a few new locations thrown in for fun.

We arrived in Chania Crete, jet lagged but full of Adrenalin after 24 hours and 5 flights. At times like this I sometimes wonder at the wisdom of living on Vancouver Island in the far west of Canada and making Greece our favourite holiday destination. I envy the Europeans that can hop a flight and three hours later are in Greece.

This trip we chose not to rent a car so we hopped the bus and were in Chania by 7. Chania has lost none of its charm. It is wonderful to walk down Theotokopoulou Street and immediately become immersed in history. Again we were staying at Pension Nora only this year Natalie had a surprise for us. They have added a three story traditional Cretan house complete with a kitchen and a shower on the first floor. The bathroom and a sitting room were on the second floor and the bedroom and balcony on the third floor. I think 400 years ago Cretans were much smaller than today as I managed to whack my head going down the stairs a couple of times. It’s a perfect location and is quiet at night but less than a two minute stroll to the main harbour.

We showered and headed out for an ouzo and white wine on the harbour and headed into the back alleys to Portes taverna. We had Camarilized onion and fava beans, and Boureki as starters and shared a main of stuffed chicken. With a liter of house wine we paid 31 euros. Then off to bed.

Next morning we woke up early ( I thought we were going to sleep in but no such luck) I found a mini market and bought Nescafe, and evaporated milk and thus fortified we decided to walk around Chania back alleys to refamiliarize ourselves with the old town. We were stunned by how quiet and different it is with all the business closed. The alleys are larger and uncluttered and we barley could figure out where we were without all the outside wares on the street from the shops as landmarks. We eventually found ourselves up on one of the city wall bastions which gave us a great view of the city and all the way over to the White Mountains.

We walked for two and a half hours which became our pattern for the rest of the trip: get up early have coffee and then walk or hike and then have breakfast between 10 to 12 O’clock. We actually lost weight on this trip but more on that later.

The rest of the day we visited museums shopped for food and wine and went looking for the Turkish section of Chania called Spantzia. We just wandered around and eventually found it. This area is interesting. It’s not as well maintained as the old town and harbour and has several derelict buildings but we enjoyed our visit. I think we got more lost trying to find our way back to the harbour than we did finding Spantzia. In the evening we spent an hour at a harbour bar again with an Ouzo for me and a white wine for Lolly.

For dinner we went to Tamam our favourite taverna. I think I need to stop recommending it on the forum because we couldn’t get a seat until 10 O’clock. It seems, one now needs a reservation. The food continues to be good and well priced. We shared mixed croketts, Tamam salad with an avocado, walnut dressing and Lamb stew with a half litre of wine. 32 euros

On our last day we continued to absorb the atmosphere of Old town Chania. We walked out to the lighthouse visited the central market and the outdoor street market and when no one was looking I slipped through a gap in the fence and visited the Bastion of San Salvatore part of the city walls near Theo street. On previous trips it has been blocked off and inaccessible.

We watched the sunset from a harbour front bar and then walked over to Amphora taverna on the harbour. I have stated several times that I have found the prices food and service to be less than acceptable on the waterfront as you are paying for the view. Thats why we find our favourite tavernas in the back alleys.

Having said that Amphora has a sign that says “we don’t press you we respect you.” They don’t have a greeter trying to bully you into the tavern. Since it seems to always be full, that suggests to me that the food is probably good the prices are ok, and it does have that view so we tried it.
We shared their mixed plate with mousaka, stuffed vine leaves, bareki, Imam and giant beans. With wine, 25 euros. I highly recommend this tavern.
Here are pictures of our Chania visit.

Footnote: Our trip was before the end of June economic crisis but we found the Greek people to be friendly and hospitable although there was an undercurrent of worry. Many told us they "lived with hope for the future" The ATM's were stocked with euros and there were no line ups.

Coming up Next: our visit to Sougia and the Libyan Sea.

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