Blogs from Crete, Greece, Europe


Europe » Greece » Crete June 29th 2014

Our next stop Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Our tour today was to the ancient site of Knossos, of the Minotaur fame. We visited the palace of King Minos with 2000 rooms. The site was reconstructed by a British archeologist named Evans, he made many assumptions of what things were and how they looked. Unfortunately, modern archeologists disagree with Evans' work and as such most sites are no longer reconstructed. In any event, the site was huge. Our local guide took us all over the site, fighting crowds and the heat. It was near 100 again today, but our water allowed us to keep cool. Fortuntely, no one needed medical attention, so it was a fun day for all. The site was amazing, even though Evans had made many mistakes and bad interpretations of ... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete » Chania May 14th 2014

Crete Arriving in Crete we disembarked our ship and begun looking for the Budget car rental booth. After walking in circles for ten minutes a nice gentleman with a giant "Tyler Selk" sign ran up to us. Apparently we had walked right by him and he was running after us for ten minutes. After getting the car we made our way over to Chania. The drive was long in the dark but we made if alright. When we arrived we immediately fell in love with the cobblestone streets that lined the harbour. We walked up and found our hotel. Our hotel was great and was run by a family that explained to me that Stavros the father grew up in Montreal. When I met him in the morning we spoke about Montreal. Stavros was also nice ... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete July 21st 2013

After breakfast we drove across Crete to the south coast. The terrain constantly reminded me of Crete’s famous history of fierce resistance to all invaders – somewhat futilely from a strategic point of view as they were repeatedly conquered. The deep folds of the mountains were thick with trees, bushes and weedy ground-cover, thus provided endless places to hide and sneak around. This vegetation generally rose up to about a third of the height of the rocky mountains, although further south some mountains were covered in green. Presumably much of this burns off in the summer. Traditionally the mountain villages formed because people wanted to be completely out of sight of pirates and invaders from the sea. They beat off the elite of Germany’s paratroopers by hiding in bushes and caves only to pop out at ... read more
Mountain valley
Folkloric Museum
Phaistos Old Palace

Europe » Greece » Crete » Paleohora July 20th 2013

On our third day we left Chania and started driving along the road in the direction of Kissamos. We thought we might stop there and spend a day or two. Most of the way to Kissamos seemed to be wall to wall tourist resorts and hotels. The day was overcast, the wind was blowing and there were a lot of tourists sitting in cafes looking glum. The town of Kastelli is on a wide bay, surrounded by mountains. It looked very pretty but as we drove along, there seemed to be no break in the tourist resorts and before we knew it, we were at the end of the bay. I had wanted to take a boat and visit Balos for the day but you have to stay there nearly all day and we didn’t really ... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete July 20th 2013

We never planned on visiting Crete this time, but our week there was great. We began with Sitia, in the northeast. This was a quiet little seaside village with few tourists and a very nice sandy beach. Nearby, at Vai Beach, was a natural palm forest which is unique to the Greek Islands. About 2 hours north, (by bus), along the coast, was the pretty town of Agios Nicholas. It was from here that we visited the island of Spinalonga. The British author, Victoria Hislop, wrote a book about Spinalonga entitled The Island. This was the story of the leper colony that was established in the Venetian fortress on the island in the early 1900's. I read the book in 2010 and was touched deeply by the story of a young woman forced to leave her ... read more
Palm Forest at Vai Beach
Vai Beach
Vai Beach


Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion July 20th 2013

Well that was a very short night! We rested until about 8:30 and then went in search of an internet connection. Found one close to the apartment and I completed our Venice blog, checked emails and searched online to make sure we knew exactly what to do for our flights to Greece. Spent about 1 hour there and then wandered down the street. Heard a lot of singing and clapping so checked it out. It came from a little restaurant so we stopped to eat and join in. Was a great family experience for our last evening. 3 of the servers/owners? were the entertainers. The one man had an incredible booming voice. Such a warm evening so no jackets or sweaters needed even at 10 o'clock! Packed everything up and set out clothes for tomorrow. Set ... read more
Venice Airport
Munich Airport
Munich Airport

Europe » Greece » Crete » Chania July 18th 2013

I spent the first week of June in Crete. I usually only post about my longer trips but sometimes I have very nice, short breaks and these days it is almost compulsory to post your photos. What better way to prove that you have actually been there? That’s why I didn’t write a blog the last time I visited Crete. It took nearly two hours to pass passport control and at some point, I sat down and put my camera under the chair and that’s where it stayed. Maybe a travel blog is not really necessary anymore. So much nicer to just scroll through the photos on your phone. The first time I was in Crete, we stayed around Elounde, in the hills and on the coast, visiting Spinalonga and driving into the mountains and up ... read more
Chania street

Europe » Greece » Crete » Chania July 14th 2013

A light day. At 10:00 we met Kriton to walk through the market across the street. The need for group interaction immediately disappeared, so he gave us 45 minutes on our own. Shops for daily needs were interspersed with tourist shops. Lots of places sold big packages of herbs and spices. A sample of oregano smelled so aromatic, I fell into temptation and bought both the oregano and thyme. The prices seemed reasonable at €2.90 and €3.50 respectively. Another scarf caught my eye – the selection was wide ranging in this market. This one was woven stripes of many colours with the overall impression of pink to mauve. The cross aisles (Kriton compared the building to a large church) held fish and meat stalls on one side and the local café on the other. The fish ... read more
Turkish Style
Light of God Synagogue
Chania Harbour

Europe » Greece » Crete » Koutouloufari July 14th 2013

Sun 13th We partied for mels bday last night after driving to istanbul and listened to eastern rapping which was fun. Shesha in instanbul, fat fredys playing in the back round it was awsome and staying in a 4 star hotel things are turning up a notch. We have a walking tour and a show tomorrow night then we get newbees.... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete July 1st 2013

Saturday Today we have decided to make the 3.5 hour drive to Kastelli near Heraklion so that we are near the airport for the flight home. The drive over the mountains from Paleochora to Chania is spectacular (TIM LIKES THE WORD SPECTACULAR.) and we add time to the journey by stopping frequently for photographs. Traffic on this road is very light and so on one of these stops I decide to answer a call of nature at the side of the road. I suppose it was inevitable, but at that moment a coach followed by several assorted cars and trucks came around the corner. Cue much honking of horns. It was such a good opportunity that Carol also took a photo despite us having an unwritten rule on this. I have, I'm afraid, vetoed it from ... read more
Hotel Kalliopi, Kastelli, Crete
Kastelli, Crete
Knossos, Crete

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