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Published: June 16th 2016
June; Repetition Day 2. Our resident archaeologist wanted to revisit Aptera “to have a look at the Roman cisterns” there, (hidden agenda: lunch at the Cretan Corner Restaurant nearby). The day started off not too well as we drove to Chania to buy a SIM card for my laptop (remembering to take my passport this time). Thinking that a Vodafone shop in Chania should be not too difficult to find we were quite chuffed to find one almost immediately, plus a nearby parking space. BUT the problem arose when we tried to get out of the town as the satnav which had delivered us perfectly into town directed us to a road that was being in the process of resurfaced and was closed off: With no road signs indicating Road Closed or Diversion the local motoring population were also unaware of this road closure and there was minor chaos as we had to do a 3 point turn and signal on-coming drivers that the road was closed. As luck would have it (not the satnav as it kept directing us back to the closed off road) we got onto a road that took us out of town and linked to
The monastery at the site. Occupied until the 1960s and containing a lot of recycled Roman era stones
the National Road taking us to the Aptera turn off. Once on the E65 National Road it was a quick journey up to Aptera and a restorative drink at the Cretan Corner Taverna before continuing to the ancient site of Aptera and a look around. Although the first settlements at Aptera date back at least to 700BC the main attractions at the site are the Roman era cisterns. There are two enormous cisterns close to the main entrance, which apparently held over 3,000 cubic meters of water and, even more impressively, there is another roofed cistern which held nearly 3,000 cubic meters and is still in excellent condition with the original brickwork and water proof plaster still in place. It was getting pretty hot by this time so after a quick look at the usual type Greco Roman theatre we headed back to the Cretan Corner Taverna for an excellent lunch.
The British lady owner of the restaurant advised us on an alternative, scenic route back to the Theriso Gorge and the hilltop village of Zouvra which we’d visited on Monday when it was overcast. We followed her directions using our map, and the distance measures on
With female visitor sitting outside the chapel - at left centre
it, to figure when to take the various turn-offs: and to locate a stunning viewpoint overlooking Chania and the whole coast. No problems encountered and we made it back to the Theriso Gorge and then simply followed the only road uphill to the ridge line and then along the ridge to Zouvra. More stupendous views from there then down the very steep switchback road to the valley and back to our hotel. Great day, if somewhat tiring on account of the earlier drama in Chania town.
Reminder: there are lots more photos below and if you double click on any of them you will get an enlarged image and you can scroll all the photos
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