Blogs from Agia Marina , Crete, Greece, Europe


Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina June 19th 2016

Friday 17thJune: feeling up to a longer drive we headed for Paleochora on the south coast which has a reputation for being quiet and laid back as it’s basically the end of the road. A great drive over the mountains separating the north and south coasts of the island on a very good quality road with very little traffic. We passed though three villages which had been “martyred” during WW2 by the Germans as reprisals for actions by the Cretan resistance fighters: sobering stuff. Paleochora was all that the guide book described and after a late lunch at a beachside café we spent a relaxed afternoon on the beach. After driving back to our hotel and getting changed we took a bus in Chania to collect a pair of specs that Jane had ordered from an ... read more
E65/75 National Road
View from road to Paleochora
Kakopetros on the road to Paleochora

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina June 18th 2016

Thursday 16thJune: we decided on a short journey after the previous day’s stressful driving in Chania, so we headed to Kissamos just 30 minutes west of Agia Marina along the good quality National Road E65, then up in the hills behind the town aiming for the ancient site of Polyrinnia. As usual the satnav didn’t recognise Polyrinnia (in several different spellings) so we relied on finding a road in Kissamos that was signposted to somewhere that resembled Polyrinnia; which did. However, while road signs at road junctions to minor roads will show several villages which are in the same general direction, once one has taken the minor road and come to another junction only the next village along the road will be sign posted. So we basically followed our noses through a few villages unable to ... read more
Polyrennia Acropolis view to North
Polyrennia Acropolis summit
Polyrennia view to north and the Bay of Kissamos

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina June 16th 2016

Sunday 12thJune: a late start as we headed west to have a look at the beach at Elafonissi and hopefully an eco-resort called Milia up in the mountains on the way. I set the Garmin satnav for a town called Elos which was the only place listed on the satnav’s memory that was on our route (the multiple spellings of the Greek town names in English limits the satnav’s usefulness). All went fine until we were about halfway when we were directed off the main road up a narrow country lane through olive tree plantations up onto a ridge from where we could see the main road down below, and which we later rejoined. The only explanation seemed to be that the route the satnav had selected was marginally shorter than the main road, even though ... read more
Where we were:-
Where we should be
Topolia Gorge Tunnel

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina June 16th 2016

Wednesday 15thJune; 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 ... read more
Ancient Aptera
Monastery courtyard
Roofed and vaulted Roman cistern

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina June 12th 2016

Friday 10thJune: off to Falasarna on the west coast of Crete. It had been recommended to us by two long term foreign residents of Crete as a particularly beautiful beach and a nice drive. And so it proved. Less than 26 miles along the E65 main coast highway then on a pretty good country road for the last 5/6 miles. We stopped off for coffee at a restaurant perched high on the ridge overlooking the Bay of Falasarna then headed down past the beaches and through the tiny village to the archaeological site of ancient Falasarna/Phalasarna. Not much to see there as the place had been pretty comprehensively destroyed by earthquakes centuries ago; and it fact although the legend of Falasarna had been passed down its actual location was lost until it was rediscovered in the ... read more
Falasarna Big Beach
Falasarna panorama
Spot the archaeologist

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina June 9th 2016

Tuesday 7th June: an early start from the Crowne Plaza Hotel Birmingham NEC to catch our 8am flight to Chania Crete: fortunately the hotel was 5 minutes from the Airport so there was no problem arriving in good time to check-in and then have a quick breakfast before departure in a nice new, and reasonably comfortable, Boeing 737-800 for the 3 hour 30 minutes flight to Chania. Chania is a new airport (under construction since 2007, and still not completed) serving Western Crete, and it also doubles as a NATO airbase: something we were reminded about when two Greek Air Force F15 fighter jets took off thunderously as we were entering the Terminal. Then we had a comfortable 45 minute bus journey to our hotel in Agia Marina west of Chania followed by a fast and ... read more
Chania Harbour 1
Chania Harbour 2
Chania Harbour Wall

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina July 12th 2015

After our white knuckle landing at the Chania Airport, we proceeded to the baggage carousel and then out to meet the car rental respresentative. Once we had signed all our agreements, we went about packing up the cars. Curtis and I rented a Toyota Auris while the others both chose Peugeot convertibles, both cars sleek and silver, however my brother's was a bit smaller and did not offer much in the way of leg room. On more than one occasion, Kellan and Bobby have pretty much eaten their knees while travelling!! Love our car - nothing fancy, but it is easy to get in and out of and we remain protected from the intensity of the sun. We stopped just beyond the airport to gas up. WHOOOOAAA! Gas is extremely costly here, especially when they automatically ... read more
Sweet Sixteen
Our Pool
Swim Up Bar

Europe » Greece » Crete » Agia Marina August 2nd 2012

Like delectable smoked salmon bwtween two slices of stale bread Hotel Thodorou sits right in the middle of the hectic resort strip West of Xania. For those of you who have been following our progress you probably last remember the phone call in the rain in Cornwall which precipitated this journey. It hadn't augered well. Incessant heavy rain had caused immense flooding in our neck of the woods in West Dorset and our journey to London was fraught with flood signs and redirections. Our arrival at Masslink Guest House on the infamous Massetts Road in Horley was less than propitious. We were greeted with a maniacal landlady, a cross between Basil Fawlty and one of Bill Bryson's landladies in Notes from a Small Island, ranting and raving about the Bongo and how we should have let ... read more
The migratory flock
Sunbeds et al
That soft pink light

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