Tuesday 17th May, 2011 cont'd
We rested for a little while, then popped out for an afternoon beer at the Fox & Hounds next door. Sat directly next to the pavement which gave us a birds eye view of everything passing in the street, as always not all was a good sight. Then back to the hotel and wandered out again later for something to eat.
We had spotted a likely place the night before called Mesogiako's - which the owner later said meant Mediterranean, a very hospitable chap. We had a Greek salad, Mixed grill and Calamari. With drinks and some free coffee again came in at a reasonable price. Then an amble back to the hotel.
Wednesday 18th May, 2011
Up for breakfast and then back to the room to pack our stuff. Pat paid the bill €60 for the three nights. I went and got the car and we were on our way by about ten.
Today we were heading for Chania and somewhere to stay for a few days. The drive is quite a distance and we pootled along keeping out of the way of the fast moving traffic as we were in no hurry. I would comment while I remember that generally the roads are better here than in Cyprus, but not by far.
We stopped at a roadside cafe Kalamis, which overlooked Souda bay for some coffees and finally arrived in the Chania area around 2 o'clock.
We drove past Chania on the main road, then turned off and drove back to orient ourselves a little and find our way around. Then drove out of the main town and ended up at a place called Stalos, west of Chania. Here we decided to get out off the car and approach some hotels/apartments. Finding somebody in reception seemed to be the main problem, but after wandering along for a little while we came across the Irini apartments and sorted out a room for €40 per night. We said initially only for a night or two, which gives us the option to move if we choose.
We settled in and then went for a walk, very touristy area, so loads of shops and restaurants etc.
We found a travel agency, and went in. Pat has wanted to do the Samaria Gorge walk for some time and we had already discussed doing this as an organised tour, rather than independently, which we duly booked for this Friday.
We then popped into a supermarket and picked up some bits and pieces. Whilst in there we spotted the Cyprus wine one litre packs, we refer to them as "wine bricks", which were on special offer for €3.10 !!!!! We pay €1.73 in Cyprus, but even the local Cretan wine in bricks was €3.30, so not cheap. Maybe the Government duty here is more than in Cyprus, but the bar prices seem similar so I'm not sure.
Back to the apartment for a short rest and received a phone call to say the trip on Friday was cancelled as not enough people have booked. We will rethink our plan on this one.
So, early evening, we wandered back to the travel agency and received our refund and whilst there found out a little more information on the Red Arrow display on Sunday coming.
Then off for something to eat. By a thoroughly scientific method, in other words "eenie meenie minie mo" we decided on a restaurant - Piramis.
We had a Moussaka and plate of Gyros, very nice, with a free coffee and dessert thrown in as well.
A quick look at the beach and the Gulf of Chania before meandering back to the room. Another early night after a pleasant day.
Thursday 19th May 2011
A slow start to the day, as we have no official breakfast to get up for.
We moved off and headed to Chania about 11 o'clock.
Found our way to an underground car park underneath a Carrefour and then wended our way to the old harbour. We took in the sights and saw a maritime museum. We thought we would ask there where there was a Tourist Information office. The lady was extremely helpful and asked us what information we wanted and I mentioned about the Red Arrows and she was then able to give us a timetable of the various events including the display time, which is 11.30 on Sunday.
We walked into the town anyway and had a doughnut and coffee in the old market. We then found the tourist office and again as expected they were very helpful and gave us information about the Samaria gorge walk, which we were now going to do independently. The long and short of it was that taking the car wasn't a good idea. So we were given bus times from Chania and bus station information.
It rained for a short while, whilst in town but the weather has been pretty good overall.
We went to find the bus station and booked the tickets for tomorrow, bus at 0730 hours, return for both €28.60.
Car parking is not good here, so we checked out the underground parking opening times and they open at seven and close at midnight so we can park there.
Basically we were all sorted and headed back to the apartment, arriving back about 3 o'clock.
We rested a while then took a walk out about 5 o'clock. We had no particular thoughts on a restaurant and ended up eating in the Freidly gyros house and had the special of the day, mixed grill for two plus two beers all for €15. We changed one beer for a coke and a starter greek salad arrived. Then a plate full of various meats. All good stuff and certainly enough food.
We then continued our evening stroll for a little way and had a look at the beach and the sea, before heading back for an early night.
Friday 20th May, 2011
Alarm was set for 0620 hours and we were up and out around 0645. Heading for the underground car park in Chania. We arrived just after seven and I think we were the first customer as his computer was just warming up.
Then off to the bus station and to our bus, which left more or less on time full of many others doing the walk.
Not sure what time we arrived in Omalou but sometime between 0830 and 0900. The start is right near the bus stop and we paid our €5 each to do the walk.
The first part is down along way and the path is very uneven. In my view not a good walk. Some spectacular scenery and stunning views. The walk is through the Gorge following the course of a river. The width varies considerably and is sometimes down to a narrow distance.
We finally finished the walk, which is all told about 16 kilometers at about 2.30, so for us about five and a half hours walk.
This place is called Agios Roumilis. We booked and paid for our Ferry €9 each which was at 5.30 so some time to kill.
Almost the nearest restaurant across the street was the Faragi, a beer for Pat was well enjoyed and a couple of pork souvlaki's.
We then lay on the beach soaking our feet in the sea. No surprise to know that my shoes stink.
Then a pleasant ferry journey to Sfakia, picked up some cement lorries on the way. Then the bus back to Chania, which was waiting for us.
From the Bus station then to the car park, which was €12.50 for 15 hours and back to the apartment, for a shower and then bed.
Saturday 21st May, 2011
We both woke up aching after the walk yesterday.
We hobbled across the road about 9 o'clock to the Irini supermarket to see if there was availability for us to stay another couple of nights.
Unfortunately not, so we packed up the room, showering etc and moved stuff to the car. Then paid our bill and left about 1030.
We decided to kill some time by heading for the the second world war German war graves further along the coast at Maleme.
One of the early objectives for our being on Crete at this time is the display of the Red Arrows in Chania on the 22nd May. This display is tied in with the 70th Anniversary of the German invasion of Crete on 20th May, 1941.
We found the site and a small exhibition explaining the creation of the cemetery which holds all the German fallen during the second world war now in one place, numbering just under 4500.
We looked around and the place is very picturesque, some of the German military cemeteries can be very bleak and dark places, but this wasn't.
The place is very well tended and looking spick and span for memorial wreath laying and the like going on at the moment.
The cafe at the entrance holds a significant amount of war memorabilia and was interesting.
As we hadn't been much West of here we headed off to look around. We got as far as Kissamos, looked around the port at a large ferry then headed back.
A small church tucked into a cave stopped us briefly, just up from the port.
Then back to Chania, we popped into our current favourite underground car park to see if it was open tomorrow and it is.
Now to find some accommodation, we took a right towards the sea on the edge of the town and saw a likely looking place called Semiramis.
They had some rooms, we had a quick look at one and said we would like to stay for two nights.
Our room was being vacated so we scooted off to find some lunch.
We drove further into the beach area and found a Taverna called Zenios Dias and had a Greek salad, chicken fillet and pork chop.
Then back to the apartments and moved our stuff in.
A peaceful few hours followed, also continuing our recovery from the walk yesterday.
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