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Published: September 12th 2017
Note: the panoramic photos at the start of the blog change every 7/10 seconds and give a larger and clearer image than when viewed with the other photos. Also, there are more photos below the text if you want to skip the diary details; and if you double click on any of the photos you will get an enlarged, clearer, image. You can return to the text anytime.
Sunday 10th September 2017: up before the crack of dawn, 2.30 am to be precise, in order to ensure that we arrived at Bristol Airport well in time to catch our flight to Chania at 06.30. One slight hiccup en route when we took the slip road off the M4 to get onto the M49 only to find a police car blocking the access to the M49. We asked the cop who was controlling the road block how long before the road would be open and were told that there was a report of a car driving up the M49 in the wrong lane and they were sending a vehicle down the road to check. So instead of waiting we continued round the roundabout, back on to the M4 and took the
next turn-off at the M5 junction. Fortunately this delay only cost us about 5 minutes in the total journey time and we made it to Bristol Airport in plenty of time to check in and join the other passengers at the gate. Then the departure was delayed for half an hour because of "congestion". Nevertheless we landed at Chania on time, after 4 hours (seemed much longer). Breezed through Immigration and Baggage Claim and went to the Budget /Avis desk to collect our rental car. We were offered an upgrade to a luxury car, a Volvo V40 (bigger and better in all respects to the reserved car), for E5 per day extra which we thought a bargain and took up the offer. The drive west to Kissamos was easy, especially as I knew the route and ignored the satnav directions which would have taken us through Chania. A warm welcome awaited us at the Aphrodite Hotel, where we'd stayed in April, and we were shown to our room near the front of the hotel overlooking the beach. A fast unpack to get the swimmers out and into the briny, on account of the 30C temperature, followed by a laze on
The beach is close to the far headland
the shore, followed by a shower in the room and round to the back of the hotel to the excellent Stelios & Katina Restaurant, that we knew well, for an early dinner (at 5.30 pm local time): our first meal of what seemed like a very long day. By the time we got back to our room we were well tired and were in bed by 9pm local time: 7pm UK time.
Monday 11th September: we must have been tired as we got up at 8am after an 11 hour sleep. A very nice breakfast on the hotel veranda next to the beach then off to Falasarna on the extreme west of Crete where we knew of a nice beach - and a good source of thyme honey (for her) and honey raki (for him). The beach lived up to expectations, as did the honey and raki purchases en route; also we found a nice taverna for lunch followed by more swimming and reading/lazing on the beach in the afternoon. It's an easy 20 minute drive between Falasarna and Kissamos on a well surfaced and scenic road so we got back to the hotel with plenty of time to
get changed and stroll around to the back of the hotel for another excellent meal at Stelios & Katina.
Tuesday 12th September: if it ain't broke, don't fix it; so another day on the beach at Falasarna. This time there was a strong, and hot wind (straight off the Sahara), which created some quite large waves and undertows, so swimming required a degree of caution - as in staying within depth (waist high) and not more than 20/30 yards offshore - but great for body surfing. Another nice lunch at the same taverna as yesterday (creatures of habit?) and back to Kissamos in the late afternoon for another swim in the sheltered and very tranquil sea in front of the hotel and dinner next door: there's a lot to be said for keeping things simple and straight forward.
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