Cretan living- Exploring the north coast and Islands of the oldest documented European culture.
In booking my adventure to Crete, I discovered my trip time would be better used to book non stop flights directly rather than long layovers jet lagged along the way. So I traveled to London first to catch up on the missed sleep and time change and had a special day in London. Then on to Crete.
Heraklion Airport is the main travel hub. My flight arrived delayed, and it was after midnight. It was two hours later than London time. I took a taxi to the city hotel. Heraklion is a popular tourist city and the capital. I enjoyed some exploring and history along with touring a museum and old fort. I booked an excursion to Santorini. That was an interesting day.
The ferry sat over 2000 people and was plush and massive. There must have been 10-20 ferries or more that came in and out of the island everyday. Santorini comes from Santa Irini. It was held by the Turks and the Venetians at different times. The churches all have blue domes and there are 800 churches for 15,000 inhabitants. Apparently it was a competitione when the Greeks won it back from the Italians and they had to match the number of catholic churches with Greek Orthodox churches.
The island is a volcano that erupted in 1500 bc and sent the whole island into the sea. the largest crater in the world is next to the island and across the crater is an active volcano with hot springs just a boat ride away. It is expensive to live here. It was beautiful but packed full of tourists and had to move around. It was worth it to say I went there but I would not have stayed longer than the few hours and the bus tour of the Island. Tourism is a very key part of their economy and they do it very well.
On to Rethymnon, a larger beach town and a great view out of my apt window. The beach was populated with restaurants governing their own sets of umbrellas and chairs for their dedicated patrons or a whopping 5 euro per day to rent. The food was amazing and great weather. I took a day trip to Gramvousa and Balos lagoon - a beautiful spot just off the northwest coast. It was 2 hours by bus and an hour by boat each way but worth it and I made some new friends from Germany. I realized most of the excursions would be similar and opted to just relax at my own beach which reminded me a good bit of Panama City Beach in color and waves. I swtayed at the Blue SKy Hotel
My last stop was in Kokkino Hani which was ten minutes from the airport. The bus system in Crete is excellent and cheap. A great beach day for my last day in Crete and another beautiful view. I was taken to the wrong bus stop and had to roll my luggaage quite a ways and then down the side street from the main to the beach front hotels. Needless to say, I took a taxi to the airport from there. I wasn't sure if my luggage wheels would survive the brick sidewalk trip. I stay at the Blue Sky Beach Hotel (not affiliated with the other)
The food and hotels were reasonably priced. The merch as not impressive or a good buy so my hopes of some pretty white and blues Greek cotton were disappointed. I left with a beach towel and a coffee cup (my thing I buy from around the world)