The Barefoot Mermaid Travels to Crete

The Barefoot Mermaid Travels to Crete

 

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We traveled to Crete on the final stretch of our journey in Greece. We took a sunset ferry over from Santorini.  If you can time your ferry ride for sunset I highly recommend it. We took the slower ferry time wise aka cheaper. We enjoyed the sunset and then being under the stars. We stayed up on the top deck under the stars. We were practically the only ones up there.

The first night we stayed in Heraklion. Our hotel was not wonderful but it did the job. Mainly if you were not gentle the doors slammed shut, thus creating a lot of noise. The next morning, we had our rentals car delivered to us which was nice.

The first morning we found a bakery and the open air market. I bought some olives, olive oil and a yellow pomegranate.

 

Our tour guide who we found on Viator met us at the hotel. We walked to the Archaeological Museum. Here we saw artifacts spanning from the Neolithic to Roman Period. Amazing how old some of the things are. The prehistoric inhabitants in Greece were as old to the Romans as the Romans are to us. Mind blowing.

We wondered around the city center for a bit taking in the Venetian influence. I recommend grabbing a snack from the little cafe, Phyllosophies surrounding the Lion Fountain.

We then traveled to Knossos. The crowds were light and the weather was pleasant. Here is the palace of Minoan Crete. What a treasure to learn about the history. The speculate the city extends far beyond the excavations but basically there is not enough money to unearth it all. Which is really sad to me. What if some important treasure about history is hidden still. We stood on the oldest street in possibly the world that went from the palace grounds to the ocean. Our tour guide really helped to reconstruct the palace and bring the history of a pile of rocks to life.

After our tour we continued on to Chania. What a charming seaside town. I loved Crete the mountains and the oceans so close together with green olive trees abounding. We settled into our hotel. Before we grabbed some pastries for dinner.

 

Our first full day in Chania we grabbed the Crete specialty pastry for breakfast. We walked to the lighthouse and explored the surroundings along the way. We visited two of the oldest olive trees and had lunch in a small town along the way. It was Sunday. It seemed people got out of church then walked by deciding which party to go to. Baby dedications it seemed. But it was literally like they just picked one rather than knowing before hand which party (held at two different restaurants) they would attend. This was all our observations not knowing any Greek language.

 

The next day we drove to the mountains with no agenda in mind. We saw goats free ranging along the highway and tons of olive trees. The mountains are about as high as the Appalachian mountains here but appear so much larger. Ryan and I speculate it was because her you have some elevation gained before you see the mountains whereas there you can see them while you are standing at sea level in the ocean. We toured an olive oil factory. The production process is amazing. Local farmers bring their olives to be processed. The entire olive pit and all gets pressed. The olive oil sits for a while before its filtered and then stored in larger tanks. The oil from different farmers is never mixed and from year to year it is not mixed. It was a fascinating tour that I highly recommend.

MVIMG_20181009_162120We grabbed dinner. Holy moly the fries there are heavenly! They have this sauce that is pink, reminds me of ketchup and mayo mixed but a bit sweeter than just that. It was so good!!!

The next day we had souvlaki wraps for breakfast. We stumbled upon an indoor market. Here we grabbed a few goodies. Including the best honey I have ever had. We looked around the Nautical Museum. They have a Minoan boat replica that was actually sailed around Greece. We walked along the harbor again towards the lighthouse.

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And then one of the most magical moments in my life happened, we saw Loggerhead sea turtles in the ocean. Two of them. we watched them bob and swim for almost thirty minutes before turning back to the room. On the other side of the harbor we saw a third one. Pure magic. We grabbed dinner and ate it on the balcony. We also maybe had a snack of fries again during the day.

The next day we returned to Heraklion. We grabbed the same snack from the same cafe. Visited the Koules Fortress which is on the water. It was a Venetian fort that a played a role in the Ottaman’s conquering Crete. We flew to Athens that evening and flew home with a brief layover in Frankfurt the next day. What a beautiful and remarkable trip. Travel often my friends.

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