18.3.10

crete, finally

I know it's long overdue, but I did want to share some photos of our trip to Crete- the largest island in Greece. When we returned we were so busy and editing all the photos and summing up such an amazing two weeks seemed daunting. I won't share every single place we went, so not to bore you, but here are the things and places that six months later I feel were among the most incredible things I ever experienced. We travelled the western side of the island by car for two weeks. We went mid to late October which ended up being perfect because it was at the end of tourist season, so the rates were good and there were always vacant rooms and even private beaches, but we were also lucky because we had amazing weather the whole time. The only hotels we pre-booked were the first two nights in the city we flew into- Chania. It was such a nice way to travel without any commitments to reservations- if we liked a place we stayed, if we weren't crazy about it we kept moving. We started and ended the trip in Chania, a beautiful old town, the third largest on the island, with a bustling harbour and a maze of pedestrian stone roads behind all the buildings lined with shops and amazing restaurants. In the local area there were lime and pomegranate trees. I had never seen these before.

Our hotel, and the view from our balcony.
We drove around the northern coast, there were mountain goats along the sides of the roads and we went to the most beautiful blue lagoon- Gramvoosa. We ended up blowing both back tires of our Fiat on the very rocky and pretty scary road to get there. And there are no guard rails on the crazy winding roads. We ended up switching up the car the following day for a new one and were fine. We kept driving towards our destination- Milia.
Milia is an organic self-sustaining retreat nestled in the mountains. It's a restored group of traditional buildings that was originally built as a hiding spot ages ago and after being left to crumble, was restored in the 1980s. All the photos of our room are blurry, but it gives you the idea. and this was actually the key! All of the food is grown organically (on the side of the mountain) and made in their kitchen. It was literally the best food I have had my entire life. It was so dark and quiet at night. We hiked and relaxed all day. At this point we didn't know what we still had ahead of us so we only stayed two nights, but this is one of the most incredible places ever, and we wish we had stayed just a little bit longer.
Along our route down the western coast we stopped for some amazing food- the vegetables were so fresh there and this is how much feta they give you with your Greek salad. no kidding. a plate full. We saw lots of olive trees. They catch the fallen olives with nets. We also saw the second oldest tree in the world. It was huge.
We visited a town with a fully rocked beach. The sound of the rocks clicking against one another as the tide went out was beautiful.
We stayed at other nice places, but to keep this from getting too long, I will move onto the one of the most peaceful places we have ever been- Loutro. The southern coast of western crete is very mountainous and therefore you have to take a ferry from town to town. One of the places we had researched prior to going, and knew that we wanted to stay for a while, was Loutro- a very small fisherman town that had no roads and could only be accessed by boat or foot.
All the buildings were white with blue shutters and the rooftops were filled with solar panels. You watched the restaurant owners fish all day and went to eat there at night. It was a quiet place, with lots of reading, afternoon naps, and drinks and chess in the evenings. We stayed here the longest- five days. And this photo below was taken while lying in our bed. You could hear the bells of the mountain goats while they ran down the hill in the morning for their feed. Such a nice sound. I would go back in a heartbeat and if you ever get the chance to go, take it. It's one of the most beautiful and spiritual places we have ever been.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like a great trip and a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing!

Carol

katie said...

wow this trip sounds like it was amazing! Greece has been on the top of my list to travel to, and the way you did it and what you saw sounds like it was a great experience!

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