Yesterday, we had friends arriving via cruise ship in the north. We drove for 2 hours through the mountains to a town named Chania. Driving is not bad except the road signs are often hidden and we double back regularly. This island is filled with high peaks as well, so there are a great many switchbacks. The countryside is agricultural with innumerable olive groves. Once you get to the sea, the waters are as turquoise there as they are in any of the Greek islands.
We gave our friends a bit of a tour, driving along the coast to a small town named Vrisses where we stopped for a coffee in what looked like a typical cafe. We continued on the highway until we came to Rethymno (I call it Rhythm Town as I can’t pronounced it), Crete’s third largest city. It has a Venetian port, as do many of the larger towns here. We wandered in the old town briefly and had a huge seafood lunch on the waterfront. The waiter brought us over to the cooler to choose our fish. We chose sea bream, large prawns, calamari and a small octopus. The food came grilled with a bit of salad and potatoes. The setting was lovely with fish swimming in the water beside us. It was a wonderful afternoon shared with great friends.
On our way back to the cruise ship, the rain poured down. It was our first rain in almost 2 weeks. It seems the mountains hold the clouds, just as they do in BC. So the rain falls in the centre of the island, but the coast stays dry.
When we returned from our outing, we tried to catch the sunset but the sun fell behind the rocky hill. We had dinner in a hilltop taverna where we enjoyed our usual appetizers such as fava beans and Greek salad.
Reblogged this on Turning my world upside down! and commented:
Remember I was looking for that elusive Shirley Valentine moment? The island of Crete is where I finally had it.
If you’ve never heard of Shirley Valentine, it was a movie I saw in the 1980s. The story is about a middle-aged British woman who gets away from the daily rut of her life by taking a trip to Greece.
Her one ambition is to sit at a table on the beach and enjoy a glass of wine at sunset.
Matala was the perfect setting for my own such moment. There was a table and 2 chairs set up on the beach as the edge of the town. I had my wine (yes, it came in a little jug, just like in the Hollywood picture) as I watched the sunset, then had a lovely light dinner with Leon.
How nice to meet up with your friends and give them a guided tour. Did you feel like locals?
Definitely not, but there is a complicity about fellow country visiting a foreign country together. And it reinforced that we prefer travelling on our own itinerary rather than cruising. We felt we saw so much more.
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