Saturday, April 4, 2015

Roaming through Crete

Doorway view
We headed out further west the next morning, driving through tiny villages perched on the mountainside. Some villages seem to be no more than a dozen houses. Besides farming in the area, you have to wonder what they do for a living. The commute would be horrific!

Well kept, very large monastery
We headed out to explore, stopping at various picturesque places along the way. The Monastery of 

Chrysoskalitissa was intriguingbut closed. We did get to wander around a bit but didnt have the chance to explore the museum and interior. There are many monasteries on Crete and we had a chance to explore a couple of them. Generally we could take outside pictures but not any inside. Most of them were extremely old, with few priests or monks as caretakers. Have to wonder how long so many of them have been in existence. The history must be amazing.

We finally reached the famous beach, Elafanisis. The water is a crystal clear turquoise, stunning in contrast to the rich blue of the ocean. There is a sand spit you can walk along at low high tide you'd be slogging though knee high water, connecting the two pools of water. In the summer high season, the beach is full of people...we had it to ourselves! The view, the colors, the privacy! The drive was spectacular, weaving through country roads, and very tiny towns going out and then traveling along the high mountain cliffs bordering the eastern side of the island at times the cliffs dropped directly into the sea!

Roaming through old town is delightful - though parts of it are quite touristy. Did have some places with gorgeous hand made items and beautiful ceramic and wood products. Not too many people roaming now since its out of season. Friday made up for it at least as far as the bars and restaurants were concerned. There's a college near here and the pace was mobbed with young people everywhere. Tonight you can tell they've headed back for school...the place was very quiet and filled with lots of older people instead.

The restaurants were fantastic! Our host in the hotel suggested a number of places to try out. She avoided the obvious touristy places, sending us to back streets and small places - wonderful food! Obviously she is a person with a keen taste for fabulous food because every place was worth returning to. The only problem we had was that the food was served family style...fine once we found out but the first night! Aye aye aye! We ordered way too much food. Finally got it down to a very manageable, delightful repast.

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