Crete.... the follow on.

Trip Start May 14, 2011
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12
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Trip End Jul 12, 2011


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Flag of Greece  , Crete,
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

From Keramos we travelled to Pigi, Via some smelly caves at Matala and the Picture perfect Armari Valley.  Now these caves are hand carved by some ancient Catholic people to use as tombs, which sounds cool, and might be worth having a look at.  But we found the place had this unbearable stench of raw sewage and only stayed about 4 minutes.  The Armari valley is as I said, picture perfect.  There is so much breathtaking scenery, that you are constantly stopping the car to get out and walk around.  Along our way we found the Arkardi Monastry, more Minoan ruins and some ancient Egyptian ruins.  Now when we stumbled upon these Egyptian ruins, I thought, WOW, this must have been some sort of meeting place or trade centre for the locals and the visitors.  But it turns out the Egyptions were another invading army looking for resources and probably slaves.  Then the main event for the day, Rethymon castle.  This was impressive, but personally we were starting to feel a bit over ruins and piles of rock and rubble.
So on to Pigi we went, feeling tired and travel weary.  We found the little hotel ok, but other guests later that night did not, arriving about midnight instead of the expected 8pm. So study your maps well.  As soon as we walked in, it was another warm welcome. The owner is a middle aged lady by from Australia, but born in New Zealand, named Chris', she had a guest at the bar, a Welshman with a local knowledge which was endless and two young British girls, on a University exchange programme.  The house is brilliant, gorgeously renewed from a falling ruin, it is about 600 years old and just amazingly homely.  We sat enjoyed some drinks and good conversation, and headed off for bed about 10:30pm.  I slept like a log and got up refreshed and ready to face another days travelling.  But not before Chris' excellent breakfast of omlettes, bread, toast, tea and coffee.
From here we moved on to Chania, A pretty uneventful day, we drove around for what seemed like all day through country side that was unexpectedly arid and bare.  We saw no signs of life at all, but all of a sudden we were looking at these magnificent valleys, gorges and caves.  This is truely beautiful.  One of the larger caves has in the past, and by the look of it, still is used as a church.  It is called the cave of the wisdom of God, and worth stopping for, if you don't mind climbing about a million steps to get to it.  There is a cafe abot a 3rd of the way up, and the car parking is roomy compared to most other places.  But be warned this area is very hard on the vehicle and driver.  Thin roads, trecherous bends, thousands of hair pins and more suicidal locals in all sorts of machinery and modes of transport.  It started to rain as we went through, and with this, the roads were slippery like oil.
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