Day 260 - Last Day in Crete
Trip Start Jan 10, 2011
221Trip End Jan 08, 2012
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This was our last day on Crete and we explored the Akrotiri peninsula before heading east back to Heraklion. We stopped at an elevated viewpoint of Chania that was a park, war monument and served as small monastery. The account on the memorial described the 'Turkish Occupation' of sovereign Greek lands by the Ottoman Empire – an interesting contrast to the Turkish interpretation.
We drove a bit further on and down a long lane to the Agia Triada Monastery built in the seventeenth century (1612) by two Venetian monks. Only 5 brothers lived and worked there full time but they oversaw large fields of olives, grapes, nuts and other produce. The ornate décor of the Orthodox Church interior starkly contrasted the simple deep pink colour of the fortified walls and inner buildings. It was a very peaceful place. It was warm there, just a short distance in land, and we imagined that in the summer it would be sweltering.
The ride to Heraklion was short and direct as we retraced our first hours of our first day on the island. We knew where our hotel was and Eli nimbly maneuvered our van through the crowded streets and zipping traffic. Once we had unloaded our bags he handed off the keys to the hotel staff who evidently were used to parking tourists cars in a way that only a local could manage.
The early evening ambience of Heraklion was much improved from our early arrival less than 3 days ago. We found a nice Italian restaurant and enjoyed the food and the company of the proprietor from our initial interaction on the cobblestone street. His name was Achilles. After dinner our waiter said that he had a surprise for us and we grimaced thinking that it may be Raki – again. To our pleasant and succulent surprise it was not Raki rather a mouth-watering chocolate cake with fresh vanilla ice cream. We resisted licking the plate!
An early night was in order after our festivities in Chania and our early ferry to Santorini tomorrow.