Iraklion to Rethymnon

Trip Start Apr 23, 2009
1
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Trip End Jun 23, 2009


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Where I stayed
Rea Hotel

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Iraklion and Rethymnon, Crete

After thirty hours of security, flight, airports (repeat 3x), we all arrived at the Rea Hotel in downtown Iraklion, the capital of Crete. David and Gail had the quiet room, while Matt and Judy listened to motorcycles outside their window and a strange guy banging on doors to be let in! Good thing the price was right (36 Euro per night). Our breakfast was in front of a tiny shop overlooking the blue ocean and sunny sky. The Crete paninni, cheese pastry, and spinach pie were tasty, but the boiled coffee on a Primus Stove was questionable.

We walked the winding pedestrian streets in Iraklion, checking out the old town fountain, historic buildings and little shops. It was distressing to see so much 'tagging' on the buildings-even the heritage ones. We spent a couple of hours in the Historical Museum learning about the numerous assaults on Crete during much of its existence. It's almost surprising that it is so peaceful now!

The next day, we delighted in a lovely breakfast of delicious Cretan yogurt with honey, to which we added any assortment of figs, dates, sour cherries, quince, raisins, and cereal. There was also a variety of sweet buns, eggs, and crepes, so we were well-fortified for our day of walking around Rethymnon. Thanks, John and Pam, for the stay at the Leoniki Residence Hotel.

The drive there was a little harrowing as Gail tried to be alert to the CRAZY Greek drivers passing on hills, passing with on-coming traffic, and just plain passing. No wonder there are so many tiny church models on the sides of the roads where family members light candles in memory of their loved-ones! The only highlights of the drive were stopping at the side of the road to enjoy the views and to buy a huge bag of freshly-picked, juicy oranges from a little Cretan woman. The 5 Euro price was well-worth it!

Rethymnon is dominated by their ancient Fortress of Fortezza, built by the Venetians in 1573. It fell to the Turks in 1646 and they added a mosque which has one of the largest domed roofs in Greece. Much of the stone is deteriorating, so restoration is being done on the wall and buildings inside. We were delighted to see so many wildflowers blooming on the grounds, and one area was humming with bees and had a high perfume. One of the bonuses of travelling in the spring!

We enjoyed threading our way through the narrow, winding streets of old homes and shops just below the fortress. Most places were closed because it was Sunday, but the tavernas were often busy with families and young people having drinks. We found a cute garden cafe for lunch where the proprietor gave us each a glass of ouzo, water and ice to enjoy before our meal. The calamari, fried sardines, stuffed tomatoes and lamb with eggplant were tasty Cretan dishes.

CONTEST! CONTEST!  CONTEST!

Some of you may remember the Fantastic Fournier Travel Contest from 2005 (Amanda and Emmy were first and second prize winners).  Well, now that more of you have retired, we expect more entries! 


1. Which early Crete society was remarkably advanced, produced unsurpassed artwork and was the center of a maritime trading empire as early as 2000 B.C ?
2. Name the script, written on clay tablets, found only on Crete , that has yet to be deciphered?
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Comments

emmybortolin
emmybortolin on

here we go again
Well, it's a darn good thing I'm still unemployed as I have oodles of time to research all these quizzical (??) items from your contest!!! BTW, Amazing Race was a good one - great payback time - anyway, it's waiting for you when you return....and of course you don't care, but it's snowing (again!!!) here today!! Hopefully it will have stopped by the time you come back.....!!!

starfire
starfire on

I thought that school was out!!!
Detentions were my favorite subject and it's for certain that you can't get me from where you are...lol! It won't be long now and I'll be on my own adventure and searching out the plight of the northern Ontario pickeral! ..lol
Have fun and keep me on your list .please!
Don

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