14 October 2008

Chania, Crete.

After Nafplio we caught a bus back to Athens and flew to crete. Crete is at the far south end of the Aegean and is one of the most southern areas of Greece. We arrived in Chania and shared a taxi with a friendly Georgian seismologist on an 11 day seismology conference in Crete - borin.

We spent 5 nights in Chania. We had a self catering studio which was alright but a bit basic. we were able to buy food and have what we wanted each morning which was nice and we had a few meals at home too.

Chania has a beautiful harbour with an old restored light house. Unfortunately Chania is very touristy to the point where you walk past 15-20 restaurants and every single restaurant harasses you to come into the best place in the whole world even the ones that say no harassing still harrass. To top it off they are all very similar and mediocre. The back streets are the place to go away from the beautiful harbour view. In fact we found the quality of the eatery to be inversely proportional to the amount of harassing and the look of the place. If it looks quiet and dodgy then it is probably a lot better then the done up ritzy restaurants that are full of tourists.

The highlight of Chania was visiting Samaria gorge in the centre of western crete nearby. It is the largest gorge in Europe and is around 16km long. We had a great time and it will be covered in a future blog, all of its own.

We spent a fair bit of time swimming and walking in crete. We found ourselves a very secluded little beach spot and spread out our towels and went into the crystal clear water. The spot we found was between to ridges of rock and the area of pebbles was just large enough for about 4 towels. Beside us was hundreds of metres of gorgeous beach. Before we knew it a very strange well cooked french man decided our tiny bit of beach was the place to be. so he came and sat next to corinne about a 50cm away, got his gear off to change and then proceeded to smoke like a Sydney National park during a summer bush fire. He also happily gave corinne a peice of broken glass and commented what a nice spot we had - Loser with a capital get your own spot FREAK.

I was able to get myself some snorkeling equipment here and spent a lot of time swimming amongst the rocks watching the parrot fish and oher cool creatures. The water is so warm and clear that you can often see 20-30 metres underwater and here are lots of fish that follow you around.

One day while we were sunbaking corinne noticed a pair of girls up the beach that were topless. I, of course, was not interested but corinne kept piping up and mentioning what they were doing. While i was snorkeling they both went into the water and started taking glamour shots of themselves whilst topless. there was lots of pouting and bizarre poses etc and after a while they began to look quite strange, being semi naked and all. While we watched them from the beach we noticed a lot of old greek guys walking by and then walking back and by again etc. The old greek men love a good stare. Finally an old greek man maybe 60-70 walked by and stopped to talk to the girls who were posing for eachother. He chatted away and the girls looked a bit uncomfortable and then he was given their camera and started photographing them together. The cheaky old bugger convinced them that this was a good ide and we had an even funnier spectacle to watch. He loved it too, we could tell and then i am sure he invited them back to his place, from the looks of all his gestures. Good on the ole fella for taking some initiative!


The old light house in the harbour


An unfinished mosque from the turkish occupation


The lighthouse at dusk


Captain Rodger exploring the Cretan shallows


The Harbour from the light house, notice the tall mountains in the distance, crete is very mountainous.


A winding street of decrepid houses, many have not been repaired since earth quakes in the 1950’s


The knife shop on knife street. This street has been the knife area for about 400 years. I bought myself a heavy bladed knife with a goat horn handle and a wooden scabbard, very pretty and good to keep Corinne under control when she is naughty.


On of the many local scittish cats that relished our left overs, a very cheap bottle of local wine in the back ground


Some hot fella in the back street, may even be Nafplio, it all looks the same after a while!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Crete looks lovely too. I love your descriptions of the local inhabitants. I am glad you kept an eye on that good-looking wife of yours, with some of the strange guys around! xxx