My expectations for Crete were not great and I was certainly under the misunderstanding of the size and geography of the island. It is quite mountainous and brings to mind the Sierra Nevadas’.
It could have been a lovely culinary and hiking ten days. After all it was announced as Great Hikes and Cuisine of Crete. However, the storm of the decade descended for four days and we were holed up in a tiny little village on the side of a mountain. We managed to get in 1/2 day of hiking before the deluge hit. Thunder, lightning, pitchfork rain…
The guides (of which there were four family members) did everything possible to entertain us. We had singing and dancing men, bread making, estufago (stew as far as I could tell) making, cheese making and of course raki (the national drink and basically 40-50% alcohol). Everything but hiking. It was a bit like being one of the bored kids on a family holiday!
So, it really doesn’t look that bad, does it? Of course, it was a unique adventure and we did do lots of other things such as visiting the stables (too rainy to ride) and drinking raki there. Having lunch at a snail farm and drinking raki (which was a blessing after eating the damn snails).
My favorite part is coming now: visiting Knossos (home of the Minoans and Europe’s oldest city) settled originally in 7000 BCE and home of Ariadne and the mythological labyrinth where Theseus fought the terrible Minotaur); and Phaestos, a Bronze Age archaeological site 3000 BCE. We were having better weather now…lucky me.
And finally, the lovely town of Chania where we ended our trip. Finally some great weather and beautiful sunsets. This is where I would head if I go back. And I don’t think you need to schedule a group trip. It would be easy enough to rent a car and travel around. Next time!
And now to leave you with the dancing men!