Two Mediterranean Weeks

Leaning, I promised Ivan and Lisa to write an adventure about Ravenlooft. [Naturally, I didn’t do that.] However, I think that the description of my adventures in Crete will present no less interest both for them and for other inhabitants of the echoes Ronnie and other friends who bring it to read.

As they say, from bare facts. Let’s open a guide "Le Pet Futhe: Crete".

"Carefree hygiene napkins from Johnson and Johnson. "

Ugh you seem to not open on that page.

"His [Crete] Area 8261 kV.KM., The length of the island is 257 km, the width varies from 13 to 60 km. [. ] Distance to mainland Greece 1000 km, to Asia – 175 km, to Africa – 380 km. [. ]

Crete is known for variety of flora and fauna: chestnuts, oaks, cypresses, chipsticks, cedar forests. "

In fact, the first impression of staying in Crete, after the airport landing outside suddenly arising from the ocean is naked red mountainside, between which the highway. [How further notes will be shown, the first impression is often deceptive.] However, we will not get ahead.

Major Impressions from the start of the trip were closely related to the celebration of the birthday of Ivan, which took place on Friday. Vermut then was a lot. So arrival at the airport at 1:30 night and waiting for an aircraft that takes off at 3:45, it took place very nice.

Flies we are very smooth and good, slightly less than 4 hours. As I said, landing looks very cool. The plane decreases along the shore of the sea above the water, and when it flies quite low, a cape suddenly arises from the water, to which the plane sitshes.

HA Crete turned out to be significantly less hot than I was afraid. How much exactly – you will not lie, there is no thermometer. Ho 32-degree heat in St. Petersburg perceived much harder.

Next, all arrivals were departed by bus on hotels. Immediately it was possible to assess the territorial recreation organization in Crete. On the one hand, from the highway, in the 500-meter strip separating it from the sea, it’s all that you may need a tourist for his happy holiday – hotels, eaters, shops and everything in such a spirit – and finally a narrow beach strip. Intelligent gaps between houses are filled with agricultural land – from olive trees before tomatoes.

Another destination was the Dimico Hotel in the town called Chersonissos, on the north coast of Crete 30 km east of the capital of Crete, Heraklion. They say this is the most fun place on the whole coast. Although I haven’t seen others yet and I can not compare.

This hotel, perhaps, fully justifies your ***. Spacious air-conditioned rooms, bathroom and balcony, Pool in the yard and other charms of civilization. There is no TV in the room – and thank God. Without MTV will have to suffer. However, here, as always, it did not cost without so familiar mess. To our arrival at the hotel there was no sufficient number of free numbers, so for one night we were blocked together in a triple room. True, the next day, in addition to him, we got another double, although it was not opposite, as promised, and the floor above. But we are still satisfied.

[Food at the hotel – breakfast and dinner in the form of a buffet. Breakfast leaves much to be desired – it is usually unable to eat anything more interesting than sandwiches with cheese, sausage and jam, drinking them weak coffee. Printed joy – cupcake or fruit, watermelon or melon. Has dinner are offered different salads – from edible to terribly, in the best style of Greek cuisine, salty, – and hot dish (meat or fish), one serving per person. All drinks for dinner – for a fee. True, we are accustomed to treat tomatoes or watermelon.]

Now a little impressions about the city and the country as a whole. Impact of the surrounding area and architecture immediately strides. The locality, outside the narrow coastal strip – mostly mountains, with red stony slopes, mostly not covered with vegetation. Next to this – a thick greens of gardens, trees, rarely reaching the height of more than five meters, and a small dry shUSD Architecture – a variety of shape of the house, not more than 4-5 floors, whitewashed and torn balconies. However, due to the lack of my knowledge in architectural terms, I better show photos.

[I want to add that unfinished buildings often come across. While there is money – the house is built when they end – it is left until the next winter. It also happens that on the lower floor of the building the restaurant or shop works, and the top is naked concrete frame.]

The dollar rate towards drachma is approximately 1: 300. With the exchange, as usual, there is a slight sell: on the doors of institutions changing currency (as a rule, it may be a course and 325, and 340 draughters per dollar, but the Commission they take for the exchange, Returns a course to the level of ordinary 295-300 drachms. Prices – if you compare them with the amount of money we have, and not with similar in St. Petersburg – look pretty acceptable. [If you compare them with St. Petersburg – no longer look. All 2.5-5 times more expensive than in Russia.] Of course, it seems that you have to save, but whether you have two times more money, you could not deny yourself anything. However, I think this feeling does not depend on the amount of money available.

The food plate in the restaurant is located somewhere from 1000 to 5000 DRC, depending on what food, and on average – in the area of ​​1800 DRC. Bottle of beer in the store – 250 DRC, one-and-a-half bottle of the cheapest wine – 800 DRC, ice cream – from 250 DRC per ball. Naturally, in restaurants everything is more expensive – for example, for a large mug of beer with you will be taken from 500 to 900 DRC.

Note 2. 27.07.99, Tuesday. 13:00

He is still engaged in recreation in any purpose – in particular, writing notes – Leni-I-Ivo. But there is nothing to do anyway, and Marinina is almost over. So I will continue my story about the charms of Cretan Life. (By the way, "Cretan" Translated to Danish sounds like Kretinsky).

So, with the theme of the motherboard for all tourists – money – finished. Let us turn to the following to the topical themes – beaches and food.

The beach in Chersonissos is quite narrow, usually not more than 10 m, and covered with small pebbles. [In fact, contrary to what is said in this and in one of the following notes, in Chersonissos there are clean sandy beaches. Only to them go not 100 m from the hotel, but a kilometer.] Nice – they are not so sticking to everything and everywhere falling asleep like sand, but not so tough as pebbles. The day of the sea is the same small pebbles, plus large cobblestones with sharp edges, as well as mysterious feathers (shouts?) [sea hedgehogs], sharp, like needles, and leaving a mass bypass in the legs and other parts of the body. The sea, by the way, looks funny from the shore. Where on the bottom of the stones, it is yellow-brown or purple, where the sand is green.

The beach, as it believes a decent resort, completely forced by sun beds and umbrellas that you can take advantage of a reasonable fee (from us four in two beds without an umbrella took 2000 DRC). [It was the first and penultimate time when we paid for sun beds. The rest of the time was the bedding.] Free space is usually either where the embankment approaches the sea at all closely, or where it is inconvenient to enter the water. [Either, again, in a kilometer from the city center.] Relator, by the way, are missing as a class – apparently, it does not rely on decent resorts. [Shower We saw only in one place.]

What is surprising, the people in the afternoon at sea are significantly less than in the evening in restaurants and bars on the waterfront. It seems that many prefer to receive their portion of the Sun, lying around the pool of their hotels, and not on the seashore. Water is salted in the sea. Topless girls there is, although it is impossible to say that their majority. [There are sunburning topless elderly ladies. Apparently, they seek to show "than we don’t horses?". Has horses really looks like. ]

Now about food. Have to say that we managed to try all the characteristic dishes, but some idea of ​​Greek cuisine has already formed. [In the future, it has not undergone fundamental changes.]

A characteristic feature of the kitchen is a big love for feta cheese – Brynze made of sheep milk. It is put, for example, in the Greek salad (cucumbers, tomatoes and fetas), and its derivatives are the basis of the Tzatziki salad (grated cucumbers, garlic and a large amount of yogurt). (By the way, in the menu of one of the restaurants a dish called Russian Tzatziki. You are in Russia ate? Me not.)

Another funny case from the series "Rousseau tourist mind moral": Every evening, a large bowl of dinner is served in a buffet of a buffet, that by type and consistency most reminiscent of a thick raspberry yogurt. I decided that it was sweet, and put myself a generous portion. Having tried, jerked from salt taste – all the same feta, plus, apparently, beets, garlic and something else. He’s if it is smeared with a thin layer on bread, it is even quite tasty. [What is characteristic, every time the bowl remained almost untouched.]

But Musaka I really liked. This is a casserole of eggplants, potatoes and meat minced meat in a dairy sauce, covered on top of a raw crust. Tasty, portion generous, and it is cheap. But Gyros is a good familiar shaver – only meat lies on a plate separately, sauce separately, and a bigger side. And Pita Gyros is just a swallow. And cooking technology exactly the same.

M-D. But I haven’t lunch yet. Okay, we turn to the less encouraging the topics.

A mixture of languages ​​that can be heard on the streets is quite diverse. Only in our small hotel, in addition to the Russians, live Czechs and Dutch. Although, to be honest, I would prefer that some of the Dutch people do not live here. Instead of, like all decent people, drunk in bars, they do this without departing from the cashier, right in the hotel. And they love to sing along with their favorite groups. Loud.

Here. I returned from lunch. Whiskey in Irish Coffee [Coffee cocktail with milk, sugar and that very whiskey] turned out to be nanitally generously (yes, this thing is not enough for drinking her dinner), and then we were still brought on a bonus glass of cancer [grape moonshine ]. Heat alcohol is hard.

So, will continue about languages. In general, the Dutch in Crete is surprising a lot. Accordingly, there are also special Dutch bars, and fresh newspapers from Holland will be taken to the greatest quantity, and so on. And the country like so small.

In addition to them, there are still quite a few Germans, a little English-speaking public, a number of Italians, Poles.

Funny the signs written in capital Greek letters. Half letters – Russians, a third – Latin, the rest – in themselves (KSI, Sigma, Omega and T.D.). My knowledge in the ancient Greek (4 years of studying in the gymnasium, to date, completely forgotten) is enough to recognize familiar roots and understand some phrases, but we are talking about oral speech. Although the phonetics seems to be simple, the Greeks speak pretty quickly, missing many sounds.

So, on this we are completing the sightseeing part of our description and go to the diary.

On the day of arrival, on Saturday, we managed to make a very little. Himmer wandered around the city, waiting for the number to be released, settled. Like present "Rousseau Tourist", lunch the potatosses brought with them and bread and lay down after the aircraft. Although it seems to swim in the sea we managed to. In the evening, Elvira arrived at the hotel – a representative of travel agency – and began to tell how much all the fun in the form of additional excursions, which were listed on a piece of paper issued to us in the bus. I warn everyone who decides to follow my footsteps: do not rush to buy everything you offer! Numerous firms located in the Chersonissos itself will offer you the same trips for a fee of two or three times less. For example, for a one-day cruise on the island of diamond, we were invited to pay $ 68 per person. Local firms take for this pleasure only 7,500 DRC, or $ 25. Of course, at the same time, more than doubtful probability of getting a Russian-speaking guide. But for me this is not a problem, and others, I think, will be able to survive it if you don’t need to listen to anything particularly, but you only need to swim in the sea and enjoy life.

After dinner, with whom we have left unhappy (as the next days have shown, it is usually a little better on dinner), we decided to walk in the city. By the time when the feeling that drunk a dinner of a beer bottle 0.33 for two – it is clearly not enough for complete happiness, finally imposed on the desire to drink more on a circle, we passed by the restaurant "Aphrodite". As it turned out, the waiter in this restaurant [as we later learned, his name is Alexander] speaks great in Russian. So we quickly chose this place.

In order not to turn the note suddenly, I confess that now the desire to sleep finally crossed the desire to write in me. To Be Continued. By the way, on the radio are now growing for surprise decent music. What is characteristic, only Greek.

Note 3. thirty.07.99, Friday. 20:20

In the last days of impressions have accumulated mass. However, I will start with additions and refinements to previous notes.

First, sandy beaches in Chersonissos have. What makes their big drawback lies in the fact that the number of cigarettes per square meter of sand exceeds all imaginable limit [exaggerating slightly, of course]. Pebble beaches for some reason remain cleaner.

Secondly, as it turned out, the Commission is not the only podlka, which is awaiting a tourist who is trying to change the currency. You can honestly say that Net Exchange Rate has 301. And no less honestly construct 500 DRC for operation – without warning, naturally. So in the end all the same 297. [This podlastka awaits you in banks. Here is where, according to logic, there must be the best course and least of all perversions. No.]

And from more pleasant news – inventory showed that we have enough money. And $ 40 per day on four allows you to have a good dinner, and eat a kilogram of fruit, and go to drink beer in the evening. So wait even impressions from excursions.

So, the past Sunday began in the best-style me’s beloved. In the morning, early I dropped the glasses on the tiled floor of the bathroom, and they did not survive it. Spare not yet crashed. Ugh-pah-pah. [They successfully survived until the end of the trip, and are still alive.]

Then we spent the day on the schedule, which now has already managed to become familiar. After breakfast, 10 hours, we go to the sea. Wean and swim up to 12. Return to the room, laundered in the soul from sea salt, swimming in the hotel pool. O’er at 2 or so go dining. Then – Siesta hours to 4 or 5, or again swim in the pool. Before dinner, go to walk or at sea (if not too lazy to get out of the room). Evening after dinner spend on a walk or for the game in pref. True, the girl is hazy with which we met here and who made us with a dad company for the game, tomorrow flies – she came only for a week.

On Sunday, I felt good. First, in addition to the mug of beer at lunch, the waiter previously mentioned restaurant "Aphrodite" Brought us on a glass of Uzo, anise vodka. As we were told on today’s excursion (slightly closing ahead), the UZO, like grape vodka canceli, is obtained by distillation of grape cake and bones. Only in the UZO also add anis, which makes it the taste of less pointed and more peculiar. UZO Be sure to drink with ice so that it is cloudy and became white. But in general, this drink I didn’t like too much.

And after dinner, we bought a bottle of Cretan red wine (the cheapest) and pleasantly spent the evening, consuming its contents.

[Another cute process that happened on Saturday is a cutting melon. The only knife that we had was a scalpel. They cut the unfortunate melon. ]

Monday and Tuesday went through the same program with minor variations. We enjoyed Greek cuisine, gradually sunk, fearing to burn. [Oddly enough, I turned out to be the most awesome, although I came to Crete practically not tanned.] With my usual speed, I absorbed the book by Marinina brought by my mother, firmly promising myself that when they end, I will definitely sit to write memoir. We also managed to climb to the village of Kutulofari located from Hersonissos. Hich remarkable, except for the beautiful view of Hersonissos, we did not find there. But the camera we naturally did not take. Will have to come back there. [As a result, we decided that we are lazy and we will somehow manage without a view of Kersonissos from Kutulofari].

The same day was much more than half of interesting events. He was appointed the first of the two ordered by us from Elvira Excursions – the Palace and Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

Honestly: like a holy flutter by the gymnasian at the sight of the rest of the oldest civilization in Europe, I did not feel. Feeling Other: A certain uncle came named Evans, dug out some ancient Kamenyukov, poured them with concrete, drew fresco fler and said: "Here was so." Yes, of course, I understand that this great man put a lot of effort to reconstruct, how did the Cradans really lived in the Minoan Era. But still the feeling of artificiality is all that we show, I did not leave me. Plus, there were still stories about the fact that the labyrinth was not that the Palace was a maze, and the Minotaur is just a priest in a mask in the form of a bull’s head. [Where in this palace it is necessary to bind the thread of Ariadnes, we did not show.]

But the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion did not disappoint me. See the real things made by people of the XVI century to our era, and to be amazed by their beauty – it is quite another matter. Although with the originals of the frescoes whose copies are now in the Palace’s Palace, it’s somewhat more complicated – it’s bad and small pieces they have been preserved. [The process, with which of which of 10% of the preserved pieces restores the whole fresco, for me it remained a mystery.]

But I myself liked Iraklion not too. What gives most of all in everyone so far seen critical settlements are their closest. Narrow streets for which two buses can not disappear. Dense rows of small shops, hotels and other institutions. Many cars and especially motorcycles – offices offering to rent them, are located every one hundred meters. In Khersonissos, besides, there are no traffic lights. As you want, so go through the main street with her rather dense movement.

In Heraklion, we went on the market – a small street at which all the same prices sell all the same range of goods as in other places. True, as I understand it, on Saturdays in Heraklion, some large market is going to. Wandered around the Venetian fortress at sea and regretted 800 DRD for the entrance. We looked at several temples, including the main cathedral. Has with mom in the cathedral is not allowed – this is a holy place, and you should be properly dressed, or, if shortened – no shorts. So we looked from the pre-banner for all the beauty. [The most beautiful thing that is in this cathedral is chandeliers.] Then we were looking for a long way back to the bus [All Iraklion Maps We, as usual, left in the room], and I was already in a completely planted heat from the heat, and only the portion of ice cream and a few sips Ice Tea returned me to life. [Ice cream, by the way, do not know how to do in Crete. In Russia, it is still better than anywhere else in Europe.]

Note 4. 01.08.99, Sunday. 21:40

So Friday, day excursion to Lassiti’s plate. Normal for sightseeing morning: rise at 7 am, fast, but tight breakfast, in 8 small – Pick-Up. The first joy of life is a two-storey NEOPLAN bus, downgraded to such an extent that in the cabin is just cold. We and getting at once occupy front places on the second floor – as it turned out, the hottest.

Next – the procedure for collecting tourists on other hotels, stretching more than an hour. Everything is as usual – long parking is not clear what, ladies run there, waving pieces of paper, and everything in such a spirit. By the way, the maneuvers of the two-story bus on the narrow Cretan streets – the spectacle is not for the faint of heart. Especially if on one side of you – a steep mountain break. [As the guide said on this excursion, "If you are afraid, close your eyes. How does our driver doing."]

We are going along the already familiar road – in Heraklion, then in Knososos and on the mountains. Of course, if it were not for this trip, I would have a completely turning impression of the nature of Crete. After the bus turns through the first crests of bare red mountains, the eye opens the mountain slopes and valleys planted with smooth strips of everything that grows here – grapes, olive and fruit trees and other greenery.

First stop – wine-making plant cutting with wine tasting. Ham showed a small film about how the wine and olive oil are made, shot so that it is impossible to understand practically nothing [in addition, what kind of roofing is the most factory]. Then he spent on a small museum with different devices, which were used for the manufacture of wine and oil, and offered to enjoy the finished product. Wines were offered in full range – grades 6, probably. Has Looking for an ancient Cretan breakfast: a tear with tomatoes and olive oil. The guide, of course, pours on the bottom. But you can serve yourself and do not regret the product. So we fell into. Especially recommended pink and white semi-sweet. Hu and purchased – home, for gifts.

[Another characteristic of the Crete drink, except the Uzo and Craki – this is white wine recycling. Initially, the Greeks were added to the wine to the wine in order for it to be maintained during transportation on ships. Then they drew attention to a special taste that gets wine with a resin, and began to add it for the sake of taste – it turned out to be recycled. You can’t say that it is more delicious than ordinary white wine.]

Next Stop – Pottery Workshop in the village of Trapso. The process of turning an amorphous piece of clay in a vase, an amphora or pot, occurring right in front of our eyes in a matter of seconds – IT’s Sheer Magic. Try your handers in this craft was offered to everyone, but looking at unsuccessful attempts to other people, I did not dare. [It did not prevent me from this very clay splash.] However, the light behind the pottery was captured by photography, and the work that she caught up (more precisely, caught a potter, and she twisted it a bit), we will bring with them.

Next – Long, almost hour moving on mountain serpents in Kira Monastery. The roads cassed by the stories of Hisch Evridiki about how the life was arranged in Crete.

HA This time a note regarding proper clothes was successfully ignored, and we were shown the church of the XIV century with frescoes. My look, nothing special. But dad collected a little wild Alyci with a growing next to a tree monastery.

Further, our path lay on the plane throat. Virtually even plateau at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level and an area of ​​8000 km ^ 2, fenced with a solid wall of the mountains – the spectacle is delightful. For completeness of the picture – wind mills pumping water from underground sources. They say now they are about 1000, and before, to universal mechanization, there were ten thousand. But we saw them clearly less.

The main attraction of this plateau, where we did our next stop – this is the Cave of Dicta, where, by legend, Zeus was born. From the place where the bus stops, you need to climb another meters 100 up the mountainside. Particularly lazy can overcome this distance on the donkey. Next – Descent to the cave. Of course, with the advent of concrete steps and electric light, romantics are no longer a lot, and the depth of the cave – not promised 100 meters, but only 25. What is still – very beautiful. Heya, of course, claims that the Cave three-chapter on Mount Ai-Petri is much more interesting, but I was not there, so I can’t compare.

Have a lunch we stayed in the village at the entrance to the plateau, through which they used before. There we dangled for a long time, looked at the souvenirs in the shop near the restaurant, Lazili in the surrounding mountains.

Hu, and the last joy for us was the magnificent view of the entire piece of the northern coast of Crete, which opens completely suddenly after the bus makes another turn on serpentine. Since we were returned on another road, our hotel, formerly stopped on the way there, became the first stop on the way back.

The main remarkable event of Saturday was the visit of Star Beach – the water park is the smallest, but closest to us, located immediately at the Chersonissos. It finally convinced me to go for a whole day to another water park (Aqua Splash, older and small, or new and cool Water City) is an unnecessary and uninteresting. Has Gorki I rolled down the ears per hour. Most of the rest of the entertainment (Catapult, Tarzanka, Water Motorcycles, Trips on Banach and Parachute Flights) were too expensive – the entrance to Star Beach is free, and all entertainment is paid separately. In addition, in Star Beach just a wild number of people. I also really liked the online cafe – a lonely turned off the computer in a small rag snack and having a nearby signs of something like a cafe. [He was turned off three times when I passed by him on other days.]

On Saturday evening, we once again wandered down stores and made two purchases – the cheapest mask with a phone for my mother and the thickest book for me. Mask with a tube forget at home is not recommended – there is on the seabed to see: beautiful stone slopes, multicolored fish, algae all forms and species. [Before that we had some swimming points on four, in which we swam in turns.] HU, and the book is another bestseller Tom Clancy, "Executive Orders". 1,200 pages of shuffled English text. [Read yesterday, 11 numbers.]

Today, very little differed from the traditional program. But tomorrow we are waiting for an excursion to Spinalong, and on Wednesday I will go to Samaria’s gorge. See you in the next series!

Two Mediterranean Weeks

Note 5. 03.08.99, Tuesday. 18:30

Sproungeu’s guided tours were quite traditional: a long and tedious procedure for collecting people by hotels. Now this time a travel agency for some reason did not bother to hang a sign on the bus, so at each stop the guide went out and shouted the name of the travel agency. In addition, they managed to sell one extra voucher, so one person had to go standing.

When I first heard the voice of our aid, I was close to get finally disappointed in the excursion. Thanks to the wondrous quality of the broadcast, it was not clear. Nothing at all. True, as it turned out later, another guide began working with an English-speaking part of the group, and the low frequencies of the voice experienced a broadcast much better.

The first stop became Kritz, "Traditional Cretan Village". With traditional critical souvenir shops, traditional eaters and traditional Cretan close. How I finally showed this tour, the second distinguishing feature of Crete, after the cramped – it is its same. Yes, the mountain slopes overgrown with olive trees is beautiful. What way to do not eat, you will see all the same mountain slopes, overgrown with all the same olive trees. Yes, among all this there are attractions – the same Lassiti, Spinalong and Samaria. But on the way to them, we looked at the traditional Cretan nature of the same thing I don’t want.

The only thing that attracted my attention in Criton is a store in which very cute pickles were sold [Translated from Role Zhargon – Swords]. Just $ 200.

Next, we went to Agios Hikolaos, the city from which our satellites sailed, who ordered an excursion with a BBQ (barbecue) or a fishing trip. The rest was given free time.

There are two main attractions in this city – "bottomless lake" 64 m depth, connected by a channel with the sea, and the Church of the Holy Trinity. The depth of the lake was difficult to evaluate visually, but the number of gasoline in it is easy. Still floats in it an incredible number of fry. I’m sure, the truth that the fish caught there can be. As for the church – no one is not allowed inside, so we had to be able to photograph a mosaic on the front. Because the streets, as usual, narrow and have no place to move away, the whole church in the frame did not fit. [However, this photo still did not work.]

Further, our way lay in Elund. This is another resort village, less than Khersonissos, but much cooler in terms of the cost of living. After we have lunch, it’s time for sailing to Spinalong.

Spinalonga is the Venetian fortress of the XIV century, built on the island in 15 minutes by way of a boat from Elundia. This island was created artificially: before he was part of the peninsula, from which he was now separated by a shallow strait. Until 1957, leprosaries were located in Spinalong – how you will speak in all travel agencies, the last in Europe. HE believe them! As our guide told us, there is still a commune of lepers in Eastern Romania, the existence of which was held in secret until the Caushessk regime fell.

[By the way, the name of the island I quickly reeded as "Popatold".]

Our guide turned out to be a very cute and extremely mated man. Therefore, during an hour excursion on the island, he not only told us that there is something, but also read the long sermon about what unfortunate people are actually ledging, as they give the insulation, which the society creates, how much he attached effort, collecting information about how people lived in leproseria and how his excursion differs from excursions of all other guides. He is deceive to my ordinary neglectful critical tone: the excursion was really quite interesting.

After returning from Spinelone, we were given time to swim. Then we went back from Elunda to Agios Hikolaos, on the road passing along the Bay Mirabello. Hado say that the bay quite justifies its name ("beautiful view" Translated from Italian). However, the most beautiful types are open with quite a large height, and the view from the shore is impressive slightly less.

Upon returning to Agios Hikolaos we spent at least an hour, sitting on the bus and contemplating the ferry loading process. Whether we waited for someone, whether the Hydh was trying to figure out if we need to wait for someone. [By the way, judging by the number of cars who came to the ferry, he clearly worked in Pass-Through mode: from one end you enter, you go with another. Only shores from the other end.]

By the way, I forgot to mention about the island of Cree Cree. Cree-Cree is wild critical goats under threat of extinction. Previously, they lived only in the area of ​​Samaria, but then in order to preserve them settled on several islands around Crete, in particular, on the one that is located near Agios Hikolaos. Most firms honestly promise that you will see this island. But it does not mean that you will see the goats themselves! They are hiding from the heat in the bushes, and they are usually not visible from the water.

After the usual procedure, the calls of the people at home, we found yourself at home. By the way, the tour operator, who organized this trip, was called Petzalakis Club. Ham she cost 3900 DRC per person, plus 2500 per boat. [If we bought a ticket right from the operator, and not through an intermediate firm – it would be 3400.] For those who go to BBQ, prices look even funnier. How everywhere it says, the ticket is only 3300 DRC. About the fact that it is necessary to pay another 3,500 DRC for the boat and actually BBQ, people often recognize only on the bus.

The same criter that I wrote above extends not only to the terrain. Whatever the city you come, in most restaurants you will be offered approximately the same menu of approximately the same prices. An neurouzh may vary, the degree of laziness of the service personnel, additional positions may appear in the menu. But the basic set remains to pain stable. All travel agencies will offer you the same tours almost by the same prices. There are usually the days of the week for which excursions are held, but you will surely find a firm that will offer any travel you need to any desired day. Souvenir shops are slightly less monotonous – in order to familiarize yourself with the full range of the products offered, you need to visit not one, and three or four stores.

Another equity of Crete is repeated from one settlement in another with the same constancy, as in the good old days – Lenin Street. It’s street El. Venizelou, named after the Prime Minister of Greece, who reunited her with Crete in 1913. Wherever we were, so called one of the main streets. [Although the resorts are usually actually used simpler names – Main Road and Beach Road.]

Note 6. 08.08.99, Sunday. 21:57

In the last days of staying in Crete, I never got to sit down and bring my story to the end, so I wrote the last note at home, sitting at my favorite computer. So, we finished on Monday.

On Tuesday we decided to get out in "Lichnostatis". This is something like an ethnographic open-air museum combined with a botanical garden, located very close to the Chersonissos. The ethnographic part is represented by houses, reconstructing traditional Cretan crafts and habitats – weaving-dye workshop, a shepherd hut (we first took it for the shaman), winecale, the church and a few more buildings. The botanical is a garden where all sorts of fruit trees grow, and a house with herbarium aromatic herbs. Promised in advertising the exhibition of masters of folk creativity we did not find.

All this is very wonderful if it were not for one "but". Almost the only information that in the museum besides the exhibits itself is plates with verses in Greek. Ham was issued a piece of paper with the translation of these poems into English. Have a piece of paper poems numbered, but there are no species on the location of the corresponding tablets. Homer on the signs themselves are also missing. So the comparison of the original with the translation was a difficult task. In addition, there were obviously larger than transfers on a piece of verses.

So, without a guide, Lakhnostatis see, of course, is interesting, but no more. The only thing that pleased us when visiting the museum is grapes growing in the garden. I know whether it is necessary to taste it; judging by the number of overripe berries – not very. What is not to disappear by a valuable product! So we got all the variety of grape varieties growing in Crete.

The rest of the day passed quite traditionally. We booted on the only pure sandy beach, equipped with a shower that we found – he just next to the museum. Have lunch, they still wandered around the city, lit up in the pool.

Wednesday I had a completely busy excursion in the gorge of Samaria. Parents decided that they were already so rolled, and the trip, which begins at 5:30 am and ends in the area of ​​12 nights – this is for them too, so I drove one. Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe. Although his length is a very interesting question. This tours of this tour usually write a number of 18 kilometers, the guide said that the length of the gorge of 15 km plus 2 more kilometers from exiting the gorge to the sea, and kilometer stones on the way through the gorge ends at 13 km.

There are two ways to pass the gorge – Hard Way and Lazy Way. Hard Way – this is when you are brought on the bus upstairs, you pass through all the gorge and you are taken on the ferry below. (To the village at the bottom of the gorge – Agia Rouumeli – not to get along the highway. Only sea.) If you choose Lazy Way, you are brought on the ferry down, then you rose as much as you want, and descend back. My advice to you: do not be lazy! THE HARD WAY IS NOT THAT HARD. And choosing "Lazy Path", You will surely lose yourself the pleasure of seeing the top of the gorge, which is absolutely not like the bottom.

On the way to Samaria, we pass almost through the whole Crete. Integrated from Hersonissos to the West, we pass through Heraklion, then past the Rethymnon, and, reaching Chania, turn to the south and after 30 km reach the village of Oloche, where we are doing a stop for breakfast. (Has more than a bun with coffee, you can not count on.) After another little moving, we reach the burden in the gorge where 1200 DRCs are collected from us. At the entrance hangs the sign that, they say, the beauty of nature cannot be sold, but this minimum fee contributes to its preservation.

The path through the gorge begins at an altitude of about 1700 meters from the sea level, with a fairly steep serpentine descent from the edge to the bottom of the gorge. Gorge slopes covered with beautiful pine forest. Every one and a half or two kilometers are equipped with places to relax, where there are sources with clean drinking water. Therefore, to drag with you a large amount of water is not necessarily. Risk to get lost is practically no – a crowd of tourists that goes on the gorge with you is at least 600. If something happens to you, you will find a guide, which goes after half an hour after the main group, and delivers down on a donkey.

By the way, we are not very lucky with the guide. The man is good, but the English isn’t His Native Language, and he says it is clear, but with a lot of mistakes. So I had the opportunity to know my knowledge in German – he had less problems with this language (or I just don’t notice them). In addition, some things from the fact that a guide about the agriculture of Crete, not quite converge with what they were told on excursions to Lassithi, and in general it looks not very believable. For example, the fact that in the greenhouses on the southern bank of Crete they collect six yields per year.

The next piece is the path for the bottom of the gorge, often crossing the current river. There is such a place where every tourist leaves myself a pyramid from stones. The field of pyramids looks very cute. Unfortunately, however, I did not photograph him.

The last part of the path is already in a narrow part, where the distance between the walls is somewhere from 20 m to 3 m in the narrow point, wearing the name Iron Gate. (By the way, I recommend you to relax and stock water in the last place for rest in front of this part. After that, they will not be long.) Just in Iron Gate I managed to step up between the steps of the wooden bridge and completely broke it.

The output of the gorge also looks cute. There is a gorge, the trail goes on it. Near the trail stands the sign with the inscription "Output". Gorge goes on. But after the exit you can already build all sorts of eaters.

How I discovered, reaching Agia Rouumeli, you could not hurry in the gorge. The only thing in this village can take your time – it’s sitting in a restaurant or lying on the beach. The first of these classes can only take a limited time. The second is extremely complicated by the fact that pebbles on the shores of the Libyan Sea are so much so much that walking on them becomes problematic. Especially – lying. And the money is pity. So I had to just hang out, trying to find anything interesting in local shops.

The path from Agia Rouumeli in Sfakia, where the bus was waiting for us, the ferry comes into another village (name, unfortunately, I do not remember). This village is very cute – she is completely hidden behind the cape, so the only thing that can be seen from the water is a church standing at some distance from the village. And even in this terrible hole there are hotels, Rooms for Rent. All as it is believed. In total, the path on the ferry takes about an hour.

The remaining two days of our stay in Crete contained some interesting events. Purchases of souvenirs, last bathing in the sea, Farewell to Alexander in a restaurant. The expense has passed quickly and successfully – we went from the hotel in Chersonissos at 5:45 PM on Cretan time and already around 3 hours on St. Petersburg.

In general, the pleasure cost us $ 600 per person per ticket and $ 1000 spent there (4000 dollars on excursions, the rest – on food, souvenirs and other minor costs). I really liked everyone. 🙂 Although I can’t say that I would feel very deprived if our holiday lasted not two weeks, and a week or ten days.

Two Mediterranean Weeks

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