Archive for the ‘Crete’ Category

The Balkans | Day 27-28 | Greece | Crete | Kalathas



Unexpectedly returning to Chania with no notice left me with little choice in hotels, but fortunately I found a nice family-run hotel outside the city in the teeny-tiny town of Kalathas. I arrived there the night after Elafonissi beach; I had stored my luggage in a locker in the Chania bus station, which was quite handy and convenient. The following morning, still suffering from heart-ache, I was slow to get up and do anything, and even then, it wasn’t much. I washed some clothes in the sink; went to the one tiny market in the town to buy bread, meat, cheese, and fruit; then got tired of the cleaning lady swarming my door of my hotel room, so I finally walked down to the beach.

I don’t think I cried on the Kalathas beach. Probably because I had already cried that morning. So I enjoyed the water and sun, and had my heart warmed by a stray golden lab who seemed to have made that beach her home. She charmed many of us on the beach by playing fetch with one tourist who endeared himself to her. Sadly, I didn’t take any photos of her. I decided to just enjoy the moment. But now, I wish I had taken one shot of her sweet wet sandiness.

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The Balkans | Day 26 | Greece | Crete | Elafonissi


Elafonissi (also spelled with one ‘s’) is a really pretty lagoon, beach, and tiny island that boasts pink sand, but that’s a bit of a tall tale. There was pink sand, but it was in small patches scattered throughout the lagoon. Despite the oversell, I really recommend this day trip from Chania (also spelled Hania). Actually, if you have time, and you can find a room at one of the few hotels in Elafonissi, and you love a good beach, spend the night here. There is only one bus per day from Chania, so it dumps a load of people around 11 a.m. Even then the beach wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded, but it got worse as the day went on. I guess the crowds came from tour buses and people with their own cars. If you get to the beach early enough in the morning, you could have this Greek paradise practically to yourself. It was by far the best beach I visited in Greece.

There’s a large lagoon area that you have to wade through to get to the less crowded tiny island beach. The water is about waist-high at the deepest point, and inches deep at the shallowest. The water is beautiful and warm. Not Hawaii warm, but probably the warmest it gets in Greece, which is tolerable, even for this wimp.

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The Balkans | Day 23-24 | Greece | Crete | Loutro

2300_loutro_titleI’ve been composing this post in my head over and over and over since I left Loutro seven weeks ago. It’s taken many different shapes. What I write today is far different from what I would have written a month ago. And the way my life is going right now, might be far different from what I’d write tomorrow.

The main reason for Journeymoon #2 was because of a boy I met in Journeymoon #1 in Loutro.  Honestly, I never expected anything between us to go beyond Loutro last year. Then, about six weeks after I met him in Greece, I went to visit him in Albania. And after that weekend in Tirana, I never expected any sort of relationship to go beyond Albania. But here I was, back in Loutro, after nine months of talking to Geni on Skype and WhatsApp. I tacked on the trip to Croatia so that if it didn’t work out between us, at least I had a nice vacation. And, well, as it turned out… at least I had Croatia.

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The Balkans | Day 22 | Greece | Crete | Chania


After spending all night (about 13 hours) in four airports, on three planes, and on one bus, I arrived in Chania around 7 a.m., much like our early morning (before sunrise) ferry arrival last year to Chania. This time, however, I was on my own, not with a tour group. Exhausted after the all-nighter, I went to my hotel hoping by a miracle that my room would be available, but as you’d probably expect at 7 a.m, it wasn’t. So I had breakfast at the same restaurant as the year before, not because it was particularly great, but because it was one of the few places open that early. And bonus, I still had the wifi login stored in my phone. Then I walked around the Old Town to kill time, but I really just wanted to sneak aboard one of the little boats docked in the harbor and take a nap. When I’d finally had enough of walking around slapping myself awake and dodging cruise-shippers, I went back to my hotel to see if my room was ready yet. And fortunately, whoever was there the night before left early, so I checked in, and then promptly checked out. Snooze style.

So why did I return to Greece 51 weeks after my first trip there? I’ll answer that in the next post. For now I will answer another common question I’ve gotten about this trip.

Q.”What was it like going to the same places again?”

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