Tuesday, January 17, 2017
I’ve officially been with my parents for two weeks in Europe, and we haven’t managed to kill each other yet! We’ve discovered we are very compatible travel companions; it seems fitting, considering they are two of my best friends. It’s been incredibly fun having them on this continent with me. We’ve shared lots of delicious meals and laughs in the past fourteen days. I can’t believe the next time I’ll be seeing them will be at JFK on May 20!
Today we took the bus to Chania. A kind stranger on the bus from our apartment to the center gave us specific directions on how to get to the bus station. The Greeks are very welcoming and helpful! It must be easier for them to deal with tourists when there aren’t flocks of them everywhere. We haven’t seen any Americans in Crete!
The 2.5 hour bus ride was 15 euro per person one way. We thoroughly enjoyed our ride along the coast of Crete. Taking a bus is a great alternative to a train because you really get to see the surroundings around you instead of darkness in the tunnels! We saw mountain goats, California-like scenery, snow capped mountain tops, and the gorgeous Mediterranean on our windy ride. There were a few adrenalin rushing moments as we came a little too close to the edge of the cliffs, but they kept us alert, something you should always be when you travel!
We arrived in Chania around noon and headed into the main port. Chania is known as a Venetian seaside village because it was once ruled by the Venetians. The waterfront and buildings took me right back to Venice. The colorful buildings and outdoor cafés were picture perfect! We had a nice lunch in true ‘piano, piano’ fashion. My dad really liked his Cretan breakfast. Our waiter was kind and gracious when he served us and when we gave him a hefty tip (fairly uncommon in Greece). I’d say most Greeks are visibly gracious in their behavior which is very refreshing.
We took a walk along the Venetian Port and marina area. It’s similar to the Venetian Port in Heraklion, but the Venice setting and mountains in the background make it a tad more impressive. We had another warm and sunny day. I desperately wanted to dive into the clear waters. The weather has been perfect throughout our vacation!
We sat on the old walls of the port and each meditated in our own way. It was the most relaxed I’ve been on our journey! We saw some paddle boarders gracefully breeze past us. They looked intense as though they were training for something.
We walked through the narrow cobblestone streets around the port that also very much reminded me of Venezia. I love the balconies and colors of peach and pink. A lot of the hotels and shops were closed since it’s winter time. They must be packed during the summer!
Before we caught our bus back to Heraklion at 4:30 PM, we made friends with a cute dog that reminded me of our late Lad. Our waitress at a different café (my dad needed his afternoon coffee fix) gave him some ham and water outside the outside dining area, and I gave him some of our biscuits when we left. It’s sad seeing so many stray animals, but there are kind people to look after them and make sure they have something to eat. We certainly don’t need anymore pets!
Tomorrow we head to Athens and then Milan for our final day of vacation. We are all wiped after spending several hours on a bus today (funny since all we have to do is sit there and stare out the window), but it’s all part of the rugged experience. xo ~ e.