A visit to the south coast of Crete.
11.06.2013 - 11.06.2013 35 °C
Red woke up this morning - aching all over. He reckons that this bed is harder than the one in Budapest - now, that's saying something! I didn't sleep too badly, but probably woke up about 10 times. We resolved that we would work out a better arrangement for tonight.
Breakfast is served here at the Erivolos Apartments, and cooked by Liza herself. So, at about 8am we walked down to the little dining area near the pool and had a lovely breakfast - that started with cake! Oh well - as a restaurant proprietor in Santorini once said to us - "You are in Greece! EAT!" So - we did!
Liza's daughter Giouli (pronounced Julie) - gave us some advice on where to go today. Redmond - the absolute king of internet research - had found out that the Archeological Site at Knossos (which is just outside of Heraklion) is quite a disappointment - due to the amateurish attempts to renovate the site in years gone by. For example - walls concreted up and then painted in a colour that it was thought might have been correct. There is a difference between meticulous excavation and do it yourself reconstruction. It is said that Sir Arthur Evans imaginatively restored the Palace of Knossos. It sounds like that might have been a nice way to put it. Although we had wanted to go to Knossos - we decided against it. Instead, we went to visit The Palace of Phaestos - which is about an hour and a half drive south from Heraklion. It was great to do this because we pretty much drove down the centre of Crete - from the sea in the north to the sea in the south. Amazing scenery all the way down - rugged, barren mountains baking in the sun, and quite fertile plateaus and valleys.
It was hot today, probably around 35 degrees when we arrived at Phaestos. This place was pretty amazing - a palace that was destroyed thousands of years ago, due to perhaps a tidal wave?? - or earthquake. It was rebuilt twice - and the latest construction was in use up until 1450BC. Mind boggling! We were walking over ruins - some of which were 4,000 years old.
After a couple of hours here - including a quick lunch looking out over the absolutely startling mountain ranges - we jumped back in the black beast (now a very dusty black beast) and drove further south, right to the coast - to Matala (Giouli's suggestion). This is a beautiful beach with limestone on either side of the little bay - including caves, one big cave that you can swim right in to. The "Two Idiots Abroad" didn't bring their bathers! What were we thinking? It was really hot and the beach was beautiful - it would have been great. Oh well - we paddled our feet, and then ended up in a cafe with an icecream and a fresh orange juice. It was really pleasant sitting there with a fresh breeze coming in off the beach - watching the owner of the cafe touting the passersby for business. He was quite a character and suggested that Red might like to go up on the roof of his cafe to take some better photos - which he did.
It was time to head back up north through the same little towns that we drove through on our way down. The towns were quieter this time - siesta time perhaps. Driving through them this morning - it was CRAZY! We passed by so many of those concrete shells that I mentioned earlier - dreams put on hold.
We arrived back home hot, tired and dirty. We had a shower and decided to have a quiet dinner once again - on our balcony - looking out over this beautiful little bay.
We then pulled apart the divan - took out the two inch high foam mattress and put that on top of the bed for Red. It wasn't brilliant, but it was better than last night!