When I got back from seeing Madden and Jack in Kaiserslautern we decided on a May trip somewhere, before they left Europe and headed back to the U.S. We were torn between an adventurous canal boat trip, or a beach. Somewhere in the unending rain that was supposed to be Spring, the idea of lying on a beach with cocktails and books won, and on a Skype session, Madden and I booked flights and an airbnb in Chania.I just want to point out where we stayed, because Alkis was a fantastic host. This apartment was perfect. The beach is literally a three minute walk away, and the man across the road will help you order Dominos in Greek when you just really want to watch Batman and eat pizza. We were the sixth people to stay there since it’s been completely redecorated, and Alkis made two separate trips to the airport to pick us up and drop us off, and he brought Madden birthday cake. Oh yeah. More on that in a bit. Anyway, if you go to Chania, stay here. It was fantastic. (Just a side note: this isn’t sponsored or anything, it was just really great.)
Ok. So, I had three and a half days in Crete, and it was just stunning. I arrived at about lunchtime, and after getting changed out of my jeans because it was boiling, I went for a wander into the Old Town to have a look at what was there and get some food. Madden and Jack didn’t arrive until a bit later, so I had the afternoon to myself. The Old Town was about a ten minute walk along the beach from the apartment, and the fortress wall is the first part of it you see, before you walk around it and it opens up into the harbour. And it’s beautiful.
I sat at one of the little restaurants on the water after chatting to the guys outside (if we’ve learned anything from this holiday, it’s that Terri Likes To Talk To Strangers), and I had an enormous bowl of pasta, and a carafe of wine, and I stayed there for three hours, and got more wine for free, and raki, and ice cream. It was great. So far, Crete = 10/10. I left at about 5pm, partly because I wanted to sit on the beach for a couple of hours, and partly because day drinking is great, but not when you have places to be at 7pm.
I was back at the apartment, de-sanded, re-clothed, and sober(ish) when Madden and Jack arrived, and YAY!! They are two of my favourite people and I love them. We went out for food, I chatted to more strangers, and we found out that one shot of raki is bearable, two is pretty gross, and three is just the worst. Jack did most of the raki experimenting.
We got up in the morning, kitted up, and went running (!) before abandoning our run and climbing up walls to get to the lighthouse on the harbour. The trainers helped, but we all agreed that we should’ve brought money so we could stop at bars. Ha. We went back to the apartment to get money and beach stuff, and then went out for brunch and wine, and more wandering around the Old Town, and along to the next bay. We took lots of touristy photos, and made lots of notes about just how clear the water was.
There was a huge market leading from the apartment all the way up to the Old Town, which we walked through and were amazed at the amount of home made Greek cheese. So good. We had dinner in one of the restaurants near where we were staying, and we ordered way too much (because we thought we’d share some starters and then have salad, and everything turned out to be enormous), so we had Cretan mizithra cheese for breakfast for the rest of the trip. Yum. Cheese, greek salad, and fresh croissants from the bakery. And chocolate cake. Because holidays. We spent quite a lot of time eating actually, and drinking wine.
Madden and I left Jack to have a lie in on Friday morning, and went shopping. Please let’s all vote to stay in the EU, and petition for European prices at Bershka and Zara. Haha. I bought some swishy culottes and a jumpsuit, and spent all of my money on jewellery, but now I have the knowledge of Knossos, and I am doubly protected from evil with my necklace. Ha. The Old Town is full of windy little cobbled streets, and all the shops are little boutiques, and super super cute. We collected Jack from Starbucks (because there’s no escape) after a couple of hours, and went to the beach because it was hot, and Madden was excited to get in the sea.
We actually had a really big day of walking around in the sun, so we decided that we’d do a night in, and I volunteered to order Dominos, thinking I’d be clever and do it on my phone. By the time I worked out that Greek is actually a very difficult language to understand when you don’t even know how to spell your street name, we all were kind of decided on wanting Dominos. So I ran across the road to the little bar/internet cafe opposite, gatecrashed a very serious conversation about yoga being about worshipping the devil, and asked for some help. I ended up on the phone to Dominos in Athens, ordering pizza in English, having it repeated back to me in Greek, and hoping that somehow, whatever it was I was assured would be arriving in half an hour was right. Miraculously, twenty minutes later our buzzer rang, and I paid for two pizzas and all the extras, and we ate it all watching The Dark Knight.
Saturday was our last day, and Madden’s birthday, so we had a day of her choices. Whilst Madden and I were out getting last shopping bits, Alkis brought Madden a huge birthday baklava, and pastries from the best bakery on the island. It was amazing. The pastry was like spinach and nuts and cheese all wrapped up. So, so good. And baklava is just always great. A whole cake made of baklava though? I wish I had taken a picture of Madden’s face as she ate it, because I have honestly not seen that level of happiness ever.
We attempted to go to the beach, but it was insanely windy, so we abandoned the idea pretty quickly after getting faces full of sand, and went to a bar instead. It was fancy and hipster, and their tagline was something about pasta and cocktails, and they had nice glass water bottles with inspirational quotes on them. Haha. I popped in to town to post my postcards, and do a bit more mooching, and we all met back up for more birthday drinks and dinner. We had dinner in a little corner of the Old Town, and the food was amazing. Dolmas and fava dip forever, please. We found a tiny bar wedged into an alleyway, where we were the only people there who didn’t speak Greek, and a Cretan folk band struck up on the table behind us. It was crazily busy, and they served us pitchers of wine in tiny little tumblers. As our last night in Crete, it was a pretty perfect finish.
Weirdly, I don’t have any trips booked now, so I’m open to ideas. Not having flights booked somewhere makes my feet itchy, so tell me, where do I need to go next?