As mentioned at the end of my Meteora post, we discovered that we would have to leave earlier than intended. Which was probably just as well. I did not think that we could handle getting up to and down from Aghia Tridia in a morning. We are discovering that it is difficult to combine travelling with sightseeing, other than the most trivial.
The train trip to Athens was uneventful. At times the train seems to be travelling along a shelf, hundreds of metres above the plain. It certainly looks spectacular.
At Athens, which we got to in mid-afternoon, we took the Metro to Piraeus and then made the mistake of walking to our port gate by going along the streets. Do not do this! The streets are motorways with traffic lights, the pavements are narrow and obstructed. We should have gone through the nearest port gate and walked through the docks – much safer.
And there was a cafe in the docks – there was none in the surrounding streets as far as we could see. We stopped there, after checking in at the ferry kiosk, to wait till we could get on board.
The ferry was rather good – better than the last Crete ferry we were on, but that was 28 years ago. We had a cabin to ourselves and there was a swanky restaurant with waiters and good food. Unfortunately it got into Souda, the port for Chania at 5:30! We managed to stay on-board until 7, but even then Souda is not a pleasant place. However we were soon in Chania where we found the bus station and had our tickets for Hora Sfakion.
We were staying at a hotel on the south coast of Crete and it was lovely.
It had a pool and a beach and the sea was lovely. As you can see the south coast of Crete is stark. Mountains, rocks and sea.
We had an excursion along the coast by boat – for much of the coast this is the only way you can travel. We set off from Hora Sfakion in a westerly direction.
We passed Loutro, which can only be got to by boat – unless you are a goat or a very determined walker.
We also passed the Aradhena Gorge – not as famous as the Samaria Gorge, but still spectacular.
There was other spectacular scenery to be seen all along the coast.
After a pause for a swim we made our way back to Loutro for a late lunch.
There is very little to do in Loutro except sleep, eat and swim off the rocky beach. Lots of people seem to love that. To get in or out you need a boat, or a strong pair of legs. I think they have electricity, telephones and TV but not much else. Chris had done the swimming and the eating so she got down to the sleeping.
After four nights at our hotel we made our way, by bus, back to Chania. We have been to Chania many times over the years and so will say little about it other than it is beautiful and full of tourists. If you get away from the harbour there are wonderful restaurants. We had good meals at Portes and The Well of the Turk.
And the on Tuesday the 7th September we got up at 4:30 to catch the first bus to Iraklion! We were on our way to Santorini!
Of which, more later.