EuroAdventure15: Welcome to Crete
(posted by Emily)
1 July 2015
about 5,000 steps (~2 miles walked)
After a sleepless night in the Athens airport, we were on the first flight to Crete. We were on Aegean again, and from takeoff to stepping foot in the airport in Chania, it only took about an hour!
We are renting a car in Crete, because of our plan to stay at an Airbnb property up in the hills. Because I don't want to jinx anything or bring about bad karma, I'll just leave this pro tip here for you, and you can infer what you want :) I can explain more later!
Jetsetting ProTip #1: If you intend to rent a car on an international vacation, you'll want to plan to bring your driver's license.
(Shout out to Edith for being the best housesitter and hero of the day!)
Phew. On the road.
Because we couldn't check in to our Airbnb until 15:00, we drove through the main city of Chania. Crete is much bigger than you'd expcet, about 160 miles long. I think we'll spend most of our time on the western side of the island, in Hania (Chania/Xania). We were in dire need of an outlet, since we were planning to use our GPS to find the Airbnb place, so we eventually found a small beach-side cafe for breakfast and some power! The owner was very kind to us, and we had a great meal--Mediterranean breakfast, garlic toast with cheese and tomato, Greek coffee, and juice.
**You may have noticed that our diet choices have been leaning more vegetarian these days--well, it's true! We started experimenting a bit with cheese and eggs before leaving home, because we both strongly feel like we shouldn't miss out on cultural experiences just because of how we eat. I mean, how could we go to Switzerland and NOT eat cheese fondue?! We've often said that if we lived abroad, we wouldn't feel the same urge to be strictly vegan, because food is of a much higher quality. So far so good! We've tried eggs, cheeses, and yogurts so far on this trip.**
Because we had time to kill and the water was so close, we decided to swim in the ocean a bit. The water was decently warm and shallow, with a rocky coastline. No pictures of that because we left our valuables in the car!
We decided to drive up toward our Airbnb, more inland, to make sure we could find where we would be heading. On the way, we passed an ATM, and there was quite a queue out front. Other than that, life seems to be going on as normal for people here, despite the upcoming referendum.
It was only noon after our driving adventure, and I was exhausted. Luckily, I was able to convince Rick to find a shady spot to park, and we caught a quick nap to pass the time. We headed back up to Omalos, and stopped in a local supermarket for a quick bottle of orange soda and loaf of bread before meeting up with our hosts.
Despite a small snafu of being in front of the wrong church, we managed to find Teo, our host, and followed him up the hill to the cottage.
The view up here is stunnning, with the valley spread out below.
Our humble abode for the next 4 days is built in the hillside, below where Teo and Sofia live. They left us a stocked fridge and pantry, full of olive oil, honey, and tea fresh from their farm/property, fresh eggs, milk, cheese, muesili, coffee, and bread.
I was still pretty tired after our long night/early morning, so while Rick researched a bit about our area and what to do, I napped. He woke me around 7, and we decided to head down to the supermarket to pick up things for dinner. We also had a chance to meet Sofia and Teo's pets, two dogs and four cats. Rick got a lot of kisses :)
At the market, we picked up bread, wine, eggplant, olives, and cheese. The people at the store were very kind, helping us try the local cheese to decide which ones we liked best and wishing us a good holiday. they must know most people who shop in their store, and they were excited to have us.
When we got back, we sliced up the eggplant to roast with the olive oil, salt and pepper. I also put together a cheese plate while Rick poured wine and helped set the table.
It was a beautiful al fresco setting, and we really enjoyed relaxing and listening to all the sounds of the mountain--cicadas, dogs, goat bells, and birds.
After the dishes were done, it was off to bed early, after a few more minutes to admire the view. A relaxing day, with many memories made!