What I love about Crete

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The minute you step on the beach, you know what is the birth place of the white and blue flag. The white foam of bluest waves will clearly make their case seen.

The sunny-earthy smell and taste of fruits and vegetables. On our first evening, my visit to the groceries shop turned into an hedonism, to the amusement of owners watching a strange customer smelling each of their fruit. Tomatoes seem to have double the usual calories here: a salad or a tomato sandwich is a fully satisfying whole meal.

A beleiver in “don’t put on your skin what you would not eat” will be “Alleluia” in this heaven of fresh fruits and veggies. Cherries, cucumber, tomatoes, water melons, strawberries make for great tonics, astringents, moisturizers, powered by nature for natural beauty.

Family run businesses. You feel their heart and soul in every “Kalimera” they greet you with.

Decent by price and service bus connections to every corner of Crete.

IMG_7418Offers for every budget, from basic economy to luxury.
Public beaches, where they do not charge you for the seat. Tavernas on the beach administer the beach and the waiters are at your disposal for drink orders. Some are more relaxed, others will insist you order at least a drink per person. In a day or two you’ll notice the difference.

Taxi drivers that have their own time estimates of your arrival time :).

My German sense of order and structure struggling with rather chaotic road crossing and traffic. Seen only two functioning street lights in Heraklion and it’s fun to cross!

Heraklion has named a street after my birth date (or at least I would like to  believe so). 25 August. It’s a banks, market, department store and tavernas street crossing  the Lionsfountain square.IMG_7682
IMG_7435The Cretaquarium and the Natural History Museum will fully satisfy your little scientist or your inner little scientist.

Every second men showing evidence of Apollo’s genes. OK, OK,every third 🙂 Let’s not forget the Turkish ancestors.

Cretan cats seem to know who orders fish. Always had kitty-company arriving just before the waiter would bring my fish dish!

Long sandy beaches to enjoy long walks upon sun set or peaceful jogging early mornings.

Non-ostentatious churches, attracting with their architectural beauty rather than religious exhibitionism.

Door to door sellers of goods: fruits, veggies, pots, you name it.

A week vacation is only a prelude to visiting this island. More you see more you feel that’s worth discovering: wineries, cooking classes, spa, boat trips are on my to do list on a repeated vacation on Crete. Thank you, Crete! More please! were my last thoughts on the generous Cretan land. Some of our trip highlights:

Agios Nicolaos
Minoan Bus Lines take you from Heraklion to Ag. Nicolaos for 7 Euro per person one way in an hour and a half. From the bus station to the right is the Marina and Ammos Beach. The road to the left takes you to the Lake.
IMG_7552
IMG_7589It opens with a beautiful view on the lake and the Port. For a drink or snack or a fully fledged lunch or dinner, choose from one of the many restaurants that surround the lake. You’ll enjoy both the view and food. Pacifae Restaurant owner will personally take your order, apologize for his new non-English speaker waiter and bring you the fresh fish to choose from.
For a dessert, Dodoni serves delicious ice-cream in great variety of taste and presentation, including stevia available.
Zoe, a local children-ware designer shop, offers cute T-shirts and baby cloths at very reasonable prices. Once there, you have a feeling you want them all. Adults will also have there taste satisfied. A walk to the port, then up and down on Sfakianaki street, and you’ all arrive at Marina and the Ammos Beach. Agios Nikolaos is perfect for an afternoon escape and satisfies the need to diversify beach days.
In Heraklion
IMG_7683Heraklion dynamism seems to be fueled by both its architecture and its diverse people. Our sweet tooth took us to Samaria Delizioso, which serves traditional Cretan sweets.  Will find it by walking to the left from the Lion Fountain, on Kantanoleon str. They will spoil you with desserts on the house, all baked by the owner and served by his wife and lovely daughter. On this same street can satisfy also your jewelry cravings, if looking for  hand made tasteful jewelry? Shop at Karati or other similar shops on Kantanoleon str. We can enjoy a lunch or dinner in one of the tavernas overseeing the Venetian Port, after a walk to play with the waves there and shopping from artists exposing their works nearby. Need only a fruit salad or a smoothies? The Fresco Bites next to the Lions Fountain is your place. Enjoy a variety to any of your liking.
In brief, “Once in love, always a Crete lover” reads a touristic board. So true. We spent a week there just to realise that we will break our promise of spending vacations every time in new places.
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