We had originally hoped to do some hiking on our second day on the island but neither of us wanted to wake up on time for the bus and we decided to tour the city of Chania instead.
Chania is Crete’s second largest city and the capital of the western Chania district. It also happens to have a direct cheap flight from Wrocław, Poland and that’s how it naturally became our destination. The city was at one point extremely well preserved with rich history until heavy bombardment during WWII. The city was rebuilt of course but most of what has remained is now centered around the port region. There we were faced with a similar tourist scene we’ve already witnessed in Morocco, and that is waiters and restaurant hostesses calling out to us in Polish to have a seat at their establishment. I don’t know how they know we’re Polish, but out of many restaurants we passed that morning only one guy guessed wrong, welcoming us in Russian, but not getting a response he quickly switched to Polish and knew he was right by the smiles on our faces. It might sound funny, but I truly hate it.
Not giving in to the restaurant sweet talk Karolina did give in to a fish foot spa. Not knowing what it felt like I wasn’t really feeling the whole fish thing so I sat this one out and took photos instead. Actually, once Karolina sat down with fish eating away at her stinkers, many people stopped by to take photos. Karo even got more time for her money as she convinced a German couple to take a dip as well.
We toured the harbor some more and started looking for a place to eat recommended to us by our hotel host. He’s the reason we didn’t sit down at the harbor to begin with, his exact words were “too much cost, poor quality food”. Once we found the place he mentioned we were in food heaven. No menu’s, just a cook uncovering 8, maybe 10, different jugs with food inside telling us what he’s got to offer today. Octopus, Greek salad, stuffed flower, and some regional pie looking thing were way too much food but it was the greatest Greek feast we would have on this vacation. Nothing else even came close.
While still at the city we walked into a local cathedral which has served the local population for the past 150 years. I was fairly nice inside and out, but is it me or does the Jesus on the painting look like he’s gained a few pounds from other paintings I’ve seen thus far?
From Chania we drove to Balos, a remote beach that wasn’t too far away milage wise, but would still take forever to get to.
There’s only one way to get to Balos and that’s through a dirt road on a side of the mountain. With a wall on one side and a cliff and water on the other, passing oncoming traffic was quite fun. The photo doesn’t really translate the fear in Karolina’s eyes. It wasn’t possible to drive any faster than 10mph, and that’s how we went on for a better part of an hour. I did get to use our Jimmy’s 4×4 though. I didn’t need it, after all other people with small car rentals made it there just fine, but since it was there and I felt the tires slip on the uphill dirt climb…why not.
We parked our car at the very top, the road basically ended with a dirt parking lot, and we still had a 30 minut hike ahead of us to get to the beach. But once we saw it…WOW!
For once I have to admit that no technology in the world will give off the feeling we had walking down the mountain. The red color of the rock beneath our feet, warm wind in our hair (er, Karolina’s hair), and the crystal clear blue waters right next to the sandy beach. What a sight. Naturally we dipped a while in the warm water before spending the rest of the evening on the beach awaiting the sunset.