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On Crete

Crete is a huge island, impossible to cover in much detail in less than a week’s time. We did not attempt anything of the kind. Our time on Crete was planned with a slant towards beach-going, with only a few of hours of sightseeing on any given day (including a few non-trivial drives). We stayed roughly in the Heraklion prefecture, only skimming the edges of Rethymno and Lasithi, and never venturing west to Chania, leaving ourselves a large scope for a future return visit.

Of course, I left my camera behind almost every time we went to the beach, so there aren’t many beachside photographs that I can share. Only on Matala Beach, on the southern coast, I took a couple of pictures, such as this 2-shot panorama that takes in the Caves of Matala, which trace their history from the Neolithic Age, but are probably more famous as the location of a hippie colony in 1960’s. Joni Mitchell even wrote a song about that.
Matala Beach, Crete
Matala Beach, Crete
On a drive to another beach we went through Kourtaliotiko Gorge. At one strategic point, we descended to its bottom.
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
Hiking is not exactly our thing, but the descent here was facilitated by a stairway leading down to the church of Saint Nicholas the Kourtaliotiko.
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
The church near the gorge floor is of the kind that is found all over Greece, small, white, and minimally decorated.
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
The Instagram-driven fad of rock stacking is taken to an extreme on a terrace near the bottom of the gorge.
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
We refrained from contributing to the display.

Another church is hiding under the rock overhang by the side of the road that runs through the gorge.
Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Crete
One other location where we lingered for a period of time was Spili, a relatively un-touristy mountain village with walkable historic core.
Spili, Crete
Spili, Crete
Spili, Crete
Spili, Crete
Spili, Crete
Spili, Crete
We walked along picturesque streets, sat down for refreshments at a café on a leafy small central square, and then drove on towards our next beach target.

Posted in Travel Pictures