Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Making a detour to Crete!

Hello friends,
After Athens I was planning to visit the island of Mykonos.  At the last minute, my host cancelled on me because his uncle was very sick.  I had no place to stay.  Based on the advice of my host in Athens, he told me to check out Crete.  I searched for a host in Heraklion and I was lucky enough to have someone accept me.

I took a ferry from the port of Athens (Pireaus) to Crete.  It took me 6.5 hours by boat.  For 30 euros ($45 US), I was able to travel business class with huge recliner seats and wi-fi access.  The boat was huge!  It was like a giant cruise ship and it was filled!

My host, Apostolis drives up on his motorcycle and I am thinking, there is no way he can take me and my luggage.  He said, "We must try."  I had a 50 pound luggage and a 10 pound backpack, not to mention one healthy filipina girl!!:) I just don't see how it's possible but I go along with it.  He manages to get the luggage on and I say to him, "you can just come back and get me or I'll take a taxi."  He said, "No way.  You are not going to pay for a taxi."  All I kept picturing was the bike tipping over or tipping back to do a wheely from all of the weight!  OMG!  

I'm thinking, "Is this legal because it certainly doesn't look safe."  He assured me he used to be a professional racer and that he will be careful!  Okay, I cautiously proceeded to get on the bike!  To my surprise, we made it to his house in one piece!  Luggage, backpack and a healthy filipina safe and sound!  :)

I had to take a picture.  My friends would not believe this! 

Venetian Walls

25th of August Street

The Venetian Fortress of Rocca al Mare 1523-1540

Heraklion is the largest city and the capital of Crete

The Ottoman Vezir Mosque (1856) which is now the basilica of St. Titus

The Venetian Loggia

The Morosini Fountain in Lions Square

My host's local salsa bar

The owner is Greek but he married a woman from El Salvador.  They have been teaching my host to dance cuban style salsa for the past 2 months now.  I got to dance with my host and his friends.  They were very good.  

His favorite dessert place next door that serves fondue.  I had a waffe with milk chocolate, bananas, strawberries and caramel gelato.  Jule, I know you would love this dessert because of your sweet tooth!  I thought of you with every bite!!  :)

Inside the Habanero Art Cafe

My crazy host, Apostolis

We took the motorcycle and drove to the water.  It was reminiscent of Miami Beach.  The clubs and bars are on one side and the water is to the right of the clubs. 

Bougatsa is a greek breakfast pastry with custard, cheese or minced meat filled with layers of phyllo dough
in the morning, he took me to have traditional bugatsa
This is bougatsa with mizithra cheese.
Some kids decided to jump in the public fountain completely naked!   
Heraklion during the day looks quite different.  Here are the same pics during the day.  
Venetian Fortress during the day
My host suggested that I go to the local Greek restaurant where I had lunch
My host suggested that I go to this local Greek restaurant for lunch.
lamb chops with rice and fried potatoes
Chania Market
My host, Apostolis called his dear friend Sofia to show me around Chania. 

The old port

Sofia and I
The lighthouse in Chania
Taman-really good restaurant in Chania

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