Island of Crete, Greece
Saturday: It was only about an hour flight to the island of Crete, during which Tommy was passed out on my shoulder wearing my cheetah print neck pillow. Very cute. We were picked up at the tiny little airport in a Mercedes by the taxi driver, Manolis, our Airbnb host had set us up with. He ended up being awesome and we called him anytime we needed a taxi for the rest of the weekend. Manolis told us all about how he had lived in Massachusetts for years and asked us how the Red Sox were doing. It’s so funny how you can be on the other side of the world and meet someone who knows where you’re from or parts of your everyday culture. It really is a small world!After a pit stop at a local take out gyro place (pronounced like euro! I was SO excited to finally have a gyro!!!!) we got to our Airbnb at Morfi Village. This village is actually a fairly new housing complex, but a few of the villas are available to rent. The villa we were staying in was like a teeny tiny partially furnished apartment that was perfect for the two of us for a couple nights.
Sunday: Tommy and I were so excited to have the entire day on Sunday to explore! Crete is an absolutely gorgeous island; in fact, it’s often known for its honeymooners during the summer months. From Morfi Village there is an incredible view of Chania, one of the largest cities on Crete. We wanted to check out the old town along the Venetian port, so we called our taxi driver friend to bring us down there since the public transportation in this area is a bit lacking. While waiting for him to arrive, we had brunch at the on-site restaurant in the village and talked to a sweet couple who had just moved to the island from California.
When the Manolis arrived, he was kind enough to take a bit of a detour down to the beautiful church in the middle of the ocean that I was so intent on seeing. He even brought us onto the beach in Chania; it was really more of a tour than simply a ride from Point A to Point B. When we got to the harbor, we were in awe of how beautiful it was, with its old colorful buildings. We did some exploring and popped into a bunch of shops. Since it was the end of October, this was the end of the tourism season. Luckily for us, there were basically no other tourists, meaning that it was less crowded and shops were selling everything for much lower prices before they closed the following week. We got some nice gifts and enjoyed the beautiful weather; luckily the sun had come out after rain the previous day and that morning.
We returned back to the port to catch the gorgeous sunset and grab a bite to eat at an organic restaurant on the water, where we tried dolmas (rice wrapped in grape leaves). After walking around for a while longer, Tommy and I spontaneously made the decision to get massages after seeing a sign boasting inexpensive couples massages. It was his first time ever getting a massages so it was kind of funny to see his reaction afterwards.
Now that we both felt nice and relaxed, we decided to make our way back to the villa. This was easier said than done, however. Like I mentioned before, the public transportation system in this small city leaves something to be desired. Since Manolis told us where to catch the bus, we decided to try that approach rather than pay for another (somewhat expensive) taxi ride. After a detour to a bakery to get some much-needed baklava, we eventually found the bus station and boarded a coach bus headed in the right direction. The things about the bus is that we knew it wouldn’t take us all the way to Morfi Village, but just to Georgioupolis (pronounced Your-you-pole-lee, though I had been unknowingly pronouncing it like George-opolis) where had stopped the previous night for gyros. Our taxi driver friend had explained to us how to get from this town up to the villa but we didn’t really like the idea of walking at least thirty minutes in the pitch black when we weren’t super familiar with our surroundings.
We decided to stop into a little convenience store where we bought breakfast for the next morning and asked the owner if there was any way he could call us a cab. Apparently he couldn’t get through to anyone or something because he told us he’d be right back. Five minutes later, he pulled up in his little pickup truck and told us to get in because he was going to take us to Morfi Village. Tommy and I smushed into the passenger seat together with both of our backpacks, my feet up on the dashboard and my head hitting the ceiling. We could hardly keep from laughing hysterically because it was just the most ridiculous situation. It’s only about a ten minute car ride from Georgioupolis to Morfi Village and the man was so nice that when I offered to pay him he refused. Thank God for him, though, because I don’t know how we would’ve gotten home otherwise!
After that adventure, we had worked up a bit of an appetite. Tommy had bought a bottle of wine that day which we had to be creative about opening since the villa didn’t have a bottle opener. We ended up calling the gyro place from the previous night and ordering a snack, which was delivered by one of the employees on his tiny motorbike, to eat while trying to watch weird Greek television and packing up.
Monday: On Monday morning (and I’m talking like 4 AM kind of morning) the Manolis picked us up and we sleepily made our way to the airport. He laughed about our truck ride adventure, that he had heard about because apparently that’s his cousin?? We had a smooth flight back to Athens, where we caught another flight back home to Madrid.