No visit would be complete without a visit to Rethymnon, which is 77 km from Iraklion. West of the harbor is the Fortetsa, said th be the largest Venetion castle. Also worth seeing are the Rimondi Fountain, which lies between the harbor and fortress.
The most enthusiasming tourist...
The most enthusiasming tourist experience in Crete is likely the mountain hike through the Gorge of Samaria. It needs a full two days and a little effort in organisation. In the afternoon, take the bus from Chania to Omalos, the terminal point in the mountain, where you can sleep in a small mountain hotel. Early in the morning, you have to walk for a while until reaching the top end of the Samaria valley pathway, from there you enjoy wonderful sight over the mountains in a cold climate which contrasts the hot temperature of the beaches. From the top, the trekking will lead you across a wood of pinetrees (a speceis is unique to this area) via an easy path downhill, the first crucail point is the arrival
at the ancient church of Agia Rumeli, then the passage through the narrowest point of the gorge, where the opposite cliffs are no more than 2 metres apart and you have to walk in the scarce waters of the creek; finally, a flat short plain will lead you to the final reward of the wonderful isolated beach where no one on Earth could resist an immediate dive in the waters of the Lybian Sea! From the beach, there's a boat service to Paleochora to the east, or to Sfakia to the West; from both points the bus connection may lead you back to Chania. The path is really amazing, because it allows you to experience the different
climates of the islands, and it does not require an excessive effort, equipment or training.
IRAKLION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
The Museum was founded in 1883 Initially, when it was still simply a collection of antiquities, it was housed in two rooms near Agios Minas. This space, however soon proved to be too restricted to hold the precious objects, that daily grew in number especially after the proclamation of the independence of Crete in 1898. The collection therefore had to be moved to a large sector of the old Turkish barracks. At the same time attempts began to be made to build a proper Museum and to find a suitable plot of land for the purpose. Eventually, preference was given to the area formerly occupied by the monastery of Agios Frangiskos. The building that was erected was demolished in 1937, however, since it was not proof against earthquakes, and its place was taken by the present Museum.The rooms were opened to the public after the Second World War, with the material classified chronologically. The building has recently been extended.The Museum houses ancient objects discovered at the most important archaeological sites in Crete: Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, Tylissos, Gortys, Agia Triada, Mohlos, Gournia, Zakros, in a great number of tombs, in the caves of Kamares, the Idaean cave, the Diktaean cave, the cave of Eileithyia and so on.The most interesting and best preserved of the finds are exhibited in the 20 rooms of the Museum. Minoan art is nowhere better represented, and this makes the Museum unique and has made it known the whole world over.
Vitsentzou Kornarou square
After visiting Agia Minas and Agia Ekaterinas we turned left along Ag Mina St heading for the Archaeological museum.
It was very very hot and we came across the small Vitsentzou Kornarou square with a graffiti adorned fountain. My son stuck his head in it without caring what may be in the water as long as it was cool he was not bothered.
My Trip to Crete: Irakleion & Hania
This is a photo of Hania (Chania). The old town of Hania at night looked absolutely sureal to me. In this place, I discovered a nice local booze--Raki, good price too! :o) There is a fun story behind. I found this little guesthouse with no name on a busy lane of old town Hania and the hotel owner, a kind looking old man in his 70's, didn't understand or speak a word of English. Me and a travel companion I met on the way were following him to our room, but instead of going directly to our room, he stopped by his room and went inside leaving us waiting outside and this took a while, so we with our heavy backpack on our shoulders were wondering "what the hell is going on here?!". Much to our surprise, he then showed up with a bottle of that RAKI and gave us each a shot glass and gestured us to drink and drink again. It was strong at first. My face blushed right away, but man, that was good stuff!! The next morning he made me a BIG cup of Greek coffee, you know the grainy and bitter kind!! I don't drink much coffee myself so as you can tell it was kind of hard for me to try to finish that cup. But how could I reject such a hospitable offer by a kind old man...so I had to...He just smiled and watched me drink it. *_* I could never forget about this unforgetable experience and his hospitality. :o)
By the way, I'll try to find that old man's guesthouse address $ phone number. It was a good bargain. I paid 17 Euros per day for a basic room with a very clean and newly built bathroom and a nice view of the old town. You could bargain it down if you stay longer (it's the same everywhere in those guesthouses in Greece). It's only one or two minute walk to the port (with all the bars and restaurants)--super convenient!!! And the jeweler downstairs is friendly and very funny too. He spoke very good English. He helped me a lot communicate with the guesthouse owner. I really appreciate it.