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Exploring Crete

May 21, 2018

Our insurance issues were resolved by our wonderful insurance agent Rachel at IMIS who worked through the weekend to expand our policy and send a copy in Greek to the Port Police. It was hardly a burden to be waylaid in beautiful Kos.

Our Greek cruising began by island-hopping to Rhodes City on the island of Rhodes. This was one of our most disappointing stops with huge Cruise ships dropping thousands of visitors into the port each day. There was a lot of surge in the new marina and we worried about leaving the boat. We did, however, drive to Lindos and climbed up to the Acropolis and the Temple of Athena. The views were spectacular.

Next, we island-hopped our way to Crete and the cradle of civilization. Our first stop was the small town of Sitia where we planned to spend only one night. But we realized that we left our boat papers and passports in our rental car in Rhodes and had to wait two days for them to be couriered to us. This was really a blessing because we were able to explore the town and its restaurants along the waterfront.

We then moved to Ay Nikolaos and anchored in the bay that once was protected by the leper colony and then fort on Spinalonga Island. The wind blew hard and we ended up spending four days on the boat doing projects, a lot of reading, and completing a very difficult jigsaw puzzle.

We took advantage of a break in the weather to go 64 nm along the north shore of Crete to the town of Rethimno and a marina where we could leave the boat. We rented a car for two days and backtracked to Iraklion and the ruins of the Minoan Palace of Knossos which dates back more than 4,000 years. We spent an afternoon at the Irakleio Archaeological Museum before heading across to the south side of Crete. There we visited the ruins of another Minoan palace at Phaestos before returning through the Amari Valley.

We left the boat in Rethimno and took the fast ferry 100 miles north to the island of Santorini with its white buildings perched on the rim of a volcano that last erupted in 1600 BC. Everywhere we looked was a postcard view and our hotel clung to the side of a cliff looking down into the caldera. Our dinner was magical as we watched the sun set over the caldera and the village lights come on.

An interesting fact: The buildings appear white because when the plague swept through the islands of the Aegean Sea it was decreed that all buildings be plastered with lime which is a natural anti-bacterial and happens to be stark white.

We are back in Rethimno preparing to head north, this time aboard Persephone. We will eventually work our way to Athens and pass through the Corinth Canal to the Ionian Sea, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Rhodes

 

Crete, Sitia & Rethimno

 

Minoan Ruins

 

Santorini

From → Travel

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