The morning of our first full day in Greece, I woke up, stepped out of our studio and was greeted by this fabulous view:
How awesome is that? There is a small terrace right outside our studio so we ate breakfast overlooking the town and the ocean. It was in the shade so it didn’t feel to hot. There was a nice breeze coming off of the water. Taking advantage of our car, the destination for the day was Chania on the West side of the island.
Chania is famous for its old town and Venetian harbour, which is mostly where we wandered around. The harbour was built during the Venetian period between 1320 and 1356. Facing out from the harbour is the imposing lighthouse and breakwater (you can see the lighthouse and a bit of the breakwater on the left photo below). There is a Turkish mosque located on one side of the harbour and on the other side is the Firkas Fortress. The fourth side of the harbour is lined with tourist shops and restaurants, while rather generic, provided a fantastic view for lunch.
Along the way to the old city, we somehow picked up a stray dog. He started following us around. It was rather unnerving. This was just the start of the trip so I wasn’t as accustomed to all the stray animals around. In particular cats. Through our trip and especially on the island, cats were everywhere. Often they would come up to you at a restaurant and beg you for food. At first I was rather wary and uncomfortable with their presence all, but eventually I got accustomed to it and just ignored the cats.
The waves were massive against what would be the equivalent of the Vancouver seawall. With no other islands to break up the waves, they crashed heavily into the concrete. There were some rocks and boulders stretching out about 10 meters to break up the water, but they didn’t do much to deter the big waves.
The waves and water were so violent and would regularly hit some of the restaurants and bars that lined the harbour on the western side. While wandering the street that was right along the water, we had to be careful of oncoming waves. But it was inevitable. We got completely drenched at one point, but with the warm sun and air, we were dry in no time.
The old town itself was a tangled web of narrow streets and passage ways, some overfilling with tourists and locals, others were completely void of a single soul. Scrambling up and down the pathways of the city, I was reminded of Italy and in many ways, these streets did look and feel like we were lost in a Tuscan village. I especially loved the various balconies on all the buildings.
We wandered the city with no destination in mind, just exploring on foot. It’s a good thing we weren’t looking for anything in particular. Greek is just impossible! And I thought Hungarian was hard enough, but at least that uses the same alphabet. For the most part, street signs had Roman letters on it, like the sign in the below picture, but it was rather confusing to really not understand a thing around you. I can see where the expression, “it’s all Greek to me!” came from.
Of all the places we visited on this trip, Chania was probably my favourite of them all. The winding streets of the old city and the gorgeous Venetian harbour charmed its ways into my heart. If I were to go back, this would be at the top of my list.
Where is the most beautiful place you have ever woken up?
PS. Check out the rest of my posts about Greece!