Pictures from Crete, Greece (2013)
Our Big Fat Greek Vacation… Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. After almost two and a half years of churches, old castles and museums, we decided it was time for a beach vacation. Greece has been on our “to do” list since we lived in England, and now seemed as good a time as any to go. It met all the major criteria – good weather, good food and less than a three hour flight – have to keep Greta’s attention span in mind.
For full resolution photos from the trip to Crete click here.
We settled on Crete as there was a direct flight from Frankfurt to Heraklion on the days we wanted to travel. Doug planned 99.9% of this vacation and found an incredible resort for our stay. The Robinson Club Kalimera Kriti in nearby Sissi was a gem. I gave Doug two thumbs up and big kiss for his work. The resort is all full board (all inclusive, minus beverages) and built to look like a Cretan village. We had a bungalow with a bedroom, living room, private terrace and roof top deck right on the beach – perfect for our family of three.
Here is a picture of the resort from the cliffs opposite.
We quickly developed a routine during our stay- breakfast, dip in the kiddie pool, lunch, attempt to get Greta to nap, attempt at the beach followed by a return to the kiddie pool, hit the showers, dinner and then to bed for Greta while the old folks spent some quiet time on the patio.
The resort had a huge buffet restaurant with something for everyone. We discovered that if given a chance, Greta will eat her body weight in watermelon and that if you put meat on a stick, she will wave it around in the air for 30 minutes before eventually eating it. This picture is a shout out to Joe and Melissa – we fondly call it “Writes with a Meat Stick.” Being that we were in Greece, Doug and I did our best to sample as much baklava as possible and the dessert table never disappointed.
The kiddie pool was perfect – complete with slide, animal figures shooting water and toys. Greta is a bit of a hoarder and made sure she had at least five balls in her hands at all times. I mentioned above that we attempted time at the beach. We’re not sure what happened to Greta, but she is petrified of the waves. Doug or I would go into the water and she would cry until we came back out. We couldn’t even get her to use sand toys and just play on the beach. She quickly learned to say “Wave coming, hold tight.” Poor traumatized kid.
A beautiful Cretan sunset...
After 3 days on the beach, we spent our last day in Crete doing some sightseeing before heading to the airport for a late evening flight. Doug arranged a rental car (Meiko the Nissan Micra) for us and we headed off to Heraklion to visit the Minoan Palace at Knossos. In a nut shell, hot day, loads of other tourists, lots of dust and rocks. I think Doug summed it up best, “Nothing like an ancient Minoan palace tourist trap to wrap up our trip to Crete!” We did get some great photos and Greta really enjoyed running around the rocks as well as the ice cream break at the end of the tour.
Greta earned a nice ice cream after a hot morning...
We still had several hours after the palace before needing to be at the airport so we headed west along the coast. The drive afforded some incredible views of the ocean and one of the best was found at a gas station where we stopped for a quick fill up.
Our destination was Rethymno – a compact little town complete with lighthouse, Venetian harbor and fortress and an Old Quarter with rambling lanes full of cafes and shops selling every trinket you could ask for. After a quick stop for lunch (Greta was thankful for her hot dog with Greek flag) we set out to explore the sights.
I need to stop and take a moment to thank the nice man at the ice cream store for chasing us down to give Greta a chocolate covered chocolate ice cream magnum on a 90 degree day. She very much enjoyed this special treat, her OCD mom did not enjoy the clean-up process that followed.
The Venetian Harbor.
I digress…the town really was beautiful and we did our best to see as much as possible despite the heat and Greta. I was on photo duty as Greta was proving a bit much for me to handle. I did my best to try to add to my National Geographic portfolio, hence all of the bougainvillea shots. Needless to say, NG won’t be calling anytime soon.
Here is a photo of Rethymno from the road overlooking the city. Quite lovely.
Finally we called it a day and packed it all in the car to head back to the airport. I don’t want to end this post on a sour note, but the Heraklion International Airport is quite possibly the worst airport we have ever travelled through. It was extremely crowded, hot, loud and dirty. Doug even rated it below some he has visited in India and China, although he did give it positive points for the lack of armed guards with machine guns. Even Greta gave it a grrrr –but we all agreed that the frozen yogurt and raspberry smoothie made the time there a little less painful. (Did you keep track of Greta’s ice cream count for the last day?? A lot!)
© 2013 Erynn & Doug Rathburn