What an amazing way to end a perfect trip! Today was our last port of call prior to returning to Rome.
Coming into the port, Souda Crete
We really didn’t know what to expect since most that we had read about Crete was too far away to go and do in the ½ day we had (1:30pm all aboard). We headed off the boat at 7:30am. We took the bus into town. There our plan was to rent a car and go around and see as much as we could. We found a car rental agency, but he told us if we only had 4 hours – we should just stay in the old town area. We decided that he probably knew more about the island than we did, and we followed his advice. That made all the difference. On our way out of town at the end of the day, on the way back to the bus, we stopped in again and thanked him for the suggestion.
We had a wonderful time. We walked into old town as a Greek Orthodox church was having a mass. They were singing most of it and their voices (all male) were wonderful.
We didn’t fully understand our good fortune, but we were walking around the town while it was still closed (meaning all the shops hadn’t opened up yet). I loved it, hence there are lots of pictures of all the cute streets and sideways.
The town by the water front.
Loved how they covered up construction projects
I loved the rings around the harbor to tie boats up on.
There was a shop set up showing all their wares.
They had left a few sections to show you the damage that was caused during the WWII bombing raids on their island.
There are so many places where you can rent a room. Most just give you info, but one had someone sitting outside. It was only 30 Euros a night for a room. Little bit later we found a real estate agency and they had a 1 bedroom 1 bath for a month for 300E or a 3 bedroom for 600E for a month.
Once again loved the outside cafe’s. This one was fun because the tables started out fitting 3 per side and as the street got narrower it went down to 1 per side.
I would have to say of all the ports, I could see myself coming back here for a longer stay and loving it (who am I kidding – I’d come back to any of the cities!), but there was a certain charm to this port that I loved. On the island there is the Samarian Gorge, which kept teasing me as a great place to hike – I’d love to come back and hike it sometime.
We were walking around and found there was a 1 hour boat tour with free snorkeling. I was sold. I haven’t been snorkeling for many years, and I absolutely love it. We signed up for the 10:30 cruise. Only problem now was that I hadn’t brought a suit with me. The boat captain said go in your underwear(!) (and it turns out there was one grandma who did take him up on his offer). We walked around some more. We found a crepe place that had amazing crepes and wi-fi for Owen.
After about 9:45AM, the shops started opening up. I found one shop that sold men’s board shorts so I picked up shorts and a black t-shirt. Then a bit farther I found a suit to wear under the t-shirt. I was set and looking forward to not only swimming in the Mediterranean, but also to the snorkeling! The water was perfect. A tad cold when you got in, but amazing starting one second later. We were able to snorkel for about 20 – 25 minutes.
I saw lots of schools of fish and probably about 10 different kinds. The guide found an octopus and I was able to hold it.
Owen didn’t have a suit and hadn’t purchased one, but I told him it was not a problem, and the water was perfect! – I was back to snorkeling, and the next thing I heard was a splash. I looked up and Owen had jumped in fully clothed. Some friends we met the first day of the Jerusalem tour whose parents are actually in our ward, had also come on the boat ride. He was finished so he gave Owen his flippers and snorkel. Owen and I were able to snorkel for 5 to 10 more minutes.
The water was great and loved snorkeling. We haven’t snorkeled since Bora Bora. Hopefully it will not be another 10 years till I do it again. Finally we got into the waters of the Mediterranean! After 10 days on the boat, it was great to get wet.
After the boat ride we got some lunch, gyros and mixed grill with Jeff and Kris Larsen and headed back through the now busy and crazy streets and the packed bus to the boat.
What a perfect end to a perfect trip. We have a sea day tomorrow , Friday. Saturday we return to the port and take a train to the Rome airport and catch a flight to Paris. We stay overnight Saturday in Paris and catch a Sunday morning flight back to the states. Owen and I have been blessed with being able to have an amazing trip. We are so grateful for the memories we have been able to make and the people we have been able to meet and get to know.
I have put up the pictures from Israel and Creete. Enjoy!