Crete (Amari valley)

I smell coffee. The sun is shining over the bay of Suda and the wind is making white caps on the waves in the bay. Yes, the always-blowing wind. Does it ever stop blowing?

As we have the sea just under the balcony, it takes us a few steps to get in the sea. The beach is not spectacular but the refreshment is good. We go to buy some food in the nearby shop for today's excursion.

The interior of Crete
The interior of Crete

We drive to Amari valley, located below the highest mountain peak on Crete, Ida (2456 m). The road takes us through some sleepy villages, in one of which we decide to stop for an early lunch (the sun was already high). Between two restaurants we choose the one with nicer view and sit on a terrace with a few tables. When the owner comes we ask him the menu and he answers on broken English: "eggs and Greek salad". The choice being what it is we choose Greek salads. Greek salad is feta cheese with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, onion and plenty of olive oil. And these Greek vegetables really taste good, not the plastic-tasting vegetables we (unfortunately) eat at home - this is what makes Greek salad so good!

Greek salad arrives in big portions (we've had bigger portions only in Tarifa in Spain). We don't have to ask for the water, it's brought on the table. For the end we've had excellent Greek coffee. All for 8€, the view included!

We kept driving to the south, and once we got out of the valley, driving on a wide road at some 70 km/h we've heard a *bang* sound that scared us. We seemed to have hit something. I got out of the car - it was still in one piece. I walked back the road, only to discover that at one spot the road cover suddenly rises for a few centimeters! With no warning signs... We kept driving carefully and came close to the sea at Agia Galini, from where we continued to monastery Moni Preveli. A large area around the monastery belongs to the Greek Church - in Greece the church is a big land-owner. However swimming is allowed on a beach below the monastery. When we arrived at the parking, a couple of Germans told us that it takes about half an hour of walking to get to the beach. And like everywhere in Greece, shade is a luxury... We gave up and kept driving.

We've found a beach in Plakias, a town that's approached through an impressive canyon. After having enjoyed this big but unimpressive beach we decided to visit the nearby Damnoni beach. At first sight it's a beach with nice black sand, but only on the coast! The sea bottom is covered with slippery stones, full of deep holes - a perfect place to break a leg! We went back to town to have a dinner. Plakias is full of tourist restaurants. Dinner was barely eatable...

The location where someone died
The location where someone died

We drive back to the apartment. Here and there one can see something that looks like a small monastery model on the side of the road - it's used to mark the spot where someone died in a car accident...

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Greece: Crete (Heraklion, Sitia)
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