Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My 23rd Birthday in Crete, Greece.

     Yesterday was our first day back home after six days in the beautiful, warm island of Crete.  I also rebounded wonderfully waking up at 8:30 and staying up late to talk to my parents on Skype--I got a lot done including unpacking four bags of dirty clothes, sand, wine, and ceramics.  This morning did not go as well.  I woke up before noon, though, and since then I have gone to the Post Office (twice) to pay a bill, bought wrapping paper and wrapped a gift for our friends' son, and I have gone to the Water Point to fill up four 2-liter bottles of water.  Anyway, I thought it was about time to post some pictures of our trip!  Our hotel was just outside of the main city of Chania, and almost every morning I heard the clinking of the sheep bells as they were grazing outside of our window.  We had quite a beautiful view!

     The second day we were there it was a little cloudy, so we drove to the other side of the city to an excavated site of the ancient city of Aptera.  It was actually really nice because there were no officials guarding the grounds and anyone could walk freely through the structures. 

     We found that the nearby town of Agia Marina was more tourist-centered, so before eating dinner on the beach in town, we played a round of miniature golf--which was a lot of fun!  

    On Friday we took a cruise that stopped at Gramvousa Island and Balos lagoon.  We some some of the clearest waters here, on the north western side of Crete.  Even though it was cloudy when we arrived at the lagoon, the water was extremely warm since it was knee-deep all around.

     On Saturday we enjoyed a wine tour and a delicious lunch at a local winery, Manousakis Winery, whose owner just so happens to come from Washington, D.C.!  We met two other couples on our tour--one Army couple from D.C. stationed in Germany, and two sisters traveling through Greece who were from Canada.  The lunch was amazing, and it was a gorgeous day!  Stephen came home with a few bottles, but I got a beautiful bottle of olive oil that was created to raise money for a handicapped school in Chania.

     On Sunday we spent the day on a beach in Falassarna (about an hour from our hotel).  It was a perfect day since it was warm, but there was a cool breeze that allowed us to sit in the sun for hours (and for some unnamed people, get sun burned without realizing it!).  Here we were able to snorkel, but there weren't many colorful fish, but it was still fun to watch the big white and brown fish feed off the rocks below.  The water was so clear, it was easy to get out far, but still see lots of fishes.  

     We left on Monday night so we had all day Monday to hang around Chania, the main city on the west side of Crete.  We walked around the Venetian harbor and the lighthouse and had lunch near the cathedral of Chania.  The rest of the afternoon we relaxed until it was time to leave, and I am glad we did because we didn't get home until after midnight!

     A wonderful birthday this year, and thank you for all the birthday wishes!