You swim from the sea to the island of Crete and the first thing ... you are met by some Venetian fortress. Which is not surprising, since the Venetians owned the island from 1204 to 1669 year!
To begin with, when to go to Crete. In the summer there, as in Cyprus, is very hot, so those who have heart problems, it is best to go in August and September. The sea is warm - 24-25 degrees, and the same in the air. True, warm to 17.00. Then a cool breeze starts blowing and you need to wear something on top of a t-shirt. On the southern side of the island, naturally (beyond the mountains), is warmer than on the north. Palm trees are even growing in the south, and it was there, and not on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that they used to shoot the familiar “Bounty” advertisement “Paradise delight”.
And there are many different fortresses there. Lots of! So a lover of medieval defense architecture go there to write a book about the fortresses of Crete for the English publishing house Osprey. If you take - the trip will pay off completely!
There is, however, one problem. Local people by this time already "tired" from the influx of tourists. This may affect the menu in the restaurant of your hotel (it may not be as diverse as in July), but here everyone chooses himself.
That's just with the shadow there is bad. Therefore, walking on hot stones, when there is not a cloud in the sky, it is just hot.
Well, the “little things” of staying abroad are well-known to everyone: the hotel should be left with one euro of a maid (some of our tourists even boast of not leaving, but then for some reason wondering why Russians don't like it anywhere), leave a trifle with a ticket for the bus driver (and do not pick it up when leaving, if the driver is looking the other way at that time!), in a word, behave as befits. Here you can be drunk in an inappropriate way! This is normal. So the Germans and the British drink, and then they brag about how well they rested on Crete - well, God help them!
Although many of the fortress preserved very well! This one, for example. Gates, anyway.
Then you need to imagine that no one there is particularly eager to deceive you (as some imagine it). The most important "cheater" there will be ... your own tour operator, which will bring you to Cyprus. After all, he is Russian! So, the very next day after arrival you will be offered a package of excursions around the island "from the firm" and you ... in no case should not be allowed to persuade yourself and agree on their prices. Because the price of a tour of “our” operator will be 65 euros, but if you leave the hotel and walk through the city, you will easily find a travel agency where this same tour will cost ... 35! And with a Russian guide, mind you! Not all, of course, speak Russian. But there you do not need, go ahead. Finally you found what you need and ... bargain! For some reason, our people believe that if they care about their money, they will think about it, that they are poor, and that is embarrassing. So - it's not shame to be economical, it's a shame to be a fool and overpay where you can not overpay. Bargain, call the price in 25, and then you will be told: “Okay, neither you nor us - 26!” But where it’s not necessary to save - you don’t need to save! One euro per maid. You will not enrich!
And this gate too ...
Crete itself is a place ... where people, firstly, practically don’t work (and if they work, they don’t work), and secondly, where no one is in a hurry! Like you, for example, this is the schedule: Monday is “a hard day,” so everyone only works until 14.00. On Tuesday, they work full time. But from 14.00 to 17.00 siesta, so everything is closed both at this time, and the employees are “refining” later. On Wednesday - "this is the middle of the week" all work again until 14.00. Thursday and Friday are “full working days”, and on Saturday - again until 14.00. Well, Sunday - 100% output, you do not buy water in Heraklion, that's how! Of course, this rule is valid everywhere except in the tourist area. There is a cafe that works on Sundays. But they are full, because they are few !!! And where the Cretans themselves actually live, the above rule is strictly followed. And we are talking about a crisis in Greece, huge debts, “impoverishment of the masses”. In fact, as they "worked in Greek", so they work - that's what.
And this is the gate in the wall surrounding the capital of Crete Heraklion! Impressive, isn't it?
Well, those who are not working ... spend time in a cafe. The impression is, by the way, that the entire population of the island spend time there. Sit with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and ... slumber (those who are older), communicate (those who are a little younger), and discuss football (young). Sit and men and women. Right on the street. In Paris, too, both in Prague and Meissen ... but there, mostly foreigners are sitting in these street cafes. They join, so to speak, traditions. Here - sit local.
Another gate in this wall. The thickness of its 6-8 meters. In some places next to it lie the stone cores, which they shot at her. So they are like an elephant's pellet!
Russians are treated very well. One local said that he was a communist, and in confirmation showed a red tattoo in the shape of a star and a sickle with a hammer on his left wrist. He said that he loved Che Guevara, he loved the USSR, he loved the Russians, and for some reason, for some reason, Bandera Rosa sang - Avanti popolo, Alla riscomes ... My daughter picked up and ... received the goods with a big discount! So before the trip it makes sense to recall the repertoire of old revolutionary songs. Suddenly you will also meet this uncle, and you will be able to recognize him by the tattoo on his left hand!
The little churches in Crete are mostly like that. And they hang state flags. Interestingly, and on our churches, they also appear someday?
How to relax? As you like, of course, especially if you have “all-inclusive”, but remember - here, unlike in Spain, there is no set of “with you” (“picnic”) instead of lunch. Your lunch is missing due to the fact that you were late for it - these are your difficulties! In any case, try to take the car and drive it. Then it will be the most exciting adventure in your life. This is riding on a mountain serpentine among olive groves, and the species, one more beautiful than the other. And then you will be able to go down to a small cozy cove with pure white sand, where nobody except you is there and ... swim in whatever mother gave birth to and just simply forget about civilization.
But this car, on which my daughter has traveled, well, not all of Crete, is an exaggeration, but a significant part of it, both in the north and in the south. It is convenient to ride on such.
Car rental - subcompact, of course, and it is on such cars that all local and most of the tourists drive Crete (if you see a huge and expensive car, in 99% of cases, the driver will be Russian, and not the richest!) - 30- 35 euro per day, but this is with insurance for the full category. But without gasoline. And he is on the island dear - 1,5 euro. Therefore, the love of small car is understandable. As for local farmers, they drive small Japanese trucks. At the double open car of my daughter in Crete, I met only ... a Negro from the USA, whom she and her husband had to ask for the way in the mountains! Not a single Greek would hire such a car even under the threat of being shot. You can only rent a car if you are eligible for more than four years. Will give and in the event that your driving experience is less. But without insurance. From the word "absolutely." So think about your possibilities. On the other hand, and especially not to be afraid. After all, Crete is an island where no one is in a hurry. That is, on the highway you can easily meet cars with locals, trailing at a speed of 40 km / h. Speed 60 km / h - this is a fast ride. And with the speed of 90 km / h only one "crazy Russian" drive. The fact that “they (that is, we) go wrong” is known to all Greeks, and it is a real pleasure for them to communicate with such reckless people at rental offices. "Well, now and it will be impossible to drink!" - It was expressed some regret at checkout. And the answer was: “Why not? A small glass of brandy can be! ”Such here in Crete ...“ rules on the roads. ”
The streets in Heraklion are like this, although not all. I do not like “tourist photos” with sweaty bodies on the beach and photos like “me and the bush”, “me and a piece of the old house” (there are many faces and very few houses, you could not go anywhere to remove the corner of the house from peeling stonework!), but in this case this man is standing here for scale. Growth in it 1.80 m.
There is one more important circumstance. We used to ride on signs. There are practically no signs on the roads. That is, of course, there is, but very little. Therefore, getting lost and “not turning there” is easier than the easy one. Therefore, it is necessary to drive either on the road map, or on the navigator. Otherwise ... otherwise you will just stray! And there is no guarantee that you will also meet an English-speaking Negro who is captivated by your fellow traveler - a blonde in a wide-brimmed straw hat, sunglasses and a dress spreading in pineapples.
But if you are not a driver, you should not be upset either. Crete has an excellent bus service. Only in Heraklion there are three bus stations, from which you can reach any point of the island. But the city is also driven by double-decker English tourist buses. I sat down, paid 16 euros, and they will take you all over the city and they will show it all. And it is especially interesting to look at ... the huge fortress wall of Heraklion, which surrounds the city from all sides. In its wall niches there are small museums, and in general this in itself is something ... It is also easy to get to the ruins of the Palace of Knossos. The place is beautiful! Stone placers on the background of pines and mountains, turning blue in the distance. If everything was the same here during the Minoans, it is not surprising that they lived here for thousands of years and even the Achaeans did not raise a hand to destroy this palace. It is clear that the palace is a remake (there are no photos of it here, since they were all given in previous materials). It is clear that in his small rooms, illuminated from above by light wells, only copies of ancient frescoes hang, and also finished in places where they have not been preserved. And at UNESCO, the Greeks are being scolded for all this. But ... but here you seem to be transferred to “that time,” and looking into the dungeon, you constantly expect a terrible Minotaur to jump out.
Then you can walk around the city itself. Look at the Venetian fountains (still working!), Ancient churches and mosques next to them, wander through very narrow streets. By the way, at the same time, you can also increase your appetite. Because the smells from behind the walls of these medieval houses are still those. Cretan cuisine is very spicy, spicy and ... expensive. You can have breakfast in a cafe for 3-5 euros, but if you want to choose something local, mouzaka, for example, one dish will pass you already in 10-12 euros, but a real fresh lobster (live will bring and show how he moves claws, then taken to the kitchen!), coated with any food on a platter - already in 80! So, on Crete, rest can be very budget, much cheaper than in our south, including flights (!!!), and very expensive.
Finds there at every turn. You go, you go - and here, against the background of a house of cast concrete, this Venetian fountain stands and works!
A very interesting service is the “trip on a yacht”. Yachts are different and operators, luring tourists to them, say something like this: “Our yacht today is 35 euro, but this one is tomorrow by 25. But why do you need tomorrow when you can today! ”In principle, you can also take 25 ... then your“ company ”in 5-6 will be rolled on the open sea, taken to a chic beach in a secluded bay for a swim, and even fed with delicious, immediately cooked meat , the freshest fruit, and they will drink from a large cauldron of ice with local rakia - I don’t want to drink. Europeans-tourists - they require some mineral water, they say, “it’s not over yet”, well, and ours are right to the cauldron - that it’s day and night, the difference is not great!
But this is just a mountain covered with bushes ... Just Crete and that's it!
So this is also entertainment (besides all the others!) And very pleasant, but it is best not to get into pitching after all these tastings. By the way, Cyprus is very tasty honey. And what is interesting is that in Abkhazia we also see everywhere announcements: “mountain honey”, “mountain honey”, but for some reason, the hives are nowhere to be seen. In Crete, especially when you go to the mountains, beehives are at every turn.
By the way, there is simply nothing to bring from Crete as memorable souvenirs. Of course, there is enough of “antique shit” there, but everything is so coarse ... bl-r! There is good soap in olive oil, there is good chocolate (in olive oil - a joke!), There is Metaks cognac (who likes it), there is brandy and anise vodka (this is generally ... who oh-oh-ry like it!), There is olive butter. And so - everything!
And here at every step there are olive trees, a gift from Athena Pallas. And the rule is this: do not buy olive oil in the tourist area! If you have a car, then go somewhere in the mountains, far away, to the village, and there immediately buy a can of liters for five not less. This will be the most authentic Cretan olive oil and the best memory of the island of Crete. Perhaps this is all!