It's mean if you want to escape the dreary, cool and wet weather in Germany and then when you land in Crete a cloudy sky, relatively cool temperatures and strong winds. On our journey from the airport to Antje it even rained very lightly, but not so heavily, that we had to close the top. I haven't experienced the island like this in July.
But that couldn't spoil our mood.
When we arrived at Antje's at around 3 p.m., we unpacked our suitcases, bought everything we needed from Lidl & Co., went for a stroll through Platanes and had a delicious meal with Ingo for the first time in the evening.
The second day wasn't that special either, so we went for a stroll through Rethymno.
On the third day the sky was still cloudy. But now we finally wanted sun, so we did our first smaller tour south and again Agia Galini visited. On the way there we could watch how huge masses of cloud pushed from north to south over the mountains and then evaporated. The sun was bright in the south, but it was also very windy. During a walk at the port of Agia Galini, a gust of wind blew my sunglasses, which I didn't have on my nose at the moment, but on my head, blew into the sea. My search was unsuccessful.
To get straight to the point: from the fourth day the world (and the weather) was fine again and Crete showed itself from its best side.
As always, we spent three weeks in Crete, with Luisa and Lukas accompanying us in the third week.
We had read about the Aradena Gorge at home and it was the first destination on our list. Both the gorge as well as the bridge leading over it in the southwest of the island, near Chora Sfakion, are little known, but not less spectacular.
The village of Aradena is right on the western bridgehead and is depopulated and abandoned after the last Sfakia vendetta in the 1950s. With the exception of the Byzantine church "Archangelos Michael", there are only ruins, but they offer a nice photo motif.
I did two tours with Michael. The first led us to Lambin to an ancient church with a cross dome.
On the way there we passed some mountain slopes whose burnt trees bear witness to the fires of the past.
On the way back we passed a point from which you can get a good view of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge a> has.
When we were planning this year, we had decided to finally visit the bay Balos in the northwest of the island.
In addition to Elafonisi and the Samaria Gorge, the bay of Balos with the associated lagoon of Gramvousa made of fine white coral and shell sand is one of the greatest sights of the island. In many places the water is less than 50 centimeters deep.
When visiting the lagoon, however, you should consider two things: on the one hand, there are no shady trees or buildings and the approximately 20-minute descent ends finally with a much longer ascent - in the glowing sun!
Milia was also on our list for this year. The small settlement in the mountains of western Crete died out in the 17th century. Only at the beginning of the 90s of the last century did the village find its resurrection through the energy of two families.
After approx. 6.4 km of gravel road you will find the small town in the middle of a huge nature reserve, 500 m above sea level. The old walls have been restored or completely rebuilt from old materials. Who loves solitude and enjoy the silence you will find an offer of more than 12 rooms that are rented by the owners.
After enjoying the peace and quiet long enough, we continue south to Paleochora.
Paleochora is a town with the town center on a peninsula-like, narrow promontory. Paleochora is the sunniest point on the island and, like almost all places on the south coast, only surrounded by the rapidly rising coast and the sea.
On another tour to the south, on the way back we visited the chapel in the Kotsifou Gorge viewed.
The imposing gorge is next to the Kourtaliotiko gorge a little further to the west, the second major breakthrough of a mountain stream to the south coast. Both gorges can now be crossed on paved roads and are a real challenge in strong winds.
The Chapel Zoodochos Pigis was the second destination that Michael and I headed for together and that can only be reached on foot, by donkey or by our jeep.
The view is terrific. At an altitude of approx. 660 m you have a view of the bathing resort of Georgioupoli and the freshwater lake Kournas, which is approx. 5 km inland.
On our way back, we touched on the Kournas-Lake to fill up our water supply. Crete's only freshwater lake is a popular one Daily destination for many tourists and often overcrowded. The outlet of the lake, where many turtles and snakes live, flows into the sea at Georgioupolis.
Our last trip took us to the Late Minoan cemetery near Armeni, just a few kilometers south of Rethymno.
North of the town of Armeni, on a low hill and surrounded by an oak forest, there is a necropolis (burial and sanctuary) the burial chambers hewn in rock from the period from about 1390 to 1190 BC. housed. These are domed tombs with buried ones access corridors. It's amazing what people did 3,500 years ago.