We had already bought the one-way ticket for our Crete vacation in 2016 in October 2015. At €98 p.p. P. we just had to strike. The return flight ticket for €128 p.p. P we then bought it from Aegean in March of this year, with the great advantage that we flew from Chania. Heavenly relaxing.
As always, we picked up our jeep at Heraklion airport after our arrival and then went to Antje in Platanes. Since we were almost three hours late, it was already relatively late when we moved into our room. So this day ended with a delicious meal in the Kellari and a glass of wine with Antje.
One of our first little tours took us to the Potamon Dam. We took the route past the former garbage dump above Maroulas and then over a gravel road towards the reservoir. There was now a new café on the north bank, das »Gidospito«, which we wanted to take a look at.
Lake Potamon (Greek Λίμνη Ποταμών, Limni Potamon) is a reservoir and responsible for the water supply of Rethymno and the surrounding area. It is about 14 km southeast of Rethymno at the exit of the Amari Valley.
With a shore length of 12 km, it occupies an area of 16 km2 at a maximum depth of 54 m.
The first preliminary considerations and planning for the reservoir began as early as the 1960s, with construction finally beginning in 1996. It was completed in 2008. The EU bore 75% of the construction cost of €50,000,000.
I can't remember who gave us the tip, but we were advised to give it a try »Gedeon Monastery« in Margarites. Crazy! We go there several times every holiday Margarites, but we had never noticed a monastery. The visit was really worth it.
Coming from the north is the 16th century monastery, right at the entrance to the left, but somewhat hidden. You have to look closely to see the information sign and to discover the narrow street that meets the monastery after about 100 m. We passed it 20 years ago.
In the meantime, of course, we had contacted Michael and planned our first major tour. It went to one Sendestation with a wonderful view over the Amari Valley. We were at almost 1,300 meters and the prevailing wind actually made our jeep shake.
On the way back from this vantage point we drove to Smiles to take a look at an old, ruined chapel.
From there it went over Meronas heading home again.
We took a tour of the south coast. Our first stop was at Kaliviani Monastery. Really very impressive. We spent several hours there.
Further towards the south coast we happened to come across the Odigitrias Monastery, which prompted us to make a brief stop.
We then reached the south coast Kali Limenes, kind of an industrial area on the coast. I didn't want to believe but here there were actually tourists who were vacationing here. Well then, to each his own.
After a quick refreshment, we continued east along the south coast to our final destination Lendas reached. Lendas is, like many places on the coast, completely cut off from the environment. There is no hinterland at all and no variety. Anyone who pitches their tents here has to live with this isolation. Wouldn't be for me.
From Lendas we headed north to Heraklion and then back to Platanes on the national road.
On our next tour there were four of us again. Our destination was the observatory on Mount Skinakas, south of Anogia. That's how it was then Anogia also our first milestone. On the village square we refreshed ourselves and had a snack. Incidentally, the waiter had to fetch the ordered tzatziki from the nearest supermarket; one was probably not prepared for guests.
When we watched the hustle and bustle of the residents on the village square with interest, the village eldest(?) entered the stage. One could read in her face that contradicting words was a good thing for her foreign word. In a firm and quite audible voice she spoke to some of the shepherds sitting there; unfortunately we could not understand what it was about, but the lords of creation nodded their heads diligently.
When the elderly lady was about to leave again, Ulrike could not contain herself, jumped up and asked if she could take a picture of her. The lady didn't mind. A Cretan original from the widow's town.
As we drove on to the observatory, not far from Anogia, we suddenly saw artificially built ones on the roadside Cairn, but much larger than usual. We took some photos. Unfortunately, we do not know the background of this cairn parade.
We got there around noon Observatory on the Skinakas, about 1,750 meters high and the highest point that can be reached by vehicle the island. We were rewarded with an impressive view, which was somewhat clouded by the very hazy atmosphere. Nevertheless, the journey and the destination were very worthwhile.
Leaving the top of Skinaka, we rolled west over gravel roads. We passed a very old but probably still operated Mitato (cheese hut) in the mountains. Unfortunately nobody was to be found. A few pictures taken and we continued towards Platanes.
Michael had saved the highlight of this year's vacation for last: the stone village »Koumous« above Kalives. It's incredible what the Builder Khavaledakis Giorgos has created there for the last 20 years. I think the photos speak for themselves.
From Koumous we went to the fortress »Aptera« on the Souda Bay below the »Akrotiri« peninsula. Unfortunately, the fortress was not open to visitors.
It continued around Souda Bay to the English military cemetery, right on the road to Chania airport.
Our last stop of this year's tours with Michael was the Profeten Ilias Hill, above Chania, with a great view of the city.