Showing posts with label Lefka apartments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lefka apartments. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goat bells, olive groves and gorges

Our first week is coming far too quickly to an end. We've taken the advice of Andres, our co-manager/host at Lefka Apartments and taken the off-the-beaten-path roads to places where the tourist buses don't, actually couldn't go, because of the narrow roads and hairpin turns along the way. Think Hart's Pass in Mazama or the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Our little Renault, a car the size of Herbie my VW, is about as big as one would want to be in on the single lane roads that lead through a gorge darkened by the cliff overhangs to heights that are so dizzying that you really don't want to look down from the guard-rail-less road carved out of the rocky hillside to the drop below. The island's Samaria Gorge is popular with hikers and a well-known tourist destination, but our travels through Therisso Gorge only a few kilomters from Chania was pretty spectacular. The roadwayloops its way up hillsides in hairpin turns so sharp that you breath a sigh of relief to have successfully navigated them.

The rocky hillsides are covered with vast amounts of olive groves and goat herds -- many herds chose to lay in the roadway or at its side; it wasn't unusual to make a hairpin turn and find ourselves looking eye to eye with one or two goats. The silence of the hills was broken only by the sound of their hollow tinkling goat bells.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kalimera from Chania!

Kalimera (Good Morning) from our home away from home in Chania, Crete. We arrived here mid-afternoon Wednesday per our earlier schedule of British Air to London Heathrow, followed by an overnight at the Courtyard Marriott, walking distance to Gatwick Airport, followed by a 7 a.m. flight to Heraklion (Iraklion). Our rental car arrangement worked like a charm. A fellow met us at the Crete airport, took us to the car and within 15 minutes of arriving we were on the road to Chania.

Driving here is as interesting as driving in Mexico. . .here they pull partially on to the shoulder and stay partially in the right lane to alert you that you can pass - on hills, curves, straightways, it doesn't seem to matter much to them. On coming cars do the same so the problems arise when the two passing cars in opposite directions both need to be partially over the center line. Keeps the drive interesting to say the least. And as we had been advised, we do not need International licenses to drive in Crete.

Our Lefka apartments really are as nice as all those Trip Advisor reviews kept telling us they would be. We are in a studio, with well equipped (dishes, utensils, microwave, two-burner stove, refridgerator, coffee pot and hot water pot) kitchen, couch, television, two twin beds put together, small but spotlessly clean bathroom and we have balcony that looks out over the pool.
I took the photo an hour ago while sipping fresh squeezed orange juice. . .
The grounds of this 16-unit building are an oasis in this bustling city. The gate leads under an arbor of bouganvilla in full bloom, past canna lillies, towering pandamus, a lemon tree and roses. The pool bar is where we dined last night -- I had pork souvlaki and Joel the bbq'ed swordfish -- served with Greek potato salad, french fries and Greek salad, for 7E and 8E, respectively. Too much for a single meal so will dine on it again tonight. Our complimentary dessert of Greek yogurt with a dried cherry cinnamon sauce was served with muscat wine.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


If all goes as planned by Wednesday we will be in Chania (pronounced 'Hanya') Crete, where we have rented a studio apartment for a week at the rate of 50E per night at Lefka Apartments ( As we re-read traveler's reviews ( of the place we are eager to experience it first-hand. We will be slightly out of the picturesque Venetian Quarter that borders the harbor but are assured that buses run regularly past our apartments, so should have easy access to it and other local points of interest.

Crete is the largest and most southern of the Greek Islands and is the fifth largest of Mediterranian islands. Touring the island will take us from the Bronze Age of its Minoan civilization, to Ottoman mosques and Venetian fortresses . . . and the Greek andRoman temples. . .and the sandy beaches and white mountains.

We land at the Iraklia airport where we will rent a car to drive to Chania and to use exploring at least a portion of the western tip of the island during our stay. (We are assured by several companies that we've contacted that International driver's licenses are not required for car rental here).
Next report from on the road in Crete. . .


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