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Old 9 Nov 20, 03:16 PM  
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#1
2point
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Join Date: Aug 04
Crete - November 2020

After a few start/stop bookings we finally managed to break out of HMP United Kingdom.

We booked last minute flights with Jet2 from Birmingham, our local airport that we hardly ever use as it's usually overpriced. Small mercies.

Arrived at the airport at 05:30 on the 31st October - it was a ghost town, straight through security with only one couple in front of us. Once airside we entered the VIP area, otherwise known as Wetherspoons. Breakfast with the obligatory G&T.



Boarding was via airbridge, with only a half full flight we were soon settled in and read for the off. With the early start I was asleep for half the flight, woke up in time to see the Alps and half of Europe in turmoil below us.

Service on board was very normal, drinks, food, 'duty free' etc. All passengers were wearing masks and no hassle with anyone, most just happy to get away.

Off the plane in Heraklion my wife was delighted with the weather as we walked from the plane to the terminal. A very pleasant 21C, sunny with a light breeze.

We only took hand luggage so a quick scan of our QR code and we were outside and picking up the car within a few minutes.

Arrived in Piskopiano at 15:30, met the AirBnB host and sighed with relief that we had made it.

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Old 9 Nov 20, 03:24 PM  
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2point
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Our plan was to just spend the time reading, walking, bit of travel, lot of eating, bit of drinking.

We took a steady 10km walk out, everywhere was deserted. Most places were closed up the season but lovely to be able to 'smell the roses' and not be mowed down by drubk teenagers on quad bikes.

It would be rude not to enjoy some local hospitality so the 2 for 1 offers had to be tried out



The hike back up the hill to the apartment was different than the last time we were here when it was 40C! Much more pleasant but still good for the lungs and legs.

Meal in a local taverna was excellent. Slept well and just relaxed into the holiday mode.
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Old 9 Nov 20, 03:39 PM  
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Took a drive over to Ag Nik and Elounda. AN was much more like 'normal' being a town with many local residents. Most places were open. We took our time and bought a few bits and bobs in town before a well earned coffee next to the lake. We wanted lunch in a little place we'd used before but they were closed so went round the coast to Elounda instead. A lovely lunch overlooking Spinalonga, was much bigger lunch than expected so my planned swim was postponed.

Had a look at the weather pattern for the rest of the week and it was looking more unsettled later on so decided we'd take a trip up the coast to Rethymno. It's a very attractive town with a picture perfect old town and Venitian Harbour. Again it was nice to be able to walk about and not melt in the heat, we explored long enough to work up a hunger for a beautiful lunch.



Met a couple who retired over there 12 years ago. They lived on a catamaran and cruised round the Greek Islands, now 70 they had started renting a house in a mountain village. Great characters, lessons in life before your eyes - do something you love and do it now. Lunch was very leisurely and we were tempted to stay over (we will do this the next time over there, we'll do an AirBnB hop around the Island).

As we were so close we decided to go a bit further and take a look at Chania. Probably didn't give it the time it deserved but were not impressed and found it too much of a city to feel like somewhere we'd go back. The photos in brochures etc certainly oversell the place.



It was a long drive back in the dark but the welcome lights were on the local taverna when we returned at 8pm. Another cracking day.

Took another day just walking and sitting in the sun, nothing too strenuous.
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Old 9 Nov 20, 03:50 PM  
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2point
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The weather pattern had moved in so off to the south of the Island and the majestic beach at Matala called. The drive over has some spectacular scenary, with so little traffic I could enjoy the drive. The Seat Mii was no Ford Mustang but that's what I was driving in my head on those twisty roads there.

It was breezy, found a tucked away taverna and spent a good while just soaking up some sun with only a scattering of others around us, very different from the usual throngs of people who trek over here.



Still fairly early there was no point going back to the north coast due to the rain so we took a very slow and twisty drive through mile upon mile of olive trees to Ierapetra. The mountains this side give turn after turn of stunning views. Drove past some highly impressive polytunnel structures.

A well earned drink in the late sun



We took a drive through Malia on the way back. It was totally deserted. Not a sole, not even in a Fishbowl.
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Old 9 Nov 20, 03:52 PM  
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SussexFamily
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Originally Posted by 2point View Post
Took a drive over to Ag Nik and Elounda. AN was much more like 'normal' being a town with many local residents. Most places were open. We took our time and bought a few bits and bobs in town before a well earned coffee next to the lake. We wanted lunch in a little place we'd used before but they were closed so went round the coast to Elounda instead. A lovely lunch overlooking Spinalonga, was much bigger lunch than expected so my planned swim was postponed.

Had a look at the weather pattern for the rest of the week and it was looking more unsettled later on so decided we'd take a trip up the coast to Rethymno. It's a very attractive town with a picture perfect old town and Venitian Harbour. Again it was nice to be able to walk about and not melt in the heat, we explored long enough to work up a hunger for a beautiful lunch.



Met a couple who retired over there 12 years ago. They lived on a catamaran and cruised round the Greek Islands, now 70 they had started renting a house in a mountain village. Great characters, lessons in life before your eyes - do something you love and do it now. Lunch was very leisurely and we were tempted to stay over (we will do this the next time over there, we'll do an AirBnB hop around the Island).

As we were so close we decided to go a bit further and take a look at Chania. Probably didn't give it the time it deserved but were not impressed and found it too much of a city to feel like somewhere we'd go back. The photos in brochures etc certainly oversell the place.



It was a long drive back in the dark but the welcome lights were on the local taverna when we returned at 8pm. Another cracking day.

Took another day just walking and sitting in the sun, nothing too strenuous.
I have visited Chania a few times (Its close to Soudha Bay) and on the way to the Gulf in 91, I ran into many older German, Engilsh and New Zealand gentlemen who were there to mark the 50th anniversary of the German invasion of Crete. It was lovely to see them all having drinks together. True Comrades in arms!

The harbour area is beautiful but I know what you mean about the 'feel' of the place.

Enjoying your pics of your Crete getaway.
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Old 9 Nov 20, 03:58 PM  
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2point
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Another lazy day and news that the next day would be a total lockdown. We had a fridge to run down and some booze we couldn't take back so just spent the day around the apartment.

Did nip out to a local microbrewery, cracking beers and a lovely Italian guy who had only opened it this year. Hope his business survives.

Coming home seemed like a lifetime away last week. Arrived back at the airport, dropped the car off (self drop, no checks required - trusted company so no nasty bills later on). Airport pretty deserted but the lounge soon filled up at the Germans and Brits travelling home rolled in.

We spotted the Tui cruise ship in the harbour, exclusively for the Germans. At least there wouldn't be a fight over the sunbeds...

Our flight was delay as it was combined with the Manchester flight, we were the first stop in Birmingham before it headed further North.

Loved the break, total wind down from work and a get away from all the madness over here. Masks were not a problem at any point, we wore them when we had to, never felt an issue. Hospitality from the Cretans was as perfect as ever, such lovely people.

If you get a chance get away and enjoy yourself. Yamas.
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Old 9 Nov 20, 04:12 PM  
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mobeckwith
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Brilliant review,it just feels so much better to get away for a bit🙂
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Old 10 Nov 20, 01:00 AM  
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Sounds like a lovely relaxing few days, I am missing trip reports so thank you for taking the time to share your holiday.
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Old 11 Nov 20, 07:52 PM  
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Sandraoh40
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Thanks for sharing. So glad you had a good break away. I was in AG almost 30 years ago. My aunt and uncle and 2 cousins lived there for a couple of years. Got a few great memories.
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Old 18 Nov 20, 01:37 AM  
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margyloveswdw
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Sounds like a great break!
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