Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cruising the Mediterranean and the Port of Crete, Greece

Crete has a couple of different ports where cruise ships dock. The Navigator called on Chania, but it would be a short day as our all aboard was at 2:30 pm. While the beach was high on out to do list, we woke to cloudy and cool weather. What's a girl to do faced with such an abrupt change in plans? Shop of course! There was a city bus that ran shuttles into town, stopping in front of the the Municipal Market. It runs every 15 minutes at a cost of 3 euro round trip.

The Municipal Market is the local market with stalls selling cheese, freshly baked bread, spices, olive oil soaps, etc. I was sorry I ate such a large breakfast on the ship because the baking breads and pastries smelled so good.

Exiting out the back of the market and heading a block west is Skridloff, ""leather street"" . It's actually more than one street...a whole area of great little shops! I saw some of the best prices on leather I had seen and a corner shop in particular had very unique bags. I couldn't decide between two so purchased both along with a matching wallet. There weren't many merchants willing to bargain, but prices were good. Jewelry, glass, ceramics, leathers etc. Lots of tavernas and cafes to stop for a snack or lunch. If you take Halidon Street north you come to a lovely waterfront area. This is where we stopped for a snack of coffee and baklava and it was so good!

If you are shopped out or want to see the historical sites of the town head for the waterfront. The Venetian Dockyards that have been there since the mid 1200s and it's here that great merchant ships came for repair. Strolling to the other end of the waterfront is the Firka Fortress and Naval Museum, and the Byzantine Museum. You can walk through everything in a couple of hours.

Tip: If you are traveling with children there is a one hour glass bottom boat ride for 10 euro pp that leaves from the waterfront and also horse drawn carriage rides.

To get to the beach just follow the promenade along the waterfront. I heard it was ok, but there's a really beautiful beach, Chrisi Akti, about 10 minutes away by cab.

So that's it! I'm writing this last installment as I sit in the Rome airport waiting for our flight. What a trip! An amazing ship, a wonderful and eclectic mix of ports and fun-loving girlfriends to travel with. I can't wait to do it again!

Thanks for coming with us!

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