Our morning started out with 4 hours of sleep and rushing to the Metro Station. Getting places seems to be the most stressful part of the trip. We got to the airport and ended up having to run to our gate to catch the bus to our plane (the bus drives you right up to the plane where you walk up the stairs all 'private jet style'). The flight for Crete left around 9:15AM and we arrived around 45 minutes later.
At the airport we rented a car and were on our way. It was the easiest transition to a new location so far! The place we rented the car from provided us with a map of Crete that was as big as the island itself, no way were we getting lost! Of course, as soon as we pulled out of the airport the gas light comes on, so we drove hoping to find a nearby station. BHW found a gas station and a man came out and asked BHW what he wanted, he said to fill it up, so the man did, with PREMIUM gas. Man, they really know how to weasel you out of money around here! We have been taken advantage of far to many times on this trip.
Our host told us to stop in Chania to take a walk through Old Harbor. While driving there we were in awe of the different landscapes we could see all from our little red car. There were snow-capped mountains to our left, the sea to our right, and everywhere in between were olive trees! We arrived in Old Harbor in one piece, thankfully, and took a stroll around. The water is so clear, I still can't get over it!
After a walk around Old Harbor we got something to eat before we drove to the villa. The drive was fairly uneventful, the traffic was not bad at all and there is literally one road to take us across the island. The guy we rented the car from was telling us where to go and he pointed to the highway and said 'This road takes you to Kissamos.' and I said 'That's E-65, correct?' and his reply was, 'There's only one road, you can call it whatever you want.' One thing we did learn was that driving on the shoulder of the road is typical. If you're going to drive slowly, you just drive in the shoulder. It's basically another lane on the road. It's so funny because in the States we avoid that shoulder like the plague, it's filled with rumble strips!
About an hour later we got to our villa, in the middle of the tiniest town ever, it's more like a village. We had to stop and ask for directions twice but we found it! I keep saying we are in Kissamos (a small town) but we are technically in Kaliviani (an even smaller town). There are about 5 old ladies that live here, and a million goats. I'm pretty certain the entire island of Crete is covered in Olive trees, and goats. Our villa is built into a cave, which is awesome, to say the least. After we settled our things we took a short nap to make up for the lack of sleep from the previous night.
When we woke up we were ready to explore! We read about Balos Lagoon, one of the best beaches in the world, and it was right near our villa! There was, you guessed it, only one road that got us there so there was no way we were getting lost. What we weren't prepared for was the fact that the road wasn't paved.. and by not paved I don't mean gravel.. I mean rocky with a sprinkling of boulders while on the edge of a cliff. I thought I was going to have a heart attack more than once on the drive. We passed a few million goats as we drove along the coast/cliff. We knew it was going to get dark so we were a little nervous about driving all the way there and having to possibly drive back in the dark. There were 2 cars on the entire trip and we drove for around an hour (roundtrip). We did finally find the beach.. well.. we found the entrance to it. To get down to the beach you had to hike for 20 minutes down the cliff. The view of the beach was blocked and we decided not to hike down there and save it for another day when planned to spend the whole day there.
Once we made the dangerous drive back we passed through our tiny town and went up to Kissamos so we could grab some groceries, mainly breakfast stuff and snacks. We planned to visit Samaria Gorge tomorrow morning but apparently it's closed until May. I'm still going to call them in the morning just to be sure, but if not, we have a back-up gorge to hike instead!
At our wedding we had the guests vote on where they thought we should go for our honeymoon, and they voted Greece! So, 11 months later, we are finally making the journey! Turkey and Greece, here we come!