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  • Writer's picturerachrachchang

MAY 2023 - Crete, Greece 🇬🇷 (1/3)

DAY 1 // 20 May, Saturday | My parents offered to send me to the airport, Dad went to rent a car, and off we left at 2.45 am to Terminal 1!


(thanks, parents)


3.07 am:

Apple arrived shortly after I did, and we went to check in our luggage.


I knew my luggage is heavier than usual, not sure if it was because it was a longer trip (2 weeks vs 1 week).


Luggage weight: 16.4 kg


We ate at Heavenly Wang (love calling it "ah wang") at 4 ish am. It will be a long flight with expensive food to purchase from Scoot, so I have some snacks in my bag and Apple went to grab some stuff from 7-Eleven before we boarded TR712 to Athens.


I have been asked before so good to mention it here: Apple's name is not really Apple, it's a nickname we gave Rui Ping in JC when she had short hair and the shape looked like an apple!


Our flight was delayed and we took off after 6.30 am, I was already sleeping after I settled down and put on the seatbelt 😂


On the 11 hours flight, I had Caramel Corn - Peanut Flavour woohoo


The not-so-good thing was I was having my period (today day 2, sibei jialat). I went toilet 4 or 5 times on this 11 hours flight and kept waking up every 1-2 hours. IT FELT HORRIBLE, but now feeling horrible in Athens at 1.04 pm:


We got our things and need to catch our next flight at 5 (ish pm) to Chania! Luckily we didn't buy the tickets for domestic flight at 1.30 pm, if not we wouldn't have made it...


We walked around the airport, looking at the food options we have! We decided to get their Chicken Gyros set, which comes with beer!

16.50€


The staff told Apple that this is the best beer, I agree! But I don't know what this beer is called in English.


Side note: looking at the Greek alphabet makes me feel like I can't read anything...


We headed for our flight to Chania, we waited quite long there (it was v hot even tho got aircon?)

Apple reading in peace~


We couldn't find a water dispenser or fountain in the airport, not sure if we can drink the tap water so we just ren.


We went to separate toilets and the lock wasn't working, and wondered is it we don't know how to lock, or cannot lock the door. There are signs in the washrooms, telling us not to flush paper down the toilet bowl, and to discard them in the bins next to us. I went to google this later and found out it is due to their narrow piping, the paper may choke the pipes. However, I still flush the toilet paper down, as it's dirty to just put them in the bins?? Wouldn't it start to stink meh


We have to take their bus after passing the boarding gate, to get to our ride:


The bus was stalled quite a bit because of this Asian couple, seems like only the girl managed to get on (wonder what happened).


Us excited on the plane!!!

We were also v happy about the free (included) drink (I got coffee and was given sugar) and snack given on the Sky Express flight, unlike Scoot...


Also, the flight attendant is a handsome man hehe


After we arrived at Chania Airport, got our bags, and went to their bus station to catch the bus out from the airport.

It was 6.47 pm and we missed the bus at 6.45 pm. The next bus is at 7.20 pm, so we waited indoors to avoid the slight drizzle.


8.04 pm, we arrived at their main Bus Station:

We went to buy bus tickets ahead of tomorrow's day trip to Rethynmo.


Me typing notes on how to get to the hotel from Bus Station: right and turn left


Morum City Hotel, Chania

Room pictures:


We also got a balcony!

This Hotel doesn't seem to fit in with the neighboring buildings, the surroundings look kinda rundown compared to the Hotel.


The sun sets around 8.30/8.40 pm here in Greece. So now feels about right for dinner haha


Dinner at Tasty


I got a pomegranate juice heh


We ordered a Greek Salad and Cretan Pizza!


My mother (my money changer) money changer gave her 4 pieces of 200 Euros bills. I wanted to break the money during dinner today, but the restaurant staff didn't accept it ):


I also went to ask our hotel receptionist, she also told me the same and suggested I went to a bank to get it changed.


Later I went on to read it up, the shops here don't really accept 200 bills due to fraud and so on. Some places still do, let's hope someone does. I was thinking about this before I slept, sobs.

 

DAY 2 // 21 May, Sunday | Good morning from Crete! This is the only accommodation out of the three that offers free breakfast and it is 😍

Breakfast comes with a glass of water and orange juice.


We can use their coffee machine/dispenser or request their brewed coffee. Today I'm going with their machine coffee, and there are a lot of drinks on the table haha (hopefully no LS later 😂)


My plate:


This is also how their bar/counter looks like:

Loving the vibes of this^


It's a 4 minutes walk to Bus Station.

(sorry Apple, only got this pic with your eyes closed haha)


We hopped on the 9.30 am bus and reached Reythmno at 10.40 am!


Inserting the bus schedule here, for maximum confusion:

(but in the end, I got it ba, kinda haha)


Rethymno, Crete

After arriving, we quickly bought our return ticket (6.20€ per pax) for 8 pm at the station! The staff accepted my 200€ note YASSSSS (one of the happiest things today)


We used their toilet, then it was time to go explore this town!


We walked along the coast and then walked toward their streets:


Look at the flowers 💕

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Yaaaaa how ah?


????

(later in Athens, we kinda know why such souvenirs are made)


Along the streets of shops, I got a fruit juice drink at 3.30€:

Strawberry, peach, and banana


Love the message on the cup:

love your body, feed your soul, drink your juice

Neratze Mosque

This is one of the landmarks recommended to tourists to visit, we arrived here, not knowing what it is, until later haha


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We had our lunch along one of the restaurants on the street, I love the outdoor seating concept (of course, good weather is a must)


FOOD

Tiropita? (cheese pies) and fried Feta Cheese with Fig Sauce


Close-up of fried cheese

(my love)


Apple wanted to try Raki, it's the national drink of Crete. We didn't know how intense it was going to be, Raki has 40% alcohol content!

Apple: this reminds me of my lab ethanol...


I paid with my second 200€ note YASSSS


Apparently, it's Crete culture to be generous and welcoming! We got desserts and another bottle of Raki 😅

These are on the house, woohoo!


Tipsy? yes! If we didn't order Raki, we wouldn't have known what they were giving us for free right HAHAHA


RETHYMNO

Oops Rethymno fails


More graffiti:


One of the ones we liked:

There is always light if we are brave enough to see it 
if only you are brave enough to be it

I saw this beer quote and cannot resist not taking a picture of it

(YS will totally agree!)


After lunch, we have to get back on track to complete the walking route suggested online in an article we saw. We couldn't find the Church of Agios Frangiskos, and it also started raining. I was wearing SL's long sleeve top and was sweating so much from this


Following our 1 hour walk, we're back into town 😂 and found out that what we saw earlier was the Neratzes Mosque.


The most chio thing in Rethymno, I would say it's their Venetian Harbour!


We will also be walking a longer path, to visit the lighthouse later!


On our way, we saw ducks, cats, and sea urchins too. We suspect only Asians are interested in the sea urchins in the water, bc sushi!!


You probably guessed it right, yes they're mating... Wild horny afternoon, I guess?


Harbour Views


Lighthouse

There is a narrow path along the lighthouse, we were v careful, 怕怕啦


Then we climbed up to their fortress, wanting to go in further to see the Venetian Fortezza Castle.

Being mindful of time, we ended up going off for a peaceful (not rushed) dinner instead.



Dinner along Seaside, Fanari


I ordered Greek Coffee and refused the sugar, then later tasted it and added the sugar I got on the flight to Chania heh

It was way too bitter... Greek coffee is not my cup of tea.


We are loving dining by the sea!!!!!

The only problem I have, was my fingers were freezing...


FOOD

24.50€ for 6 Meze plates for 2 pax!

  • Tzatziki (salted yogurt cucumber dip)

  • Sausages

  • Salad

  • Fava Puree (nutty buttery flavour, made of yellow split beans)

  • Cheese Saganaki (Fried Cheese)

  • Kalamari


Our waiter has a lot of friends, and most of the time during his shift, he talks to different groups of people, in cars, across the roads, etc hahaha.


We had such a great time, only belatedly realised it was 7.23 pm already! We have to board the bus before 8 pm, and the drivers here are quite punctual (not as punctual as Japan, have to clarify).


We were rushing to leave and wanted to pay but the waiter guy still chatting with friends, and a waitress got us desserts with Raki! (helps)

Also saying this dessert looks like our local yam cake thingy hah


I broke my third 200€ note YASSSS, clicking with Rethymno well!


It started raining as we made our way quickly to the Bus Station! There are many stations, so can we difficult to identify the right place for return. Note to self: good to mark down landmarks or map on Gmaps, just in case cannot locate the right bus stop/station.


My bag was more or less wet from the rain, umbrellas don't work during heavy rain. We arrived at 8.01 pm, heng still can board the bus, we almost CMI...


We returned to Chania and got back to our hotel at 9ish pm, we were informed by the front desk that our day trip tomorrow to Elafonisi Beach is canceled due to bad weather. They couldn't reach us so they contacted our Hotel instead.


We also got a note from the Hotel staff in case we came back later than her shift. Since things didn't go as planned, we decided to grab our welcome drinks tonight and regroup!


Welcome Drink

We chose their house wine, it was so good!!! The staff said she needed to check with the owner on the name or contents of the drink, so the info I have, is unknown house dessert wine that tastes great!


(started turning red...)


Drinks come with popcorn, nuts, etc! I agree, cannot drink without eating anything.


We moved Day 4 itinerary to tomorrow, and see if we can go to the Beach on Day 4 if the weather is good.


(more excited about chatting about Korean idols dating than our actual travel plans haha)


This hotel is so beautiful, and the lift v cool also. I think the lift style is common in Europe:

Box-style lift, there isn't any door inside of the elevator cabin. This lift has an additional automatic foldable door that closes once it is set to go.


The Hotel also provides a kettle, so we could boil water for drinking!

(this facility, or the lack of it, will be a problem later)

 

DAY 3 // 22 May, Monday | We woke up later today and were able to slowly eat our breakfast since the agenda is to tour around Chania Town! CHILL DAY~


Their coffee ❤️


There are a variety of breakfast food options here, and the Hotel has some slight differences in some of the dishes. I managed to try their cheese pies on day 1 and spinach pies today.


We're in the land of yogurt, of course, I'm enjoying a bowl of cereal/granola with Greek yogurt, with their homemade praline~

I also liked their homemade strawberry jam!!

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We made our way to Chania Bus Station to buy round-trip tickets for tomorrow's trip to Elafonisi Beach. The ride there is 9 am and there is only 1 available bus back at 4 pm, and we want to be sure we're visiting Elafonisi Beach tomorrow!


Chania, Crete

(Pronounce as "Hania")


Harbor 🌊


We sat along the benches by the water, and I'm loving how clear the water is!


I know I said I'm not going to buy another bracelet after my moonstone one broke but the pearl bracelets here are gorgeous!

- 20€, + happiness


We went around the town, explore street by street, shop by shop. There are so many things to see! The streets are so chio 💕


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Credits: Apple, the flower enthusiast. She even knows what type of flowers are these, I don't know, I don't know most things hahaha


More flowers:


We went to one really cool shop, called the Temple! They have these glass floorings, showcasing the old grave sites, after the removal of the human relics of course.


Apple is fascinated by the lamps (especially the really blue ones), but the shop owner wasn't very nice to us. Apple didn't buy it in the end after much consideration bc of the cost? 40€ iirc


So what was I doing in here, hahaha taking a mirror picture here~


Then later, we saw this dusty rose building. No idea what it is, but I just like it


We saw horses near the harbor, strapped to chariots to transport tourists. It was quite a cruel sight, I'm sure it must be difficult for the horses...


We wanted to stop by for a nice coffee break at Kross Coffee Works, but their coffee machine was malfunctioning today, so we left to find another place for a good treat.


We went to Monogram instead, and it was also here, we realised it was almost 2 pm, and the eateries selling delicious local Bougatsa have closed! This means we will not get to try their Greek custard pie with phyllo )):


It is a Crete Specialty...


Anyway, here's Monogram's Bombolone. They were 还好 only...

(image missing Apple's drink)


I got a Freddo Expresso (iced Expresso) and didn't finish it, maybe I'm just not vibing with Greek Coffee.


Please spot the cat:

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The view further down this street:


Athinagora Square


Splantzia Square

I like how cafes and constant shade from trees/plants surround this place.

The Church of Saint Nikolas was converted into a mosque along the way and it is the only temple today in Greece that has a bell tower and a minaret.


(it was raining)


Inside this holy place, we were drawn by its interior and also lit a candle.


On their directory board, and on their walls, we saw these:

Yessss end this man


Our random walking following Gmaps, led us to this rooftop place, and there were people smoking there. There were also a group of youngsters in an old building, with puppies in carton boxes, they asked us if we wanted to bring one home hehe

We are able to see the Habour and Lighthouse from here~


And Apple's Foodie filter:

She finds it a little too gloomy


❤️


I also took a selfie here~


We found our way down and made our way to the harbour, and walked towards the lighthouse.


Loving these cats, just chilling here~


Before we explore the shipyards and lighthouse further, we went for an early dinner, and hope we have time to look around + catch the sunset!


Dinner at Apotolis


We ordered a seafood platter for two at 35€, it looks huge but should be can finish eating hor

(nope)


Remember the culture here in Crete? We received their desserts and Raki!!!

The fruit/berry sauce with yogurt is so good, I even asked the waiter what fruit it is, as Apple and I have been guessing for some time already haha


It's cherry 🍒

(love it)


The sun is starting to set?


🌊🌊🌊

Loving how the water reflects the image of what's on the land and sky!


We started walking along here, towards the lighthouse, there are many places to stop for photos and we also saw this man selling paintings.

我心痒痒 but did not buy it when we walked back, as the paintings were more of Santorini. I couldn't find a painting that I can connect emotionally with...


It is a long walk over

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Looking back at how far we came:


We climbed up to look at the sea from a height, and she was endless!


I slipped here and almost went to join the sea...

(tipsy from the 2 x Raki?)

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I like how locals bring their dogs here for an evening stroll!


Egyptian Lighthouse


Then we walked back to find a good spot to watch the sunset!


This photo was captured slightly later, abit darker hor


Wahhhhh

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On our way back, passing by the shipyards, I saw a shop selling things on a boat, it was too rocky/swaying constantly, and I cannot look at the things without feeling unwell.


(motion sickness problems)


I was taking out some candy from my bag, and I think a cat here thought I might be feeding her (I think it's her, just feel lo), she meow-ed at me!


So cute la, but sorry I really got no food for you bb


More harbour things:


The lighthouse!!!!

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CRETE CATS FEATURE


 

DAY 4 // 23 May, Wednesday | I woke up at late 6ish am to get ready, and we were downstairs for breakfast at 7.50 am!


Loving their strawberry Marmalade!

Apple tried the Apple and Pear one, I think.


Putting the pictures of interesting things we tried, or cheeses we may wanna buy in future


Then it was time to rush off to the Bus Station to catch our 9 am bus to Elafonisi Beach! The ride will pass by a beautiful gorge, which seems like quite a dangerous ride up.


It was very cooling and a refreshing feeling to be wearing shorts in 21°C weather!


This group of American tourists wanted to bring their food/snacks in their bags on the bus, after they have placed the things in the luggage storage space, the driver didn’t allow and they started scolding him behind his back once they boarded the bus.


I think the driver handled this quite well; before we were ready to depart, he clarified that the road there (the later part) is quite bumpy, so passengers may start puking if they eat on the bus.


After an hour’s ride, we stopped by a rest station to use their WC, buy drinks, etc.

I got handmade soap and olive oil lip balm. It was 10.20€ and I dropped some coins on the floor, the staff said it is okay, we will take it from there. I still paid the 10.20€ tho hah


The toilet door wasn’t working very well, and one of the guys sitting near us on the bus, was very kind to offer to help me close the door from the outside, and when I was done, he also helped to open them. COOL DUDE!


Topolia Gorge on our way there~

This is the best I have got, because I was sitting on the better side for the view, and also on our way back, sat on the better side but was too tired and passed out on the bus. So this^ is it hahaha


Once we arrived at the bus stop, we took pictures of the surroundings as well as vehicle numbers so that we can find our way back later.


It was more than 10 minutes walk on gravel and stones, in my sandals! I was very careful and it was starting to feel hot, but we were excited so okay la


IT’S THE SEA!!!!!!!