Monday, September 29, 2008
2 overnight trips and a day in Athens and we awoke to find ourselves in the beautiful Venetian belle - Hania, Crete.
On an aside, if you're ever touring with your bike and gear and you find yourselves stuck in Piraeus for the day. Check your bike into one of the many secure parking garages. You can't take your bike onto the public transit and cycling in Athens is just tiresome, but for 12 E you can be comfortably unencumbered and confident that your worldly possessions and beloved bicycle are safe. The only folks with access to your stuff are the parking attendants.
The three main big cities in Crete are Hania, Rethymno, and Iraklio. All three are bursting with the worst kind of tourism. Iraklio is a must see as she is home to Knossos. Hania, however, is the belle of the ball. Visually stunning, tasty, and full of interesting and varied shops. But Rethymno...Rethymno wears a tourist mask, but one turn off the main corridor hobbles an old lady dressed in black carrying florina peppers, fresh bread and butchered lamb from her local shops. The old quarter is still very much alive and in between the tourist tripe you'll still find the local butcher, cheese maker, and fruit and veg shop. Rethymno touts itself as bike friendly as well. This means: keep your eyes on your bike! Apparently bike theft is hot here.