Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Category: Greece

Chania Town

IMG_5179 IMG_5178 IMG_5187 IMG_5191IMG_5216 IMG_5203

Wandering the streets of this old, ancient town. Getting lost in my favorite kind of way. The streets winding; around every corner, a new burst of color, an explosion of floral. The dogs and the cats and the motor bikes.

While in Chania, I stayed in an upstairs loft on one of these lively streets. There was a giant window seat, a balcony, all overlooking this and only steps away. I could have stayed there forever, lost anew every day.  

 

 

Mediterranean

IMG_5035 IMG_5045 IMG_5086 IMG_5097 IMG_5098 IMG_5137

That Mediterranean sunset. Those last few minutes, seconds, of sun, before it dips and lights the sky. The fishermen lined along the wall. The water lapping, mountains fading in the distance. 

Alone on an island, taking it all in.

Chania Harbour

IMG_5000IMG_4967 IMG_4972 IMG_4980 IMG_4984IMG_5005IMG_5028 IMG_4998IMG_4287IMG_4994

The Old Venetian Harbour of Chania, Crete. I’m still pinching myself – is this real? The harbor was bustling, vibrant and overflowing with both tourists and locals. I walked along the edges for hours, sitting on the stone walls, taking it all in, and losing track of time. The blend of old and new. Serenity and activity. Alone on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. 

To think that a mere three days earlier, I was sitting in an exam room, oblivious to the fact that this beautiful place existed. 

Seitan Limania

IMG_4877IMG_4826IMG_4226IMG_4829IMG_4866IMG_4838IMG_4854IMG_4859IMG_4866IMG_4857It took me 24 hours to get to this beach. One bike ride, a 3 hour bus ride, a 4 hour flight, a taxi, another 3 hour bus, another taxi, and a literal hike down the fact of a mountain, plus numerous pauses in between (including an overnight stay in a hotel) – to be specific. And what an adventure!

On Friday, 5/27, I finished the last exam of my master’s degree at 4:30 pm. FREE. That night, I was on Skyscanner. Crete has been a dream for as long as I remember, and when I saw an affordable last-minute flight for Sunday, of course I booked it. Within 24 hours, I made a plan, bought a backpack. Another 24 hours later, and here I was.

Crete is quite a large island, of course. It’s more the sort of place you would visit for a week or two at a time, not a mere two days. Two days, though, are better than zero, and I wouldn’t trade those two days for anything. It’s a bit hard to find the words to describe this entire experience. If I had to choose only one place to visit for the rest of my life, I really do mean it when I say that I would pick here.

It’s something about the mountains, the way they span across the horizon until they are no more than just hazy purple-blue shadows in the distance. The candy-colored houses aligned on the hillsides. The turquoise water that fades into a rich blue. 

Seitan Limania is a secluded, small, and fairly hidden beach in the north east corner of Chania. I can’t even remember how I discovered it. I certainly had never heard of it before Friday. Somewhere between Google and Pinterest and TripAdvisor, it came to me, and it was the sort of thing where I immediately knew that was where I was going to go. I was nervous, at first, that after all my traveling, once I finally made it to Chania, I wouldn’t even be able to convince a taxi to take me the 40 minutes out there, down the winding mountain roads, never mind come back for me later in the day. I did find someone, though. All I can think of, as cliche as it is, is that it was meant to be. 

And so I made it. And even after I made it, the journey wasn’t complete. Because to get to this beach, one can’t simply stroll across the sand. I had to physically climb straight down the face of the cliff. No path. Nothing to hold on to, anywhere. Tucked away. It was waiting, but I had to earn it.

When I tell people I made this trip alone, the typical reaction is, “You’re so brave,” and, “I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that.” I’m not brave. I have my moments of slight terror solo traveling – the “am I really doing this” type of feeling. I don’t have a secret super power. With travel, adventures, you just do it. You look at it for what it is and decide to do it anyway, because your heart craves it.

Life is full of beautiful things. Sometimes, we need to descend a few cliffs to get to them. But they are there, waiting for us. 

%d bloggers like this: