Saturday, November 15, 2014

Heraklion, Crete

 After a full morning of sight seeing and lots of walking it was FINALLY time to relax with a cold beer....
 and fried sardines that he ate by the handfuls!
 The restaurant we ate at was number in my Sister's book about Greece and they didn't disappoint!  Just as our bellies were full and we were getting ready to leave they brought us this yummy dessert on the house!!!
 And Raki for the adults!
 Raki is a popular drink for the adults because it is a by product of the leftover grapes!  Waste not, want not!

 A few selfies before heading back for a nap!  I tell you, this was a FULL morning!
 And after nap we headed back to the the area where we ate lunch.  It is the Venetian fortress of Rocca al Mare (1523–1540) guards the inner harbor of Heraklion.

 Would have been a nice Christmas card! : )  Haha!


 LOVE this!  I had snapping shots of the people of Greece!
 Walking from the port into town towards Lion Square
 We were wandering the streets looking for a nice outdoor, kid-friendly place to eat dinner that was affordable.  We weren't having much luck until we stumbled on this gem!!!  Best food and a great price and the first cheap beer we found!  And there was a little something for everyone on the menu!
 Pizza in Crete
 Lion square at night!  So this is where we ate breakfast and it is totally different at night!  We didn't even recognize the place.  It was lit up, crowded, and festive.  I actually would not have believe it was the same place we ate our quiet breakfast if it wasn't for the Lion fountain in the middle of the fun!
And that folks is Day 1 of the fun!!!  All squeezed in the elevator and headed to our rooms to crash for the night!  Tomorrow is another full day!

Crete Day 1

What to know how to make the most out of your first day in Crete?!?!  Get off the boat at 8am and start sightseeing right away because really, you don't have anything else to do since you can't check into your hotel!  When the boat landed we had 1 hour before we had to get off.  We took that time to shower since we all slept through the night we actually slept until we were minutes for docking which was perfect!!  We showered in our TINY shower and hot room and got ready to start our day.  We dropped off our bags at the hotel and walked to the square nearby.  There were not many people out and only a few restaurants open.  We picked one with a nice outside area and enjoyed a lazy breakfast!
At breakfast we looked at our guidebook and map and came up with a plan of our next stop, Knossos Palace.  To get there we had to walk to the bus stop up the road which gave us some time to shop the local vendors, the few that were open!
The triple threat!
As we got off of the bus at Knossos we notice our first of many little shrines.  We weren't exactly sure what this was and why it was here but we knew it was of religious importance.  Turns out many people put this shrines by their home as a memorial to God and sometimes these are put up at the sight of an accident.  People passing by can light a candle and/or stop to say a prayer.  Turns out, these are all over the place in Greece!
Our first sightseeing stop of the day, The Palace of Knossos.

Group photo
The "little" 3 year old couldn't take the fun!  Nap time in the Beco!
The beauty that surrounded this old palace was amazing!  Reminded me of the hills in Turkey!  Pure beauty!

I'm sure this wasn't used as a toilet back in the day, this was probably some sacred bowl that Addyson has now pretended to poop in!!  Haha!  That's my girl!
It was about 10:30 and we were doing looking around Knossos.  Now what do we do?  I grabbed the map and went to ask the locals where we should go next?  Where can we go by bus or cheap taxi?  Turns out on Sunday the buses don't make all of the usual runs so we were limited to a decent taxi fare.  We found a nice driver that offered to drive us to a little town about 15 minutes from the Palace, wait for us to walk around for about an hour, and then drive us back to the main area of Heraklion.
We walked the streets of this tiny, quiet village until we came upon a beautiful outside seating area under a big tree where we stopped for a beverage.
And a place to let Ethan finish his nap! : )
One thing that was so great about having my sister with us was that we could do a one-on-one buddy system!  For once on vacation Brad and I were not outnumbered!   Becky didn't know that coming with us on "vacation" actually meant that she was going to have to work!! :)
The tiny streets filled with old buildings was beautiful!  We had a great time just walking around and taking in the sights!  The kids loved having the freedom to run and stretch their legs!

As we made a loop through town two sweet dogs followed us, almost leading the way as if to give us a tour.  They became our pets and we named them!
The kids really got in on that fun!  We were sad to say goodbye to our furry tour guides!
A lady saw us walking around and asked us what we were doing.  We told her we were exploring her beautiful town and looking at the beautiful buildings so she invited us into her 100 year old home that she is remodeling!  It was awesome complete with the original furniture!
What is SO sad is that I cannot remember the name of this lovely town!  I need to get better at blogging right after an event or at least take notes!  Hopefully one day I will remember and can come back and add it to this post!  And to think we have seen ALL of this before lunch!  What a full morning!
To top off the trip, a guy walking the street gave us some fresh grapes.  Brad felt like a prince!  : )