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Day #12: Chania, Crete

Libby and I vividly recall sitting in the Prague airport a little over a decade ago waiting to board a flight to Paris. At a nearby gate was another Czech Air flight that was destined for Chania, which neither of us had ever heard of nor frankly had any idea where it might be on a map. Of course, these were still the days when our choice of visiting Prague seemed “exotic” — “wow, we’re going behind the old iron curtain!” 

While we loved travel, we hadn’t yet expanded our vision of what would be possible, let alone desirable. The world hadn’t opened up to us. Or, perhaps more accurately, we hadn’t opened ourselves to the world. 

It thus seems fitting that we’ve hit country #100 (per the Traveler’s Century Club list) today in Chania on the island of Crete, where it plays the role of Crete’s “Second City” to Heraklion. And, it’s not like Crete generally (worthy though it may be) is at the top on anyone’s bucket list. 

Yet, here we are–in country #100–discovering again what we’ve learned in the first 99: that every place we’ve been has something to offer, makes us feel more connected to the world, and can being us joy if we’re open enough to receive it. 

Rhapsody actually docked in Souda, which is the port serving Chania. I’d guess that it’s about 5 miles to the old town across the narrow neck of the Akrotiri Penninsula. All of this is on the western end of Crete, which makes its some distance (a solid couple of hours one way) to many of Crete’s most famous sites. Given that, checking out Chania seemed like the most prudent decision. We did this by taking a shuttle bus provided by the city (3 euro roundtrip per person) into the town. 

Much of Chinia is relatively modern and not much more attractive than Athens. But, the area immediately surrounding its sheltered harbour is very atmospheric with many Venetian and a few Ottoman buildings, as well as fortifications and an attractive lighthouse. 

I tried uploading a couple of photos, but they failed repeatedly wasting megabytes for nothing. So, that’ll have to wait until later — maybe London on Friday.   

Like Venice, the old town appears to be in a state of elegant decay. It also doesn’t feel like the Greek islands in the Cyclades, such as Santorini or Mykonos. Indeed, of the places we’ve been, Chania feels more like Sicily or Sardinia. 

Tomorrow is a sea day… so don’t expect any updates until we’re back in Istanbul on Thursday.

Today’s box score: +1 “country” (Greece, Crete)


One Response to “Day #12: Chania, Crete”

  1. Mom and Dad Archer says:

    Congratulations on reaching your #100 goal! We are sending much love to each one of you as you continue your travels.

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