Plakias Beach at Skiroko, Preveli Beach over Preveli Monastery Parking
29. August: Our holiday was winding down and we decided to take it easy this day.
We hit the shallow beach just down from the Skiroko restaurant in Plakias, nice. Lunch was at Skiroko and it was just as great as last time!
After a lunch snooze at the apartment, we wanted to experience beautiful Preveli beach one last time and chose to use the Prevelli monastery parking lot down in the cliffs as a starting point. The walk down was much steeper and Annewien had Andres in his baby-rucksack. I was dreading the steep walk up already. Prevelli was just as nice as last time.
On the way back, I strapped on Andres in his rucksack and surprisingly it was no problem to carry him up. Whenever I was our of breath I stopped to recover and then just plodded on. Since the heat of the noonday sun was missing, the way up turned out to be much much easier than I had imagined.
Rethymno, Knossos (30. August)
Our flight back home was late in the evening so we planned to make the most of the day and left early. Our apartment owner only showed up after 9, delaying our departure. He was as dour as ever.
We took the road straight to Rethymno and parked near the fort once again. The fort is huge, but doesn't contain much more than ruins, a church/mosque, a chapel and some few other miscellaneous buildings. There are nice views over town. We had lunch at Lemonokipos, the other one of the two best restaurants we experienced in Crete, set in a beautiful backyard under lemon trees. What a magician in the kitchen! The overall impression was marred by mediocre service.
A short tour of the center sights of Rethymno revealed nothing particularly worth seeing (Rimondi fountain, mosque, the Loggiua, the Porto Guora gate), so we were quick. We'd already been spoiled by the the other great sights of the island!
We set off on the highway to Heraklion, but somehow got lost near Knossos and reached the airport instead. Backtracking solved the problem. Finding Knossos requires a bit of guesswork, since it isn't well signed at all.
The site was smaller and much less spectacular than I had imagined. Sure, this was a really ancient palace, and a lot of work had gone into reconstructing some of it's grandeur, but all this was diminished by no good plan of the place being available, guides aggressively touting their services outside, the rather uncaring and unhelpful descriptions in front of important parts of the site and the busloads of tourist-zombies following their parrot-tongued guides.
We just wandered through the place at random and saw much of what we'd read about. A number of major areas including the queen's quarters and the procession hall were closed for renovation, dampening my high expectations of Knossos rather significantly.
The flight back to Zurich was uneventful. The trip proved that we could once again begin traveling with Andres since he coped with all the changes much better than I'd expected. And traveling with Annewien was as marvelous as ever!