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Sun, 15 Oct 2006
holidays in hersonissos, crete! (0 comments)
here's the promised report from the holidays in crete with zombiequeen - i know a little late, but somehow i had no time to write it, up to now. day 1: unfortunately our flight had two and a half hours delay for departure. so we arrived at 01:30, local time, at the hotel. pretty exhausting so far. at the airport in vienna, waiting // the shuttle-bus to our hotel
but fortunately we had plenty of time to relax for the rest of the day, as it was rainy, dull, and cloudy all day long. so we examined the surrounding area a bit and had a nice walk at the seaside, which was very close to our hotel (i think it was about 250m walk). the hotel was ok, the food they served - we had half-board - was excellent and about half of the stuff they offered at the buffet every evening was traditional food, which we both enjoyed. every day they served something different - yammi. we'd fatten up if we would have stayed longer. local specialities and... // ...parts of a traditional costume
day 2: sunday was the first day with sunshine, beach, pool and a small trip to the next village, hersonissos - pronounced as "chersonnisos" by the locals, and "schersonnisoss" by the germans - h00ray for "mallorka" (mallorca), "sewilla" (sevilla), "schina" (china) and "schemieh" (chemistry). it took us about 10 minutes to get there. the funny thing about hersonnisos is, that i've already been there. in 2001, with my former colleagues from MTD97. it was our diploma trip. what a fortunate coincidence it was another diploma trip (though this time only with my girlfriend zombiequeen) that brought me to this village again. quite a few things had changed in hersonnisos, but most of the things still were familiar to me, like several shops, mcdonalds, the bars and pubs along the sea-side, the little church, etc. also the shop where i got my "/dev/nos" t-shirt printed, still existed - with the same dude behind the plotter. below you can see a picture of the hotel ("ilios"), we stayed at in 2001. hotel "ilios" and... // ...at the harbour of hersonnisos
day 3: on monday we booked a guided tour through south crete. the bus fetched us at 07:20 from the hotel and brought us to the archaelogical site of faistos, an old excavation site which once belonged to ... ...uhm... ahm... actually i forgot all the exciting and cool stories the guide told us. anyway, ancient stones, ancient walls, ancient writings carved in stone (law code of gortyn - the eldest writing in... don't remember anymore). ah yeah, and the remains of some guy were burried there, but they were brought elsewhere because of... hm... some other guys who wanted the first guy to be forgotten (or so the story goes). pretty cool story, aeh? strike the pose... // ...at the archaeological excavation in faistos
next stop was at the caves of matala, former tomb-caves and caves used for dwelling. later the caves hosted hippies that lived directly at the seashore in those caves, several meters above the sea. the caves themselves were quite low and small, i really had troubles to imagine the way they lived there. rumour has it, there's one last hippie in this area (but probably not living in one of those caves anymore, since they all seemed abandoned). he would have gone mad anyway, since nowadays matala is quite tourist-orientated. beach of matala, with the... // hippie-caves next to the shore
next stop was in spili, a "typical crete village" (as all the other villages we took a break in, with each of our guided tours). in fact, they typically look like tourist ghettos. tons of busses, bringing tourists to buy all the "typical crete handcraft/food/etc". well, we've seen this one, we've seen it all - typically. a typical gas-station, and... // typical electricity equipment in spili
day 4: tuesday was some kind of a guided catastrophy. we planned to hike the samaria gorge, an 18km long walk to the shore, where a boat is waiting for you at the exit to take you to the nearest bigger harbour. our bus trip started at 05:20 and it took us several hours to fetch all the others that wanted to take this tour too. but after about 5 hours of bus driving our guide told us we can not take the tour through the samaria gorge as it was too stormy for the boat to land at the gorge's exit. therefore we decided to drive to the imbros gorge instead. this gorge is only 11km long, and an easier variant of the gorge we originally planned to walk through. the estimated time to pass the gorge was 4 hours, we did it in 3 hours and the bavarian school-class that booked this tour too, finished it in about 2 hours. we both really enjoyed this hiking day, though it was a bit exhausting to sit in a bus for approximately 13 hours to get to your destinations. alternative ways to pass the gorge, and... // the exit
on our way home we had stops in a typical crete village (of course), another excavation site (i unfortunately forgot the name), and another historic and important place (although it seemed more like they put a statue of some guy there just to make the bus stop at just another tavern to get tourists buy drinks, snacks and souvenirs). another ancient ruin // sunset in crete
day 5: next day, wednesday, again ancient ruins, but this time of much bigger scale: knossos. i've already been there on my second holidays on crete back in 2002, but - as for the first time - it was impressive again, like the technology (e.g. sewage water system), the size, building houses with several floors and getting all the raw material there to build such a huge palace. pretty cool was a little cat that sat on a way where hundreds of tourists walked along. some ignoring, some petting the cat. i stopped in front of the cat, kneeled down to stroke the cat, as the cutie suddenly jumped on my knees, lying down, closing the eyes, purring and snoozing. no shyness at all - i was amazed. unfortunately the guide did not wait, so i had to drop the cat off again *sigh*. tourists, and... // cats in knossos
although our trip to crete was post season hundreds of tourists were there. but gladly it was not too hot so waiting at all the high-lights was not too annoying. next stop where the caves of psychro. a quite big and impressive stalactite cave. i really enjoyed staying in the caves since the temperature inside was very pleasing - about 16° celsius. too cold for zombiequeen, who therefore left the cave pretty fast. the entrance, and... // inside the psychro cave
afterwards we visited a typical tavern in a typical village to take a typical break. while most of the tour-members had some typical greek food, we had a typical greek coffee. the last station for this day was another region, famous for its windmills. i forgot the name. at this time of the year there are no active windmills anymore, so the bus stopped at some old windmill-ruins. again this trip was nice, and we both enjoyed it, just as all the other trips. that was it for the active part of this holiday. maybe i should mention that students have free entry to all museum, excavation sites and historical places. so the only thing we had to pay entry for was the imbros gorge - so studying SEC finally was profitable. day 6: our trips were done, so we only did smaller excursions to hersonnisos and malia, the two villages lying east and west from our hotel, both 10mins per foot away. beach impressions, part 1 and... // part 2
day 7: we left early in the morning to get the bus to the airport. at about 13:00 localtime we arrived in vienna again. to get more visual impressions, feel free to click here. thanks to my girlfriend, who made this holiday a really beautiful trip to crete. i really enjoyed every single second of it.

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