We have just spent the night at one of the most famous beaches in Crete, from a celluloid perspective anyway. Stavros is the place where they filmed Anthony Quinn dancing his little socks off in Zorba the Greek. But before that we visited Chania. Chania is the second largest city in Crete and also the prettiest according to the guidebooks. We shall see.
We decided to head back over the high mountains of Western Crete on the day of the year’s worst storm. It took us twice as long as anticipated as the fog came down to ground level, the wind howled and the rain was laid down in sheets. We probably did not get beyond about 20 MPH on the whole journey. Don’t ask what the scenery was like as we did not see anything. Bugger all. We were far more concentrated on avoiding the numerous rock falls that were laid out in front of us. There were more bumps in the road on this journey than there are on the leaving of the EU. We got parked up in Chania, smack in the middle of town and stayed in the van. We couldn’t even bothered to get out and take time to shoot the ugliest feral pigeons you have ever seen.
Next day the storm had passed and we made the short walk into the old town. This part of town was built either by the Venetians or the Turks depending on who had taken over the place over at the time. The Venetians certainly built the aptly named Venetian Harbour and most of the narrow streets and lanes that criss-cross their way adjacent to it. It is a good place for a stroll even if the harbour-side restaurants look a bit dubious. Pictures of kebabs and associated barkers describing the grease-laded offal in a high-pitched scream as you walk by does not do it for us. If you do need to eat in Chania then head for the area of Splantzia a short walk away for some of the finest food in Crete. There is even a laundrette there and so you can do your washing while pilling on the calories.
But the first stop for us was the indoor market and guess what? It was terrible; endless shops selling the same stuff. I am not a shop owner but if I were I think I would try and sell something a bit different to everyone else just to give myself an edge. This is an angle that is not yet in the Greek mind set.
Even Narrower street
Dubious eateries and Lighthouse
Hats and Tats
We did take the 800m walk out to the lighthouse to get the full harbour experience with the mountainous back-drop. Unfortunately there was still some remanence of the previous day’s storm over the high ground and the vista was not as good as it should have been.
So that is Chania. A delightful city to spend a few relaxing hours in and if you are every in the vicinity then it is worth a smidgeon of your time. Once our washing was finished we leapt back in the van and headed for Stavros.
Half an hour out of Chania is the small seaside town of Stavros, I kid you not peeps. It is a bit of a let-down with no pubs called either ‘The Quinn’ or ‘Zorba’s’. It is a beautiful crescent shaped bay with white sand and turquoise water which did not come across in the film as it was in black-and-white. We did have a meal here and stayed the night smack bang on the beach and danced the night away. For those of you who do not have a clue what I am talking about you can watch the dance from the movie by clicking HERE
And today it looks like this
Looking out to sea
Love to All