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Crete

One week Crete lies behind me. A very nice island! Now I can understand why Heinz Kabutz made this island his home. By the way, he recommended me to visit the oldest olive tree in the world in Ano Vouves. I did - very impressive.

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Navigating the island is, however, quite hard. Cretans seem to be unable to decide
how to spell city names and instead just alternate spellings, for example Chania, Hania and Xania. All the same and this is a simple example! Throw longer names and the Greek alphabet into the mix and you can quickly get lost. However, my pattern matching skills came in handy. As soon as two different spellings had a similar amount of characters and at least three or four matched I concluded I am on the right way :)

On top of the navigational problems there seem to be no traffic rules on Crete. At least not ones anyone adheres to. You see 50 km/h speed limit signs at the entrance of villages, but 80 km/h was the rule. Maybe 50 is the minimum speed limit? Shoulder lanes also serve a different purpose on Crete. Anyone slower than 80 km/h 'has' to be on the shoulder lane, so that other cars can dangerously overtake while completely ignoring oncoming traffic. Not using the shoulder lane in this way can lead to quite aggressive driving of cars behind you. All this said, it only took me a couple of hours to adopt the wreck-less driving rules and feel like a true Cretan :) Let's hope I can adjust as quickly back to the Swedish lagom way of driving.

During our stay we visited two different ecotourism places. First Milia on the western part of the island
 

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and then then in Aspros Potamos on the eastern part.

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Both places are very nice, but I was most impressed by the first. Not so much because of the accommodation, but more because of the food. In fact I had to change my whole attitude towards Greek food. So far it ranked somewhere after the Italian and Spanish cuisine. But there is more to Greek food than Slouvaki and Moussaka and the so called Greek restaurants I have visited here in Sweden are just a shadow of what I tasted on Crete. The traverna in Milia is especially known to only serve fresh local produce and most is even cultivated on the property. And believe me - you can taste it! My mouth is still watering just thinking about the food at this place.



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Do get rid of some of the excess calories we also did some hiking on the island, for example in the Polyrinnia Gorge. At this time of the year it was very beautiful with all sort of wild flowers blooming. I must say, the island is much greener than I expected. Of course the hiking was combined with some geocaching as well. I am finally drawing close to my 100th geocache (I know you lead is uncatchable, Fredrik ;-)

Overall it was a beautiful week on Crete. Away from rainy Sweden and away from technology. Have I mentioned that none of the places we stayed had Internet. Not even electricity! In return I had over 1000 unread emails and almost 500 unviewed RSS items. Well, I must admit I applied a quite aggressive skim and delete algorithm to get through things ;-)


Enjoy!

P.S. Thanks for the pictures goes to Anna. When it comes to taking pictures I am still an amateur.

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