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From Sfakia to Palaiochora (via Anopoli, Katsiveli, Omalos, Koustogherako, Sougia, Lissos)

PRAGUE - ATHENS - CHANIA (by a plane) - SFAKIA (the city; by bus) - ILINGIAS (the gorge) - ANOPOLI (the plain/village) - GHONIA (the place) - LAGOU (the gorge) - ANGHATHOPOI (the place) - ROUSIÉS (the saddle) - KATSIVELI (the plain) - E4 (the long distance route) - XYLOSKALO (the entrance into the gorge of Samária) - ACHLADHIÉS (the place) - OLYSMA (the place in the valley of Achladha) - ACHLADHA (the gorge/valley) - SOUGIA (the village) - LISSOS the valley) - GHIALISKARI (the beach) - ANIDRI (the gorge/village) - GHIALISKARI - PALAIOCHORA (the city) - CHANIA (by a bus) - ATHÉNY - PRAHA (by a plane)

As an introduction, I must say my first holiday of this year (05-06-2018) was somewhat “challenging” due to several negative things which happened. The first, it was a 20mins delay of my flight (by Aegean Airlines from Prague) as we took off later in comparison with the scheduled departure. One could say, 20min is not too much but if the time for changing in Athens (40min) is taken into an account the remaining time of about 20 min looks too sort. However, the delay was the first, and great turbulence experienced in the middle of the flight was the second sign the holiday might be a bit difficult than usual. And if bad weather with almost a gale and (fortunately) not very heavy rains in the mountains is added I must say I had met really much better times in Crete before. Nevertheless, now step by step, day by day.

THU 24/05 + FRI 25/05 The scheduled departure shortly before 5 o’clock p.m. was later than usual. But as I have written above, we also took off 20 min late. Turbulence somewhere above former Yugoslavia was probably the worst I have ever met. At one moment, there was a state of weightlessness for several seconds, stewardesses parked their trolleys and fastened themselves into their seats...not a very pleasant experience. In Athens, all people who were changing their flights (to Chania or Thessaloniki) were selected by the staff of the airport and gathered into one bus which left immediately without waiting for others passengers, so we got in the departing lounges quickly enough to catch next flights. Therefore, my arrival at Chania was on time according to the timetable. A problem was that my body had indeed arrived but without my backpack which stuck in Athens!! A woman behind the desk at the baggage claim probably knew much earlier what would be an object of my complaint and informed me immediately that my backpack would be delivered next day by the first flight to the address of my accommodation. But the next problem was the fact I didn’t have any accommodation booked anywhere (in my itinerary, my first night would be in my tent on the Neo Chóra beach) and this was something which the brain of the attendant couldn’t accept. In the end, I succeeded in arranging the delivering of my luggage to the main bus station at least, from which I should leave by bus for Sfakia (= Chóra Sfakión) after midday on the next day. Despite this negotiation was taking time I succeeded to catch the last bus to the city. So, now I was in the town (fortunately wearing long trousers, a T-shirt and a micro-fleece shirt, and in addition to it, a thin jacket in my small day-back) and could do what I'm usually doing here – to buy the first gyros and the first Mythos (the best local Greek beer), and spend time with these nice moments on a bench in a park in The Square 1866. It was about one hour after midnight. And now, what to do? I left the park and headed for The Old Venetian Port. Some tavernas were still open here but such facilities for tourists were nothing for me. Surprisingly, rather a fresh wind blew and made conditions cooler. Therefore, I wandered among houses and roamed through the dark town. I got to the Neo Chóra beach as well to see if it would be possible to spend some time here but the sand was too cold. My next stop was a bench not so far from the port near some homeless people who observed my arrival attentively, so, therefore, I left this place. My next bench was at the beginning of a wharf running to a lighthouse of the old Venetian harbour. Nevertheless, the morning was approaching and I returned to the main bus station hoping The Sweet Corner – a cafe – would be open already. And it really was!! Nice time, much better than wandering through the dark town or lying on benches. I had coffee, some pieces from a bakery and could sit on a chair in much warmer conditions than outdoor in the very early morning. Shortly before 11 o’clock a.m., my backpack was delivered and my trouble-free holiday could start even though next gyros + beer were necessary. Nevertheless, the trouble-free holiday was a theory, the reality was different. In the bus, the driver turned on the air-conditioning which was pleasant (outside almost +30°C) at first, but only until the moment when the icy air started being unpleasant. Passengers asking for the driver to turn it off or down were told it was broken and impossible to switch off. All the frozen people welcomed hot air in Sfakia like Deliverance. To celebrate my surviving in Antarctica I bought my third gyros (since my arrival) and the third beer (since my arrival) and ate and drank them up at a small play-site for children, and then slowly walked to my favourite camp-site in the gorge of Ilingias. The place was OK but because we had to destroy it partly last year when we wanted to pitch a 2-person tent here, I spent some time repairing and extending it. After this work and a coffee with some biscuits and a gulp of a firewater for a good night, I went into the tent, fairly fatigued after all the events of the last 24 hours.

SAT 26/05 Finally, my real holiday could start!! A footpath (towards Anopoli) through a side ravine from the main one (Ilingias) was waiting for me. The weather was excellent, sunny and with a fine breeze, the ascent through the ravine was nice. At first, this ravine is narrow therefore sunshine doesn’t reach its bed but higher up it is more open and the last part, around three waterworks, much less pleasant. Above the third water work, it is not too far to get on the main tarmac road. After crossing it (at a hairpin bend), the way continued along remains of the old mule-track and its end was just in front of a wire gate. Here, I put my backpack down to reach the top of the hill with two communication masts both to see the views and to take a break in the shade. Back to my backpack, I went through the gate at a track, then second and third gates and I was on the main road. After 1km (or a little bit more) a local bakery appeared on my left. Here, rather tasty products can be bought but as it was just the first day of my trek, my backpack was still full (of food) and any other food couldn’t be added. Further along it, a small rounded square (“plateia”) is dominated by a white marble bust of Daskalogiannis. However, I went on about 100m further and my finish was into the tavern “Anopoli. I know it well since I have eaten many times here and their “Greek salad special” is among the best meals I have ever had in Crete. I didn’t stay for very long time here because the next tiring part of my route was waiting for me – about 2km along the very hot tarmac road and then a dirt road ascending through a sparse pine forest (in an easy gradient, fortunately). But as soon as I got out of the forest just beside a goat'-shed, a marked footpath (red and white marks) started its ascent through the ravine of Lagou. I had several possibilities for the oncoming night: according to the speed of my hiking, I could stay either on a flat spot at an altitude of about 1100m directly into the ravine, or reach the cistern of Kriaras (an excellent place under four cypress trees about 100m further on) or even reach the place Angathopoi at about 1700m. The last possibility was, of course, in the sphere of dreams and miracles, I had started my trek at altitude as low as 100m above sea-level and reaching a place more than 1600m higher was....not for me.....so because my body wasn’t trained enough yet and my rucksack was heavy, full of food (for about 5-days-stay in mountains), I stopped just at the first “sleeping place” for overnight. Being rather tired, I pitched my tent, prepared a light dinner and with pleasure, disappeared into the tent.

SUN 27/05 During the night, I could hear the wind blowing more and more strongly. Although I was protected on the ravine bed with woods around the wind hit the tent sometimes and it wasn’t silent. The morning was indeed nice and partly sunny but grey clouds occupied the sky more and more. When I got to the cistern of Kriaras I could see last remains of the blue sky and the sun but as soon as I left it and continued my ascent first showers came. The rain wasn’t heavy but it was accompanied by a strong wind which hit me in the face. I put on a waterproof jacket my and a backpack’s protecting cover but my legs (in thin long and not waterproof trousers) remained unprotected. This was the reason why I tried to shelter behind rocks when the rain was heavier and this slowed my progress. As soon as I got to the dirt road again (the place called Angathopoi), thus, in more open terrain, the wind got much stronger. I decided not to go on in such conditions. Just one possibility as to where to shelter was a small stone hut in the valley of Ammoutsera. I got there early for camping, at about 3 o’clock p.m. but due to the conditions I had to finish the day-stage of the trek here. The hut almost wasn’t distinct from the road because of clouds around (a distance of about 50m). It is really small, a person grown couldn’t lie in parallel with its walls. I thought it could be possible to sleep on the ground diagonally but at that moment heavier rain occurred and for a half of minute water dropped and dripped from many places in the ceiling. So, sleeping on the ground was impossible without a tent. I couldn’t pitch my tent outside because gusts of wind would destroy it immediately, therefore, I had to try doing it inside. It was the horrible night with the tent stuck out through the entrance, and dropping and dripping water formed a pool under the tent floor. What was still worse, some mice saw their chance to come in and get something to eat and tried to get it from everything. I succeeded in catching one of them but others worked during the whole night. As a result of their activity, my silicon bowl (for morning porridge) obtained two small holes, on the sheet of Tyvek (under the tent) the capital letter “M” was created by mice teeth and an empty bag from the last dinner (I intended to use it once more) was unusable.

MON 28/05 The morning was better than the evening even though the strong wind was still blowing and clouds rushed on the sky like being mad. But the rain seemed to be rather far away now and the sun appeared from time to time. Water in the near underground cistern looked OK but as I had enough, at least for the route as far as the good cistern in the saddle of Rousiés (2135m), I used it only for morning washing and after breakfast continued along the dirt road. There was about 3-4km to the end of the road. The scenery around the road was often changing – sometimes clouds covered tops of the mountain, sometimes the sun illuminated all the mountain’s formations. Near the end of the road I came across a strange scene – on a steep and very stony and rocky slope, there were several mountains tents! Several Greeks were just finishing their probably weekend stay in mountains, and they were in packing all things to load them into cars. To take a car, to load into it mountain's gear, to carry this in the mountains, to pitch a tent near a road, to stay there for a weekend and after that to return along the same way.....well, it is not my cup of tea... Nevertheless, I obtained information about the weather (according to the forecast, it should get better step by step) and went on toward the end of the road. About 40min of hiking from this terminus and I was just beside the cistern in the saddle of Rousiés, a trailhead for both an ascent of the highest summit of Levka Ori (Páchnes, 2453m) and also for a mule-track to the plain of Katsiveli in the heart of the mountains. I paused here, near a small stone shelter (but bigger than the one at Ammoutsera) to take on water and to have a light meal. Three British women suddenly appeared heading for Páchnes. After a while I succeeded in persuading them to return (because of the strong wind high up both on the ascending footpath and on the summit itself especially). In my itinerary, there was also the ascent of Stérnes (2335m; towering just above the Rousiés saddle), the last summit over 2300m which I have not reached yet, and since there was a moment when the sun was shining for a long time I decided to do it. But as soon as I got on a ridge above the hut I got such a facer from the gale I returned immediately and forgot this ascent (for the time being). The women departed and I continued toward Katsiveli. The strong wind which had blown in my face changed its direction as soon as I got a little bit lower and started to help me, blowing at my shoulder and got weaker. Clouds shrouded tops of the mountain from time to time, but the sun shined for a longer time and when I reached Katsiveli, the wind was turning into a breeze and the sun was shining most of the time. Formerly, I was going to spend the next night here but because the water trough was empty, I had to go on to Petradhé, a place at which two valleys meet and there are many suitable camping places here, including a seepage well lower down in the valley of Potámos. However, all my things were wet after the horrible night, so I unpacked my backpack to dry them out. This didn’t take so long and I could continue. The way toward Petradhé is via the good mule-track, a part of the long-distance E4 route which is, generally, rather well marked. It took no more than 1.5hrs and I was at the camp-site. The wind calmed down and I looked forward, finally, to spending a calm night. However, I had to get water at first, and, therefore, set off for the valley of Potámos where another cistern with good water is. It was a short trip of 10 mins. So, I had enough water, a good camp-site and after preparing my dinner I could disappear into my tent for a good overnight. Finally!!!

TUE 29/05 The night was really nice, calm and quiet, and as it is typical for this area, only “songs” of males of rock partridges could be heard over the night (to tell the truth, it is not a real and nice song, it is rather a chattering sound...) but as I was tired, fell asleep immediately and nothing could wake me up. Setting off rather early I tried to find the white version of the most known endemic plant of Levka Ori with bright blue flowers clamped to the ground – Anchusa caespitosa. I faced it randomly in 2014, hadn’t known until that time this variety exists. And I took, of course, its photo like evidence of its existence. After my return (in 2014), I contacted several people (among others also a botanist from The Royal Botanic Garden in Kew) and nobody saw or at least knew it. And now, I was in this area again but didn’t succeed in finding it. The E4 route from the saddle between Pirou and Petradhé to Poria and Kallerghi is almost always ascending. It reached two plains, the first one is nameless and the latter is Plakoseli. On this plain, there is a small water cistern, it is a hole in the ground about 2m deep which has in its lower half a lining made of concrete whereas its upper part is made of stones. There were several birds swimming on the level but, unfortunately, they were dead – drowned (It was Black-eared Wheatear, the common species in Levka OriOenanthe hispanica). As I got higher and higher, the wind was stronger and stronger and as soon as I reached the saddle above the last small plain (on the ANAVASI map it is called Lakki), the gusts were so strong they could knock me down occasionally. Walking was rather risky and I decided to hide for a while beyond a rock. Nevertheless, this shelter was very small, just for sitting as maximum, in any case not for bivouacking, therefore I decided to go on, with extreme care. The worst thing was the fact the strong wind was not constant but came in gusts of different intensity so that one couldn’t know when they would hit. However, as soon as I reached the slope of Melindanou I was in a lee which was advantageous because at this part the risk was the highest due to the cliffs not far below the path falling vertically for one or two hundred meters into the Samaria gorge. At the saddle between Melindanou and the neighbouring peak (Mavri), the wind attacked me again but it was much better here because it was more continual and I could adapt to it. The next part of the trek was a descent without any problems. On a plain under Mavri I did a stop for a meal and in a good time, I got to the dirt road to Poria. A couple of minutes (10?) and I arrived at a stone house in the saddle above Poria. This house is for guardians of the National Park of Samaria. Opening of the near water cistern was not accessible and as a novelty – without any tap outside! However, there was water from a pipe in the toilet (which unlike the locked house was open). Near this hut, there is a fairly large shelter. It is stone-built in the style of a rectangular mitato having two rooms but usable is just the first one which has two places for sleeping using wooden pallets and pieces of cardboard. It has neither door nor windows – only openings in walls. In the rear room, it isn’t possible to sleep due to horrible mess on the floor – pieces of plastic sheets, broken glass bottles and other trash, and thick layers of dust. Because my head torch revealed flying dust in the first room as well, I pitched the tent inside as a protection against it.

WED 30/05 A nice morning but a little bit cloudy from the north. I moved to the stone house to prepare my breakfast with the view of Gigilos, Volakias and the whole western range above the Samária gorge illuminated by morning sunshine. What wasn’t very good was the fact the tops of all these mountains were mostly covered with clouds which put the question if my intended next trek over Strifomadhi, a summit westward Gigilos, was a good idea or not. But I postponed my decision until I got to “civilization” - the entrance into The Gorge (Samária). The clouds closed in when I walked along the dirt road toward the Kallerghi chalet. This refuge is sited on the top of cliffs high above the gorge Samária but when I ascended along a shortcut straight up the slope the building disappeared in clouds from time to time so, I decided not to visit it and hurry down to civilization, to cold beer and a different tasty food compared to what I had been eating till that time. So, following the dirt road, I got soon to a gate in a fence where a descending footpath to Xyloskalo begins. It is a nice and well-marked path and about half an hour I was at the car-parking in front of the entrance into Samária. About 30m on, there is a snack bar with beer and meal and.... it was CLOSED!! At the end of May, at the time when Samária is already open (thus, many people are here), this facility was closed!! Both car-parks full of cars, The Gorge open...I don’t know why the snack bar is closed. In my country, there would be at least a piece of paper with some explanation why it is closed. So, if such message is lacking one can suppose anything – from an opinion it could be (of course, ironically meant) “The Greek crisis in its bright, straight crystalline feature” when they have made enough money last year, so why they should labour in an open snack bar so early...to the possibility (as my friend Loraine told me) the people from the snack bar could have some family funeral etc. In any case, the piece of paper with several words would be useful, maybe instead of the thick rope across the entrance. So, I was very frustrated, disgusted and disappointed and together with rather poor weather conditions led to my decision to omit Strifomadhi, to go on along the tarmac road across the plain of Omalos and then up a shepherd's road as far as the place Achladhiés for overnight here. And continuing on the next day to the mountain village of Koustogherako. However, the closed snack bar also meant I didn’t have enough water but fortunately, a man at the cash desk of the gorge entrance filled one bottle for me, so it could be (with the water which I had in the second bottle) sufficient for Koustogherako, with I rationed it carefully. The route from Xyloskalo over Omalos and then along the road to the village of Agia Irini as far as the spot where a local service road branches off is about 4km. The local road ascends just short of one kilometre but at about half this distance, there is (on the left side when ascending) a water cistern above a retaining concrete wall. I wanted to check if the water was usable. To get on to its opening on the top was not very easy (one has to climb about 3m a very steep slope on the left when facing the wall) but the water was good. I took one more litre and was fully supplied for the evening and even for the whole next day in this way. The wind was still blowing in gusts but there was sometimes almost windlessness which alternated with mild gusts, of course not as strong as in high mountains. I continued along the bitumen road as far as the spot where the marked footpath leaves it and this place is called Achladhiés. It is a flat area at first with some buildings (a cistern, an animal shed under construction, fences etc.) and it spreads over 100m from the road. One can find many suitable sites to pitch a tent. I cooked my dinner and hit the sack. The wind sometimes hit the tent but despite it, I fell asleep quickly.

THU 31/05 A sunny morning hailed me and even the wind had almost disappeared. I did quite normal morning activities - preparing my porridge, taking down the tent and packing up all the things. I could set off. Nothing special happened on the way to Koustogherako, it is the path which roughly contours slopes (of Psilafi), fairly level and rather well marked, sometimes among stones and rocks (especially at its beginning) but most of it in the shade of trees (at first, mainly cypress trees but later also kermes oaks and pines). From this point of view, it is the pleasant trek but may also be soon as a little bit boring, especially its last third. However, after about 3hrs the way arrives at the valley of Achladha, at a spot called Olysma. Achladha is a gorge/ravine which begins between Strifomadhi and Psilafi, and when the path (following the ravine contouring the slope above it) from it comes to ruins of an old small stone hut, it turns into a wide valley with a stream bed. From Olysma, it takes about a half an hour to get to wooden stairs branching up to the left. The stairs are the beginning of an old mule-track which passes over a ridge and descends then to meet the end of the dirt road to Koustogherako. Several buildings are found here – a shelter similar to the ruined one beside the road from Poria and only in a little bit better state (than Poria’s one), a chapel and a stone house with several rooms used when celebrating The Saint to whom the chapel is dedicated. The marked path (again E4, thus yellow-black marks) forms a shortcut crossing loops of the road and as soon as the road comes to a forest, the next (and the last) shortcut runs through it. Now, one meets the road again going to the village (about 150-200m before it reaches the village, there is just beside the road a water source). Koustogherako is a village where “a dog died”, such a ghost village nowadays but lately is a new café near the southeastern end of the village. I was going to explore the possibility of going down from masts above Sougia to a dirt road. Therefore, shortly behind the upper part of the village (near the café), I turned left followed the local road, at first with bitumen surface which then turns into the customary dirt road ascending in an easy gradient as far as the mast. The mast stands on the rocky outcrop, such a rocky knot with a small flat accessible place covered by gravel beside (maybe, usable for bivouac). However, just beside this hill, there is another one (with two columns on its top, made of - probably - concrete). I decided to go to the saddle between these hills to see if it would be possible to descend the hillside here. As soon as I got here an area of low rocks with low shrubs was in front of me but what was most important, several cairns on tops of rocks were within sight! And when I followed them, even some large marks on rocks (dark red, its size of about 10cm in diameter) appeared!! The marked footpath wound among rocks and descended in a not too difficult gradient. I got right down at the end of the dirt road fairly soon with my on-going route within sight. I took a short rest, drunk up last gulps of firewater and set out down to Sougia. I was looking forward to the main features of civilization – beer and a Greek meal like musaka, for example. And all this I had in the last tavern before the port. With my stomach full of these good things I tackle hiking through the ravine (heading for Lissos) in the dark. Here I have got a favourite camp-site. I pitched my tent in the dark using my head torch and went to sleep with a nice thought in my mind – in the morning there are NO treks waiting for me!!!

FRI, SAT, SUN 01-03/06 Nice morning when I needn’t wake up early, when I needn’t prepare a breakfast, when I needn’t set off with a heavy backpack on my shoulders!!! I spent my stay in Sougia doing nothing, except drinking frappé and beer, eating something from Greek cuisine, sunbathing and swimming in (even for me) warm enough water. Just one job was clothes (which took less than one hour) as I washed all socks, trousers and T-shirts.

MON 04/06 My final Sougia-day arrived. I did my customary trip up to the chapel of Agia Irini and spent a long time here because it is such a nice quiet place with a wide view of the whole Sougia bay. After I returned down, I came round the tavern which I had visited every day and in the afternoon left for my camp-site to pack my things and carry on toward the valley of Lissos where I was going to overnight twice.

TUE, WED 05-06/06 My favourite camp-site is not far from “the beach” – if the place on the shore with big pebbles (much bigger than a tennis ball) could be called so. Here I did the same as in Sougia, which means “Nothing”. Except being near the sea to swim and except a short trip around three ancient olive trees to get water from a spring. However, something happened which I will always remember: Suddenly a bird arrived near my tent. I was sitting nearby with my camera to hand. The bird was on the ground about one meter from me and skipped around. It got nearer and nearer and stopped about ten centimetres in front of my foot. I gave it my hand thinking it would jump on my palm but it spurned my friendship and jumped on my sandal. Great!!! It moved around me at the tent catching insects and after about ten minutes it finished its performance and flew off. After my arrival home, I found it was a male of Sardinian Warbler, Sylvia melanocephala. And around the noon of the latter day, I set off toward Ghialiskari, the bathing beach about 4km from Palaiochora where I intended to spend two more nights. The E4 route from Lissos used to be for me such a hardship and I don’t know why. The ascent to the plain of Koukoule (not more than at altitude of 250m) usually sucks my strength, and it happened so again. I had to break off frequently, resting in the shade of trees. My last pause was on the plain itself. Next way was much nicer – a descent to a small sandy beach with small pebbles approximately halfway between Koukoule and Ghialiskari. I was so exhausted my head was spinning. I was afraid to go in the sea in this state as nobody was around except me. However, I did it carefully but cooling my body didn’t really improve my feelings. What really helped then were several bites of müsli – probably “fast sugars” and minerals in it worked well. Nevertheless, I set out on the way much later than I had intended formerly and I was afraid that the beach kiosk would be closed. Therefore, I didn’t rush, but all the more surprising was that it was still open when I came there!!! I HAD to buy beer and not only one but even three bottles...(what to do if they close before the first bottle is empty...?) I was having a nice time here, and sent a message home I’m OK with photos of these (almost empty already) bottles and waited until the dark to leave this paradise and find a site to camp. However, my favourite spot at the eastern end of the beach wasn’t accessible so I went back to the bay east of Ghialiskari and a little bit drunk, I pitched my tent and immediately fell asleep.

THU 07/06 As my tent was not so far from a path (the E4 route), therefore, I prepared my breakfast early, packed the tent and all other things into the backpack and hid it under an overhanging rock in some distance from the path. And then returned to the beach. I was going to walk to the village of Anidri through the gorge of the same name. To get to the lower end of the gorge, one has to go from the beach along the approaching dirt road but as soon as the road turns left and starts ascending it is necessary to branch off and follow a wide path straight ahead (a signboard with the inscription “ANIDRI”). The way through the gorge is mostly easy, there is always a flat part for a certain distance and at its end, there are several boulders among which one has to wind and sometimes ascend a little bit but without using hands. This theme is repeating several times then. There is only one difficult point is on the way – stones with a smooth washed-out surface (water) create a narrow vertical crevice about 2m high in hight through which one can get up/down using a hanging ladder made of a rope and with wooden round ladders only. The whole way to the first houses of the village took me (with frequent stops for taking photos and videos) slightly less than two hours. As soon as you are among houses, the small road has a concrete surface being slightly ascending, and is VERY boring. After the distance of about 1km, this road joins the main bitumen road. Here, to the right and after about 200-300m you reach a nice tavern with a terrace hanging above the head of the gorge, with views even far of the sea. Beer, coffee – and back to the beach. Here, I had an early dinner (souvlaki) and left again for the beach to swim and lie in the sun. For the night, I moved in the bay again, found another place for the tent (more distant from the E4 route and more hidden) and overnight for the last time on the southern shore.

FRI 08/06 My last day on the southern coast of Crete: I thought the bus to Chania (from Palaiochora) left at noon and to that time I adapted my pace. I planned to have a break in the kafeneion where tickets are sold, with a beer and coffee, to change dirty (and sniffy!!) clothes and socks... But things went differently. I arrived at about 10:45 and found the bus was waiting to leave!! So, now I had to work very fast: to buy the ticket, to buy a small can of beer, to drink it up, to fill a day-pack by important things (documents, money etc.), to board - and my homeward journey could start. The bus journey to Chania took about 2hrs. My first job (at the main bus station) was to change my clothes (finally!!) and shoes (boots -> sandals), repack my luggage and put it into a locker in the luggage room. And then I set out into the city. However, sight-seeings of the city which I know well is not my cup of tea, so I went to the beach and spent a couple of hours here. Afterwards, returned to the city to buy (and eat up) my last gyros (+ Mythos beer, of course) and also to buy some personal needs (Ouzo) and gifts, to pick up my backpack and take a bus to the airport where I would spend my last (for the time being) Cretan night. Things here went as usual – to self-check-in, to change clothes, repack my rucksack and put it into a travel cover, and to try to sleep a little bit on a bench.

SAT 09/06 Departure at 6:25 in time, thus landing in Athens on time as well, the next flight took off also on time and in Prague,  I was a little bit earlier than scheduled (maybe a good following wind?). Both flights were OK, only somewhere above Hungary (the lake of Balaton) the plane got into a storm which meant great turbulence (again, as at the beginning of my holiday).

So, it was my May-June 2018 holiday and I can look forward to the next one – I have got a flight ticket for 1st October.



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