A two week trip in autumn to Crete was just what the doctor ordered for relaxation and healthy food. We opted for the breakfast and dinner inclusive plan at our hotel since a three meal plan is too much for us when just lounging around the pool and beach.
We shared a beautiful private pool with a few connected villas and the service came twice a day with fruit baskets and clean linens. The hotel beach was about a 3 minute walk and uncrowded.
Dinner was spectacular and my choices were the grape leaves, Greek style salad, local grilled fish and baclava for desert. A bottle of local Crete red wine was absolutely delicious. We sat at a table on the open air balcony and our same courteous waiter brought our favorite bottle of wine without asking each evening and we received a complementary bottle on our last night.
There was a small gift shop that carried the daily English language Herald Tribune paper, but I had to get there early before breakfast or the paper would be sold out. Electronic devices were jointly agreed upon to be left at home. We left the hotel phone number with our family back home for emergencies and didn’t even bother with email checking.
Cretans eat a very low amount of animal protein and usually only on holidays though I’ve read where “modern” cuisine of fast food is slowly creeping in. Studies have shown that the people of Crete have the lowest death rate from heart disease and cancer in the world credited to their lifestyle and traditional diet. I’ve heard there is a saying that goes, if you have a field, don't let a cow or a Cretan in. They'll eat all the greens.
After breakfast we would take a swim in the pool then go for a long walk around the countryside. One day we caught the local bus and took a long ride to Agios Nikolaos. It is a port city that has been inhabited since antiquity. It is very beautiful and we snapped a nice photo from just a few paces from the bus stop overlooking the lake and city.
The lake is connected to the sea by a small canal and is a great place for a days worth of shopping and sightseeing. Beautifully colored fishing boats abounded in a nearby marina.
We jointly picked out a sterling silver replica of the Phaistos disc as a keepsake necklace item. The disc was discovered in 1908 in the Minoan palace of Phaistos on Crete, suggesting a dating of middle to late Minoan origin (about 3,700 years ago). It was a mysterious puzzle of figures that was never deciphered, though it has been thought to be a prayer to the Minoan mother goddess by a Cretan linguist while others say it was a hoax by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier who discovered it.