Date of Trip: September 2004
Ever wanted to go to a place that makes you feel so completely detached from western civilization, while being completely engulfed in a unique culture and history? Go to Crete (Matala) – beautiful beaches, wonderful people, great food, and mindnumbing scenery.
Taking a ferry ride from the mainland was a bit rough, but exciting, as there was a storm and the ferry was rolling with the waves all night long. Upon arrival on the island, it was raining but warm – not a good start (or so I thought). Things started to look up, as we caught a bus to the south side of the island. The sun came out and it got hot– real hot. I felt like I was in a pair of shorts walking on the face of Mars – 20 minutes in the sun and they had to use dental records to identify me. It was like being in a world without people – just sun, clean air, old catacombs in the rocks, beaches, 3,000 year old salt flats left over from the beginning of time, and the site of Cypress way off in the distance – unparalleled beauty.
We went to Matala, which is on the south side of the island. It’s a fairly short bus ride from the port (about 2 hours)…accomodation is cheap whether you camp ($10 per day) or get a pension (about $25 per day).
Best Way to Get Around:
You can rent bikes and scooters as well as cars to get around the island. Walking is not recommended as it is very dry and very hot. Dehydration and exposure could be a problem if you cannot handle the sun.