Saturday, January 09, 2010

Rethymno – 31 December 2009

Rethymno harbour
Rethymno harbourThe last day of another year, and we choose to head west again to visit the third largest city on the island – Rethymno. This is also a Venetian town, like Chania, with the largest fortress the Venetians built anywhere. We parked on the far side of the fortress, and it seemed to go on forever, as we walked around it's base. We drank the best coffee on the island, sitting beside the small harbour.
Rethymno fortressRethymno narrow streets
Once again, the traffic was chaotic getting to the old town from the east, but leaving towards the west, was very quick and easy. We headed inland and followed the signs to the Arkadi Monastery. This was one of the finest Venetian churches built on Crete, and seems really amazing in it's isolated setting. It has had a troubled history, which was hard to imagine on such a beautiful warm winter day.
Arkadi MonasteryArkadi Monastery
We wended our way back to Gourmes, via Eleftherna, the site of an old Doric and later Roman city, and Margarites, an attractive town where the industry is still pottery making. Unfortunately they weren't prepared for the tourists making the most of the sunshine and driving in the foothills to the mountains.

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