Friday, January 31, 2014

Ferry Ride Along the Southern Coast of Crete

Everyone was ready to go . . . a long line of vehicles, a longer line of passengers.

A look back at Sfakia.

Past Sweet Water Beach

To the remote village of Loutro. Accessible only by boat or an E4 coastal path, it is the typical "white house with blue shutters" village that tourists visualize when they think of a small town in Greece. We had over an hour to kill in Loutro so off we went in search of lunch and a walk about town.

It didn't take long to see the sights 

And one good thing about traveling late in the season - you don't have to wait long for the table of your choice at the taverna.

 It was a short easy hike to some ancient ruins on the hill.  There wasn't much left to see 

 except for the view.  

A last look at Loutro as the ferry pulled away.

And more




Much more rugged shoreline and crystal clear water.

Until we finally reached the mouth of the Samaria Gorge 

And the tiny village of Agia Roumeli.

Serious hikers start at the top and work themselves down the eleven mile trail to Agia Roumeli. We were on the wrong end of things, but we hiked up about half a mile, admired the scenery and returned to town.  I'm not sure I will be up to the whole hike next fall when we plan to return, but I would love to do more exploration of the gorge.

 For now, it is enough to say that it is a beautiful, magical place. 

We had just enough time for a quick snack and then back on the ferry for the last shades of sunset.

By the time we reached Sfakia, the village had turned on the lights.

Sometimes, we forget that the people who cater to our needs as tourists have real lives. What could make that more clear than a tupperware party?!?