Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Leg of Spring Break: Crete!

Tuesday afternoon we were dropped off by our hostel at the port, and we took a ferry back to Heraklion, Crete. The ferry departed late, and we were terrified that we would miss the last bus from Heraklion to Rethymno, which was where we were staying that night. We made it with 6 minutes to spare! After an hour bus ride, and walking around a little off course, we found the hostel at last. The hostel we stayed at was the youth hostel, but we were the youngest ones staying there. Most of the people there were middle-aged. Hmmmm. Since we arrived late, around 10:30, we had to maneuver in the room in the dark. Lights out at 10? Youthful people don't go to bed that early. Anyways, we all stayed in an 18 person room together. Right when I was about to go to sleep, one of our roomies starting snoring so loud (even louder than my parents, YIKES). Finally, after someone woke him up, I fell asleep.

The next morning we grabbed breakfast in a little square near our hostel and headed to the bus station to head to our final destination: Plakias, a small town on the southern coast of Crete. The bus went through the mountains. It was beautiful and scary at the same time. Once we got there, I fell in love with the cute little boardwalk, endless restaurants, and gorgeous beach. We headed to our hostel, which was about a 5 minute walk from the beach in an olive grove. The atmosphere of the hostel was "chill" for lack of a better word. Everyone was really laid back. A hammock hung between two palm trees. Citrus trees lined a grass area. The rooms were little bungalows. It was a very different (but awesome) experience. None of the rooms were locked, or even had lockers. At first this seemed a bit unnerving, but after staying there, I feel like there really was no need for locks. Everyone was trusting of one another. Basically, they were all hippies!

Plakias Beach

Chris, the manager of the hostel was really nice. He gave us tons of suggestions on things to do: hikes, beaches, restaurants. We stayed in Plakias for three nights, and this was definitely my favorite part of our trip. Our stay felt like a real vacation. We had no plans and just went with the flow. We spent a lot of time laying out on the beach and exploring the area. We ate dinner outdoors with a view of the ocean, and went to all the little beach shops. It was just what I was hoping this vacation would be.

The last day of our break, (Saturday) we stayed in Heraklion so we could catch the early morning flight back to Berlin. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel that was close to the airport. We spent our last few hours in Greece eating Gyros (pita rolled up with meat, fries, and a yogurt sauce) and hanging out by the hotel pool. We left early the next morning, and the owner of the hotel was nice enough to make sure there was fresh coffee and juice for us. We said our goodbyes to Greece and headed back to Deutschland.

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