The most eastern part of Crete

Mochlos Travel Blog

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We already know up front it’s going to be a long drive. It will take a while, because there are a lot mountain roads we need to take and even on the bigger ones maximum speed is 50 or 60 kilometers per hour. First breakfast at Sofia’s and now Timo asks for an egg with it; he has enough of the chocolate paste and the marmalade. It tastes very good and we have a perfect view. We have difficulty to start our day this morning. Eef is not feeling very well, but after a good breakfast she soon forgets about it. At 10:30 we‘re already on the road to Skopi and Sitia. We don’t stop and visit these cities: according to the tourist guides there is nothing much to see. Our first stop then is Moni Toplou and we arrive there at 11:30. Moni Toplou is a monastery with a big collection of icons and etching. The icons are very interesting – and especially for Timo. We see everything in about an hour and then drive on. There even is an icon that Timo still knows from the time he was at university. That’s weird: an icon that famous on an island in Greece on a place forgotten by everyone. We leave just in time, because a bus with all Dutch people stops. Not one of them is decently dressed and they make a lot of noise. As always in Greece they ask tourists to be a bit decently dressed when entering a monastery. We normally always consider this, but these people don’t. Wearing only bikinis and shorts they enter the monastery. They don’t show any respect. So we then move on to Vai. This is a famous beach with palm trees. It is beautiful. We park our car (Fiat Seicento) on a non-paying car park and walk to the beach between the palm trees. It’s nice to stop here, but only shortly – half an hour is enough – a lot of people are coming here, so it gets too busy for us. There are a lot of clouds and is not hot, so there aren’t many people backing in the sun. We climb up the hill to have the view over the beach and the surroundings and then we drive to another beach, the one of Itanos. Next to the beach we can see the remains of an old fortress. From Itanos the road brings us to Paleokastro. We’re starting to get hungry and buy 2 sandwiches, a little jar of mustard and a little kind of sausages. We don’t want to eat lunch in the village, so we already drive into the direction of Zakros. Two kilometers outside Paleokastro we turn into a sandy road stop along the olive fields and have lunch. Timo is in the car and Eef is sitting between the olive trees. Nice, cozy and it tastes OK. After lunch (around 13:00 we go to Zakros, but there is nothing much to see and pass Zakros to reach Kato Zakros. According to Trotter a person needs to have been there. We drive through the inhospitable hills, you could say mountains. Only little bushes grow here, only 20 centimeters high, succulent plants and a small species of broom that colors the hills. Next to the yellow colors of the broom the grey and brown of the stones and sand attracts our attention. In the deep valley is Kato Zakros. We follow a road with beautiful panoramas – we see the village and the ruins of a castle. It’s indeed something you need to do, when you’re here. This is really a special piece of land. In the village itself there are two giant buses, all French people, who have conquered the terraces along the beach. The Greeks are very arrogant here, not polite at all and only looking for the money of the tourists. We don’t stay here any longer and start our trip back. We know we still have some kilometers to go. Now Timo is driving so Eef can enjoy the landscape. We try to find a different way to get back to Mochlos, but they road directly to Sitia seems a little suspicious – there are only rocks and sand visible. So we drive through Paleokastro to Sitia and that way back to Mochlos. We have passed a bit the town of Sitia, when we cross the border of 1000 kilometers. We’ve driven some kilometers here on Crete. It is off course the biggest island we’ve visited until now. When we almost reach Mochlos we take a turn before the village and reach that way a beautiful beach with on the right side the high cliffs and on the other side the village. It’s difficult to get in the water here, so we only walk around and get back to Mochlos after half an hour. Rest for about an hour and write the diary and then we have the time for a walk and to have diner. Today we take two ouzo with tuna salad and then again mostly the same as we had yesterday. We have the swordfish and the artichokes and also melanouri. After diner we get some kind of medlars. They don’t look like the ones we have in Belgium. Those you have to store and make sure they become rotten. The ones here are little yellow fruits, look like prunes, but are much more juicy and tasty. It takes a bit more effort to peal them, and to remove the stones. At the end of the day we’re really tired and go to sleep around midnight

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photo by: travelman727