I left Athens and headed for the islands. The plan is to spend 2 full weeks traveling among the islands. My first stop was Crete, which is the southern most island in Greece. I arrived weary after a long overnight boat ride and a bus ride in the city of Plakias (southern coast of the island).
I had heard and read good things about the Plakias Youth Hostel and it turned out to be a great place, although the first night after being bitten badly by mosquitoes, I was beginning to wonder. Upon arriving, the manager informed me and three others that were checking in that people tended to come to Plakias intending to stay for 1 or 2 nights and wind up staying for a week. Sometimes they stay for 3 weeks as one girl I met had, or staying for 3 months as another guy had done (he celebrated having his 100th nightly beer at the hostel while I was there). The manager also informed us that 5 marriages had happened with people who had met at the hostel. Definitely a tall order to have to follow.
(the attached picture is the first view of the hostel upon arriving)
The hostel wound up being everything that the manager had said it would be. One day a few of the people organized a barbeque with kebabs, Greek salad, and a pasta dish made by the Italians that were staying there. A lot of fun and a relaxing way to spend the evening. Over all the Hostel was a great place to stay. It was only a few hundred meters away from the beach and to the main part of the town. Everybody was very friendly and it was a great place to relax for a few days, read a book, get some sun and chill out. The people were who made it a great place to stay. There were people from all over including Germany, Australia, the UK, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Greece, etc. There were people who spent a few days and others that had planned to stay for 2 weeks after spending just 1 week the year before, and people that come back year after year. They had also helped in the set up of the local lending library which I had the chance to visit. It was next door and they served local wine to raise money to pay the rent. It was run by a few ex-pats from the UK. I can't think of a better way to spend an evening reading and drinking local wine. Barnes & Noble might want to give it a try!
The hostel was situated right next to a river that flowed into the ocean (breeding the mosquitoes!). There is a river walk that can be done in a few hours that takes you climbing up through different boulders and into small pools, finally ending in a large (very cold) pool of water and a waterfall at the top. Parts were a difficult climb, but it was worth it to cool off in the pool at the top.
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