Crete--August 14-18, 2005


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).

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Plakias--Youth hostel

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)

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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!

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Plakias, cont.

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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