Chania, Crete

Old boat, Chania

The Chania lighthouse from our balcony

One of the wonderful things about Chania is its Venetian history, which SO gives the old harbour the feeling of being on the Grand Canal in Venice. This feeling is, of course, enhanced tenfold when one has a balcony room in an old Venetian mansion right on that harbour. It does also, however, have an unusual ‘Darling Harbour’ feel to it right on the foreshore, in the way everything is geared to the tourists…of which there are MANY! But it truly is a beautiful old city, with the Venetian influences going further then just the immediate harbour – the labyrinthine streets, both crumbling and restored, continue to take our breath away.
Lighthouse, Chania, sunset


The one problem we had with our choice of accommodation was at night when we were trying to sleep. There was a music bar/café next door….RIGHT next door…in fact, we shared a wall with this place! The first night was not too bad, the second night they turned the music off about 2:30am, but the final night (and it was only Thursday!) the music stopped at 5AM!! (after John had asked them to turn it down at 4:30am…which they kindly did).

View from bedroom window, morning
Bits of old wharf…or old barge…dunno really

Nic enjoying meal of cucumber and tomato (after too many meals of less healthy contents!)

We were impressed by the ‘eye’ of each woman in the endless jewellery stores, who scanned the hands, wrists, necks and ears of each and every woman who passed, looking for an angle at which to make her first move towards the tourist. If walking down the middle of a fairly wide street, they often did not leap out at you, but if the street was narrow and you happened to glance in their shop window they would pounce! And they were very good at their sell. But the bottom line is, if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money, no matter what you happen to be wearing on your person! Not every shop owner was like this, but there was certainly higher stakes in the very busy and very touristy main streets and alleyways where their practiced moves obviously work very well on most prey.
The view of the old harbour from our rooftop terrace

Street behind hotel
We were thrilled to discover a little jewellery and sculpture store/workshop in the gorgeous streets behind our hotel (also an area we would stay next time instead of next to a music café!!). The artist, Veronica, was very welcoming without doing a ‘hard sell’, which made a refreshing change. The work on display was her own, as well as that of her husband and stepson, and so much of it was just perfect! We settled on a bangle for Nic and a pair of cufflinks for John (the first made by Veronica’s husband, Antonio, the second by her stepson). Veronica was disappointed that we hadn’t picked any of her work, so she threw in a pair of earrings for Nic for free!

Wonderful jewellery workshop/store (and Nic’s butt!)
Dogs just KNOW how much Nic loves them!
One of John’s famous ‘bench’ shots…almost as famous as his ‘bike’ shots! 
Chania is wonderfully atmospheric, the ambience really pleasant, (once you learn how to avoid the touters!), an enjoyable, entrancing environment.
There you go! Bike AND lighthouse
Graffiti, Chania style

This one may be difficult to see, so click on it to enlarge. It is a mass of tiny fish in the water in the harbour and reflection of a boat in the top corner.

Chania at night

About bontaks

Nic is the the 'Bon' part of 'Bontaks.' Together we are Nic and John - two travel-addicted teachers who enjoy every opportunity to go places, meet people and experience life.

2 Replies to “Chania, Crete”

  1. Unreal! we will follow your advise about our trip to the Greek Islands next May! The photos and description of the islands sounds awesome! Barry and Val Dollin!

    • Glad you are enjoying it! Crete was a true delight – the people were so hospitable and charming. We really want to return.
      I am loving the ‘Fragrant Rice’ book, by the way – thank you for lending it to me! I am a tad slow in getting it read as I am trying to catch up on the writing and pics for the blog!
      If you have any questions about your travel plans, let me know – I’d be happy to give any tips you would find of use.

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