Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Greece! - Heraklion, Crete - Resort, Horseback Riding, and Food Tour

I know. I've been MIA for a while. Steve and I went on holiday in Crete, and then I had some serious training in Kung Fu and several AWA start-of-the-year activities when we got back. 

We went to Heraklion, Crete, Greece to soak up some sun for a week!

We stayed at Agapi Beach. For the most part, I enjoyed the resort. We stayed in a bungalow, but I would recommend a deluxe room with a sea view (We showered there on the last day because we had to check out of our room but had a late flight.), because the room seemed nicer. Our room had a bed that was equivalent to sleeping on the floor. Even Steve couldn't sleep, and he can usually sleep anywhere! Also, it was really hot in the room. We could only control the fan speed of the air-con, but not the temperature. The sea view room in the main hotel allowed for control of both, and it was supposedly a step down from our bungalow! Oh, and the toilet NEVER stopped running. Anyway, let's talk about good things.

The beach was really nice. Take a look!

There were olive trees everywhere!

But unfortunately, this (below) was right outside of our room. From our balcony, we stared at the bright, red, lighted sign. I told Steve that I felt like I was sleeping in the red light district. Right, right! No more complaining!
This was the poolside bar and snack area. We spent some time here because we didn't want to sunburn.

But every day after lunch, our favorite thing to do was to have coffee at the beach bar where we could relax while watching the waves... and the people. :o)

This is what I saw while drinking my coffee. So nice. :)

Steve was so sweet. He took me down to the beach before dinner because I wanted to watch the sunset one evening.
It was beautiful! You should always take time to appreciate everyday things. I feel like it's in the normal, that the greatest beauty is often overlooked.

The resort had shows at night. We enjoy the shows, even if it's lip syncing! Steve and I are easily amused and appreciate the efforts of others. One night was traditional dancing. That was fun. I even got up and danced!

Horseback Riding 

For Steve's birthday, we decided to go horseback riding. He's never been on a horse, and he was really looking forward to it. We went to Hersonissos Horseback riding (link). We went with the evening tour that included a ride up and down the mountain, and then a BBQ after.

Steve and I with my horse.

Steve and one of the horses he rode. They had him switch a few times.

I had to wear my pink trainers because I didn't have room to pack many shoes. We didn't check any luggage.
This was the view from the top of the hill where we took a break.
At the BBQ, where we had really good food prepared by the owner and his sister, they brought a cake out for Steve. They sang "Happy Birthday" to him in English, and then they sang in Russian because many of the guests were Russian. It was so fun!

Steve was a good sport!
And I tried to make him feel better. hehe. :o)

Saying goodnight to the horses!

Cretan Paths - Food and City Tour of Heraklion

We took another day to tour Heraklion. We went with a company called Cretan Paths (link). They picked us up at Agapi (just us), and George explained the history of the island on the way to the city. We started with coffee tasting. They heated the espresso in sand, which evenly distributes the temperature.

Then, we went to a bakery. The owner showed us around, explained the different baking processes, and gave us a few things to taste. I didn't get any pictures there because we were busy chatting and enjoying the food! After that, we headed to a small shop for cheese and olive tasting. Everything was SO GOOD.
We walked around the city to see some of the churches.
Below is Lion Square in Heraklion, and it's packed with tourists. The fountain was the first structure to pipe water into the city. They've restored it.

Our last stop before lunch was to the harbor. The street you see below is the 25th of August Street. It was named after the date in 1898 when Turkish fanatics burned homes and massacred many people.

At the end of the 25th of August street is the old harbor.
You can see parts of the wall that was built around Heraklion to protect them from invasions (below), and the arches you see to the left are where the ships were built.
We also visited a nut shop and an herb shop! Both were really neat and informative. Then, we had lunch at a small place where the head chef explained each of the dishes to us. The food was very, very good! To conclude a great trip, here are the goodies I came home with from our tour!

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