Tassie Golly's adventures 2015 travel blog

At Vamos

Our apartment (middle) in Achlada

Checkout day and up at 8 - J&C both had bad nights sleep (It's Been A Bad Night's Sleep - I'm sure there's a hit song there somewhere)

We packed up, farewelled our host and drove down to Douliana ( small neat place full of villas) and Gavalochori and then on to the Aptera road and over the hill to Spyli an attractive sort of town with lots of trees and shady tavernas. There must be water here!

Then on to Samonas, a small town on top of a big rocky hill - the road up was narrow, numerous hairpins and no guardrail. Luckily C was asleep so no rude words were uttered. Down the other side and we finally found Agios Nicolaos - the Byzantine church we didn't find a few days back. We were unable to get in of course! Apparently the key can be borrowed - from where we don't know, and there's nothing to tell you. So the reportedly "best" ancient church on Crete can't easily be found, and can't easily be viewed. Hmmmm.

Back to Spyli and a taverna by the water for lunch. Ducks and geese sat around the crystal clear water. We only wanted a snack of course - we had greens, spinach pies, and staka ( a thick creamy dip made from sheep milk fat). As is normal, after the bill was requested, a large plate of watermelon and two glasses of Raki arrived! We had a drive ahead of us so J managed to dispose of most of his Raki a la Mr. Bean! So as not to cause offence.

Over the road a butcher carried a sheep carcasse from a truck and put it on a wooden block on th side of the road ( in the sun I might add) and proceeded to chop it up! A segment fell to the pavement and was quickly retrieved and the work continued!

Then off to Achlada over near iraklion ( the capital city). It's not a relaxing drive on the national highway from Vamos to Achlada ( near iraklion)

Only about 2km of passing lanes, the rest 1 1/2 lanes. You have to drive straddling the rh line so everyone can squeeze past. If there isn't room they go anyway - double lines or not! And virtually nowhere to stop.

We turned off and spent an hour searching ( in the wrong place) for our accommodation! J got most despondent as we discovered thousands of holiday apartments, packed tourist streets, umbrella'd beaches. This was not what he thought he had booked!

Eventually C got him back to the starting point and we turned left instead of right. Next we headed inland and climbed upwards, eventually reaching small village of Achlada. A celebration was being organised - tables and chairs lining the streets and town square. Whole sheep and goats being prepared for cooking " at the stake" . We squeezed through with people staring. We got past the food preparation area, narrowly avoiding men carrying carcasses ! Then a bit further, we found the cemetery, turned left, and we were there.

Its an eco residence - 4 apartments plus a few rooms in the house. We look out across the olive groves to the hilltop village of Achlada and the sea beyond. The sunset was spectacular.

The apartment is huge, with 2 decks looking across to the west.

We thought we might walk over to the celebrations and have tea. But we weren't hungry, and C had a headache, so we ate in. As I type this, we can hear the live Cretan music wafting across from the town. In the gaps you can hear the tinkling of goats bells below our apartment.

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