Going south

How it comes about that we stay for a week in a villa with a pool together with our parents. Welcome to Crete.


It's already November and anyone travelling by bike is well advised to head south. That is exactly what we are doing. It doesn't get much further south than Crete in Europe. Only one small island south of Crete lies closer to the equator than Greece's largest island.

Some of you who are a bit informed about our travel plans might be starting to wonder when we plan to reach Israel. As it happend to many others, Corona has thrown a spanner in the works. Israel's borders have long been closed to foreigners and therefore not an option for us. That's why we stayed longer in Greece and moved the meeting with our parents and the official end of the bicycle tour to Crete.

So, after a sleepless night on the ferry, we set foot on Cretan soil. Due to the strike of the ferry company one day later than originally planned, which forces us to take a bus to get to our parents in time. After some back and forth, we finaly load our bikes and let the bus take us to Rerhymno. After arriving there, we cycle a few kilometres to Pigi, a tranquil village a little off the coast. Here we can welcome our parents, with whom we will spend a week on the island.

The season is over and the big advantage is lower rental prices for accommodation. So we are all happy to spend a week in a beautiful villa which is lovingly furnished, including a heated pool. We are warmly welcomed by the owners with homemade cakes and savouries.

Our parents have rented bicycles so that we can go on a few tours of the island together. The first tour takes us into the island's interior to Lake Potamon and through many small villages and pretty landscapes. Crete is also hilly inland, as we are used to. The second tour takes us to the sea and the third to the other side of the island. This is also our last bike ride and for us the most beautiful route on the island. We cycle up through the Kourtaliotiko Gorge and can observe eagles as well as the steep cliffs. About halfway up we are surprised by the rain and a taverna comes just in time. We stop for a bite to eat until the worst is over. Afterwards we start the winding descent. These last kilometres are a dream again, although the weather is wild. Through the Kotsifou gorge we speed back to the sea, driven by wind and weather. And that's it for us. Arriving in Plakias, we become wistful for a moment. This is our last bike ride with our beloved steel steeds. It was nice to discover the island on two wheels together with our parents. But we also enjoyed the time with them, exploring the city of Chania and eating lots of delicious food. We will always remember our favourite restaurant in the village. We dined several times at the Zorbas taverna, the food was delicious, the atmosphere homely and the raki (Greek schnapps) was generously served.

The week flew by and on Saturday evening the time had come. The guy  from the bike rental organised boxes for the bikes. He really wants to pack the bikes into the box himself and without our help, which is a bit difficult for us. We would have liked to have made our bikes ready for the journey as a farewell, but he vehemently resists our help. So we leave the packing to him and pick up the boxes later. The next morning we drive to the airport with our parents, where we say a final goodbye to them and the bikes.

Thank you very much for the wonderful week together, we enjoyed exploring the island with you and are incredibly grateful for your flexibility. After all, you adapted your holidays entirely to us, organised the boxes, took the bikes home and brought our new travel companions, the backpacks.

For all of you who now think that's it, the bikes are gone, end of trip, end of blog. You thought wrong. We are far from finished with our journey, only now we are choosing other means of transport. We don't know exactly which ones yet, many ideas are buzzing around in our heads. But first we take the ferry back to Athens. We have learned from the last crossing. We now know the good spots to spread out the sleeping mat and so we get a few hours of sleep. We don't know exactly where we're going next either, but we'll keep you posted.