Greece (Corfu) August 14 - 20
Our flight from East Midlands Airport to Corfu was uneventful and after picking up a rental car at the airport we drove to Paleokastritsa, on the west coast of Corfu.
Our apartment was built on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean.
We had a balcony with a really nice view.
The beaches in Paleokastritsa itself were small and very crowded, so we didn't spend a lot of time on those beaches, but looked further afield.
The main beach at Paleokastritsa
There was a second, less crowded, beach at Paleokastritsa, but it was mostly pebbles and it also became quite crowded later in the morning.
So eventually, we found another beach about a 30 minute drive away, called Mirtiotissa Beach.
As the sign says, it a is a nude beach (well, clothing optional). Although it's small, it's hard to reach and parking is not easy. It's at the bottom of a very steep, very windy road, with nowhere to turn round.
However, it's a sandy beach and you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas and there's even a small shop where you can buy drinks and snacks. There are also rocks you can swim out to. All in all, a very nice place.
It was while parking at this beach that I scraped the bottom of our rental car. Fortunately, my credit card reimbursed me for the charges.
One the nice things about Greece are the tavernas, which are everywhere and very reasonably priced.
This one was located near the port of Paleokastritsa and had a tree growing in the middle of it. It was quite a memorable meal because (a) the service was very slow (b) when our food came, it wasn't what we had ordered and (c) one of the customers collapsed and had to be revived, although we were assured (next day) that he was actually OK.
When in Greece, of course, one had to have a Greek Salad.
One evening, we took a "wine and sunset" cruise which took us out into the bay and gave us an opportunity to look back at the coast from the water.
The port of Paleokastritsa
Looking back towards the beach
We did get wine (eventually) and we did get to see the sun set, but it wasn't a highlight of our trip.
We spent the last two nights on Corfu Island in the town of Corfu, which gave us a chance to see the town and placed us near the airport for an early morning flight.
Corfu Old Town
Fresh fish for sale in the Old Town
A brass orchestra giving a free concert in the Old Town
The original Venetian fort with Albania in the background
We walked to the house "Mon Repos" where the Duke of Edinburgh was born in 1921. At the time, it was used by the Greek Royal Family as a summer home. Now it's a museum. The birth of The Duke isn't mentioned anywhere !
"Mon Repos" - needing some TLC
One of the interior rooms
Crete (August 21-27)
We flew from Corfu to Heraklion and immediately drove to Sitia on the east side of the island .
Sitia is a medium sized town just far enough away from Heraklion that it doesn't attract mass tourism.
It has a beach, although we never actually went the beach at Sitia.
We really liked the harbor front at night, which was lined with restaurants, where we ate every night.
Sitia waterfront at night
We did find one nude beach not too far from Sitia, Itanos Beach, but it had no facilities and very little shade, so not to Kristine's liking. Nice swimming, though.
We stopped at Toplou Monastery on our way back from the beach one day and had a drink and a snack. There was a charge to enter the monastery, so we just took some pictures outside.
On one of our day trips from Sitia, we came across a small village called Mochlos, just west of Sitia. We stopped for a drink.
On our way back to Heraklion from Sitia, we stopped at Spinalonga Island.
The island has served many purposes over many centuries, including being a Venetian fortress. Most recently, it was a leper colony. Now it's a major tourist attraction.
Approaching the island by ferry
The Venetian Fortress walls
The narrow streets, mostly dating back to the days of the Leper Colony. The colony was closed in 1957.
We stayed two nights in Heraklion. We had stayed there before, but wanted to see the recently reopened Heraklion Archeological Museum, which contains many beautiful and interesting artifacts.
Bull leaping fresco
The ring of Minos
The Snake Goddess, from the Knossos Temple
The bronze "drum" from the Idaean Cave. (Looks more like a shield to me )
A gold crown
We spent several hours at the museum and the next day, left for Rhodes.
Rhodes August 28 -31
On our first day in Rhodes, we explored the island, finishing up in Lindos on the east coast. Lindos is a popular destination and was very busy.
On our second and third days, we visited Mandomata Beach, south of Rhodes, which is a very organized and totally nude beach. It has every facility, including showers, sunbeds and umbrellas and even a small taverna.
On our last day, we explored the old town of Rhodes, which is a walled city.
Our last night in Greece
From Rhodes, we flew to Paris in the late evening.