Today (May 25) was the last day of the Education Abroad portion of my trip — the last day of the whole deal for most of our group — so we went on a easy breezy boat tour along the west coast of Crete.
Stop one on the cruise was Gramvousa Island, a tiny rocky spot just off the coast of Crete. There we found a sand and rock beach with sea urchins and teeny little fish. The water was so clear; one reason it looks so blue in photographs.
There was a path up to the top of the island, to a “castle” built by the Venetians in the late 1500s. Really more of a fort, the massive triangular structure offers an amazing view to the sea below.
But really, most of just wanted to hang out on the beach.
But the water was -capital C – Cold! Even though it was nearly my last chance, I just couldn’t bring myself to go in any farther than my ankles.
Back on the boat, I had a sandwich and Greek salad, while we slowly thumped our way to Balos, a small lagoon on the Cretan coast.
Balos is known for its very shallow pools. We could walk across entire stretches of water without ever getting our knees wet. Of course, the water in these pools was much warmer than any other we had encountered during our trip. So I decided it was time to get wet! I found a pool that was deeper, more frequently refreshed by the tide. It was chilly but bearable. Sorry, no pics of my swim; but I promise I completely submerged, paddled around, and floated in the salty water with the best of them.
On the way back to shore, we reviewed our trip and discussed the best and the worst of Athens, Santorini and Crete.
- The natural beauty of the islands
- The food!
- The friendly people
- The traffic (that accident didn’t help!)
- The noise in Athens
- The touristy nature of some places
But overall, the trip got an A+. We would miss Greece when we left!