March 26, 2016: Walking Day Around Rethymno

Dominica got up and found crumbs all over the floor and, of course, ants everywhere.  This has become our thing, finding ants everywhere.  It’s been the year of ants.  Although this past stay on Crete has been relatively few, considering that we have been here for three months there have not been that many.  So Dominica’s morning was spent Windexing the floors all over to get rid of the ants which I then cleaned up later.

Once the kids were awake we were out to the car and on our way down the hill.  This is our last chance to get out and do anything on Crete and we are heading around Rethymno again as it is convenient and we really wanted a chance to see more of it.  This is my third time getting time to explore the old town, not including the marina area which we have been to several times on its own.

We stopped in Atsipopoulo at Momento to get coffee and sandwiches for the girls.  They just love those sandwiches.  Then we went down to Rethymno and parked in the same spot that we did the other day, it was very convenient.  We are not walking around the Fortezza today, though.  This time it is straight into the old town and staying on the flat ground.  A much more relaxing walk.

Liesl in the Square (Before Her Scare)

We walked east along the south side of the old town exploring some of the streets before getting to the big north – south thoroughfare, Antistaseos, just north of the Guora Gate.  We headed north along the big shopping way and found some places that looked like they would be great for lunch later on.  Then we got back to the Mikrasiaton Square where we had been the other day and let the girls just run around for a while.  They were having an awesome time playing until Liesl got very scared because she got in the way of a truck and was not paying attention to it or the locals yelling to her and did not see it until she turned around from me screaming at her from all of the way across the square and turned around to find a truck right behind her (it was a maintenance truck that clearly was watching her and she was in no danger but was blocking them from driving around the square) and it really shook her up.  So she spent quite some time sitting along on a bench far away from us and not talking to anyone or playing.

When we left the square we stopped at the stand on its corner and got some gelato for our walk.  The girls both got vanilla, of course, Dominica got fruita de bosca yoghurt as she often does and I got Spring Forest (Black Forest, in the US.)  On the walk north from there we discovered a line of restaurants that looked perfect and one had a menu that would definitely suit us so we figured that we would be returning after our walk.

Luciana and Liesl on the Rimondi Fountain in Rethymno

We came upon the famous Rimondi Fountain which was super neat.  We stopped there and ate our gelato.  The foundation is only a small piece of what used to be an enormous Venetian works there, but the hydrolics still work and water still flows from the fountain which, along with its immediate wall and some pieces of an earlier building, remain in the same state that they have been in since the Venetian Empire built them there to provide extra water to the growing city in around 1628, the hydrolic engineering project being started around 1588.  A really cool historical find right in the middle of restaurants and shops.

We did a loop to the north west and returned to the fountain, sneaked behind it into some really quiet little streets and continued east until we got to another main road going north up to the port, Arkadiou.

We walked up to the port and turned east and walked around the Venetian Harbor.  The old Venetian Harbor is pretty much as it was hundreds of years ago and has great views on the current marina area.  There is a lighthouse there that is a bit precarious to get to.  I walked out to it and Dominica stayed back with the girls.  At least I got a few pictures of it.  Luciana really wanted to go out to it, though.  So Dominica stayed back, as the walk out along the old harbor wall would be terrible for her ankle, and I took the girls carefully out and then, at the light house, took them one at a time against the “hug the wall and walk sideways” portion so that they could go all of the way out.  On the way along the wall Liesl discovered loads of sea urchins living on the rocks just below the water line.  The water was almost perfectly clear so we were able to really observe them well.

venetian harbor
The Lighthouse at the Venetian Harbor in Rethymno

From the harbor we walked back south the way that we had come and made it back pretty easily to the restaurant, Agrimia, that we had been interested in with the great looking seafood menu.  They turned out to have a huge play room for the kids which was perfect.  Liesl and Luciana went straight there and were there for the whole evening, only returning to the table to eat quickly and then straight back.  It gave us a very relaxing dinner and time to just hang out.

The girls playing at Agrimia in Old Town Rethymno

Dinner was awesome.  Liesl got pizza.  Luciana got calamari.  Dominica and I got garlic bread with aubergine salad, seafood risotto and then she got a vegetable risotto and I got stuffed vegetables.  We were very full by the time that we were done eating.  But it was great and we were really glad that the girls had such an awesome time playing all evening.

Everyone was pretty worn out from walking, playing and sun all day so we walked back to the car, it was now dark anyway.  The walk through the Rethymno streets at night was at least as magical as it is during the day.  The old town remains completely gorgeous.

We drove back up the hill to Prines.  Everyone was ready to just have down time.  The girls watched some shows and Dominica started reading.  I figured since everyone was doing their own thing that it would be a good time for me to go out for a walk.  So out I went to do another few kilometres before calling it a night.

I did a nice loop to the north of town.  I started taking the western of the two northbound back streets from the centre of town and ended up looking mostly to the west and returning to the main street via the northern side road that comes into the village at The Olive.

As I walked by the owner ran out and said that I should come in and drink with the locals.  So I ran home, dropped off what I was carrying, grabbed by wallet, let Dominica know where I would be and returned to The Olive to hang out for the rest of the evening drinking raki with the locals.

It was a fun evening.  At first it was just me and a few of the older guys from around the village.  There were several rounds of raki and some snacks… fresh artichoke slices, some olives and then raw broad beans.  We tried hard to communicate, very hard as there were two people who knew zero English, one who knew a tiny bit and the proprietor who knew a bit and me who knows zero Greek.  Later on they left and a couple who own a taverna nearby came in and hung out having dinner and more raki.  I was there till around midnight and closed the place down.