A visit to the port of Chania in Crete
This port of call is an easy one to navigate. There is a bus that collects you directly a the port that costs just Euro 1,50 each way. It drops you off directly on the outside of the old port town of Chania.
The first thing that hits you during a visit is just how much graffiti exists in Chania. It is everywhere and in great abundance. I’ve done quite a bit with street art professionally and found most of it incredibly interesting but for most visitors I would imagine it is quite an eyesore.
We were one of the first to get off the ship in port and make our way to the town center and subsequently we enjoyed a fairly quiet early morning in the town. We stopped to get something to drink and a pastry at a little shop shortly after getting off the bus and meandering around the many narrow lanes. The graffiti issue was still in my head and I cannot stress enough that it is the most pervasive case of graffiti of any town I’d seen before.
We left ourselves open so that we could enjoy the town and maybe take a bus or taxi to a beach but the more time we spent walking through the town the more we decided that was what our day was going to consist of. As it was early most of the shops hadn’t opened yet and the steel doors were down at most doors – covered in graffiti of course.
We sat at the small square where the Greek Orthodox Church was located and it was quite popular with tourists and was being used for some type of activity as people were coming and going at the church – not tourists.
We made it to the harbour which is nothing short of stunning. It is impossible to walk around the harbour and not take pictures of its beauty. It is ringed with loads of shops and cafes and restaurants. We poked our noses into many of the shops in the town and walked the entire circumference of the harbour and up some different streets.
It was truly like finding another fabulous view around each corner and eventually we found a Fish Spa. You’ve probably seen them or saw one on television. We decided to try it and at Euros 15 for a 15 minute period seemed worth a shot. It was an odd experience and I can’t explain the feeling. Lots of small fishes nibbling at your toes and feet while people watched.
It was a fun experience and quite a laugh and we managed to coax others into trying it as well. I am not sure my feet were any better after the treatment but it was a lot of fun and well worth spending the money on – it was shaded and provided a seat and plenty of people watching and talking.
We made it to lunch along the waterfront where we had some incredible Greek food. Quite honestly, probably all the places would be fine. I had some Retsina – well a small bottle (half liter) of it anyway. Michael had Dolmathakia which he absolutely loved. I had some type of fried cheese balls which were also incredible. The beauty of the town was just incredible as we sat there watching the people coming and going.
We then wandered some more and in and out of some shops and eventually came upon the municipal indoor market. This was a great experience and well worth going to if you’re in the town. We bought some items to take back with us here – soaps and some souvenirs. But could have easily spent a lot more time here looking at the spices, cheeses and so much more.
After about six hours we decided to head back to the ship pretty tired from all the walking. A charming port town with plenty of lanes to walk through and lots of shopping on a small scale. We didn’t venture outside the old town so we really didn’t get to see the rest of the town. While it was a great port, it isn’t something that is on the list of must-go-back-to places. Though if we were on another cruise and this was a port of call there would be no shortage of other things to do while calling in here.