Chania, Crete, Greece rests on the site of Kydonia, one of the most important cities of the ancient world and conquered many times over by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Turks. Our ship docked at dawn and I made my way to a secluded vantage point to enjoy the still waters and clean air as I watched the sunrise over Souda Bay. After breakfast I headed into town, following the ancient Byzantine wall of Chania which used to circle the entire city.
I ventured into old town where I wound through narrow lanes, and a charmingly exotic landscape. The view was a crisscross of Ottoman architecture and Venetian mansions. A historic Venetian lighthouse watched over the harbor where Arab pirates once ruled, and I was amazed at the clarity of the inviting waters. After perusing the quaint shops, inviting café’s, and colorful neighborhoods, I ducked into a covered but open sided café called Akti Tompazi – which I later learned is one of the best restaurants in the Old Venetian Harbor. I enjoyed spicy feta cheese with crunchy bread, warm dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and Imam Baildi (stuffed eggplant).
For the best olive oils, crystal clear waters, inviting people, and incredible food, come visit Crete!