Having recently spent a week in Crete, marveling at the absolute lack of self-awareness some people display when perfecting that hair tossed casually about, slight pout, poke arse out photo, it does make you think humanity is in a weird place right now.
But hey, each to their own, we've all got to have hobbies, right? Maybe me writing this and posting it on social media is just as self-indulgent as if I splashed about coquettishly in the water on a beach making someone take hundreds of photos of me. (Maybe that should be the next blog post?)
But I digress. I'm supposed to be telling you about Crete. It was my second visit to Greece, after a trip in October 2015 that took in Athens, Amorgos, Naxos and Koufounissia. This time, it was just one island and one week but Crete is Greece's largest island so there is plenty to explore.
We landed in Heraklion and the plan was to spend a couple of days there, then rent a car, drive into the middle of Crete to stay in a house in the countryside and then onwards to Chania.
The main draw around Heraklion is supposed to be the archeological site of Knossos, which had a palace built on it around 2000 BC. The only problem is, the English archeologist who excavated quite a lot of it in the early 1900s decided to rebuild certain parts of it and these additions looks a bit crap to be honest.
If you're going to Crete and you're a bit short of time, I'd give Knossos a miss, because as the island's big tourist attraction it's also pretty crowded and expensive. And there are so many beaches to explore!
I'm not normally one for a lot of beach time on holiday but when they're as spectacular as the ones in Crete, it's time to get your book out and slap on the suncream. We spent time on Elafonisi, Balos, Seitan Limania and Kalathas. Would recommend them all, but if you're there in summer, don't expect any of them to be deserted hidden treasures. Still, you can usually find a quieter patch somewhere.
One place we didn't factor in enough time for was Rethymno. We only spent an afternoon here but it would have been well worth stopping overnight here. And we certainly should have skipped a town called Bali on the way there. Not sure what I'd read that made me want to visit Bali but it's a packed tourist trap with very little of note.
What I would highly recommend is getting into the countryside and spending a couple of nights away from the busier coastal areas. We stayed in Natura House near Limni, where the owner greeted us with her mother who had made dinner for us and left it in the oven for when we arrived at 9pm! Cretan hospitality is the greatest. (I've hyperlinked the name because we liked it so much.)
A couple of nights in an Airbnb near central Chania gave us time to explore the city's charming Old Town and Balos beach, before catching an inevitably late Easyjet flight back to London.
Now the pictures. I apologise in advance for total lack of Insta-photoshoot material. Next time eh?
Went to a great Cretan restaurant in Amoudara called Mourelo Cretan Food & Drink Philosophy, where we had snails, which is a local speciality. Despite a silly name it's a fantastic restaurant.
"What ya got? Come on, I know you've got some food, don't be holding out on me."
St Francis of Assisi in a courtyard in the old town area of Chania.
A floral doorway in Chania