This morning we awoke to #1 toddler attempting to catapult out of her crib. She still sleeps in a baby crib at home since she seems perfectly happy there. I’m thinking it’s about time to pull the toddler conversion kit down from the attic when we get home.
Amir did some research last night and selected today’s destination. Paleochora, a seaside town featuring Salino Kastelo (Castle Salino), was just a 1.5 hour drive from Villa Irene in Livadia. The only catch, zigzagging the roads that traverse the many mountains in between.
As we’ve been driving these narrow roads in Crete, I’ve noticed all these little roadside shrines, which I now know are called Kandylakia. Most are small shrines dedicated to different saints that serve as street signs to denote that an Greek Orthodox Church is close by, as most are not visible from the road. There are also no street names, so these little landmarks are helpful signposts.
A Google search also incorrectly stated that most are dedicated to lost loved ones, but this is just a false assumption by tourists. There are certainly some that serve this purpose, but most are signposts for larger churches.
We reached Paleochora (Pah-leh-oh-hor-ah) with little difficulty. We parked easily, strapped #1 toddler into the Baby Boba, and climbed a trail of stairs to reach the top of Salino Kastelo.
There wasn’t any signage to guide you through Salino Kastelo, so we weren’t quite sure what was what when we were there. After reading at home, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times since 1257 AD, which explains why it seemed to be composed of every natural material imaginable. Marble, granite, limestone, gravel, terra cotta – it’s all there.
It’s worth a trip for the views alone, but I recommend reading up on its history before you go.
There’s a vast selection of seaside taverns and cafes in Paleochora. We opted for Olympus Pizzeria for a change of pace, plus we knew pizza would satisfy everyone.
After pizza, as if we weren’t stuffed, we headed to a nearby family café for dessert. Baklava and vanilla gelato called our names, along with a cappuccino for me and a latte for Amir.
After the drive home from Paleochora, somehow we were all there filled with energy. Mind you at this same time yesterday my co-travelers were both taking 3 hour naps.
We opted for a brief walk from our house towards the sea. The first night we arrived, there were goats grazing throughout this area. Yesterday they had completely vanished, but today they returned. We went for a visit.
Before we made it 20 feet, #1 Toddler was fast asleep in the Boba carrier. She didn’t miss any great encounters with goats or sheep. We could see them in the distance and hear their bells, but with the sun silhouetting them, there wasn’t much to see or photograph.
While we didn’t find many goats, we did find a hidden gem carved into the seaside cliffs, St Anthony Chapel. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get closer to it, not for a lack of desire, but because we are not rock climbers. There’s no clear path. I’m still desperately wondering what’s inside. A Google Maps search did provide a close up photo from a much more adventurous traveler than I.
We made it home in time to watch the sunset from our Villa while enjoying a glass of local red wine. We still need to plan tomorrow. So I’m off to search Google Maps via satellite view to see what hidden places we can explore.