Traveling with a Toddler – Crete, Greece: A Snaily day close to home

So it’s 6:30pm here in Greece, and we’re drinking champagne and eating peanut M&Ms. That’s been the theme of the day – slow and casual. We started the day with no clear plans, but not for a lack of trying.

Mr. Snail taking his time

We started the morning playing in the yard, swinging on the swings and appreciating the small gifts from Mother Nature. There are tons of snails and millipedes here at Villa Irene. Amir was drying out his bathing suit yesterday,and when I shook it to bring it inside, 4 millipedes fell out. Ooopfff.

Despite it being winter, the rose garden of Villa Irene still offers some jewels

We drove a short way to nearby Keramoti Beach easily visible from Villa Irene. It’s a pebble beach, consisting of rocks ranging in size from sand to boulders. I thought of the rock tumbler I’d begged my parents to buy when I was twelve. Here I was standing on the biggest crop of polished quartz, marble, slate and other gems. A natural rainbow.

Rock rainbow at Keramoti Beach

#1 Toddler enjoyed the tactile experience of picking up and throwing the rocks into the water then watching for a splash. Many of hers fell short, but her dad staved off her disappointment by skipping rocks for a solid meter.

Skipping rocks on the beach at Keramoti

There was one Kandylaki on the shore at this beach. Atop a large boulder, I couldn’t see inside to appreciate its inspiration.

Seaside Kandylaki near Villa Irene
Sponge and seashells washed up on the shore

She loved throwing rocks a tad too much and ended up getting soaked. Amazingly she wasn’t cold or pouty given that it was only 60 degrees out.

On the drive down to the beach, we spotted a small cave with a trickling stream. It was the cave that initially caught my attention and beckoned my camera, but as I approached, I realized there was a Kandylaki here in this special place.

Roadside cave with a stream and Kandylaki

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The glass is fogged, but you can still appreciate the wine and other offerings

After the beach, we headed home for a change of clothes since some of us were soaked. We looked online briefly for an alternative lunch spot, but ultimately we returned to Kochilas since we’d had such an amazing meal there two days ago.

Goat cheese and tomato purée on toast
Shrimp spaghetti, simple and delicious
She napped through the first half of lunch

After lunch we hopped back in the car to explore the nearby Monastery. Unfortunately the interior closes from 1-5pm daily, so we were limited to the exterior tour.

Μονή Παναγίας Χρυσοσκαλίτισσας
Exterior of the monastery
I wish I knew what was behind that closed door

While the monastery being closed was certainly a disappointment, it did satisfy one desire for the day – to see more sheep or goats.

On the drive home, we stopped at the Church Agios Theodoros to take a closer look. We drove past it two days ago on our drive to Elafonissi Beach but didn’t stop.

Ageos Theodoros
The altar inside Ageos Theodoros

After returning home, I had the sudden urge to go swimming in our heated pool. Tomorrow’s forecast is for 100% chance of rain, so we may just enjoy the storm from inside the comfort of Villa Irene, or if the roads aren’t too bad, we might check out the Archaeology Museum in Kissamos.

Splashing in the heated pool at Villa Irene
Another Kandylaki from today’s travels

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