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July, 2017

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Chania old town is full of charm. It has everything I like all rolled into one. Just outside the old town there is a indoor market. This building is built in the shape of a cross with butcher stalls occupying one wing, fishmongers another, fruit shops and clothes and souvenirs the other two. There are also a few cafes dotted around. I don’t fancy having coffee in the one across from the fishmongers.

It has been there since 1913 although they started building it in 1908. It was also occupied during the war by German soldiers, so quite a history which is why it’s a listed building.

I love the smells of these markets as you move from butchery to fruit to fish and then to spices. The decoration of the stalls and the creative way everything is set out is a work of art.

Oh I forgot the cheese stalls. And handbags…lots and lots of handbags.

Walk behind the market past some designer shops then we find the old town. Each street has lots of smaller streets leading off from it and eventually leading to the Venetian Harbour looking out to sea.

As I wander through these streets the smell of leather is so strong it makes me suspicious. I know that not all these bags are leather,so do they have cans of air freshener will the smell of new leather? I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. The smell draws me into those shops but as in Turkey most shopkeepers won’t let you look, they want to sell,to show you things. I don’t know about you but it takes forever for me to choose a handbag and what I don’t need is someone in my face while I’m choosing so I came home without a new bag.

The pottery and ceramic shops are in abundance. They make you wish you had more than 20 kg luggage allowance. The colours are magnificent.

Other shops contain the usual souvenirs you will find in any holiday resort the world over. I suspect there is a huge factory in China making them and putting different place names on.

We enjoyed sitting having a drink in the restaurants (of which there are plenty) around the Harbour. People watching is a great pastime and you do see some sights!

The Venetian Harbour was built by the Venetians probably around the years 1320/1356. Many towns around Crete have harbours like this. There is also a building that was a Mosque built in 1625 when the Turks captured Crete. It hasn’t been used as a Mosque since 1923 and is now a gallery for displaying local artwork.

There are just as many clothes shops as there are fancy goods in both the new and old town. Some must be designer as they look very posh inside with no prices and very few rails of clothes. As I look in the window that old saying runs through my head, “If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it.”

I see many items I can’t afford!

Every restaurant we ate in served great food which was good value for money. Some restaurants had Greek musicians to entertain. For the silver traveler most of the new and old town are flat and also around the Harbour. Only a few back streets are hilly.
We stayed at the Royal Sun Hotel about ten minutes outside the main part . It sat at the top of a hill and provided amazing views. There was a courtesy mini bus provided to and from the town so we never had to come home on our own. We usually holiday in Turkey and our first thought was Chania is very like the places we have been to in Turkey.


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