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Crete is one of the those places that has been on our travel ‘Bucket List’ for years, but for some reason that neither of us can explain, it had been pushed further down the list as the years have gone by. Which as it turned out, had been a huge error on our part…
Our hotel looked out on the Mirabello Bay and, sitting in the middle is the island of Spinalonga, which provided the backdrop for Victoria Hislop’s novel The Island
A boat from the little town of Plaka, took us across to the former leper colony, said to have been the last in Europe. It was quite eerie to walk round the almost deserted island and in places the silence was overpowering.
We came across this little church on our way back from Heraklion after a visit to Knossos. Men were working in the road cutting down lots of trees, which goes some way to explain all the foliage on the ground in the photo.
Knossos is somewhere I have longed to go since reading about it in history lessons. Nowadays, it is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Crete and considered by many historians to be the oldest city in Europe. Not much remains of the great palace today, except part of the north entrance which features the famous fresco of the Charging Bull.
A gentle 10 minute stroll from our hotel, brought us to the small town of Plaka. The walk through the gardens and then out along the main road, meant we followed the coast for most of the way. The views were just stunning.
At the end of the walk, our favourite taverna where we had lunch most days. It was very unusual to be able to take this photo without any people in it. The queue for the boat to Spinalonga started just outside the door and every day there seemed to be more and more people wanting lunch before taking the boat across to the island.
The Cretan people are incredibly friendly and very hospitable. We visited Agios Nikolaos and Elounda too and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Crete is somewhere that remains with you long after you leave, I would love to go back there some day.
We were lucky enough to visit Vancouver a couple of years ago. During the holiday we bought tickets for a day trip to to Vancouver Island, it included a tour of Victoria and a visit to the stunning Butchart Gardens.
The gardens are truly remarkable and a tribute to Jennie Butchart, whose vision and dedication over 100 years ago have produced a paradise for gardeners and photographers alike. I hadn’t heard of them before and if you haven’t either, you can find more information here
I’ve posted a few photos into the gallery below, to give you an idea of the beauty of the place.
We had a really enjoyable day in the gardens, then visited the shop where I bought a few souvenirs to bring home. If you ever get the opportunity to visit Butchart Gardens take it, and your camera, you won’t be disappointed.