Ierapetra is another coastal town I visited during my two weeks holiday in Crete. Located in the southwest of Crete, Ierapetra is the southmost town in Europe. It´s said that Ierapetra has the highest average of sunny days, and not surprisingly, the highest temperatures in Crete and Greece. It certainly should make it an attractive holiday destination for people like me, living in the far north and constantly longing for the sun. However, despite its ideal location, Ierapetra isn´t amongst the most visited places in Crete. This became evident when we visited this small town on that exceptionally hot day in July. We got off the bus right before 14.00 so all the shops were closed because of siesta. Very few people were to be seen, those we encountered were all locals.
The rest of the family were overwhelmed by the heat, my suggestion to them was they should have a rest and get some chilled drinks while I would go on an adventure. (I love wandering on my own, the feeling of absolute freedom is irresistible.)
It´s not a park in purple but a cafe, quite impressed by the idea of putting the woods on the wall.
I was glad that they accepted my suggestion and sat outside the cafe drinking ice-coffee and frappe. I started my journey in this quiet and almost empty town, sweating but excited. It was just a few steps walk to the beach from the city centre of Ierapetra. Walking alone the coastal road, I reached the town square, it seemed to be a social gathering of retired residents. The tone between them was bright with a laugh breaking though at the right point.
Then I noticed the cats, it must be 7 -8 of them. At first sight, I took them to be street cats but it didn’t take long for me to realise that they weren’t. A man in his sixties was waving to the cats and saying some words which weren’t quite intelligible to me, so I believed those words were meant for the cats. He was apparently the owner of these sweet creatures. The cats were wandering around the square, and then they stopped and stared at me, as if they were astonished that a stranger had broken into their daily routine. Walking cats (not dogs) was quite new to me.
The old men smiled and nodded to me, I seized the chance and walked towards them. I asked them whether they could show me the way to the local church. That apologetic smile and some Greek words I didn’t understand again reminded me of the significant role language played in communication, and in this occasion, Greek. A new attempt was made, I showed them a picture in which a church was featured. It worked this time. A smile brightened his face, the man with silver grey hair pointed to a street on the opposite side. I followed his gesture, it was a church at the end of the road, it took me about 15 minutes to get there.
It didn’t look like a church (in my opinion), it was more like a mosque, perhaps? I had to look for the cross to convince myself that it was actually a church with a slightly unfamiliar appearance.
On my way back to the bus station, I passed a drawing school, beautiful works made it perfect decoration.
This church in Ierapetra kept a completely different style than the previous one.
Some additional stuff: Agios Nikolaos and Kolokita beach.
I had a boat trip to the island Spinalonga, (ref. to the blog post The miserable life on the Island Spinalonga), the boat stopped at Agios Nikolaos, (“the second most romantic town in Crete” according to our guide). I only got about 1 1/2 hours to explore this coastal town. Here are a few pictures.
A restaurant with Norwegian flags, the restaurant was closed for siesta but the owner was kind enough to let me in and take a few pictures.
This must be a book cafe no doubt.
We also stopped at the Kolokytha beach, I was mostly impressed by the clear blue water.
My feet needed a chill-out, gorgeous!
After 20 minutes walk, I made to the top of the Kolokytha island where the church Saint Luke was located. The guide told me that around 4000 churches were to be found just in Crete. It says something about Greek people’s dedication to their religion- Orthodox Christianity.
The stony church Saint Luke on the kolokytha island.
This is the last blog post about my holiday in Crete, love the place, and it´s a pleasure to share it with you 🙂