Wednesday 24th – Saturday 27th August 2022
A Few Quiet Days
After a relatively busy day yesterday sightseeing in Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, it was back to my normal (i.e. quiet) routine in Stalis for the remainder of my time on Crete. The weather was still a bit unsettled and there were periods of cloud covering the resort, though thankfully no rain showers like I’d experienced in Elounda.
On Wednesday, I returned to the gym in Hersonissos as it was cheaper than the one in Malia. The equipment wasn’t as new but it was functional and I was happy to save a few euros where I could. For dinner, I returned to Maria’s Golden Beach and had another excellent meal: pita bread with a variety of dips to start, followed by BBQ ribs and chips. I even managed a strawberry cheesecake for dessert!
I decided to visit Stalis Beach today for the first time – having been in the resort for over 10 days in total, it was long overdue. As it was very busy with tourists, I decided to walk as far as I could to the east and then backtrack to whatever spot seemed the nicest for a swim and sunbathing. It was sunnier today and much warmer, so it seemed like a good day for it.
I walked as far as Ikaros Beach Resort, where the beach is interrupted by a rocky section of shoreline. I didn’t fancy walking off the beach to get further east, so I turned around and headed back the other way looking for a quiet place to stop. I ended up outside Seagull Studios, where there is a section of undeveloped beach that a few people were using to sunbathe with their towels. I found a space and headed straight for the sea, armed with my GoPro to do a bit of filming and take a few photos.
I continued breaking my usual routine by having lunch outside of the hotel, opting for a gyros and a large beer at Edem Bar & Grill towards the western end of the beach. The food was great and the beer was cold and refreshing.
Just as I returned to the hotel, it began to cloud over so instead of sunbathing by the pool as I had planned, I stayed in my room doing a bit of work and updating my blog notes.
For dinner, I decided to give Jasmine House Chinese a second try, despite having mixed feelings after my first visit. However, after waiting at the entrance for several minutes to be shown to a table, I gave up and decided that perhaps it was a bad omen and I should try elsewhere. Despite walking past several tavernas, I couldn’t settle on a decision until I found myself back at Maria’s Golden Beach – yes, the same restaurant I went to yesterday. I’m a creature of habit. The food was excellent again: chicken schnitzel and chips with some nice cheap house wine, so I had no regrets.
A very quiet day today. I went to the gym in Hersonissos again mid-morning, then spent most of the day in my room as the weather was quite cloudy again. I did go down to the pool for a while and read my Kindle, but it wasn’t really sunbathing weather.
Tonight’s dinner was at Di Marino’s, another restaurant I’d visited on my previous week in Stalis. This time it was much better than before – a delicious mushroom starter in a creamy sauce, followed by a very nice pepperoni pizza.
A Travel Update
Over the last few days, I’d gradually been firming up my onward travel plans and finally had everything booked. I needed to be in Athens by the 6th of September to meet my girlfriend, who was coming out to visit me for the last few days of my trip. That still left me with 9 days to fill and it hadn’t been easy deciding what to do with them.
After lots of playing around with ferry routes and accommodation prices, plus some sage advice from my regular Greek travel companion, Ed, I decided to return to the mainland on a long ferry from Heraklion to Piraeus. I would then take a late afternoon ferry the same day to another new island, Aegina, part of the Argo-Saronic islands located between Athens and the Peloponnese. I would spend 3 nights on Aegina before moving onto the smaller neighbouring island of Agistri where I would spend another 3 nights, then back to the mainland to finally explore Athens itself.
Saturday 27th – Last Full Day in Stalis
My last full day was more of the same, though I decided to skip the gym to avoid being sore tomorrow for my long day of travelling. The weather had improved again, so I spent most of the day sunbathing by the pool, treating myself to a beer and club sandwich for lunch.
On my last night in a resort I usually like to return to my favourite restaurant for a final meal, but though this honour goes to Maria’s Golden Beach, I didn’t fancy going back again so soon after my previous visit, so instead I went to a new taverna on the recommendation of several Facebook users. Katerina’s Traditional Greek Taverna was located right next door to Di Marino’s where I’d eaten yesterday, and I arrived with high expectations and a big appetite!
Unfortunately, the meal turned out to be rather disappointing: the garlic bread starter was just two thick chunks of baguette with thick cheese and not much garlic, and the moussaka, despite being served in a clay bowl – usually a good sign – was bland enough that I only managed to eat half before giving it up as a bad job. I’d also opted for a small beer instead of wine in the hope that I would have a more restful night’s sleep, knowing I had to get up early the following morning.