Ierapetra

Yesterday was a road to the lovely south coast town of Ierapetra, and I have no trouble recommending it to anyone visiting Crete. It’s a bit out of the way, which may be why it seemed so devoid of tourists. The market street was essentially empty and even on the beach and in the sea, most of the people seemed to be Greek. All the kitschy souvenir shops were there, and lots of restaurants, but they were largely empty. The water was calm, and lovely, and very clear.
There weren’t a lot of tourist sites. We walked to the end of the beach to see the old fort, which was basically a wall that was having some work done on it, and then we saw a sign pointing to ‘Napoleon’s House.’ Well, that sounded worth seeing. There was a lady sitting at a desk near the front door and I didn’t want to pay so I said let’s go, but Helena asked how much it cost and it was free so I felt a bit foolish but we went in anyway. It would have been absurd for them to charge, but I’m kind of surprised they even had an attendant on duty. One plain room downstairs, with a sign explaining the history, in English and in Greek. One room upstairs, just a wooden floor, no furniture at all.
The story is that the French fleet, on their way to Egypt and lost in the fog, stopped for fresh drinking water, and one man stayed ashore and was given a tour of the island and dinner in a local’s home and stayed the night. He had a boat meet him in the wee hours of the morning and was gone by daylight but left a note, in French, saying ‘If anyone asks who the foreigner was, I am Napoleon Bonaparte.’
Then we went for lunch and, as usual, it was an absolutely huge amount of food. I even gave a couple of pieces of Souvlaki to the little begging dog who, I’m assuming, belonged to the owners, because he was clearly not a stray. The zucchini fritters we ordered as an appetizer were great and the sampler plate, which we had not ordered, was pretty great, too. That happens fairly often here, that they bring out something extra, for no reason at all.
On the way to Ierapetra we had passed an archaelogical site but by the time we saw it we had zipped by the entrance, so we stopped on the way back but the entrance was closed. So, we spent the evening exploring Minoan civilization on Wikipedia. Who says travel doesn’t broaden the mind?
Today is another road trip because we are once more changing locations, to a place in the southwest called Livadi, where apparently they have a beach with pink sand. I’m looking forward to seeing that.

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