|Some of Chania's well-shaded shopping streets|
resemble bazaars, with shops offering a wide
array of goods, not just souvenirs.
Guidebooks and internet postings about Chania persuaded us to visit as long as we were on Crete anyway. In retrospect, I regret my reluctance to rent a car and explore more of the island, especially the south coast. Like Heraklion, Chania (pronounced KAN-nya) is on the north coast and like Heraklion has a history that includes conquests by Turks, Venetians and other powers over the centuries.
Chania is a lovely little walled city. It's narrow twisting streets, sometimes interrupted by flights of stairs, are as inviting as similar streets anywhere in the Mediterranean. It's not quite true that if you've seen one medieval walled town, you've seen them all, but you will notice a sameness. We arrived by bus from Heraklion and took a taxi from the bus station to one of the gates into the old town. From there, we had to turn at only one side street (think passageway) to reach our hotel, Casa Delfino (Dolphin House).
All the attractions of Chania, from restaurants to the harbor to its maritime museum, were within a few steps of the hotel. One popular activity, walking atop the walls of Firka, an old Turkish prison, couldn't be done during our visit due to repair work. We were here for two nights, and that's about the right amount of time for us. We met a British couple at our hotel who visit Chania frequently for stays of four or five days, spending their time relaxing and wandering the streets of the newer parts of town as well as the ancient.
Here are some photos.
|The harbor front seems also to be|
Chania's main street.
|A lighthouse at the entrance to the harbor.|
|The harbor as seen from our room at Casa Delfino. Most of|
the places under the big awnings are restaurants.
|A minaret is a reminder of the role|
of the Ottoman Empire in the history
|This happy little red submarine takes adventurous tourists|
beneath the waves of the Sea of Crete.
|At the Maritime Museum of Crete, models of World War II|
ships help visitors understand the sea battles that
happened near Chania. As a bonus, it's housed in
an old Turkish prison called Firka.
|At the museum, paint is carefully applied as a new model ship is about|
to go on display. These models are about as detailed as any I've ever seen.