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Sunday, July 7, 2019

My Frugal Greek Vacation, Crete Day 6, Tsikalaria, Souda



My sixth day in Greece... honestly, there's not so much to write about. It was the day after I completed the 14 kilometer Samaria Gorge hike, more than half of it with a sprained ankle and an injured knee. The morning of my hike, the taxi driver bringing me to the gathering point told me not to plan anything for the day after the hike, because I'll be exhausted. And I thought I knew myself better than that, that I was this capable power woman, and don't tell me not to plan anything because I'll be ok and up and running about.

Yea, speaking of that...

My sixth day in Greece was spent nearly entirely in bed, in Vera's mother's house in the town of Tsikalaria, in the Souda (pronounced Sootha) municipality, a few kilometers from Chania.

My whole entire body ached.

See here's the thing. I'm not sure how much it ached simply because it was a strenuous hike, and how much it hurt because of my injury and then using other muscles to compensate for my injured foot during the last 8 kilometers of the hike. Literally the only part of my body that wasn't aching was my face...

I still don't regret doing the hike, though in the future I will follow my advice on how to safely prepare for a hike so I don't have a repeat of last time...

My friend Vera tried to find me a doctor, an orthopedist to look at my foot, but then I called my travelers health insurance and they told me that I couldn't go to a specialist first, first I needed to go to a regular doctor, and then if he refers me to an orthopedist, to go there, and if an orthopedist prescribes crutches, then they would pay for those all, but only in that order.


We did a calculation. It was 10 euros to go take a taxi to the doctor, probably another 10 euros to go from there to an orthopedist, then from there a few more euros to go buy crutches, and then another 10 euros to come back. And each of these would take a few hours, since there is a really long waiting period in the waiting room before you can go to a doctor.

In the end, we decided that even with insurance paying for the actual doctors' visits and crutches, it would be cheaper to just buy crutches directly from a store and use them. I knew my foot wasn't broken, I'd sprained it enough times to know what it felt like, and just needed crutches to get around... We paid 24 euros for the crutches, and my new friend Marianna brought them with her when she came out later to go out with us in the evening. I am glad I got these crutches because, quite frankly, I injure myself often enough and need to get from the local lending library each time, so it's a good idea for me to have a pair of my own anyhow...


Towards the end of the day I got out of bed and did some cooking with Vera's mother, Maria, a recipe that I'll share with you very soon.

After that, we decided to go to the beach. Me, Vera, Marianna, and Marianna's son, Akis. I learned that during that during some time in Greek history, citizens of Crete were ridiculed and called "akis" which means small, and they ended up taking pride in what was used to mock them, and they made nearly all their last names end with akis. So Marianna's son's full name isn't Akis, but its a common Greek nickname.

I was quite shocked at their desire to go to the beach in the evening. Locally you'd never go to the beach to swim in the evening, because by the time evening came, there would be strong winds and large waves and it wouldn't be so safe to swim.

But then I got to this beach and I saw then how it was possible.


We went to the Souda beach, and I've never seen a sea with a beach like that. I was shocked at how close the beach chairs went to the water, because that was just asking for your towels and everything to get soaked, because waves...

Only there pretty much were no waves. This felt like I was in a giant swimming pool. Because Souda beach is in a bay, it's pretty protected by the elements, and it was such calm water, even in the evening.

You could go out far into the water and still it was quite shallow. Another shocking thing for me. You could walk out for a few minutes and still have the water only at calf level.


Apparently the water here is calm enough that kids have swimming lessons here at the beach instead of at local pools...

It was quite a relaxing end to my day, and the water did wonders for my sore body.

Marianna's son, Akis
 Eventually, though, we got too cold and came to hang out on the beach chairs. In this beach, unlike in most beaches I've been to, the beach chairs and umbrellas are free. However, they do expect you to buy food or drinks from the beachside restaurant. I ended up getting a coffee.

And then we headed back for an early night, because my seventh and final day in Crete was to be a busy one...

Are you a fan of the beach? What is your favorite time to go? Have you been to beaches like this with practically no waves? Do you prefer these types or ones with waves?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the vacation posts! I've been really enjoying them, it's like a vicarious trip.

    Though I have to confess that when the volcano erupted on Stromboli I had to run back and double-check your posts before remembering that Italy and Greece are very different places, and like a thousand miles apart. Derp.

    My husband sprained his ankle yesterday, and as he lay around complaining (well, he did hurt, but it got tiresome after awhile) I pointed out that you finished a hike with a sprained ankle...

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