Ramblers Walking Holidays

Springtime Splendour of Crete - Gillean Hoehnke

Blog post   •   Jul 23, 2012 16:59 BST

Spring Walking in Crete 17th April – 1st May 2012

After an early start from Gatwick Airport we met up with our ever-helpful leader Kath and travelled comfortably to Kastelli. We were last there 23 years ago with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, but that was in July when the weather was hot and the grass was brown. The hotel was the same one but wonderfully modernised.

From our balcony at Kastelli. Twenty three years ago there was nothing to be seen. There is now a swimming pool surrounded by chairs, tables and parasols.

Pool temptations aside, we were at the ancient rockfall to stretch our legs and look for spring flowers.

Amidst a jolly company, which included authorities on flowers, our walks became nicely varied. No hill was too steep since stops could always be called to look at available flora.

To be with a leader who knows the walks so well is a treat. Kath identified the agreeable tavernas and had them spaced out just right. And she also knew a thing or two about wild flowers.

Gorges and flowering hillsides were seen, including a cave church.

Under protective hats, flowers were carefully examined as were the snow-covered mountains.

We even had our supper al fresco on one occasion.

We even had our supper al fresco on one occasion. Whereas Kastelli had changed a lot over the years by way of touristic development central Chania had not. Thankfully, however, El Greco hotel from years ago had been modernised and the narrow old town street serving the hotel was largely now pedestrianised.

On this occasion we were blessed with a comfortable air-conditioned, bug-eyed coach, prominently Rambler marked – and no one missed it.

Nice flowers everywhere and the various shades of green were a delight.

We peeled down the Imbros Gorge spring-in-step, but some stole a rest once we were nearly down.

The Souda Bay war cemetery was a moving sight few will forget.

Supper in a roofless restaurant could also have been moving – had the weather misbehaved.

The Venetian boatyards looked good against a backdrop of White Mountains… and then it was time to go home.

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