I love exploring! Have I mentioned that? I really do hate to sit inside, wasting time with the tv, or whatever else it might be at the time. I love nothing more than to pack up my camera, some drinks and snacks, Rusty (if the trip is suitable, he gets carsick sometimes…for now, though, he is with some good friends in England having a blast with their border collie), and just head down a random road. I love finding new places, the thrill of going somewhere new, finding something amazing that you never knew was there… Nothing beats it. So the day I finally acquired my rental car out here in Crete, I knew what I wanted to do.
I am currently located in Chania, in the western portion of Crete. It sits on a harbor at the western base of the Akrotiri Peninsula. The peninsula is a beautiful area, most of which is flat, so it is full of little towns. Along the northern edge is a small chain of mountains, through which is a steep hike down a gorge to the ruins of an old abandoned stone monastery. I’ll write about this another day, I want to redo this hike at some point and get better pictures than I got last year. One of those hikes that in itself is beautiful, but then when you finally come around the corner and can see the ruins, with the huge old stone bridge across the bottom of the gorge… Magical almost!
Anyways, this day, I set out to meet a friend at the Agia Triada Monastery to acquire some of their super yummy olive oil (Crete has amazing olive oil, load on it if you come here), and to see just what other products they make and sell. I got there early, though, so I set off further down the road, exploring. I had seen from the drive to the monastery, that off in an olive orchard was a large abandoned-looking building with a little chapel. I desperately wanted to find this, even from a distance, it looked amazing. Along the way, I found another little chapel (they’re everywhere here) on the side of a hill so I stopped to check that out as well. This one has obviously seen its day and was in some disrepair, especially the graves next to it. The people lying here certainly have a view for eternity, maybe they just opened their graves to enjoy that… The building in the distance of the picture with the graves, with the red roof and little chapel, was my destination, though, so I quickly moved on.
Sure enough, just down the road, was a gated drive leading to the building. The gate wasn’t locked, so I let myself through, but the drive was washed out, so the car remained at the roadside. This was my favorite abandoned place to explore, to date. I think, it might have been an old olive processing place, it still had an old, giant stone wheel for grinding (I have no idea what to call that) in it, but maybe it was for something else. I guess I really have no idea… Whatever it was, its empty remains were beautiful and I was in heaven exploring it. The chair was the first thing I saw walking up to the exterior of the building, which really wasn’t that impressive. After photographing the chair, I entered the building, passing through an old little kitchen, and then entered the courtyard, which seriously took my breath away… Eventually the sun started to set and I had to go, but as I did, I spotted another old ruined building in the orchard and snapped the sunset picture of it. I’ll have to go back sometime and check that out!