Tassie Golly's adventures 2015 travel blog

White mountains and fort


Chora Sfakion

The day dawned a bit duller - quite a few clouds about. But it was correspondingly cooler too.

Today we travel across the White Mountains ( well not right over the very top, but high enough - the highest peak is over 2400m)

We set Tom and headed north from Vamos. Soon after crossing under the main highway, we began climbing.

It was a good road to start with - wide, reasonable bends, and places you can stop for a photo. Then, it got better. We felt like we were above Monte Carlo driving an Alpha Romeo with Grace Kelly! Wide road, even wider hairpin bends, neat stone walls on the outside, and concrete kerbs and gutters on the inside. We climbed and climbed - past goats, villages, tavernas, and through tunnels. We saw goats sitting comfortably on the highway. Sheep walking on the road. We stopped at the top of the Imbros Gorge. Here the wind really got going. The stone walls were probably only 700 mm high, so we had to take care. We carefully looked at the view, then moved on. From here we descended about 550m via about 19 hairpin bends to Chora Sfakion on the coast.

Chora Sfakion is a small coastal town, with a small harbour. Probably a fishing village, but now a tourist town, with rooms, hotels, tavernas, cafes, boat trips, beach, and so on. But it is very scenic.

As I type this, there have been 3 waves of jet fighters/ bombers flying East , about 10 mins apart. Either this is a training exercise, or maybe they are heading for Syria. It's not far away. ( neither is Israel, Egypt, Libya , or even Iraq for that matter.

Anyway, Chora Sfakion is well known in WW2 history - here is where many of the British , Australian, and NZ forces were evacuated from Crete in 1942 - Nearly 9000. About 5000 British and Greek troops were left behind. There is a monument overlooking the harbour.

We lunched here, then checked out the ferry timetable to Loutro. Dang! We just missed a trip, and the next wasn't until 4:30. We decided to visit Frangokastello where there is a Venetian fortress (castle). It is very well preserved. When we got out of the car, the wind was up. It nearly lifted us off our feet. Gusts would have been over 100km/hr. No hats please! Or sunglasses!

We toured the castle then headed west again, stopping at a little village called Patsianos close to the mountains. We decided to skip the ferry trip and head home so we could get a swim!

We stopped at the bottom of the Imbros Gorge at a small taverna for a cold drink. The waiter was surly and needed a haircut. A few km on there were nice looking tavernas full of happy looking customers. Now we know why our taverna was empty!

Back up the bends and down the other side - we were soon home.

Wine, beer and olives on the patio, then a cooling swim.

It was so windy in the south, but calm here. C had to put more lipstick on as it had been blown off at Frangokastello.

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