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June 21, 2008

The Russians in the goose poo

We recently visited Lake Kournas for the first time. It is often described as Crete's only lake, although in truth there are a couple of puddles elsewhere that could just about stretch to being called a lake. It is definitely the largest though.

Lake Kournas

It is about a 40 minute drive from Chania, near Georgioupoli, mostly on the New National Road. The lake sits at the foot of the Lefka Ori mountain range.

Local legend has it that it is the site of a village that was destroyed by god for a lifestyle of sin and wickedness. A mini-version of the Biblical flood was sent cascading down the mountain to drown it, and the only survivor was the Priest's daughter, on account of her beauty and virtue. She can now be seen every night at midnight rising from the lake to tend the wildlife there.

A risky ghost story of course, as normally you only expect apparitions to appear during some unlikely combination of factors. Something like a blood moon on a Tuesday if there is an 'x' in the month, rather than 'every night at 12 regular as clockwork' which makes it a lot easier to disprove.

Lake Kournas

We found lake Kournas to be rather odd to be honest. It is described as having a 'beach', and when we were there it was packed with mostly Russians on sun-loungers. However, in truth, the 'beach' was more like a strip of muddy river bank in England's New Forest, covered in goose poo. We couldn't quite understand why you would spend the day there, when you were only about 15 minutes away from some of the most gorgeous beaches in Europe.


One of the attractions of the lake is that you can hire a pedelo, and explore, and you might even see a turtle. We confined our exercise and wildlife spotting ambitions to walking around the shore for a bit - and Claire did spot a snake swimming in the water, but no turtles.

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