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June 01, 2007

Road Trip Day #3: The road from Lasithi to Agios Nikolaos

As we descended from the road to the Dikteon cave, we could see an extraordinary sight across the Lasithi Plateau.

Clouds were coming over the top of the mountains in the distance, and rolling down into the plateau itself. You can just about make it out behind the two old ducks in this photograph that Claire snapped from the car as we were leaving.


Having been up there a while, you forget you are 900 metres above sea level, so it just looks like the magic porridge pot has spilled over into the plateau.

Day03 Well, pretty as it was, we didn't fancy driving through it much, so Claire really put her foot down for the first time in the trip, so that we could get off the plateau and make our way back to sea level and the town of Agios Nikolaos, our next stop

The route to Agios Nikolaos was spectacular in an "I can't bear to look we are going to come off the road and plummet to our deaths" kind of way, with people selling oranges and honey and all sorts at the side of the road.

Arriving in Ag. Nikolaos was a bit of a shock, to be back driving in a town again. After a bit of a tussle with the one way system we parked up and went to a sea front pizzeria. The guy serving was a bit of a character, and only after we sat down did we realise that the restaurant had a Diego Maradona theme to it.

I was struck with the tremendous urge to just make up a lie on the spot and say I'd met Maradona when I worked at the BBC - but in the end I didn't have the courage to do it!

On the football front, I did get to have a little wander around the local stadium, which was at the corner of the road where we were eating.


Claire didn't get her treat though. On our 'must see' list here was the Iris museum, dedicated to the plants and herblore of Crete. Sadly it didn't appear to have been a museum that had thrived, as it looked as if it had been resolutely shut for some time.


After a walk around town we found the hotel we were looking for - Hotel Pergola - in a side street, and were offered a choice of rooms. We picked one with a sea-front view for €35. We weren't allowed to leave before a 6 or 7 year old girl "helping out" on reception had made us some of Crete's strongest ever orange squash. We had a very tired walk back around town to fetch the car, and then got settled in for an afternoon nap.


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