Author Topic: Plakias June 2005  (Read 3891 times)

Offline ukplakias

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Plakias June 2005
« on: August 06, 2005, 06:34:44 PM »
Samaria gorge

We walked the longest gorge in Europe! It starts on a plateau at c1250m then descends c1km in 1.5km via steps of loose stones – hazardous! (How a woman with a baby on her back walked up this bit I’ll never know!).

It was relatively quiet (not peak season yet), had some excellent gnarled trees (kind of Grimms' fairy tale/Lord Of The Rings like), impressive screes (and plenty of signs warning of falling rocks – but they missed us!), funky lizards, a spooky abandoned village, lots of flowers and a small stream to wade through.

Nearly 15km later is Sideroportes (“Iron Gates”) where the walls ascend to c700m and the gap between them shrinks to c3m – an amazing sight. By this time we had suffered blisters, ligament damage (it’s handy having a nurse with you at times like this!) and were running out of water, but we made it the last few km to the beach for a well-deserved swim.

Kourtaliotiko gorge

Having walked down a gorge, we decided to be a bit unconventional by swimming up a gorge!

We put ourselves in the hands of Dive2Gether, a diving school from Plakias. They drove us to the top of the gorge then we walked down what was a real goat path (i.e. very steep and almost unmarked) to the stream. There we stripped off, donned wetsuits (the water was freezing!) and proceeded to wade upstream past steep mossy walls, a vulture nest and wild herbs (including cannabis?).

As the water deepened, we left the weaker swimmers behind with a member of the crew, put snorkels on and swam upstream. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds though – as we approached the top, the current increased and water fell from the springs down the walls into our snorkels.

We made it to the end and were rewarded by a pummelling waterfall shower, the sight of big eels and a wonderful upward view that few tourists see.

Nightlife

Yes, we were forced into a few bars while we were there, too! (OK, we went voluntarily!).

Met some colourful characters from a wide variety of nations – Greek, Czech, German, Dutch, English. The Finikas nightclub/disco wasn’t open and no-one could tell us whether it would be.

Meltemi opened late in the evening and was free to enter and drinks were reasonably priced. It has reasonable sound and light systems and the music was predominantly trance and Greek dance/traditional.

The majority of the people were Greek, probably because it wasn’t the height of the season yet and fortunately there were few signs of antisocial behaviour often associated with resort clubs.

Phaestos

Phaestos was memorable because it was the quieter, unspoilt major Minoan archaeological site. Although it was difficult to visualize what the site would look like in 3D (only a few partial upright remains remained) it was amazing to think that this island was the birthplace of the first great European civilisation in 3000BC, with its advanced technology, commerce and political organisation.

An English-speaking guide is essential and it was really useful to have one who could answer all our questions.

Also interesting was the disc found here which contains hieroglyphics still undeciphered…and the discovery of similar ones in Peru and Russia linking back to Crete could mean that the cradle of global civilisation might turn out to be on this island, not in the Middle East!

Other highlights

The ambient sound of crickets, watching the locals celebrate the birthday of John The Baptist, climbing a rock face to the Roman tombs/hippy caves at Matala, romantic evening walks by the sea, seeing the Milky Way again, the freedom of nude sunbathing, the good quality local house wines at tavernas, very cheap cigarettes, the Roman ruins at Gortyna, the views from mountain tops (especially at Platea restaurant in Myrthios via a short road train journey), reading books, walking the eastern cliff of Plakias Bay, the chilled-out-ness of the area, frisbeeing in the sea (plenty of room to do it safely!), the friendly people, the heat of the sun and our tans, sharing our meals with cats at the tavernas.

Offline Greecemad

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Plakias June 2005
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2005, 07:48:14 PM »
ukplakias,

Thanks for your very interesting account of your holiday - I won't quote it as it is too long. Glad you enjoyed the holiday, but it sounds very energetic.

I walked down the Samaria Gorge in early May 1990. I have never summoned up the energy to do it again, partly because on all the trips since I have been in June or early September when it is too hot.

I visited Plakias as part of a tour of SW Crete in June. Your holiday must have been before this as I was there for the opening night of Finikas Club (or Hexagon Club) on 24th June - it was quiet. The Meltemi Club was also empty whenever I looked in - even at the weekend. So I think the dancing clubs of Plakias are quieter than they used to be, although I know we don't want it to be another Malia or Hersonnisos. I was at the opening of the Paleochora Club a week earlier and it was busy. The Alabama Club at Sougia was lively even though Sougia is only a small place; and several bars in Matala were crowded with people dancing.

Incidentally, does any remember a bar that had a small dance floor. It was in the building wher the town hall now is?

There were some characters in Plakias, though. There was an Irishman who always wore a kilt. And there was a Yorkshireman who I had the misfortune to meet. I met him at Plateia as they were closing so we sat outside. He was a retired bricklayer, had left his wife at home in hospital and still had his suitcase with him as he had arrived that day after missing his flight, getting a later flight and getting his own taxi to Plakias. The morning after when I went to the bakery for a bread roll for breakfast, he was sat outside the bakery with the Irishman - they had a few empty beer cans on the table, and he still hadn't been to bed, or to his room!

Greecemad
« Last Edit: August 06, 2005, 08:08:03 PM by Greecemad »

Offline DOTTY

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Plakias June 2005
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2005, 10:05:09 PM »
Quote
ukplakias,

Thanks for your very interesting account of your holiday - I won't quote it as it is too long. Glad you enjoyed the holiday, but it sounds very energetic.

I walked down the Samaria Gorge in early May 1990. I have never summoned up the energy to do it again, partly because on all the trips since I have been in June or early September when it is too hot.

I visited Plakias as part of a tour of SW Crete in June. Your holiday must have been before this as I was there for the opening night of Finikas Club (or Hexagon Club) on 24th June - it was quiet. The Meltemi Club was also empty whenever I looked in - even at the weekend. So I think the dancing clubs of Plakias are quieter than they used to be, although I know we don't want it to be another Malia or Hersonnisos. I was at the opening of the Paleochora Club a week earlier and it was busy. The Alabama Club at Sougia was lively even though Sougia is only a small place; and several bars in Matala were crowded with people dancing.

Incidentally, does any remember a bar that had a small dance floor. It was in the building wher the town hall now is?

There were some characters in Plakias, though. There was an Irishman who always wore a kilt. And there was a Yorkshireman who I had the misfortune to meet. I met him at Plateia as they were closing so we sat outside. He was a retired bricklayer, had left his wife at home in hospital and still had his suitcase with him as he had arrived that day after missing his flight, getting a later flight and getting his own taxi to Plakias. The morning after when I went to the bakery for a bread roll for breakfast, he was sat outside the bakery with the Irishman - they had a few empty beer cans on the table, and he still hadn't been to bed, or to his room!

Greecemad
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=4041\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

We remember that bar. It was a place a few of us used to meet up in after our (separate) meals. It had a lovely atmosphere the greek boys used to come in and get our men up dancing. Ah memories  

Dotty & Gary
Dotty

Offline sheryl

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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2005, 12:47:11 AM »
i think the bar you are refering to is the swing bar
sheryl

Offline Ali & Dave

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Plakias June 2005
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2005, 11:47:47 AM »
Yes, it was the Swing Bar, don't remember ever going there myself but it was run by Adonis who was working last year at the Costa Chrysoula pool bar and is this year working on setting up an alternative club in the olives up by the old mill (live music, possibly live theatre and discussion groups).

I haven't been to Finikas/Hexagon this year but Meltemi was packed last night  

Better have another frappe and find some matchsticks

Ali

Offline ukplakias

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Plakias June 2005
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2005, 12:28:14 PM »
Quote
ukplakias,

Thanks for your very interesting account of your holiday - I won't quote it as it is too long. Glad you enjoyed the holiday, but it sounds very energetic.

I walked down the Samaria Gorge in early May 1990. I have never summoned up the energy to do it again, partly because on all the trips since I have been in June or early September when it is too hot.

I visited Plakias as part of a tour of SW Crete in June. Your holiday must have been before this as I was there for the opening night of Finikas Club (or Hexagon Club) on 24th June - it was quiet. The Meltemi Club was also empty whenever I looked in - even at the weekend. So I think the dancing clubs of Plakias are quieter than they used to be, although I know we don't want it to be another Malia or Hersonnisos. I was at the opening of the Paleochora Club a week earlier and it was busy. The Alabama Club at Sougia was lively even though Sougia is only a small place; and several bars in Matala were crowded with people dancing.

Incidentally, does any remember a bar that had a small dance floor. It was in the building wher the town hall now is?

There were some characters in Plakias, though. There was an Irishman who always wore a kilt. And there was a Yorkshireman who I had the misfortune to meet. I met him at Plateia as they were closing so we sat outside. He was a retired bricklayer, had left his wife at home in hospital and still had his suitcase with him as he had arrived that day after missing his flight, getting a later flight and getting his own taxi to Plakias. The morning after when I went to the bakery for a bread roll for breakfast, he was sat outside the bakery with the Irishman - they had a few empty beer cans on the table, and he still hadn't been to bed, or to his room!

Greecemad
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=4041\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Energetic? Well we spent a day at the Samaria Gorge, a half day at Kourtaliotiko, a day at Gortyna/Phaestos/Matala and 2 local half day walks - about a quarter of our holiday...some people we met were walking most days! I ought to say I love the heat...well up to 40+ degrees! The rest of the time we pretty much chilled out!

What was Finikas Club like?

People commented to me about Meltemi being empty but I wonder if they went too early? It was empty at midnight and wasn't (quite) full until 2 or 3am.

Offline sheryl

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Plakias June 2005
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 02:01:44 PM »
Quote
Yes, it was the Swing Bar, don't remember ever going there myself but it was run by Adonis who was working last year at the Costa Chrysoula pool bar and is this year working on setting up an alternative club in the olives up by the old mill (live music, possibly live theatre and discussion groups).

I haven't been to Finikas/Hexagon this year but Meltemi was packed last night   

Better have another frappe and find some matchsticks

Ali
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=4049\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
glad you had a good night in the meltemi ali  
but i'm jealous    wish i'd been there
sheryl

Offline Greecemad

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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2005, 02:17:08 PM »
Quote
i think the bar you are refering to is the swing bar
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=4047\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, now you have mentioned the name, I remeber it was called the Swing Bar

Offline Greecemad

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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2005, 02:19:32 PM »
Quote
People commented to me about Meltemi being empty but I wonder if they went too early? It was empty at midnight and wasn't (quite) full until 2 or 3am.

One night, I remember it was 1:30 a.m. when I looked in. Perhaps that was too early.