Ag Nik, Potamos beach and a day relaxing by the pool
Agios Nikolaos, Greece
I've had a lovely couple of days.
On Wednesday, I took the bus (again!) to Agios Nikolaos - this time not to travel on further up the coast or out across the water but instead to spend the day in the town itself. Ag Nik (as it is known) has a unique location surrounded on 3 sides by water, with a lake in the centre of the town. This gives it miles of coastline, endless waterside restaurants and cafes and panoramic views out over the water to mountains beyond. The town itself is really pretty, very hilly, with lots of whitewashed steps and an amazing vista wen new photo opportunity around every corner. I liked the main shopping streets (when relatively quiet first thing, suspect I wouldn't later on in the day once the masses emerge to throng the streets), even found vegan ice cream, second day running whoo!
I dipped my toes in the sea at Ammos beach then walked all the way around the coastline as far as I could go to the north. There wasn't a huge amount to do in the town - a couple of statues to look at, a church mosaic to admire from outside in the street, but the town had such a lovely feel I was very happy just walking then stopping and sitting to admire the view. I got the bus back to Malia mid-afternoon then sat by the pool for an hour before dinner.
On Thursday I stayed local - it's been great seeing so much of Crete but I feel I've had enough of sitting on coaches so my last two days will be spent closer to the hotel. I walked to Potamos beach for an 8am swim in the sea. It was the perfect temperature, very comfortable to stay in for quite a long time but pretty rough! High waves that could knock you over if you weren't prepared for them, a couple nearly did for me and I got a mouthful of saltwater and up my nose too.. my poor old 11 year old perished saggy bikini wasn't doing too well - I nearly lost both top and bottoms with every new wave! As the water was so rough there was quite a lot of broken seaweed in it. I really enjoyed my swim, so lovely to do it so early when the beach was empty - just a couple of others who had the same idea as me. After this I walked back to the hotel, did a bit of shopping then spent the middle part of the day relaxing by the pool. This isn't something I'd normally do, I don't normally stay somewhere with a pool and it's been years since I've actually sat by a hotel pool sunbathing and reading my book. I was worried it would be boring and that I'd want to get up and leave to do stuff but I actually really enjoyed it. Sitting and relaxing by the pool is not a "waste" of time that could otherwise be spent sightseeing and exploring. It's a nice thing to do in its own right and makes the holiday richer by adding variety.
Tomorrow I plan to stay local again, walking to Chersonissos to visit a museum there and a couple of churches. I will take my swim stuff and maybe stop for a swim on the way, prob come back here to sit by the pool again in the afternoon - just go with the flow and do what feels right, really make the most of soaking up the Greek climate and atmosphere on my very last (but not last ever!) day in Crete.
At the end of the afternoon today I had a walk then did my pre-return lateral flow covid test, required by the U.K. govt before I can re-enter the U.K. thankfully negative! So all good to re enter the U.K. big relief as otherwise would have had to self-isolate in Greece for 10 days or until I test negative - phew! Also need to fill out a U.K. Passenger Locator Form before flying but will do that tomorrow morning (then a PCR test after arrival back in the U.K. but that's already been ordered and it's sitting on my kitchen table waiting for me to do it once I arrive back) - ridiculous expensive (I paid £66 for both tests), strict U.K. govt requirements for entering the U.K. where cases are HIGH from a country where they are much lower - I'm more likely to get covid after I'm back in the U.K. than I am to catch it in Greece. Honestly the Tory govt are such incompetent clowns. Anybody would think they are chums with the people running (or holding shares in) the private testing companies. Oh wait............ they are