We enjoyed our meal out in Heraklion so much the other night that we decided to eat in the same restaurant again last night. We got served free doughnut balls with honey and shots of raki again
Today was the day we were leaving Crete behind and travelling to our next destination of Rhodes. Before we needed to check out of the apartment at 11, there was just time for one last stroll around Heraklion
This little building was opposite the robotic parking where we've been leaving the car, and reminded me a lot of the former mosque we saw in Chania at the start of the week.
It was set in a small park, beneath the remains of the town walls.
Parts of the town walls and the former gates into the city remain here.
You can't walk along a lot of them, but it's possible to climb up and walk along a little bit.
There's a good view of Heraklion once you climb up. I could see not only the little church next to our car park...
...but also the main cathedral which we'd been admiring in the city centre.
It was starting to look a bit cloudy over the city though, as if the promised storms might materialise.
At 11 we checked out, dragged our suitcases to the car park and admired the robotic parking for a final time. Heraklion airport is only a few miles outside the city centre so we didn't have a long journey . Finding out where to hand back our rental car, however, turned out to be difficult!
When we picked up the car in Chania on Friday night, we'd been told that there was a proper office for the rental company at Heraklion airport, so we'd assumed that finding the correct place would be straightforward. We managed to find the rental car part of the airport without too much difficulty, but it was complete chaos. We saw signs for dozens of different small car rental companies, but not the one we were looking for. At one point, as we drove around looking for it, a Greek man started shouting at us. We assumed initially that he was telling us off for driving the wrong way around the car park (although, no one else seemed to be adhering to any rules of the road!). Eventually it became clear that it wasn't that; he was trying to explain that we were driving the wrong way for our company and we should be in a different section of the car park.
We found the right place in the end, although there was no one there from the rental company. There was a small hut with a flap to post keys through though, so in the end we did that and assumed it would be fine. They hadn't held any deposit on our credit card, so we didn't actually need to speak to anyone.
We were at the airport a bit too early to check in for our flight, so went to the airport cafe to get a snack for lunch. We were flying to Rhodes with a Greek airline called Sky Express. When planning the holiday initially, I'd wanted to get a ferry from Crete to Rhodes, but travelling between Greek islands is actually quite difficult. Each island is well-connected to Athens, but generally quite poorly connected to any other island. Theoretically there was a ferry between Crete and Rhodes but it didn't seem to be possible to buy tickets for it in advance and there was some suggestion that the ferry company might go bust. In the end I decided to give up on the idea and just book a flight instead.
Despite being at the airport with plenty of time to spare, we almost managed to miss our flight. Heraklion turned out to be quite a cramped airport and we ended up sitting several gates away from where we needed to be. A couple of other flights were announced over the tannoy when they started boarding so we assumed ours would be too. With about 20 minutes to go until it was due to take off, I started to get concerned that it hadn't been called. We could see the Sky Express plane from where we were sitting and at that point we looked at it and realised that people were starting to board. A short jog later and we just managed to make it through before the final call finished!
The plane to Rhodes was fairly small, with just two seats on either side of the aisle. Compared to the plane we flew to Alderney on earlier this year it qualified as huge, though.
The flight to Rhodes only took an hour and before we knew it we were landing at the island's main airport. We retrieved our bags and went to pick up our new rental car, a blue Citroen C3. Then we had a short drive of around 20 minutes or so to the village of Faliraki where we're staying.
Faliraki is a place that used to have a very bad reputation as a party town, but I think it's long since stopped being a "cool" place to go and is trying to reinvent itself. We're staying a bit outside of it anyway, so I don't think we're going to be troubled by any rowdy behaviour.
We've got a studio apartment with a kitchen/dining area plus bedroom on the ground floor...
...plus unexpected second bedroom on the floor above.
Most excitingly, when we open the back door we've got our own outdoor area, complete with little pool.
Once we'd settled in we set off to explore a little bit of Faliraki.
There's a sandy beach here and we could just make out some sort of small fortress on the hill behind it.
In the other direction was a small harbour.
We could just make out what looked like some very large, multi-storey hotels on the other side of the bay.
There was a beautiful little church down by the harbour.
We found a restaurant by the sea to have dinner. Tim had spaghetti and I went for pasticcio again. It was really good!
On the way back to the apartment we got a glimpse of the local church, illuminated at night.
So far Rhodes seems nice and we're looking forward to exploring more of it tomorrow!