Friday, June 13, 2008

Crete - Malia

With our three-day stint with the hire car over, we thought we'd take the local bus service along to Malia for the day. The buses run every 30 minutes during the day but there's no way of knowing when they'll turn up as all the times posted seem to indicate the time they leave Heraklion. There's a nice wee disclaimer at the bottom of the timetable stating that "any delays in service are due to traffic!". So twenty minutes later than when we thought a bus would come, one did…

Malia PalaceMalia Palace

Malia is a strange sort of resort town. Above the main road is the old town of Malia, where the locals live, and it's full of little windy streets and white houses; just what you'd expect from a little Greek village. However, below the main road is a different world; a hell on earth if you're our kind of tourist. The main strip down to the beach is a yob's paradise of English and Irish bars, all claiming to sell the cheapest and largest amounts of alcohol they can. Fancy a goldfish bowl full of synthetic alcohol? Yes, well you can buy as many as you can drink here in Malia.

We've stayed in Malia on two previous visits to the island but always in the off season, when it's quieter and the invasion of bar-crawling rabble is either over or hasn't begun. It's actually not a bad place to visit during those quieter periods. Anyway, the bus dropped us off in the centre of town and we headed East, walking about three kilometres out to visit the archaeological site of the Minoan Palace of Malia where, according to legend, Sarpedon, the third son of Zeus and Europa and brother of King Minos, ruled here. The first Palace was built around 1900 B.C. but destroyed in 1700 B.C. and a new Palace built but like all of the other Minoan palaces on Crete, that was destroyed in 1450 B.C. We'd been here before but it seemed a reasonable target for a short walk in the sun.

Tropical BeachTropical Beach

After an hour or so wandering around the ruins, taking the odd snap and chasing butterflies, we started wandering back towards Malia with the intention of getting a bit of lunch and then lazing about a bit on the beach. We found quite a nice little taverna along the coastal road and had a decent lunch before wandering over to the nearby beach for a bit of a lie about and maybe even a nap. It was a bit quieter there due to being a wee bit out of the town so we pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon there on the sand.

After a while we started back towards town, taking a detour to go via Malia Port. the little harbour along the way. We thought we'd maybe see a few old Greek fishing boats there but it's all gone modern now. Well, except for a few derelict looking bits of harbour machinery. Wandering back towards twon we spotted an old, ruined windmill and what looked like a very run down and abandoned water park.

Back in town we had a bit of a wander around to remind ourselves of the place and ended up down at sea again, looking out at the little island offshore with its obligatory wee white church. After that we found the bus stop, waiting over a hour for one to show up, and headed back to Hersonissos. You can see all of the pictures taken on this visit to Malia here.

An Island In The SunAn Island In The Sun

1 comment:

Pierre said...

Hi Allan - thanks for sharing some nice pictures and an interesting account of your visit to Malia. I've added a link to your article as I am sure visitors to our travel community at trivago would find it just as informative. Perhaps you would care to add some photos or a review?
Regards,
Pierre