As mentioned we went on a day trip to Spinalonga Island a few days ago (we actually went a million other places on the way there and afterwards too, but that’s just a completely different story) because I’ve wanted to go there since I read the book “The Island” by Victoria Hislop (or you can watch the series, apparently it’s amazing too). Spinalonga got quite a bit of history, not only the part that has been made famous by Hislop, but even before that, so it was a great experience to go there.
If you have never heard of The Island, the book is about the community that developed on Spinalonga after it was made into a Leper Colony. Leprosy patients from around Crete was sent here, basically to die, but they created a community with schools, shops, cinema, even a news paper was created. They had their own hospital and church as well. During WWII, this was a safe place to be, because the Germans didn’t want to risk getting Leprosy, so they didn’t occupy Spinalonga.
Originally, Spinalonga was not an island, it was part of the island of Crete. During Venetian occupation the island was carved out of the coast for defence purposes and a fort was built there (how amazing is that? They carved out an island!!). This island has got so much history from the Venetian Rule and the Ottoman Rule, but I am not going to bore you with a history lesson, if you are interested, use good old Google. It is quite interesting though and one of my favourite parts of travelling; you get to know the history of new places and you will actually remember it because you saw it with your own eyes!
I did of course take pictures (so you can see it through my eyes), and I have been trying for three hours to upload them and it keeps failing. I am not friends with the Wifis in Sitia anymore! But it did work in the end, so here you go. It’s quite spectacular how the entire island is built up with beautiful houses and forts with rock after rock after rock. So many of the houses are still ‘intact’ after so many years. If you are in the area, it’s definitely worth the trip over with a boat (we took the fast one, but there’s heaps of options).
Yesterday we went for a walk through a gorge outside of Sitia (can’t remember what the little village is called, it’s so many of them) called Richtis. Beautiful and quite refreshing. And it was so nice to move properly, actually walk on uneven surface, climb up some rocks and sneak through thick vegetation. A good three hour walk was definitely needed after a few days where we’ve spent a lot of time driving from destination to destination. Loved it. Made me feel alive again! I will upload some pictures for you later.
We’re counting the last few days in Sitia, which is a little sad, but I look forward to exploring the other side of Crete too, around Chania. Now it’s time to get the bikini on and go to the beach, way overdue for a cool-down!
Hope you are having a happy Tuesday, that you are making wise choices that will benefit you tomorrow! I had yoghurt with fruit for breakfast (and actually had a salad for dinner last night, unheard of in Greece, isn’t it? It wasn’t even a Greek salad!!) and it was tasty as always (and a much better choice than a cheese pie or sweet pastry, right??).
Look after your body, it’s the only one you’ve got! Yasas 🙂