City Overview, September 2011. Situated on the northern coast of Crete, Rethymno is home to forty thousand people and is the island’s third largest city. In truth though this is a city in name only, comprised as it is of leafy, peaceful streets, a still, picture-perfect harbour and languid, slow-moving locals. With a reputation as one of the best-preserved mediaeval cities in Greece, embark on a self-guided walking tour and you’ll be treated to some stunning Venetian architecture, a number of Turkish mosques and a couple of Catholic churches.
Quiet Side Street, September 2011. Here’s one of the aforementioned locals indulging in a glorious session of Sittin’ doin’ nothin’. There are endless fantastic little lanes like this one where you can grab a table and get breakfast served to you right on the street. Service can be painfully slow, so do it local style and grab a newspaper, take a nap or simply stare into space for a bit. Eventually you will get fed.
Tourist Tat, September 2011. There are also some buzzing, vibrant areas of the city to remind you that Rethymno is after all a major tourist destination. The beach is always crowded; there are plenty of bars catering to the live football crowd and even some nightclubs. Shopaholics will discover a seemingly endless supply of little shops like this one selling standard memorabilia, while those wanting to delve deeper into their pockets will find trendy fashion boutiques and swanky jewelry studios, along with stores specialising in local handmade products.
Paleokastro Hill, September 2011. This photo was taken on my way up to the city fortress, a 16th century citadel straddling the Aegean Sea. It’s a fair old hike up, but once you get to the top you can soak up the 360-degree views, check out an old mosque and say hello to the resident cats slinking about in the shade.
Aegean Sea, September 2011. The views from the top of the fortress are pretty sweet, especially the vast unending deep blue of The Sea of Crete bleeding into The Aegean Sea. The bounding sea to the west is The Ionian Sea, while The Mediterranean lies to the southeast.