Our recent stay in the city of Chania in Crete has been one of the most unexpected highlights of the trip thus far. As we mentioned in our previous post, we really had no idea what to expect when visiting Crete, but have been pleasantly surprised at every turn. The true difficulty is not saying that we like it here, but rather explaining why we are liking Chania so much. We haven’t been doing much of anything, haven’t been on any major day trips, and mostly have just explored the cities while eating good food.
But the reason we love Chania is more than just that.
Chania is one of those places that fits within our idealized notion of what a good travel city is supposed to be. Small, not over crowded with tourists (although plenty to go around), and full of character. But what gives the city its character? Let us show you with some of our favorite photos.
The Old Town
If there is one thing that travelers flock to Chania to see, it is the old town and port. This small neighborhood is full of architectural designs from the Venetians and the Turks, and even includes one of Europe’s oldest lighthouses.
Even though we were surrounded by visitors at this particular spot, we couldn’t help but feel impressed by the stunning view of Chania when looking back from the end of the harbor.
Character is: uniqueness.
I won’t argue with anyone that graffiti is a nuisance to a city trying to put on a good public face, but sometimes it can be quite beautiful. I’m not talking about people tagging their nicknames on walls or writing some less than thought out slogan against the government, but more those that borderline a quality piece of art or make us think.
In Chania, we found that these types of graffiti to be present in parts of the neighborhood that most visitors don’t normally go exploring. Often hidden in back alleys and tight spots, the following classics caught our eye and made us stop to appreciate them for a few moments.
Character is: emotion.
The Remains of Years Past
The economic issues of Greece are apparent in some corners of Chania, as many buildings and factories are found to be abandoned and beyond any recovery. In some cases these buildings look like they were partially demolished, with only fragments of the structure remaining when dismantling ceased.
It is unfortunate that these types of buildings exist, and I hope our tourism dollars are going to help out some, but from a photographic stand-point they are quite the interesting subjects.
Character is: gritty.
Chania is Beautiful
But while these photos above are a delight for the photographer inside us, we cannot help but think that Chania is one of the most beautiful coastal villages we’ve visited on this trip so far. Sure, it has amazing character and a rough appearance at some turns, but for the most part we went out of way to discover these. Everywhere else, there is beauty.
From the stunning port we shared above to the beaches, mountains, and sunsets, Chania has everything we were looking for in a Greek destination. Couple that with the rather massive island of Crete that it can be found on, and you have one amazing spot indeed.
Character is: beautiful.
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