Around Heraklion

Our final destination in Crete was the capital city of Heraklion (also spelled Iraklio). We used the city as a base to visit the Palace of Knossos before flying back to Athens to begin our journey home. Heraklion is the busy capital of Crete and it doesn’t get a lot of love from locals or tourists, but we found it an easy place to spend a couple days.

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Rethymno Eats

We were only in Rethymno for two days, but we found the city to have some of the best food of our trip. Cretans are very proud of their local meat and produce, and of their self-sufficiency in hard times, and this is reflected in the restaurant menus.

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Chania Eats

The food we came across in Chania was a bit more varied than the tavernas we found elsewhere, such as Athens and Rethymno and Heraklion. The food was universally excellent, and the variety was a nice change of pace around the midway point of our trip.

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Chania Sailing Club Café

The Chania Sailing Club, formed in 1990, promotes sailing by collaborating with various sailing schools, some of which we saw in action during our visit. Their facilities are housed in a huge Venetian warehouse at the end of the harbour, where the club also operates a very nice café and bar that is open from morning til very late.

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Exarchia

Depending on who you listen to Exarchia is either Athen’s cool counterculture student neighbourhood ⁠— or a dangerous hotbed of anarchists and illegal squats. When we visited on a weekday morning we found quiet streets filled with cafes, interesting shops, and just a bit more graffiti than other parts of the city (which to be honest is a lot of graffiti by normal standards).

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Varvakios Market

Varvakios Market, also known as the Athens Central Market, is located on Athinas Street between Monastiraki Square and Omonia Square. The main market building houses the butchers and fishmongers, but the market’s influence spreads into the surrounding streets where there are fruit and veggie stalls, dry goods vendors, and small specialty shops of many kinds.

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Gazi

The neighbourhood of Gazi in Athens is not far from our place in Thissio. It’s just a short hop over a railway bridge… and then across a wide avenue filled with speeding cars and smog-spewing scooters. It’s a bit reminiscent of the waterfront in Toronto, so close yet so far.

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Amsterdam Noord

Following a friendly tip for places to visit in Amsterdam away from the tourist core we found ourselves in Amsterdam Noord, heading to a small pizza place called the Kebec Micro Bakery in a former warehouse canteen near the NDSM Wharf.

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