island living, island leaving
...in which we saw two sunsets and one sunrise before reaching our destination.
days in crete
A month in Crete aimed to give us a break from stifling summer cities - and it achieved just that. Our days were spent sitting on the beach, watching the sun descend over the nearby mountain, and exploring our little bit of Heraklion's suburbs.
Some days we ventured in to Heraklion, paying the paltry €2 to go into Koules Fortress where one can get a view of the entire city on one side, and the Aegean sea on the other.
When it came time to leave Crete, we had decided to head to Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia. To achieve this would require either a stop over in Athens or Thessaloniki for a night, or 28 hours of straight travel. Not being ones to back down from a travel challenge, we went with the latter. To say goodbye to the land of souvlaki, we had our last meal serenaded under the umbrellas of Izmir Kebap - whose yogurt alone is worth the trip.
ferry to athens
Much like our ferry into Crete, the one going out departed at sunset to arrive in Athens at sunrise. Our ship in was a more modern version of this one, but the Wes Anderson and Kubrick vibes made our return trip slightly more interesting - and infinitely more creepy.
athens to skopje via thessaloniki
Arriving in Athens at 6:30AM, one is thrown into the hustle of an already awake city. Not having slept too well the previous night, we moved like zombies through the subway. Once disembarking the train, we followed my crudely drawn map that I had scrawled in my traveler's notebook the night before.
Finding our bus stop relatively easily thanks to my artistic prowess, we still had an hour and a half to kill - so do as the Grecians do, and sit in a cafe.
The bus ride itself was challenging, clocking in at over 7 hours, and by the time we arrived in Thessaloniki we had already been in transit for 20 hours. With a quick hour layover at the Thessaloniki train station (where we were both dropped off by, and picked up by a bus), we headed back out on the road for the final leg of the journey.
Four hours, an international border, and a time zone later, we had made it to Skopje - a land which has all the familiarities of our previous former Yugoslavian spots, but with an added touch of nostalgia in the form of some re-appropriated buses. Also large statues. So many large statues.