Somewhere in Europe #13: Rethymno, Crete (Greece)

r00sj3
🌹r00sj3🌹 @r00sj3May 2018 · 5 min read

The driver parked his bus somewhere on a large parking lot close to the water. Seconds after getting off the bus, my inner conflict was born. That sound of the waves crashing on the shore!! I saw the splashes reach way above the walls surrounding the parking lot. I didn't want to join the guided tour, I wanted to see the water!!

But as you can see, I joined the tour anyway. Because of FOMO.

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Street art at one of the larger plazas of Rethymno

We walked through the cosy streets of Rethymno. The pace was annoyingly slow. And the group was too large for me to take decent photos of the spots we passed. After half an hour we were released in the wild and all I could think about was the waves near the bus...

On the way back to the bus, I managed to finally snap some pictures of the spots that were too crowded earlier.

Rethymno is located exactly between the two large cities of Crete: Chania and Heraklion and was, therefore, an important town for the Venetian conquerors back in the days. They used it as a commercial in between station. The Venetian influences are still very visible in the old harbour.

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Old harbour with lighthouse in the back

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View of the old harbour from the lighthouse


The colourful houses in the old harbour are very similar to what you see in Chania. But commerce hasn't taken over as much as in the larger Chania. And so you can still find very authentic Cretan shops, bars and restaurants.

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The narrow streets of the old town were just gorgeous. Look at those flowers!! I could see myself having a long lunch there, reading a book and enjoying this town so much. But the waves were still calling and I only had half an hour before the bus would leave again.

I got slightly lost in the labyrinth of these fun streets. It was obvious that this old town is one of the best-preserved ones in Crete. It was almost like I time travelled... until I ran into some other tourists holding a camera.

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After the Venetian occupation, the Ottoman/Turkish Empire was in power for three centuries. And somehow I love what that did to Cretan architecture. It is an interesting mix of old Venetian style with Turkish influences.

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It's not all old in Rethymno

For instance, the Neratze Mosque was originally a Venetian Catholic church later turned into a mosque. I would never have guessed the original state of the mosque until you know the history of it.

The three domes that were added together with the minaret, of course, have a huge impact on your perception. But would you have guessed that this mosque has been turned back into a Christian church in the last century without the destruction of the minaret?

Nowadays, the mosque is officially a church but doesn't function as such. It is used for musical schooling and concerts. I guess the battle for this church/mosque was mostly because of the acoustics of that place.

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Neratze Mosque

I left this Mikrasiaton Square after the discovery of some amazing street art (see the first photo) and headed to the water. But not after I quickly stopped at the Rimondi Fountain.

This fountain is also a Venetian masterpiece. During the Venetian occupation, the cities in Crete often struggled with water shortages and this was the only public fountain in Rethymno that could be used for drinking water. I read that water is sometimes still running, but it was clearly dry when I was there.

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Rimondi Fountain

Finally ready for the waves! I checked the time and saw that I had to rush. And so I started walking. Soon I started hearing the sound of the waves again and I grabbed my camera like my best friend. This was going to be amazing, but I had no clue how to make a good photo of this. So I tried many things 😉.

I totally forgot that my filter was still stuck on my lens when I shot this photo. And I never thought about using burst mode. I also didn't consider that a wide angle lens would mean that I was going to get wet! But it was all worth it. It's not a perfect photo and next time I would do it differently. But it was the highlight of my trip to Rethymno. The buildup to the moment that I captured one of those waves was long and interesting. But absolutely worth it having the wave photo in my pocket too.

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I got my shot... and I got wet

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I love that old town alley way. Old Towns won my heart in Europe. Awesome post, you captured your experience of the place beautifully.


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So many amazing old towns in Europe! I wish I could capture them all! One town at a time though :)
Thanks for the compliment. Trying hard to find ways to make these stories more personal but still informative. :)


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Always a balancing act. You've done it quite well. I wouldn't mind exploring old towns one town at a time. There's a nice project for life :)


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