We have moved west along the northern coast of Crete to the city of Hania (also spelled Chania.)
Like Heraklion, this city has had multiple rulers. From the Minoans to the Greeks to the Romans to the Byzantines to the Arabs to the Venetians to the Ottomans to the present day, layers upon layers of history have left their mark on this charming place.
We arrived in early afternoon and had a leisurely lunch along the port, which is where we are staying. The rest of the day consisted of strolling around the Old Town and getting oriented for more serious sight-seeing tomorrow.
So far, we are in love with this place.
Don’s Food Corner
We strolled along the waterfront until we spied a restaurant with three octopuses hanging over a wire line. Since I’ve been hankering for some grilled octopus since we arrived in Crete — hoping to experience the incredible samplings I had in Sicily two years ago — we took a seat at one of the outdoor tables overlooking a charming enclave.
Jo was able to find a lamb pie on the menu that she could concentrate on while averting her gaze from the octopuses hanging over the wire nearby, and the grilled tentacles arranged on my plate. We shared a Greek salad to round out the meal. Jo claims that her pie, which was heavily flavored with mint and creamy with cheese, was excellent.
For me, however, I am sorry to report that the grilled octopus was tough — not like the the tender, sweet versions I enjoyed all over Sicily.
Unwilling to judge all of Crete (and Greece) by this bad experience, I broke our rule of basically eating only one meal a day and went out in the evening to try a different restaurant offering grilled octopus. I was assured by the head waiter that the octopus served at this restaurant, which is just a few doors down from the hotel where we are staying, was indeed the way I wanted the octopus to made. He wasn’t lying. This is what I’ve been looking for. Three huge tentacles, nicely grilled on the outside; tender and juicy on the inside. Best of all, it was the same price as my disappointing lunch octopus — $12. There may be a return visit to this restaurant, especially with a sunset for dessert.