In our lectionary readings for today, St. Paul talks about a bay in Crete, facing northwest and southwest, at the west end of Crete, called Phoenix Bay. I’m a bit of a geography nerd, but with the miracle of Google Maps, and the Internet, I found the bay, and even better, I found a hotel I would love to stay in.
It’s not a fancy hotel, and it’s not expensive. It appears simple and clean. But look at the location! Alone! You can’t even get to it by driving, you either drive to a village and take a ferry boat to the hotel, or you hike overland about half and hour to get there. It is ISOLATED! (I love isolated hotels!)
The hotel is calls itself the Old Phoenix Look at its setting:
What is so special about us?
The Old Phoenix can only be reached on foot or by boat. There is no sound of traffic and everything moves at a slow and laid-back pace.
The guests come here looking for peace so they are unlikely to be noisy themselves.
All our rooms have large balconies overlooking the Libyan sea.
Our food is simple, traditional Cretan fare, cooked daily from fresh local ingredients by the family.
Despite the quietness there is a whole range of things to do including lazing on the beach, snorkeling in some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, easy walks to serious hiking, canoeing and excursions by boat to the neighbouring villages.
Watching the two sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that have chosen to live in our bay since 2010 is also a nice addition to the quiet entertainment that I can be had during the day.
We have stayed in the general area before, and loved it. We were in our early 50’s, and we heard of a hike that was beautiful and challenging and unforgettable, and we knew we had to do it or we never would – 20 km, starting out hiking downhill, which sounds easy but after a couple kilometers you discover muscles and weaknesses you never knew you had. The only way we completed the hike was that there was no alternative. You had to keep going because there was only one way in and one way out.
At the end, we were almost dead from exhaustion, and the next day we could barely move. It’s one of the BEST things we have ever done. The Old Phoenix is not far from this 20 kilometer gorge.
I would really love to find this hotel and stay there four or five days, it looks special. You don’t find a lot of hotels like this one, remote, family owned, small, quiet – and every room with a gorgeous view of the sea.