Sunday, 9 July 2017

CreteDream (part9)

On MyFirst CreteDream blogpost I told you about our new friend. He is Michael Dirksen and specialized -as well taking fabulous pics- guiding mountain bike tours on beautiful Crete. More about him you can find at CreteUnlimited. If you don't speak German don't be afraid; Michael speaks better English than I do! He also writes a blog (posts both in German and English).

Michael really is great. He saved our day. Well, few days. Thanks to our great host at Theano's House Michael heard about and sew the pic of map about our planned journey to find IdeonCave which YoungLady demanded to see.

First of all he explained it is just a big black hole in the ground behind a long journey. It is not popular. They don't make bus coach trips there. No public transportation connects; just shepherds and sheep who all will be just happy if we are lost and need to ask the way. In the cave there really is nothing left anymore and all the treasures are gone. When he understood we knew it all and still wanted to go because the point was to get there, to be there; in the Cave Of Zeus.

From Michael I learnt not to trust GoogleMaps on Crete despite all the advice for tourists tell you to do so instead of counting on paper maps on Crete. E-maps had pointed challenging off roads on our planned route. OldProperPaperMaps show us specified roads; which are bigger and which just paths. GPS is good to have but paper map out there is priceless. He kindly borrowed his own one for us and at the end we managed to find a shop that sold precise maps to get our own. With the help of his instructions our day out on Mt.Psiloritis became success.

Michael advised us to leave our car on the parking place where used to be a tavern and continue from there by foot.

From the parking place the access to the cave is signed. Actually it started already from the road leading to the parking place.

Here and there we saw red marks (also by the road when driving there). There is also road leading all the way to the cave from the parking place but it is not recommended to drive. The path from parking place to the cave is for about 500 meters long but it is a bit challenging. The road that leads there is easier but longer. If you are not used to walking and hiking take the road. But if walking in the nature is familiar to you or you have proper shoes and good physical condition with healthy knees, hips and back -try out the path.

On the half way (both ways) there are few resting places.

There is also a small church and church yard to have a picnic & break. Despite the path is just about 500 meters long it is to steep up hill and is more challenging than the length of it makes you to expect.

Notice that the cave itself is often closed and you may not get in the area. It really is just a big black hole in the ground.

But if you get there it is easy to image and feel the past history.

Steep stairs lead into the cave. More deeper you go more wet they get.

You should not try it out by bad knees & hips but if you finally get there, it is easy to see Zeus playing around there when you close your eyes.

If the area is closed don't be sad. Just walk around a bit and enjoy about the view.

It is worth of going only because of the stunning view.

All the way up you can hear the bells of sheep and goats from down the valley.

Despite the view is stunning there are all kind of flying insects.

You need proper shoes and attention to beware of your steps.

Even I lost my balance for once when coming down because of the loose stones. (Didn't hurt myself.) It all really was worth of it. Thanks to DearMichael YoungLady is still happy about reaching IdeonCave and it left indelible marks into HerHeart.

Michael advised us to stop at Sfentoni Cave. I've -or YoungLady- never seen a stalagmite cave. It was so much different than IdeonCave; also reachable by coach trips. The tours into Sfentoni Cave are done only guided. You buy tickets from the tavern and sit down to wait. If you want to avoid crowds be there just before it opens up.

The cave is reachable also by a wheel chair (all the way) despite the road down there (and the same way up) is a bit steep. If you go by a wheel chair I recommend someone to assist you just in case because the doors might be closed still when you get down there. Also going back up to the tavern and parking place may be too hard to wind-up if you have problems also with arms. It is a great place to see if you have some limitations to discover other caves. It is suitable also for children and it really can make you to feel like walking in  a Harry Potter movie scene!

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