Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Coffee in Georgiadi Park... with your dog

Betty and an 'admirer'
I have blogged before about the great cafe in Georgiadi Park. After a nice afternoon spent there recently, drinking beer and dog-watching, I thought I'd write a quick up-date.

It's one of the best places to go for a cheap drink with a great, relaxed atmosphere, in all of Heraklio. During the summer months this place is full of people from morning coffee time through to pretty late in the evening. Many people bring their young children and babies here, there are big groups of young people, students, middle aged, 'seniors', tourists, locals - a huge mix of people. And they are very dog friendly.

Some people allow their dogs the freedom to run around in the park, others keep them at their sides on the leash, but there are always at least 4 or 5 dogs, usually many more, enjoying life at the Parko Georgiadi.

Mayia checking out the competition
I was at the park on a sunny Saturday in late March. It was almost too full to find a seat. And full of dogs. Our group had Mayia, Betty and Poppy with us, who were joined by various other dogs of all sorts of shapes and sizes....

Poppy greeting some friends
With or without your dog, it's a great place to spend time in Heraklion in the summer.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Breakfast in the village of Krasi... with your dog

Poppy making herself comfortable in the doorway of the Cafe-Taverna Krassopsihia
Since I've been based in Malia these past few weeks for work, I've had a few chances explore the villages on the way up to, and around the Lasithi plateau. It's really one of my favourite parts of the island, especially with the snowy mountains in the background. The closest village to Malia - Krasi - is a nice place to hike from, or just to sit around in the cafes and enjoy the views. We did both of these things recently.  

We turned up on a sleepy Sunday morning, with two energetic dogs (off their leads), and took over the front terrace of the Cafe-Taverna Krassopsihia (just down the hill from the spring). Nobody seemed to mind. This was a great place to meet up, in time for a quick coffee before a hike in the mountains.

This cafe served a variety of mezedes, cheese pies, salads, fried courgettes etc. as well as coffee, wine, beer, raki...

Necessary pre-hike Greek coffee and cheese pie stop
There's not much to the village of Krasi, but it's quite a pretty, peaceful place, especially compared to the craziness of the nearby North coast towns. There are several tavernas and cafes, a potable water fountain, and an enormous old plane tree (the oldest in Crete?). This tree is said to be over 2000 years old. 
Ancient plane tree at Krasi

Water fountain
From Krasi you can take several paths up to the mountains behind the village - particularly towards the beautiful Nissimos Plateau (just south of the larger Lasithi Plateau) and the Post-Minoan settlement of Karfi (for more info see Cretanbeaches). Our two dogs loved exploring up on Nissimos Plateau, and Krasi makes a great start and end point, with its shady spots to rest, running water, and friendly cafes and tavernas.
View of Krasi from footpath above the village 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Malia Coastal Path... with your dog

I have already written about these wonderful coastal paths, and the archaeological sites that you will pass along this part of the coast - here. Last time I wrote the post, however, I had not half-adopted a beautiful black and white puppy, who, for now, is called Thyme (Thymari in Greek). I took Thymari with me along this route this week, down to the small cove at the end of the path. I'm not sure, but it seemed like the first time he'd been in the sea. First time or not, he loved it! 
Coastal path looking towards Malia

 This is a great area for dog walking (or puppy training), at least until the summer. There are lots of paths to explore, far from passing cars, with lots of plants and trees but good visibility. There are very few people around to get annoyed by an excitable pup, and no rubbish  for dogs to eat.

Thymari on the beach

At the moment I'm trying to just get Thymari used to the leash and walking at my side. I also simply want to give him some exercise and new experiences - as he seems like he could be a smart little dog if he was more confident.

I imagine there will be tourists in the hotel down by the beach from Easter onwards, and the beach is a bit too small to hide away with your dog - so this is an autumn - spring place to enjoy with your dog.

You can access this area from the beach road that runs by the Palace of Malia, or from the direction of Sisi.