Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crete: Day 5 - Samaria Gorge

The plan was to walk from Agia Roumeli up to the old town of Samaria and back, about 15 km.  The weather was absolutely ideal.  Being the only visitors in the entire gorge made the experience really special and rare, as this is a hugely popular place in peak season.  The path was fine and in good condition, though several of the bridges had not yet been set up, so we had to ford the creek several times.
The Portes
Note the absence of a bridge at the Portes, the narrowest part of the gorge.  The geology is remarkable, characterized by the clear display of tectonic forces.
Tectonics shown in the Limestone strata
The old village of Samaria, or Ossia Maria, founded in the 14th century, has an interesting history as an outpost, that has never been conquered.  It is ideally protected naturally, and the man-made walls make an easy trap for any invader.
Ossia Maria

I also saw two Kri-Kri, the elusive and iconic acrobatic native goats. More Samaria Gorge photos here.

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