It took me 24 hours to get to this beach. One bike ride, a 3 hour bus ride, a 4 hour flight, a taxi, another 3 hour bus, another taxi, and a literal hike down the fact of a mountain, plus numerous pauses in between (including an overnight stay in a hotel) – to be specific. And what an adventure!
On Friday, 5/27, I finished the last exam of my master’s degree at 4:30 pm. FREE. That night, I was on Skyscanner. Crete has been a dream for as long as I remember, and when I saw an affordable last-minute flight for Sunday, of course I booked it. Within 24 hours, I made a plan, bought a backpack. Another 24 hours later, and here I was.
Crete is quite a large island, of course. It’s more the sort of place you would visit for a week or two at a time, not a mere two days. Two days, though, are better than zero, and I wouldn’t trade those two days for anything. It’s a bit hard to find the words to describe this entire experience. If I had to choose only one place to visit for the rest of my life, I really do mean it when I say that I would pick here.
It’s something about the mountains, the way they span across the horizon until they are no more than just hazy purple-blue shadows in the distance. The candy-colored houses aligned on the hillsides. The turquoise water that fades into a rich blue.
Seitan Limania is a secluded, small, and fairly hidden beach in the north east corner of Chania. I can’t even remember how I discovered it. I certainly had never heard of it before Friday. Somewhere between Google and Pinterest and TripAdvisor, it came to me, and it was the sort of thing where I immediately knew that was where I was going to go. I was nervous, at first, that after all my traveling, once I finally made it to Chania, I wouldn’t even be able to convince a taxi to take me the 40 minutes out there, down the winding mountain roads, never mind come back for me later in the day. I did find someone, though. All I can think of, as cliche as it is, is that it was meant to be.
And so I made it. And even after I made it, the journey wasn’t complete. Because to get to this beach, one can’t simply stroll across the sand. I had to physically climb straight down the face of the cliff. No path. Nothing to hold on to, anywhere. Tucked away. It was waiting, but I had to earn it.
When I tell people I made this trip alone, the typical reaction is, “You’re so brave,” and, “I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that.” I’m not brave. I have my moments of slight terror solo traveling – the “am I really doing this” type of feeling. I don’t have a secret super power. With travel, adventures, you just do it. You look at it for what it is and decide to do it anyway, because your heart craves it.
Life is full of beautiful things. Sometimes, we need to descend a few cliffs to get to them. But they are there, waiting for us.