Sunshine (and smiles) on a Greek island

In a recent posting, describing our dinner at the classic Parisian brasserie La Coupole, I mentioned in passing that my wife Jan and I had left Daglan for a short vacation on the island of Crete.

Now, here’s a look at the wonderful resort where we stayed, called The Royal Blue.

The resort is about an hour west of Crete’s capital, Heraklion, where our plane (from Orly, in Paris) had landed. The drive takes you through an amazing landscape of hills, mountains, valleys, sea views and cliffs.

To begin, here’s a look at the main resort buildings, with the largest pool on the property in the foreground:

Across the main pool, to the resort buildings.

As you’ll see in all my photos, the weather was sunny — in fact, only one morning did we have grey skies and a few drops of rain. Otherwise it was sunshine all the way. Because the weather was so fine, Jan and I typically ate lunch at the poolside restaurant, which was nicely shaded and offered a lovely view, like this:

The view from our usual lunch spot.

Amazingly, there are 59 pools on the property — two large ones for all guests to use, and then a lot of private pools. Some are not much more than plunge pools, for individual suites, while others are larger and serve several residential units. Here’s the smaller of the two main pools, where Jan (on the far right) was taking part in an exercise program:

Exercising in the smaller pool.

We found the food uniformly good, whether it was breakfast or dinner in the main dining room; breakfast served in our suite; or the lunch dishes at the poolside restaurant. Here’s an example: shrimp for Jan, and a really delicious linguine-with-seafood dish for me, so good that I had it twice.

My pasta dish was particularly great.

Our accommodations were terrific, we thought. We had requested a sea-view room, but were upgraded to a sea-view suite — with a large living room, huge bedroom with lots of closet space, and a large and well-equipped bathroom that included not only a walk-in shower but a king-size bathtub. Here’s yours truly one morning, at the door to our suite:

Welcome to our suite!

Something we found interesting but very pleasant was the resort’s habit of serving fresh fruit whenever we ordered drinks, whether we were beside the pool, up on the rooftop terrace bar, or on the terrace of our suite. Here’s a couple of drinks we ordered to our suite, after a hard day of lounging beside the pool:

Fresh fruit was the usual accompaniment.

And here’s a photo, taken at twilight, of the view from the terrace bar, looking down over the resort and the Mediterranean Sea:

Twilight on the upper terrace.

This is certainly a place we’d visit again. The evening entertainment was quite good and professional — including three tenors singing opera; traditional Greek dancing; a saxophonist; and some Greek music. So we left with reasonable tans and a lot of smiles, and some great memories.

 

 

 

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