After breakfast, we started out in different directions. I went to the right, around the old fort, and visited the Naval Museum, where I saw models of several ships celebrated in the memory of the Greek navy, including the armored cruiser Geórgios Avérof, once the pride of the service. It was the last of three such ships of that type, built early in the 20th century by an Italian government that decided it could really afford only the first two. The Greek government made an offer and took the third off their hands, substantially assisted in this transaction by a legacy from a Greek millionaire with a non-Hellenic surname. The grateful government named the ship after him.
The navy took possession in 1911, in time for the First Balkan War, which took place the next year. The Avérof’s victories, which gave the Greeks naval supremacy in that conflict, aroused wild enthusiasm in the country. I couldn’t find the date of this picture, but it shows the ship during its days of glory. (As one minor effect of the patriotic frenzy, a Greek restaurant where we used to eat in Boston—and later in Cambridge, where it moved)—bore the battleship’s name. That restaurant is gone now, and I don't know whether the US still has any Avérof Restaurants, but of course there are plenty in Greece.)

The ship has a long and interesting history.
Kastélli from across the harbor
I also saw a model of the fortified city of Chaniá as it looked in Venetian times. The most important buildings, including administrative offices, the governor’s palace, the Roman Catholic cathedral, and the homes of many leading nobles, were located on high ground in the angle between the inner and outer harbors, which is still called Kastélli. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to see there now, because of the bombing of 1941. Long before the Luftwaffe, the Venetians, and even the Romans, this hill was the site of a Minoan city named Cydonia. (That’s the Latin version; in Greek it’s Kidonía.) No visible traces of Cydonia remain, but according to the Rough Guide, archaeological excavations have been going on there for a long time, in vacant lots between the buildings that still stand, so something of the city may come to light in the future.
Weaver in her family's shop
Dorothea, meanwhile, went poking into gift shops in the Old Town. Some of the things she saw stirred memories. There was a weaver’s shop where two looms were set up. The family—three generations—makes almost all the fabric sold in the shop: wool, cotton, and linen, much of it in traditional Cretan patterns. They also do embroidery on fabric that they weave.Dorothea was reminded of fabric that her grandmother had made before leaving Greece for the US. In the Folklore Museum, she saw many more embroidered items.
One shop had hanging kandília like the one she’d often seen in her grandmother’s house in Lynn, Massachusetts. Kandília are little glass votive lamps, similar to those you see in many churches—sometimes clear, sometimes red or blue—with candles inside. Hanging kandília enclose the glass lamp in a metal sheath to which chains can be attached, and often have hinged covers like the example in this picture. The metalwork can be elaborate, with perforations that not only let in oxygen for the flame but let the light shine out through the colored glass. As in many Greek homes, Dorothea's yiáyia’s kandíli hung next to an icon of the Virgin and Child and was kept burning all the time.

In Greece, a kandíli was often filled with olive oil and lit with a floating wick. Nowadays, at least, candles are more commonly used in America, but both lamps and wicks are available through the Internet, so Greek-Americans can follow the older tradition if they want to (and don't mind paying a lot more for the oil). Those who are equally devout but less sentimental can even buy electrically lit kandília.

We met at the hotel at 12:30 and set out for a longer excursion—all the way around the outer harbor, and then down the length of the inner harbor to one of the still standing Venetian naval arsenal buildings. Designated an annex of the Naval Museum I had just been to, it houses a full-sized and seaworthy replica of a Minoan ship, which I was eager to see.
Mosque of the Janissaries
We walked down our own (western) side of the outer harbor, as we had already done several times, and continued around the end of the harbor and back up the eastern side. Besides the continuing stretch of shops, clubs, and restaurants, the most important feature of this part of the quay is the multidomed Mosque of the Janissaries, also called the Hassan Pasha Mosque. Like many other mosques the Turks left behind in Crete, it is preserved as a piece of history—the big dome is a restoration—and is currently used as an exhibition venue. Inside, we saw paintings by local artists. The only sign of the mosque's original religious purpose was the mihrab—the niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca so that worshippers can face that way when praying.

The Janissaries were the preeminent foot soldiers of the Ottoman empire. They played a big part in the Turkish invasion of Crete in 1645 and built this mosque in the same year, after Chaniá became the first major Cretan city to fall. From then until the 19th century there were always Janissaries in Crete, ensuring that Turkish authority was maintained and Turkish landlords got their due.
Memorial of the 1941 bombing
The west side of the outer harbor slopes uphill right from the water’s edge, but on the west side the mosque is surrounded by a biggish flat area backed by a bluff steep enough that you have to go some distance around to find a street that leads up to the top, where the district still called Kastélli occupies the site of the Venetian administrators’ stronghold (not to mention the ancient cities that preceded Chaniá, including Minoan Cydonia). We never got up there, but we could see a row of hotels at the top of the bluff, with their names prominent on big signboards. Much has obviously been rebuilt after the pounding that area got from the Luftwaffe in 1941, but a small area at the foot of the bluff has been deliberately left in ruins, with a placard commemorating the city’s suffering and losses during that time.

Coming to the inner harbor, we turned right and walked along a busy street with some hotels and port buildings on our right and a bustling marina on our left. The inner harbor, much calmer on this breezy day than the outer, is the clear choice of nearly everyone going in and out of Chaniá by water, yachtsman or fisherman, and the many docks we passed were crowded with boats. (One exception was an excursion boat that we always saw moored in the outer harbor, near the Mosque of the Janissaries.) We passed a row of seven huge arsenali, built to shelter Venice’s big war galleys. Some were in good repair, some in bad, but there they are, nearly four centuries old—Chaniá intends to put them to some touristically desirable use, but has not yet managed to do so.
Inner harbor
Three more of these Brobdygnagian Quonset huts stand at the far end of the inner harbor, where we were bound, one of them home to the Minoan ship. (You can see two of the three at the end of the harbor in this picture, but the one that houses the Minoan ship is out of sight to the right. The peaked roofs that have been added to slow or stop deterioration makes them look less like Quonset huts than they do from inside, but if you look at the antique view of Chaniá in the heading at the beginning of this section, you can see nine in the place where there are now seven, all with their vaulted roofs exposed the way the Venetians built them. Of course there was no quay to obstruct the entrances back then.(Either the drawing was made before they got around to building the three arsenali at the end of the harbor, or else the artist based the drawing on an inaccurate source.)
Reconstructed Minoan ship
When we got under the vaulted roof of the long building, we confronted the ship, which sat up on a high, custom-built trailer, just behind a smaller model of itself. Stairs at the stern led to a scaffolded walkway running along the port side (which was the one closer to the wall) so that visitors could walk the full length of the ship at gunwale level and get a good view of the inside.
To Karnáyio
After looking around the ship, we stopped at the little museum desk and bought prints of four small early maps of Crete. On our way back toward the outer harbor, we detoured a short way from the waterside to eat lunch at a taverna named To Karnáyio (Το Καρνάγιο). We couldn’t find that word in our dictionary, but the waiter told us it meant ‘Shipyard,’ which the building had been part of in former times. We shared a Cretan salad that contained tomato, green peppers, olives, myzíthra (a mild, soft goat cheese), and whole-wheat paximádi—that’s dry toast, remember?—nicely flavored with the pulp of crushed fresh tomatoes. (The combination of paximádi and crushed tomatoes is a Cretan staple, often served by itself as a salad called dákos—another Greek word that begins with the comparatively rare sound of English d.)

We decided to forget the expense and have our first seafood meal. Like all seaside towns in Greece, Chaniá makes rather a specialty of seafood, but (as in the Mediterranean generally) overfishing and the consequent catch limitations have made those fish that are best for eating very expensive. The bream I chose were priced at €60 a kilo. Of course I wasn’t about to eat 2.2 lb. of fish, but the price was charged for the whole fish, not just the filets. These fish were small, so the two I picked came to 0.39 kilos, or about 14 oz., including heads, tails, skin, and bones. (They had been cleaned, however, so I didn’t have to pay for the innards.) For €23.40 (about $34 at that time) I got to eat perhaps 7 or 8 oz. of tasty though slightly bony fish. Dorothea ordered swordfish, which was less extravagantly priced, but found it overcooked and tasting perhaps a little less than fresh. We complemented our fish with a big order of French fries and a half-liter of retsina, both of which we shared, cutting the wine with a little water, and were given baklava and raki at the end of the meal.
Feline observer
The meal wasn’t cheap, but despite our slight disappointment with the main course, we considered it a success: the French fries were fine, and the Cretan salad was transcendent. And we ate sitting on a pleasant tree-shaded terrace in front of the restaurant. A cat made a polite effort to cadge a few scraps, but left peacefully after being ignored for a few minutes. (We avoided feeding the dogs and cats that occasionally showed up during our meals, less because we begrudged the animals than because we thought it might offend the restaurant owners.) The cat observed us from a flowering tree as we left.

Coming back to the harborside near the marina, we saw the woman whom Dorothea had talked with while we waited in Athens for the Chaniá plane. Dorothea was glad to see her again and to learn her name (María), which she had forgotten to ask. María was with her family, and introduced her husband and daughter to Dorothea, while I stood by smiling benevolently, as a polite non-speaker of Greek should do in these circumstances.

We walked back to the landward end of the outer harbor, but instead of going all the way around to our hotel, we turned left and walked a few blocks inland to Skrydlóf street, which was once home to Chaniá’s leather craftsmen, and is still filled with shops that sell sandals, belts, wallets, and other things made of leather, though we never saw the workshops where these were made.
Leather goods shop on Skrydlof street
Perhaps it was after-lunch lethargy, but neither of us snapped another photo until after dinner that night. I’ve filled in with a few that I purloined from the Web. This one shows what a typical shop on Skridlóf looks like—the short street is lined with places like this. The guidebooks told us these shops offered the best prices for leather goods in Crete, and the prices were certainly reasonable. Each of us bought a pretty nice wallet for €9 (about $13), and Dorothea found a little purse with a cat on it for our granddaughter. I have no way of knowing if any of these were made in Crete, let alone Chaniá—my wallet says “Diesel” on it, but it could be a local knockoff—or it could be an item from a low-priced line that really does belong to that Italian company. Like the Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses I bought in one of the shops on the quay, I don’t really care who made it; all I wanted was a serviceable article at a low price (though I could live without the conspicuous metallic “D&G” logos on both temple pieces of the sunglasses).

On our way back to the hotel, we turned up Kondyláki street to make a reservation at To Cháni so that we could go there and listen to music after having dinner. But to our great disappointment, we found a note posted on the front of the restaurant announcing that it would be closed on both Saturday and Sunday. That must have been an unforeseen development, because the woman we talked to the day before had told us they were open every night. Alas, we had now lost our chance to go there, because we were due to leave Chaniá on Monday morning.

Our next stop was Tamám on Zambéliou street, which occupies a building that was once a Turkish bath. It’s an excellent and very popular restaurant, so we knew we’d need a reservation on a Saturday night. We made one for 8:00.
Tamám tables on Zambéliou street
We got back to the Palazzo at 4:30, and took it easy until 7:00, when we went out and strolled along the quay until it was time to head for Tamám. A good many people were there already, and we were glad of our reservation, which got us seated right away at a table on the narrow little street. While there we saw many people arrive too late to be seated. Some left, some waited in the bar, and some settled for indoor tables, but it was a warm, pleasant night and much nicer to sit outside. We had read reviews on the Trip Advisor site in which people who’d dined at outside tables, not only at Tamám but at other restaurants in similar locations, complained about being jostled while they ate by the crowds who squeezed past them in the narrow streets. But that must have happened during the height of the tourist season; we never encountered anything of that sort while we were in Crete. Although that night there were no unoccupied tables on Zambéliou street—and this is really the entire width of it outside Tamám—there wasn't much more traffic up and down the street than you can see in this picture (borrowed from the restaurant's own site).
Tamám's doorway
The menu at Tamám is “adventurous Greek” (according to the Rough Guide) and includes some Turkish dishes. Everything we tried was great. I started off with a plate of marinated anchovies—not heavily salted, which is the only way we generally experience anchovies in the US, but marinated more or less in the pickly way herring is—while Dorothea tried a Cretan form of spanakópita. It was made with various chórta (‘greens’) mixed with a bit of cheese, wrapped in thin pie crust, and deep-fried. She found it amazingly light and non-greasy in spite of the frying.

My main course was a Turkish lamb-and-eggplant dish called Hunkar Beyendi (which is translated as ‘Sultan’s Delight’ or ‘Your Majesty Liked It’) and Dorothea’s was a green pepper and a tomato, both filled with stuffing and served with yogurt. We shared the restaurant’s own “Tamám salad,” a mixture of chórta and fresh herbs (especially dill), sliced tomatoes, avocado mashed as a dressing, and a liberal sprinkling of walnuts. The complimentary dessert was a little cake made with semolina, coconut, and lemon, served with the usual rakí. Everything was fantastic, and the cost was 20% less than we’d paid for our lunch.
Mosque of the Janissaries at night
Walking back along the quay toward the Palazzo, we met David and Carol sitting at one of the harborside tavernas. They’d just finished a drink and were about to leave, so after a brief conversation we said goodbye. Dorothea and I took one of the benches on the quay (where—the sea being calm at the moment—we were not in danger of getting our feet wet) and sat there looking at the lights around the Mosque of the Janissaries on the other side of the harbor. (Dorothea took this picture and did pretty well for an old lady without a tripod.) It was well after 10:00 when we got back to the Palazzo, so we used the front-door key Iríni had given us.