Follow Our Journey with Khuddam as they travel the World – Travel Blog

From a young age, the appeal of travel has fascinated me. My journey began with backpacking through Europe during my high school days, a time that predates the smartphone era. Grateful for the opportunity, now, as a father of two daughters, I am committed to nurturing in them the love for exploration and an open-mindedness that embraces diverse cultures and our rich history as humans.

 

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it? That surely is easy for Allah.

(29,20)

 

Say “Travel in the earth, and see how He originated the creation. Then will Allah provide the latter creation” Surely, Allah has power over all things.

(29:21)

 

During the summer, I had the opportunity to explore the Greek island of Crete, also known as “Kreta.” As widely recognized, Greece is famous for its many islands, totaling around 6000.

What makes Crete stand out? Crete distinguishes itself by being the largest island in the country, offering numerous activities and attractions such as sandy beaches, gorges, caves, and breathtaking picturesque countryside. Additionally, it is renowned for its diverse and delicious cuisine.

After doing much research, we commenced our journey, landing in Heraklion, the largest city on the island. Crete consists of two international airports, three main cities (Heraklion, Rethymno, and Chania), numerous villages and small towns and a diverse landscape. We wanted to immerse ourselves in the local life while also exploring the rural side of Crete. Our next destination was the village of Gerani, on the outskirts of Rethymno, a 2-hour drive which was stunning. The hilly terrain of Crete, coupled with a coastal highway, provided breathtaking views of the sea, mountains, and driving through the occasional valley—a truly enchanting combination. Our Air BnB was located atop a hill, it gave us picturesque panoramic views of the ocean.

As an avid traveler, I always strive to learn about history. Greece is a country with a rich history and its increasingly apparent as you explore the country. From a Muslim past to very Christian present; it is said that 98% of Greeks affiliate themselves with the Greek Orthodox Church. It’s impossible to go for even 10 minutes without encountering a church; whether you’re at the most secluded tourist spot, you’re bound to come across a church.

Gerani became our base; a small peaceful village, boasting only one supermarket and a handful of restaurants. Throughout our 10 day excursion, we visited the city of Chania situated on the western side of the Island. Chania had a distinctive Ottoman influence, a testament to the Ottoman Rule. The City had several Mosques now repurposed as Museums, really showcasing the impact and influence of the Muslim architecture across the Island. It is said that the year 1898 marked the last departure of the Ottoman Forces from the Island. Chania was one of the first cities on the Island that was under the Muslim Rule of the Ottomans.

City of Rethymno boasts a Grand Masjid which is also repurposed as a museum; this masjid was called Veli Pasha Mosque, named after Gazi Huseyn Pasha; an ottoman governor, who conquered the city of Rethymno and later managed to conquer city of Heraklion; both of which had long been under the rule of Europeans.

Throughout our 10 day stay, we had an amazing experience, with temperatures consistently exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. We ventured into cities, towns, and villages, encountering diverse landscapes from olive fields to grape farms. From sandy to rocky shores, for beach enthusiasts Crete offers some of the finest beaches in Europe. We were fortunate to witness various sights during our stay,

  • Elafonisi beach which is renowned for its pink and white sand.
  • Balos beach is acknowledged as one of Europe’s most stunning beaches.
  • Lake Kournas is a picturesque freshwater lake, unique as the only one on the island.
  • Kourtaliotiko Gorge, a personal favorite, features mountain freshwater cascading down; just be prepared for some challenging climbs.
  • Village of Georgioupoli from where we embarked on a boat trip.

For someone who was travelling with kids; there were several water parks on the Island which kids can enjoy. In general, it is an excellent island to explore, a span of 9-10 days is insufficient to fully discover the entirety of the island.

While travelling, it’s not merely about the sights that unfold before your eyes; it’s the intangible moments and emotions that linger, shaping the essence of your journey. The true value lies in what you take away from each experience, the stories you collect, and the personal growth that accompanies it.

Bilal Malik Sahib

Bilal Malik Sahib

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