Friday, September 29, 2017

Past POIs - Samaria Gorge [Chania, Crete, Greece]

Point of Interest: Samaria Gorge
Date Visited: June 2017

Samaria Gorge is a must see if you are in Chania. You do need to be somewhat physically fit, however, they do allocate roughly 8 hours for you to complete the hike (and we took roughly 7 hours for reference).

The hike itself is 16km in length (14km for the gorge and 2km to get to the town where you will take a ferry back). While Allison did the research for this trip, it is possible for you to coordinate the trip yourself, however, it came out to roughly 5 euros more per person when we went with the hotel. We thought that it would be best to go with a group since they would coordinate all the transfer points and making sure that everyone makes it back. For reference, it cost us 24 euros each at the hotel, there were shops in town that cost 19 euros.

You will need to wake up really early depending on where you start. Apparently you can start at other places such as Rethymnon, but I believe Chania is the closest, so you can sleep in a bit more. For reference, we started in Chania and had to get up and ready outside our hotel for 6:00am.

There is a pit stop before you get there at the local store which has both washroom as well as final items that you might have forgotten or need (such as hiking shoes, poles, snacks, etc). We got to the pit stop at 7:20am and had 25 minutes to get ready with our hike actually starting at 8:00am.

The beginning of the hike is basically all downhill at the beginning and it evens out about half way through. Bring hiking poles if you like, I didn't find them useful, but Allison did.

Note, we made it to the ferry at 5:30pm and we ended up at the hotel at 8:30pm.

Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Past POIs - Donnelly's Ice Cream [Saranac Lake, New York, USA]

Point of Interest: Donnelly's Ice Cream
Location: 1564 NY-86, Saranac Lake, NY, 12983, USA
Hours: 11:00am - 9:30pm daily
Cost: from $3.00 and up
Date Visited: August 2017

I normally don't write about food, but this place was definitely a highlight of our visit to Lake Placid and I thought I would write about it. When I saw the picture, I knew that I needed to pay this place a visit.

At Donnelly's, they use a very old ice cream maker and they actually only have one flavour daily. It is a mix of the flavour + vanilla, you don't actually get a choice. So if you are particular about your flavours, check their website ahead of time.

At the time of visit, it cost $3.60 for a regular sized cone which is roughly 5 swirls above the cone. The baby sized cone was $3.05 for roughly 3 swirls above the cone. We got the strawberry and vanilla the first day, which was good, and mountain almond with chocolate on the second day we visited which was absolutely amazing.

Well worth the detour if you are in the area to give it a try. It was pretty hard to miss since there was a line out the door both times we visited.

Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Past POIs - Adirondack Wildlife Refuge [Wilmington, New York]

Point of Interest: Adirondack Wildlife Refuge
Location: 977 Springfield Road, Wilmington, NY, 12997, USA
Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm, Thursday through Monday, closed Tuesday/Wednesday
Cost: free parking, no admission, operated by donations
Date Visited: August 2017

During our stay in Lake Placid, I thought it would be neat to visit the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge which is located in Wilmington (which we happened to be staying at). Wilmington is roughly 15 minutes away from Lake Placid itself, so, it is not very far, best of all, it is free and all they ask is for a small donation if you enjoyed your time there.

The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge's main attraction is the Wolf Man, Steve, who gives everyone a talk first thing in the morning at 10:00am (but check their website for more details) about the 3 wolves that are there. He will actually go into the wolf pen and interact with them while talking to you about them. It was a very neat experience, since, as Steve says, wolves are portrayed as violent animals on TV and movies, but they are actually very friendly.

He spoke for about an hour before we headed off to see the other animals there, but he was still talking by then. During our stay here, we got to see a bunch of eagles, some foxes, coyotes, just to name a few animals. All the animals there are ones that individuals found and told them about and are in their care if possible.

If you are interested, there are also walking/hiking trails on site as well. We did one, but there wasn't much to see for us. So your hiking may vary.

For more information, visit their website at

Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!