We are now on Crete. This was a very big day that started as our ferry docked at the Souda Bay Wharf at 0530 and finished as we arrived at our hotel at Rethymon at 1830. But for all that, it was a great day.
Breakfast in Chania and then following the withdrawal route over the mountains to Sfarkia where the main evacuation took place. Don and Jill had their father in that action as one of the 2/3 Field Regt members who dragged their gun up the hill and across the range firing as part of the rear defensive group. There were only 2 Field Guns taken to the area above Sfarkia and they contributed to the slowing of the German pursuers.
This heroic effort helped many to be rescued but they were not able themselves to be evacuated and were captured by the Germans. It was not at Sfarkia where they were captured but further west at Loutro where they had made their way hoping to find a boat that they could sail south and safety themselves. The boat they found was then bombed by a German plane which left them stranded and finally picked up by the Germans. It is interesting after talking to the locals there that Loutro was set up as a communication centre to relay messages from Libya; Rommel of course.
We returned by boat to Sfarkia, after coffee overlooking the beautiful cove at Loutro and then visited the 6 Division Memorial before continuing our journey east towards Preveli Monastery. On the way, through lovely little villages set in the hills overlooking the Libyan Sea we reached a little cove where we stopped for a wonderful lunch.
Next stop was Preveli where we visited the Chapel and the Museum with its artefacts from the 16th, 17th and 19th Centuries. A long day but well received as we finally made our way back to Rethymon and home for the next 3 nights.