by Maud Vidal-Naquet LE FIGARO (translated from French)
Our travel guide essentials for Chania and its surroundings. Western Crete can be discovered from its capital with Venetian influences, a starting point for sublime beaches and the Samaria gorges.
Call it Chania, the locals also say Hania or Chania. One thing is certain: one can only fall in love with the most attractive city of Crete , which is a destination in its own right for lovers of Greece . Wrapping around its charming Venetian port and protected by walls, its historic center is a paradise for strolling on the quays and in its alleys. Long capital of the island, it is covered with Ottoman, Venetian, Jewish and Greek monuments.
This city vibrates constantly and is full of pretty trendy addresses: boutique hotels, young or sophisticated restaurants, tempting shops of designers or local products … Chania is an excellent base for exploring the western part of the island.
From Fort Firkas, which houses the maritime museum to the Nério Moro Docks , a stroll along the quays includes welcoming terraces and spectacular monuments: fortifications, the Janissaries’ mosque transformed into an exhibition hall, old Venetian arsenals and, just opposite, the 15th century lighthouse. which stands proudly at the end of the dike, the object of a magnificent walk …
In the old quarters, many old buildings have been converted. Thus the archaeological museum , housed in a magnificent Venetian church, is a must.
On Wednesday European Commission proposed to create a “Digital Green Certificate” to facilitate safe, unencumbered travel inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic, meant to save this summer.
The idea of a “Certificate” was proposed by Greece, with the support of the Mediterranean nations, in order to unlock travel for the summer holidays on 2021.
A proof that a person has been either: – vaccinated against COVID-19 – received a negative test result (RT-PCR) or recovered from COVID-19 would be the “Digital Green Certificate”.
“With the Digital Green Certificate, we are taking a European approach to ensure EU citizens and their family members can travel safely and with minimum restrictions this summer,” Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said.
Digital Green Certificate will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate and it will be available – free of charge – in digital or paper format. The Commission will build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU, and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates.
Commissioner Reynders highlighted that the Digital Green Certificate will not be a pre-condition to free movement and will not discriminate in any way.
Moreover, according to the Commission:
– All people – vaccinated and non-vaccinated – should benefit from a Digital Green Certificate when travelling in the EU. To prevent discrimination against individuals who are not vaccinated, the Commission proposes to create not only an interoperable vaccination certificate, but also COVID-19 test certificates and certificates for persons who have recovered from COVID-19. – Same right for travellers with the Digital Green Certificate – where Member States accept proof of vaccination to waive certain public health restrictions such as testing or quarantine, they would be required to accept, under the same conditions, vaccination certificates issued under the Digital Green Certificate system. This obligation would be limited to vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorisation, but Member States can decide to accept other vaccines in addition. – Notification of other measures – if a Member State continues to require holders of a Digital Green Certificate to quarantine or test, it must notify the Commission and all other Member States and explain the reasons for such measures.
To be ready before the summer, the Commission’s proposal for the Digital Green Certificate needs a swift adoption by the European Parliament and the Council.
Green Certificate to support free movement
EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova said “The Digital Green Certificate offers an EU-wide solution to ensure that EU citizens benefit from a harmonized digital tool to support free movement in the EU”.
“This is a good message in support of recovery. Our key objectives are to offer an easy to use, non-discriminatory and secure tool that fully respects data protection. And we continue working towards international convergence with other partners.”
Due to COVID restrictions, all reservations– even those described as “Non Refundable”, that are scheduled for arrival on 2021, can be cancelled or postponed without any penalty or extra charge, for new reservation dates, for future accommodation, any time until the 31 December 2022.
Clean Monday, celebrated by the Orthodox Church, marks the beginning of the Great Fast, of the Forty Days Lent, the preparatory period before the great feast of Easter “Pascha”, one of the most important holiday in Christianity.
“Clean Monday” customs are date back to ancient times and includes flying kites (which are symbolic of the Resurrection) and consumption of very special delicacies:
Lagana, a special kind of “azyme” bread (unleavened) symbolizes the manna offered by God, which is baked only on that day
Halvas (Halvah) a semolina-based ahomemade plain and densely-grained confection made of ground sesame, sugar, water and oil, sweetened with honey or “petimezi” (grape must made syrup)
Taramas the small salty beads of the red caviar (fish roe)