Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Welcome to sunny Crete.

I believe the rain has stopped for now.  Or not – within a minute of typing that it had begun to hammer down, notified to us by the noise of water hitting foliage.

Yesterday I was reminded of why package holidays make life easier – rock up at the airport and the tour company take over all the effort. Not that yesterday’s travel was especially difficult, and in some ways was the kind of exploration we enjoy, but Chris was feeling really unwell with a nasty cold and the early start combined with a really crappy hire car raised the challenge level. There is also something about Greek that I had forgotten, that words frequently don’t get translated the same on every occasion, so that having managed to find the sister hotel to the one we were using (Dimitrios village hotel instead of Dimitrios beach hotel) and then entering the street address, sat nave declared that the address was not known. (The difference was down to the ‘official’ address being on Apostolon street and the map address being Afpostolon).

We drove this way 30 years ago, when Chris was pregnant with Ben.

I recall the drive quite well. Mostly it was beside the sea on a smallish road that sometimes had bits of dual carriageway, and we were able to drive right up to the town of Rethymno (or Rethymnon – as it used to be, names being updated round here). Now the coastline has been covered in hotels, shops and apartments, and the occasional ruined house was evidence of how things used to be. The roads between these buildings are tiny, narrow affairs that look like driveways or garage entrances, and when the satnav tried to take us down the first one I drove right past, thinking there was no road there.

Arrival eventually happened, and we slithered across slick marble floors to check in.

“Please sit over there just 2 minutes”

That was from the hotel receptionist, on seeing our reservation paperwork. Someone else was called, phone calls were made, another “2 minutes please wait” request made, and eventually a still smiling and cheerful receptionist showed us to our room.

The hotel was clearly once self-catering apartments as shown by the kitchenette in our room, but presumably a change in the tourism market made them go all inclusive, which is the package we have with them.

The room itself is the opposite of the one we had in Turkey last year – spacious and light (instead of small and dark, well designed) but with odd arrangements (wash basin in the main room, little wardrobe space, mirror + hair drier just a couple of feet in front of a pillar, tiny bathroom).  We got our bags in and then I hunted down a parking space, fortunately just round the corner by the sea front.

Chris went to bed with her cold, and I unpacked. Thrilling. ;-)

Dinner was the typical buffet thing, and pleasant enough, even though the dining area was crowded, and the first table we were allocated was taken by someone else while we got food. It’s a little odd to have wine and beer on tap for the taking, but the days of feeling like a kid in a sweetshop have long gone, and we just eat & drink what we would normally have as much as availability allows before hitting the slightly firm sack.

And it was night and it was morning, the second day.

We must have been tired yesterday, because we were in bed for 10 hours, and Chris had already slept some during the early evening.

So as alluded to in the introduction to this piece, today is another day with rain. It’s not cold – about 20’C – but it is a little humid and everything is damp outside. Given the nature of the hotel it’s tempting to explore the limits of the ‘all inclusiveness’ but instead we’ll probably head out for a moist walk along the sea front.

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