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..............Cindys Gallery - Photos of my Life
Don't Arrive on a Sunday (page 4)
Soon after we left Santorini the sea got rougher and we were both having trouble and the chips and syrup cake were a definite mistake, they were handing out sick bags and we could hear people filling them. About 20 mins from Crete almost in union we both felt the need to have a bag close at hand. Cindy was first to grab the bag but not sick just needed the reassurance that it was there. I took it off her minutes later and reached but nothing came up. Just when we were preparing ourselves for a sea sick episode the sea suddenly got calm again and the coast of Crete came into view. Never the less we were both feeling very seedy and vowed that will be our last boat trip, as Cindy put it "fuck the ferries".

Arhains Crete

Main st Arhains

Our man was waiting for us with the rental car only one hitch, the village we were heading for did not come up on the GPS and as it was fast getting dark this may be a problem. We did however find the village but had to get the hotel to send out someone to show us the way. It was one of those places hidden in the hills that you would have trouble finding in daylight let alone dark.

LeftLeft - the killer staircase

Above - the atic bedroom

It turned out to be a very nice place, a little studio with the bedroom on a mezzanine level. The stairs were a work and safety hazard and the sloping ceiling was just waiting to knock your head off, lovely place to stay but the stairs were a death trap. We spent the day sightseeing and had an evening meal in the village of Arhanes. Next day we head for the ancient ruins at Phaistos down on the south coast of Crete, which date back to around 1700bc. I always enjoy a good ruin it makes you realize how short your life is when measured against these antiquities. We stopped in a small village to photograph a local market, Cindy took lots of pics, one trader was so pleased to have his picture taken in gave Cindy 3 cucumbers for her trouble.
Our GPS did a crap job of directing us, it told us to turn right or left at bends in the road, then said nothing at intersections. When we arrived at Rethymno it took us on a wild goose chase up some very narrow lanes, at one point we had to pull the mirrors in to get past a motorbike. We don't like places with lots of tourist and both Herakion and Rethymno have tourist to spare (especially Russians). The Venetian harbor at Rethymno is crowded with tavernas all trying to get you to eat or have a drink, shades of Patong with its touts. To get away from the tourist we have booked a place in a small village called Vemos situated in the hills. Crete is not like the Cycades islands of Mykonos or Santorini it reminds us more of Turkey with its stone builds and the odd minaret piercing the landscape.

Our stone house in Vamos

Stone house Vamos

Tomatoes are a memorable part of Greece, they taste like no other tomatoes you have ever eaten, and they are cheap and huge. Cindy just wants to buy them and eat them like fruit. The other thing you notice is cats, they are everywhere. People don't have their own rubbish bins there are large bins in the street for you to dispose of rubbish. This is where you find the cats, hanging around ready to dive in for anything that’s edible. We stopped one day to dump some rubbish and as Cindy threw in the bag a cat jumped out, it gave her a real start.

Ruins dating back to 1600bc

Minoan ruins

Crete has lots of old ruins dating back as far as 1600BC so they are on our list to visit. Evenings are spent in the taverna's eating too much and wondering what the free dessert will be tonight. There is usually a free drink in a small carafe called "Raki", if you have never tried it don't bother. It' a clear liquid that could also be used to strip paint off boats or power jet engines. Our last day in Crete was spent at Chania, similar to the other main towns but a little quieter. Cindy found a shoe shop and came out with 4 pairs, as women often do. Couldn't make her mind up so buy the lot, problem solved.

Posh hallway Chania

The red room Chania

I must tell you about the hotel in Chania. We choose it because it had parking, quite rare in these old towns. From the outside it looked fine, even inside was OK, and two old gentlemen were sitting in the foyer as we entered. One jumped up to serve us, he spoke no English, his, we suspect brother didn't either. The guy serving us then shouted "Maria, Maria" up the stairs which was followed by his brother doing the same. Then followed a shouted conversation with both men shouting at once and Maria answering from somewhere up the stair well. Cindy and I looked at one another and said "Faulty Towers" both at the same time. The scene was a cross between Faulty Towers and the toy shop scene from Little Britain, we were given our key plus the TV remote and the air conditioning controller. Another of those tiny lifts that take forever to arrive so we took the stairs to our 1st floor room. The hallway was very newly refurbished, the room also, it was several shades of red, it had that brothel feel, or may be the taste of 2 old men with no design sense.

When time came to head to the airport at Chania we tried to program the GPS, according to it there wasn't one. Finally found it under "Points of Interest - Transport", by that time we were following road signs to the airport. The GPS was saying "turn right, then turn right, turn left then turn right", it had no idea. After ignoring it for 5 minutes it finally got the hump and shut up completely.

Cindy just atracts them

Cats are everywhere

We only have the day in Athens at the 45 euro a night "Polis Grand Hotel", I wouldn't go as far as Grand but for 45 Euros it was great value. Athens is a very historic city but it is depressing in places, lots of boarded up shops and it's drowning in graffiti. We did a shop for Greek food to bring back, lots of olives, Greek not Turkish delight plus some wonderful fruits in syrup. Cindy happened on a dress shop so 3 more dresses and another pair of shoes. I like to use every opportunity to rub it in and keep telling her "You’re a very lucky girl" bit rich when she is spending her own money but I can't resist putting the boot in.

I hate the long flight back, we flew Qatar Airways so went via Doha, that has to be one of the worst air ports to transit through. They always bus you to the terminals, yes there are 3 of them and why they park the planes in one country and bus you to another beats me. We were on the transfer bus for 20 minutes that puts the aircraft about 8-10 kilometers from the terminal, for awhile there I thought they were going to drive us to Singapore. Inside the terminal building is cold and uninviting, the 2 main food outlets remind me of works canteens and pretty crap ones at that.

Did we enjoy our holiday of course we did but I get great satisfaction from whinging, the older you get the better you get at complaining or is it just bloody harder to please?.

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