Hania, Crete, Greece (Χανιά, Κρήτη, Ελλάδα)17 July 2016
We planned a two-week jaunt to Greece for a little holiday with Yannick's sister Fabienne and their dad François. After a restless night on the plane (thankfully no Hot Chocolate Boy on this flight), we arrived at Hania airport a little after 6am and were greeted by François who ferried us back to their accommodation so we could have much needed showers.
The shower was great. There's nothing quite like brushing your teeth and washing after a flight, even a short one. It must be something about the recycled air that makes you feel dirty. We discovered that the AirBNB hosts had left us a melon in the fridge, so we chopped that into wedges and ate it for breakfast. There was also a bunch of bananas, which I confiscated for use in future breakfasts. After a brief excursion to acquire more food supplies, we returned to the house so that the others could continue their morning meal with honey and Greek yoghurt.
The waterfront had a very Mediterranean feel overall, and I thought that there must have been something left over from the Venetian rule, as the brightly plastered buildings lining the promenade reminded me a little of seaside Italian towns like Portofino. On our way back to the car, we found that Hania was waking up slowly and more people were emerging into the sun with board shorts and Ray Bans on.
As it was about time to check into our new AirBNB for the next few days, we drove to a tiny mountainous village called Meskla and met our host at a café. There were tables and chairs outside under a concrete awning (to shield patrons from the heat of the day), and we chatted with our host over Cretan bevvies: Gerani lemonade, which tasted a bit like artificial banana; and Gerani orangeade, which was pretty good. Soon after sitting down, our host informed us that he had a job for François - a friend of his had received mail from Quebec, in French, which he needed translating. François was happy to help, and read out details of a Canadian pension. An odd job to be sure, but an important one!
Soft drinks drank, we followed him in our car up to the house. (We went "the good way", which was a slightly lengthier route, and very steep, but apparently less steep than the alternative.)
The others then took a swim at the beach, but I was too siestaful and stayed ashore, enjoying the sun. The wind picked up even more, and it became unpleasant to stay on the beach as coarse sand was blowing into our faces. Curse you, wind! Stopping by one of the supermarkets, we loaded up on fruit and other supplies. The proprietor was from the Netherlands, and had moved to Sougia thirty years previously. Apparently archaeological finds had halted further development in the seaside village, keeping it less built-up than what such an attractive location might have become. (Nuh-uh, resorts, we got ruins here. Run along.)
On the drive back to our accommodation, we collected some wild thyme growing from tiny scratchy bushes on the hillside - we had no spare bags so we commandeered François' hat to store the sprigs.
Today's post was almost called: Battling Sleep Demons in Paradise