Blog No. 2
We arrived in Rethymno by bus from Chania (1 hour) and walked quite a way toward the sea until we found the perfect pension thanks to the Lonely Planet Guide, which we purchased in Chania to make life a bit easier and their recommended budget room turned out to be better than expected. Located on the immediate edge of the charming port area, Atelier, which doubles as a pottery shop, had a studio apartment for 45 euro including kitchen and a beautiful balcony where we ate all our meals for the two days we spent in this beach town. It too is a former Venetian stronghold, later controlled by other foreign powers.
We walked for a few kilometers up and down the boardwalk looking for a good place to swim and on both days we found chairs and umbrellas for 5 euro. Unfortunately, unlike the calm of Chania beaches we visited, the strong waves at the Rethymno beaches made swimming difficult. We learned that the sun is very strong in these parts, returning home with sunburnt back and for Barbara, a heat rash. The lesson: cover every part of your exposed body when you react negatively to prolonged exposure. Even Barbara’s ear was burning from too much sun.
We had fun choosing our meals in the supermarkets and minimarkets that dot the boardwalk. We feasted on Taramosalata, Tzatziki, tomatoes, cukes, red peppers, avocado, feta, and black olives that had the texture of prunes and were not at all oily or salty as the ones we get in Canada. For about 1 euro each for the dips we ate like royalty on our peaceful terrace with a view of the town, avoiding the harassing waiters hustling for business all along the waterfront and serving exactly the same dishes in each restaurant.
We were tempted to stay more than two nights and simply read on our terrace, but decided to push ahead with our non-existent agenda and take a bus to Iraklio, which took about 1 ½ hours on a comfortable air-conditioned bus.
Hotels were not as charming here, at least the ones that fit our budget of 50 eruo max. We chose the Mirabella, which is 15 minutes from the Old Centre of town, for its air-conditioning and balcony although the room itself is tiny. We have two cots to sleep on and a sink in the room because the bathroom is the size of a small shower with a toilet beside it. After cooling off, (it’s 32 Celsius here), we took a cab to the palace at Knossos and the ruins there excavated and reconstructed according to the vivid imagination and scholarly values at the time of Sir Arthur Evans. An hour walking among the ruins in extreme heat was sufficient. We complemented the tour with a visit to the archeological museum in the heart of town where the major artifacts from the Minoan period are stored. We now sit in a breezy outdoor café sipping our café freddos, one with ice cream, and trying desperately to get on the wi fi. We will send this when we find a more desirable connection including pictures. Tomorrow we board a Catamaran to Paros, which takes only 4 hours and costs a farmegen (a fortune) 90 euro each.