The Crete Adventure, day 1 – departure

On this Sunday, 12th of July 2009, I get up at 2:45 in the morning, with astoundingly little problem. The BF and I pack up and go to Marcs, to whom we are still very grateful for driving us to the airport (big up to you and Lena for also getting up so early!). From his place we walk over garbage and drunk people to get to the car (there was an open-air festival that night). Along the drive we get to witness a very nice sunrise and manage to stay awake.

The airport in Stuttgart is rather small, so we find our check-in right away, but all the stores and food joints are closed and we have 2 hours to wait. At the security (thanks to a very unfriendly guard) we realise that the very strict security measures are not just for US-flights, which is a problem, because we have our toiletries in our backpacks (we thought the suitcases would be too heavy). Since they contain many non-transparent bottles and tubes of over 100ml, we have to rearrange our stuff and re-check-in one of the backpacks. Then we get to our gate, and watch the people waiting behave like cattle (I can’t help but moo once and a while). In our airplane, we have a lovely family in front of us, whose children’s names ring like sweet music in our ears: Chantal and Marcel. Marcel has a mullet (need I say more?). We pass the Alps, with blue skys and snow tops, fly over Croatia, have some turbulence due to back winds and arrive after 2h30 of flight. Only it seems much longer – we’re both still awake.

At the airport in Heraklion / Iraklio, our luggage is the first to come out! Sadly, we still have to wait for the backpack. After that, we find the bus that will take us to our hotel and wait some more. The nice tour lady explains to us that we need to change our watches (1 hour forward) and forget what we read on the internet – it is not around 30°C, but 40°C. I am dying. We have no water. At this point, I’m close to passing out from all the sleepiness, but the very bumpy bus and winding roads prevent me from it. Our hotel is the last on the route, the reception is very friendly, but the way to our room has many corners and steps. It’s uphill, so sadly I can’t just fall on my suitcase and roll.

It’s 2 in the afternoon and we’re finally ready to take a nap in our nice air-conditioned (!) new room. We set everything up (feels homey!) and lye down. Time passes. I’ve been tired all this time – and now I can’t fall asleep! I feel icky from the travel and the heat, and I’m very hungry. So I get up after all, go shower, go eat. We try a tavern next to our hotel with a nice serbian waitress and very yummy mezes platter. Then we decide to tour the “town”: across the tavern there is a mini-market. Next to the mini-market is the road to the beach. At the beach there is the “Cat Café” (full of stray cats), that we have to pass through in order to get to the sand/gravel. The rest of the main street is filled with little souvenir shops.

We get back to our hotel in time for the dinner buffet, where we find the last available table. The drinks are not included, but the food is good. There are French everywhere. We try our first words of Greek with the waitress (kalispera = good evening, efcharisto = thank you, parakalo = you’re welcome). Back in our room I crack open the Homer I brought with to read. Total of 1445 pages, I have a lot in front of me. And then I fall soundly asleep.


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