Day 14 – last day at the beach

Today is Saturday, our last full day on Crete. It is clear to us we need to make the max of it – which means hanging out at the beach and not straining ourselves one bit. The only problem is: do we spend one last time at our beloved clean and calm River beach, or do we try the new one? The BF didn’t want to leave anything untried, and even though I had no idea where the WC was (or how clean it would be) and it seemed more crowded, we headed for the new found “official” beach. When we got there, through the “official” street, that could easily be overlooked and that lead past construction sites of new hotels and a gravel parking lot, it seemed to be divided into two parts: on the right, several occupied lounge chairs with noisy tourists and a guy in a sombrero watching over the whole thing, eager to collect his money with a fake smile. On the left: completely empty lounge chairs, closed umbrellas and an empty tent. So we ask sombrero guy on the right how much it costs. When he tells us the price, which is much higher than what we’d like to pay, he also explains that the part on the left is reserved for the hotel. Just as we turn to leave for the less expensive River beach, the guy on the left comes back to his tent and says we can pick an umbrella. Apparently, it’s not private – the touristy guy on the right just likes to make people believe that.

So we choose our spot, in the middle of empty chairs, feeling mighty important. We wonder why he doesn’t leave the umbrellas up, because the sand is much to hot to stand on when it hasn’t been in the shade. These lounge chairs even come with a complementary garbage can and plastic chair to put our stuff on. We strip down and go directly in the water. Then the usual: alternating swimming, reading and tanning till we get hungry. Just on the corner of the “official” beach street, we see a grill joint that serves gyros, something we’ve been looking for this whole time. We try to find a spot near a fan, away from the grill. It’s all outside and in the shade, but still, just by sitting there and doing absolutely nothing, we’re already sweating profusely. This heat is incredible. I eat a very yummy chilli burger (because things weren’t already hot enough…) and think it’s really too bad we didn’t discover this place earlier. I am totally full, for a fair price. Plus, we have a great view on the mini crossroad of death. Not quite as spectacular as the big one, but still entertaining. And while we were sitting there, a middle-aged man kept walking past the restaurant, first one way then the other, muttering to himself. Dinner with a show!

Trying to relieve ourselves of the heat, we decide to look at the bakery across the street for some sweet dessert. The name took up the whole outside wall and I was curious to see what they had inside. I’m glad we went – there were baklava and other oriental honey-drenched goods, viennoiseries just like in France and all the yummy pastries you could imagine. Even in miniature form! But since we were stuffed from lunch and just needed something to cool off, we took the flavored ice cones instead. Which were really good, too. Plus it had the added fun of turning our tongues red and orange.

That day, I also had to take leave of my trusty flip-flops. They had already been battered a little along the trip, with the front side opening and showing the layers. On the way to lunch, however, the part that goes through the toes snapped off, which made it impossible to walk with. The front kept flipping over, making me trip, and there was nothing keeping it under my foot. Luckily, there were cheap kitsch stores all over the place, so we went into the nearest one to find new sandals. I actually found a pair that will serve longer than just as a quick fix. They looked nice and were even on sale! At first I was afraid it would be an imitation of some known brand, which might get us in trouble at the customs, but after wearing them for two days they looked like they belonged to me. So that evening I not only had to say goodbye to my flip-flops, but also to the beach and our time on Crete. It was a sad evening and I didn’t want to go to bed – so that I didn’t have to get up the next morning on our last day of vacation.

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