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Friday, June 28, 2019

My Frugal Greek Vacation -- Crete, Day 1, Chania

I am running on fumes, because I got fewer than 4 hours of sleep over the past 24 hours, but I wanted to get this post up already, because I know many people are anxious to hear about my trip. As soon as I finish this, then I'll go to bed.

I had an early morning flight to Greece, so I slept in the airport, but didn't get many hours of sleep. Once we arrived in Heraklion airport, I had arranged with my hostess, Vera, to take the bus to Chania, the city where she lived, and it was quite easy. Everyone I met spoke English and was happy to direct me. I first took one bus to the city center, for 1.2 Euros, then took another bus from the bus station to Chania, that cost 15.1 Euros.


Everyone I met was so sweet, and I met lots of jokesters and people who loved to laugh.



The bus ride was quite scenic....



And I saw some dinosaurs...


And old looking structures...



On one side of the road was mountains...


And villages...


And some stores looked like they were right out of my hometown in north east Ohio...

While others definitely looked foreign....



It seemed almost everywhere we went there was sea...


Gorgeous, stunning, I can't get enough of it...


And then partway through the ride this inspector gets on, and asks me for my ticket...

Which I had no clue where it was...


I ended up needing to look through the bus's trash can... where I finally found it...


Everyone was laughing... yes, even me.

Finally I got to Chania, and met my long time internet friend but first time in person friend Vera, whose awesome husband Trevor is running both a marathon and an ultra marathon next week and deserves a shout out here...


I went with Vera to her mom's house where I unpacked, ate lunch, and settled in...


And then we took the bus in to the city center. 



Our first stop was visiting the city's market...



Filled with lots of touristy kitsch...


And lots and lots of olives, prepackaged in a way that I'd never seen before... and Vera said is geared towards tourists...




They even had these olives filled with almonds... sounds strange. Ever had or seen them before?


Vera was trying to teach me to read Greek words... All my old math skills came back into play... I still can only read a few, but I know that both of the green words below say Gregory's... and I'm hoping to practice more...




We then walked down the city center...


Saw horse drawn carriages... and this hamam, a Turkish bathhouse from the times of the Ottoman occupation of Crete... 


And some pretty shops... 


Like this...


And more selfies...


And finally we got to the old Venitian port... 


...from when the Venetial kingdom controlled Crete...


We stopped to have a drink overlooking the port...


And then we went to do grocery shopping... 

After which we went to see a five Euro performance of a type of Greek music called Rebetiko...


And I, having no clue what to expect, actually quite enjoyed it....


But Vera hated it, as it was nothing like what Rebetiko is really supposed to be like...

We ended up leaving in the middle, because I was and am exhausted, and still had more to do tonight before going to bed, like cooking food for tomorrow, since we have a busy day planned...

Can't wait to see what the next leg of my trip is like. So far I've really been enjoying myself!

But my food is ready, and my bed is calling me.

So long...

Have you ever been to Greece? Or Crete? What was your impression like?

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