Stepping back in time.
04.06.2013 - 04.06.2013 28 °C
Just before 5am this morning - for just a couple of seconds we heard quite a loud noise and felt a jolt. I thought it was Red bumping in to the furniture in the dark - but no. It was an earth tremor - yes, it's all happening here! It seems that wherever we go, trouble follows!
There was an earth tremor recorded in the Athens area - about 24 kms out of the city - measuring 4.7 on the Richter Scale, and occurred 5 kms below the earth's surface. Only a small one, but all the same it was weird and a bit scary - because at the time we weren't sure what it was or if there was more to follow. Quite a vulnerable feeling.
There was no going back to sleep after that so we got up and sorted ourselves out - leaving the hotel at about 6.15am - and walking across the road to the Departures section of Athens Airport. It was great staying here - a good hotel (Sofitel) and really convenient for an early getaway.
Up until now we've not had any problems with baggage and weights etc. Until today! The lady on the desk was training someone and she went by the book! Red's case was a couple of kilos over and she asked if we could make the bag lighter by taking out 2 kilos worth of "stuff". All this at the Check-In counter. Then she asked us to place our cabin baggage on the scales. This is a small suitcase with wheels suitable to put in the overhead locker in the plane. The allowance is 7 kilos. I started to panic, thinking - it's more than 7 kilos. I've been wheeling it around for weeks - ever since we bought it in Istanbul to put all our gifts and bits and pieces for home. On the scales it went -15 kilos!! Bloody hell! We had to check it in as normal baggage - 20 Euros. Not too bad I suppose. We had been thinking of sending things home - which would have cost a whole lot more. We've got one more flight to worry about - from Heraklion to Milan, and after that we'll be home and hosed because Qatar allow us 30 kilos each - but only 7 kilos in the cabin. Something tells me we'll be spreading the load a bit.
We flew the short distance to the island of Crete - and Chania (pronounced Harnia) - it took about 45 minutes. We arrived here just after 9am to a gorgeous day - Crete is quite a barren but beautiful island. We were met at the airport by a guy from a car rental company who whisked Red away to carry out the paperwork for our car hire. Yes, for the first time in our lives we're going to drive a left hand drive car on the right hand side of the road!
The distance from the airport to Chania Old Town is 16 kilometres - 16 long kilometres - with traffic increasing the closer we got to the town. Red was driving and I was trying to navigate from our tablet looking at a screen shot of a map - with blurred street names that were in Greek anyway. We were sticking to the speed limit (didn't dare do anything else!). Cars were passing us on double lines, scooters were everywhere, people on push bikes. One way streets, crowded two way streets - Oh! Get us out of here!!!
Finally! We made it to the parking area right on the water that is close to our apartment. "Stressful" is not a word that I would use for this experience. "Heart attack material" is getting closer. I've been fairly careful not to swear in this blog, for fear of offending any readers, but if I was going to swear or blaspheme at any point in this journal - then this would be it!! However - I will leave it all unsaid :-) !
Red stayed with the car and I took off on foot (tablet in hand) looking for our apartment - hopefully just a short distance away. I found it without too much trouble and was met by our lovely landlady Silvia (she is Italian and married to a Greek). What a gorgeous place this is - Chania is charm itself.
I went back to the car and Red and I then towed all our luggage from the car park to the ground floor of our apartment. It wasn't going to be ready until 1pm so we were able to leave everything with Silvia and we then went off exploring this beautiful little town.
The weather was just stunning - sunny and about 28 degrees. We were in jeans and joggers, so were quite uncomfortable and felt slightly out of place. We went to the old Market and had some lunch there, bought a gift for each of our little girls and found a supermarket to do some food shopping. Now that we have a car (oh no - I don't want to think about it) we can spread ourselves out and won't have to contain everything in our suitcases.
After a couple of hours we eventually found our way back to our apartment - it's easy to get lost in the maze of alleyways - but good fun because the shops are just AWESOME! We are on the second floor of this little building. There is only one apartment on each of floors 1, 2 and 3. It's pretty comfortable - bed is so so. We have two little balconies - each one is barely big enough to house the two of us.
So, we've just had a quiet afternoon. This is our chill out time. Almost 6 weeks away now and we are feeling our age! Red had a snooze for a while and I've been madly tapping away at this journal - getting things up to date.
We had an easy tea tonight - just baked beans on toast. This was really nice - to have something basic, after all our meals out.
We didn't take the camera out today and I've just now taken a photo tonight from our balcony. So just the one photo below. However!
Tomorrow will be different!