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Chania

Last day in Chania before heading east.

semi-overcast 35 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

It's our last day in Chania, so we thought that we'd make the most of our time and take a trip to Rethymno. We left our apartment at around 10am, got in our car and headed east. After our collective magnificent efforts in the car yesterday - I did not feel nearly as intimidated by our little black beast as I did previously.
I feel that at this point I really need to talk about the Greek drivers. They are maniacs! Red has done some internet research on the subject and apparently the likelihood of us being among the few drivers on the road with a legitimate driving licence is actually quite high. This fact is reinforced by just watching how they drive. They completely ignore the speed signs, as well as the double lines in the middle of the road. They overtake around corners where you can't see what's coming, and they pull out in front of you at the last minute. Even pedestrians don't get off the road, you've either got to wait for them or drive around them. It's just crazy!! Add to that - there is so much graffiti on the island of Crete - including the speed signs. It's hard to read what's underneath the rubbish that's been sprayed all over the signs, so at times you don't know what the speed limit is. The graffiti is just left on the signs. Visiting the countries that we have so far has made us realise how regulated a country Australia is - and I really think that that's not a bad thing.
Anyhow, aside from all of that - it's feeling more natural now to drive on the right hand side of the road - and it's a great feeling of freedom to be able to go wherever we want - whenever we want.
So. We headed east for Rethymno which is on the north coast of Crete and about an hour from Chania. The weather was quite cloudy and then glary, and then sunny, humid and hot. Quite a mixed bag today. When we arrived we parked in a local parking area and started off on foot to check out this little town. It has an old town, port and lighthouse like Chania but on a smaller scale. It also has beautiful little restaurants along the water - all really nicely decked out in sea themes. Photo opportunities everywhere. We walked through the little streets that are a bit wider than those in Chania, and had our first Gyros since arriving in Greece. It took forever to be served - just 6 tables in this little cafe and they forgot our order. Not to worry - it was nice when it finally arrived.
We could have had a look at the fortress, but to be honest - I think we've had our fill of history for the moment, and it probably would have washed over us. So, after more of a walk around we decided to head back home. We arrived back in the carpark at about 4.30pm, and as luck would have it - a couple waved to us to let us know that they were leaving and we could have their spot. Yes - how easy was that!
Red had a bit of a siesta and I sat for a while on our little balcony. It was so peaceful, there was a light breeze blowing, heaps of little swallows were chirping and flying overhead in all different directions. There was a guy in a nearby cafe singing and playing a mandolin - greek music that I'd never heard before. I looked out over a scene, that apart from a clothes line and some electricity wires - could have been 100 years ago. Such a simple little magic moment for me.This country is so easy to love - despite it's crazy drivers! We who are caught up in the rat race of life could learn alot from the Greeks. So many of them don't have that much, but they're happy with their lot - they lead a very simple kind of life.
I decided to go out and have a last look at the lovely shops in Chania as I still had to get a couple of gifts for loved ones at home. That was great fun, just strolling around and dropping in to this shop and that.
I came back to the apartment and cooked us a very simple meal on our portable hotplate. We had an easy night in - pottering around, doing this and that, and listening to that same guy singing and playing the mandolin. It was such a warm night that we needed to have the windows open. This made us very aware of the noise outside, people were everywhere having a good night. Ear plugs needed once again!
Downtown Rethymno.

Downtown Rethymno.

Many of the roads in Crete are lined with Oleander bushes - white, pink, deep pink.

Many of the roads in Crete are lined with Oleander bushes - white, pink, deep pink.

A street in Rethymno's old town.

A street in Rethymno's old town.

Beautiful bouganvillea in a Rethymno street.

Beautiful bouganvillea in a Rethymno street.

Turkish influence in the architecture of some buildings in Rethymno - wooden exterior.

Turkish influence in the architecture of some buildings in Rethymno - wooden exterior.

Tourist area of Rethymno.

Tourist area of Rethymno.

Guard dog out the front of a jewellery shop in Chania.

Guard dog out the front of a jewellery shop in Chania.

Old Venetian Harbour at dusk - Chania.

Old Venetian Harbour at dusk - Chania.

Chania Promenade at dusk.

Chania Promenade at dusk.

Chania at dusk.

Chania at dusk.

Posted by Gibbo54 07.06.2013 09:52 Archived in Greece

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