I could have easily waited until I was back home to start this new blog, but would this really be a better time?
Today is perfect. I’m in Agios Apostoli, near Chania on Crete, and have been for over a week now for my annual summer holiday.
Right now, I’m sitting under a tree at the pool of our small hotel. There’s only 30 rooms, each with its own entrance from the garden or terraces, feeling like one’s own appartment. We have our own small terrace, on which we just shared bread, cheese, olives and wine which we picked up from a closeby supermarket. The pool is small, but we often have it to ourselves, and there’s never disappointment for not getting a bed, even though there’s just 6 of them. I can see the owner’s own washing drying from here, right next to where he’s parked his own motorbike. It’s a family business, small, friendly and very personal, yet I feel we’re left alone in the way we want to.
There are no animators trying to entice me out of my corner saying they only need one more person for their game of cards, and there’s no annoying entertainment at night either. The other day, we went to buy a bottle of wine from the bar just as they were closing, and when we sat down with it, a plate with feta, tomatoes and olives appeared: “Greeks don’t drink wine without something! “We stayed seated until long after the guy had left.
We don’t eat here, just breakfast. We like to try different places, and, as usual, we’re eating so well. Loads of fresh fish and seafood, and all healthy if you don’t go for the things that are deep fried or very obviously marketed for the tourists who are scared of local food.
Agios Apostoli is quiet and sleepy, but it’s not far to Chania, which is much more lively, with cute little side streets with cobbles and pretty houses, bars right by the sea and, of course, shops. I must say, my husband has done better than me on the shopping. I bought a gorgeous mustard yellow silk dress and finally succumbed to a selfie stick because I’m always so annoyed at the pictures my husband takes (he always manages to fit in a bin, lorry, third arm or the like…). I should have bought one much earlier. They’re great for parties.
There are cats everywhere, kittens even – sleeping under cars in the sweltering midday heat, begging for food in tavernas and gliding through the night wherever you go. We met an interesting couple from Birmingham who’ll pinch cold meats from the breakfast buffet and then take it to the backstreets calling the cats. My husband found them odd, but I’m not much better. Most of my pictures feature cats, always. I feel I’m already dead and gone to heaven, but with most of them unneutered, I can see why they are considered a problem, and I’ve been told that locals are fined if their cats have kittens too often.
As for the political and financial problems, we don’t see much of them other than that there is, of course, talk about it. Banks are closed, there’s a queue in front of every cash machine from which you do indeed get only 60 Euros. Spending tourist money feels oddly good, and yesterday we got a discount for paying cash, as well as a glass of Raki each. Can you imagine this at home?
I’m actually quite warming to a glass or two of Raki . No hangover either.
Oh, and the sunsets are amazing. I’ve got pictures (this one here showing the pool, taken right now) for every day of the year until I go away again. I sometimes wonder whether I’m too focused on taking pictures, but I enjoy the creative side, and I always appreciate them when I’m back home and it is winter…