New town

Iraklio Travel Blog

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Getting ready to catch the bus.

Oh No! My webmail is down. It has been for a few hours. I remember getting a notice from the techies, but I thought it was for last week. So now I am going to die…. You have no idea (you probably do) how much I have enjoyed getting all your emails. If it stays down for much longer I may have to give you my old hotmail address. But lets hope that things get figured out in the daytime. (It is only 7:30 your time so I will give them an hour or two).


Last evening was my last night in Rethymno.  I thoroughly enjoyed the little town and would recommend it to anyone visiting Crete.

They upgraded me to a suite. Yippee!
I was fortunate enough to have a hotel that was right on water (as close as they can be as there is a road that goes right in front). It is lovely to look out your balcony and see the Mediterranean Sea. But there are draw backs. It is very noisy. Not only traffic noise but also the hustle and bustle of revelers. And since I am not one of them yet, I really value early nights. I slept well last night so I must be feeling a lot more comfortable with my surroundings. I was also looking forward to my adventure today. (Car rental, new town and site seeing).


Thought long and hard about renting a car and it really wouldn’t make much sense to rent a car from Rethymno to Iraklio. Not only would I pay through the roof because they would have to send two people down to Iraklio to pick up the car and drive it back.

Look at the glass door!
So why not take the public transportation and live like the locals. I can do….


Got up this morning and went for a run. I ran around the castle and back again. After the rest of the morning I think you will agree with me that I didn’t need a run; that my adventure would be exercise enough.


Asked at the front desk for directions to the bus stop and headed out the door. That is when the picture of me and my suitcase was taken. I am still fresh from my shower and feeling full of energy.


Made it the two blocks to the bus stop and proceeded to wait.

The computer desk and the dressing room. Not too shabby!
The sign on the wall said "Heraklio- 10:30" (Greeks call it Iraklio) I thought “Yippee!” I am twenty minutes early. A couple of buses went by but they didn’t say Heraklio like the sign said, they said”'€µ”. Okay, I am still fine. I am looking for Heraklio. After 20 minutes it dawns on me “Beth you are in Greece. The bus signs are going to be Greek” Duh! I probably missed the bus and the next one was an hour away. So I decided to head to the bus station. According to the map it looked a little farther than the old town (which I walked to several times). I can do this! So off I went with my lovely red suitcase (80 pounds)  and my 30 pound knapsack. Oh don’t forget my steel purse that can’t be slashed, ripped or torn off me. It weighs a few pounds too. So off I go….


15 minutes of walking, I’m really hot.

Which bed will I sleep on?
25 minutes of walking, I am dripping. 45 minutes and I am a soaking wet fool. I keep trudging on. I ask for many directions. I get many different explanations. So I follow my map. Remember all street signs are in Greek. I haven’t learned the Greek alphabet yet. I keep going. Now I am dying.

So much for the shower this morning!

I finally get there and there are steps. Big steps. Really big steps. So there I am huffing, puffing and throwing my stuff around saying “shouldn’t have brought the damn hair products (the seventeen pairs of shorts, sixteen shirts, fourteen skirts, three bathing suits (remember I bought one) and the many other things that add up to 80 pounds. (That is what the airline told me it weighed).


Made it! The water was dripping off my hair onto my purse.

I was a mess, but a happy and pleased mess. I had overcome adversity! Made it with 5 minutes until the bus came.


If you remember correctly, I was trying to catch a local bus with no air-conditioning. I was told that is what I needed to take. You should have seen my face when this coach bus pulls up and says “Hiraklio”. Fancy dancy bus with all the bells and whistles.


I know you are all wishing you were here in Greece with me having these wonderful experiences. So if you really want to have the real thing, do this. My bra has a little sponge pushup things so go under your kitchen sink and get two sponges. Fill them full of water and stuff them in your bra.

Looking at my hotel. Very modern and very boring. All concrete. Not like the rest of the town. But I'll live with the newness and the luxury.
Boys put them in your shirt anyway. Now stand in the shower and get soaking wet. Put a bags of potatoes, oranges and apples on your back. Pull a wheel barrow full of 80 pounds of rocks. Go and stand in front of the oven (set at 500 F) with the door open and jog for 45 minutes. Now you have experienced my morning. But it gets better. Now that I am soaking wet (I honestly think I could have rung my shirt out and it would have dripped) I get on the bus. It is air-conditioned. Now I am freezing! So badly my teeth are chattering. But I am happy because I am on the right bus heading in the right direction.


As we left the station I noticed he took a different route than the one I walked on. And for the hour and half bus ride he only stopped at six stops. They were very special stops with people in booths to take your money. Now I know I would have been at that first stop for the rest of my trip. Who knows what the sign really said, or what kind of bus I was trying to take.

Front door to the Atrion Hotel in Iraklio Crete, Greece. Just in case I am never heard from again.
I probably would have ended up at the sheep farm shearing sheep for the day.


When I got to Iraklio I thought I would look for a car rental place and rent a car here and then just leave it at the airport tomorrow. Then I saw the traffic and the roads. I thought Rethymno was bad, this was insane. The roads look like back alleys and people park wherever they want. You move like a snail and there are scooters weaving in and out of traffic. Not the place for me to start taking up driving. There wouldn’t be a Cretan left standing.


Took a cab instead. You should have seen his face when I told him we were going on an "adventure". One that was looking for a cheap hotel with Internet in the room. He told me that I wouldn’t find a hotel with Internet.

City view from the walkway along the Aegean Sea.
I told him I would and that he had to stay with me until we did. Went to three different hotels and they didn’t have rooms or Internet in the rooms. Kept going and finally found one. Not cheap but hey! You only live once. Then I saw the room. I may be changing my mind on staying in rustic hotels. I kind of like the nice ones. Are you surprised? I bet!


So here I am. Took a walk and was surprised with how windy it is here. Apparently this part of the Island is always windy and has white caps on the water. The waters are really rough and I can tell you, you wouldn’t be able to find diving around here. Went and found a liquor store so I could sit and drink my Cretan red wine while blogging. Now I am in heaven! The only thing is I bought a sweet red wine by mistake. Once again not being able to read Greek has caused a challenge. Can she drink half a liter of sweet red wine.

Looking down the walkway.
I will be sure to let you know.


One thing that I find very strange with Europeans but especially Greeks, is many of them smoke. It is rare to find a group of people that don’t smoke. Smoking is allowed in every hotel room and every restaurant. The restaurants aren’t too bad as they are open air, but let me tell you the ferry ride was horrid. I had forgotten how awful it is. I was sitting in the non smoking area but it was just like at the old bingo halls. All around you there is blue air.


The second thing that surprises me is how nobody smiles and says hello. When I go for a run I will say hello to everyone and smile and they just ignore me. Even when you sit beside someone in a restaurant and smile they don’t smile back. It is rarely that anybody does. Unfriendly! Don’t they know that they have the opportunity to meet someone who swam in only a thong? Come on that has to be important!


Something else I have learned... you do not throw toilet paper in the toilets. You have to throw them in a waste basket. Its lovely! One other reason traveling by yourself is good. Not looking at someones used toilet paper!

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Getting ready to catch the bus.
Getting ready to catch the bus.
They upgraded me to a suite. Yippe…
They upgraded me to a suite. Yipp…
Look at the glass door!
Look at the glass door!
The computer desk and the dressing…
The computer desk and the dressin…
Which bed will I sleep on?
Which bed will I sleep on?
Looking at my hotel. Very modern a…
Looking at my hotel. Very modern …
Front door to the Atrion Hotel in …
Front door to the Atrion Hotel in…
City view from the walkway along t…
City view from the walkway along …
Looking down the walkway.
Looking down the walkway.
I thought you could see the white …
I thought you could see the white…
In Greece, cars park where ever th…
In Greece, cars park where ever t…
The lobby bar. Take a close look a…
The lobby bar. Take a close look …
That is not Yiannis sitting at the…
That is not Yiannis sitting at th…
photo by: sylviandavid