Travelblog 2005-2

Friday 16th September 2005
Weather: NL 16 degrees, partly cloudy, GR 23 degrees cloudy

Finally it is the day of departure. Last night we put everything in the suitcases and René spent some time working on the sealant in the kitchen. This has to be removed because it leaks here and there and there is mold in it. During our vacation Henk is going to put new sealant on it. But getting the sealant out was not so easy. The stanley blades kept breaking off and the sealant removal tool didn’t work there at all. So Henk can do the rest.
This morning we got up at 8:00 am. René first went for a smoke and I quickly checked the weather on the Internet. Then we took a shower. Then put the last things in the beauty case and backpack. René then went into the bathroom to work on the sealant that needed to be removed. The sealant was easier to remove, but there was a second layer of sealant under the first layer and it was very deep. So we called Henk again and asked him what to do with it. He would have a look at it himself. Then we tidied up the house, watered the plants and the like and by then it was almost 10:30. That is the time when Erica and Wim come to pick us up. They are taking us to Groningen Airport this year. That is much easier for us anyway. The way there is shorter and quieter. And so we were also well on time at the airport. After checking in our luggage, the four of us went to the restaurant. A cup of coffee and later a plate of fries with a croquette. After all, it takes a while before we can eat anything again. At 13:15 we had to go through customs. There we said goodbye to Erica and Wim. At 13:30 our plane landed at Eelde.

First people had to get off, they came from Crete. The people who boarded there and had to go to Rotterdam stayed on the plane and we boarded with them. At about 1:45 p.m. we were allowed to board. At 2:10 p.m. we finally took off. So first stop was Rotterdam. There we also had to get off, because now they were going to clean the plane. At 3:55 p.m. we were allowed back on board. Now we were really going to Crete.
At 20:15 local time (all times below are Greek time, so 1 hour later than in the Netherlands) we landed at Heraklion airport. The suitcases took a while to arrive. And there was the normal Greek chaos with the luggage belts. A number of people realized that this was not our first time in Crete, so they regularly came to ask if we knew anything more. It is always poorly, or not, or late indicated on the signs. But finally we had our suitcases. At a little before nine we were outside. We signed out with the Sunweb host and took a cab. For €35.00 to Malia and within 20 minutes we were there. The cab driver even filled up on the way, for exactly €35. Surely the cab is a lot better than the bus. Before everyone is in there and then all those stops along the way. Much more pleasant this way.
When we arrived at Cretan Family App. Katerina was not there, but Ron was. He is working behind the bar this year. He told us that Katerina was currently at the restaurant. After getting the key from Ron, we took the bags to the room. This time we were in the middle, number 203. A six-person apartment, three rooms in all. We quickly changed clothes, put on some new deodorant and went straight to the restaurant. Ron advised us to turn right along the long road, because the place was flooded on the left. It had rained very hard, but we didn’t notice it. Just as we landed it was dry.

In the restaurant we already saw Katerina. She is also temporarily helping there now, because the mother of Georgos and Aristo is in the hospital. And both brothers alternate in the hospital. From noon one day to noon the next day. They are devastated and that too at the end of the season. Tonight Georgos was at the restaurant. After close embraces and hugs, we had a nice chat. Katerina looked good! Tired though, but that makes sense. Her hair was nice and she had lost over 20 pounds! We had a Greek salad and then a big plate of Gyros. Delicious with a glass of wine and a beer on the side. Two cups of coffee, or as they say here “Dio Ak Vak”. And then we walked back to the apartment complex. By the way, the restaurant was very full! And there are a lot of regulars. Tilly & Reinier, Huub & Nelly, Jos & Gonnie, Aad & Hennie, Wil & Hennie, Edwin & Karen, Pieter & Jolanda and little daughter Marleen. And those we didn’t know, knew us from the website and the pictures. Strange though. Suddenly you are spoken to by strangers, that they like to see us. And we think, who are these …
At the apartment we had a drink and finally at 02:30 we helped close up and then we went to bed.

Saturday, September 17, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees, partly cloudy at first and then sunny

This morning we were supposed to get up at 10:00. But I had been awake so many times that I gave up at 9:15. I just started unpacking the suitcases. A little before 10:00 René woke up as well. By then almost everything was out of the suitcases and I had most of it in the closet or drawers. Then we had a nice shower, although it is still a struggle with the shower curtain. Before you have that taped to the wall and then you also have to be careful not to flood the floor. That sometimes depends on the drain next to the toilet. If there’s a lot of junk in there, the drain overflows. Even though it was still pretty cloudy, we put on the shorts.
At the bar we took our standard breakfast again. Two cups of fresh orange juice, two ham/cheese sandwiches (me yummy with ketchup), a double espresso and a tea. After we finished those we walked to the village. Let’s see what’s new and what no longer exists. Some things just change the name. The roads are all done again. If you didn’t know, you would think this is the same asphalt as last year. We got a carton of cigarettes for Rene right away. Most stores don’t sell Lucky Strike, but now we have a regular address that does. Just at the SPAR. They are a lot cheaper than in the Netherlands. A carton costs € 28.00. Then we had a quick look at the bookstore. The books we like are not available in Dutch, but they are in English. Nor did we see the road map for John Grasso now. But we’ll ask about that later. We didn’t buy anything at first. On the way back, we first had tea and espresso at Revolution. And I also had to go to the bathroom. Those are very nice and neat there. We spent the rest of the afternoon lying in the sun and swimming. And René took a look at the computers. They had indeed arrived in one piece. But on one computer the Internet did not work.

Rond 19:00 uur zijn we naar het restaurant gelopen. Ik had mijn sandaaltjes met hoge hakken aan, maar heen was geen probleem. Zolang we niet te snel liepen. Vanavond waren Aristo en Rania in het restaurant. Ook zij waren blij ons te zien. We kregen weer kussen en knuffels. Hun beide dochtertjes waren er ook. Zij herkenden ons niet, maar die zijn ook een stuk jonger dan Irini. Die kwam later samen met Katerina naar het restaurant. Eerst liep ze ons straal voorbij, maar later zag ze het ineens en vloog ze me om de nek. Om vervolgens in vloeiend Engels te vragen hoe het met ons was. Morgen is ze de hele dag bij het appartement. En ik zei al tegen haar dat ik twee cadeautjes voor haar heb. Heel leuke dingen voor in haar haar. Ik ben benieuwd wat ze daar van vind. Het eten was weer geweldig. Weer niet van de kaart. Ze hadden vanavond varkensvlees in wijnsaus. Een echt groot stuk, daar kan ik wel twee dagen van eten. Maar ik heb me kranig gedragen en heb bijna het hele stuk opgekregen. Als toetje hebben we een bananasplit genomen. Ze hadden geen bananen, maar wel aardbeien. Maar dat smaakt ook prima. Na het eten leerden we een vrouw kennen, die mij een keer een email gestuurd had met foto’s van hun vakantie hier. Een Belgische, genaamd Andrea. Aardige vrouw, een beetje vergeetachtig. Maar verder niets mis mee. Zij is hier samen met haar man Ronnie. En ze blijven ook 3 weken. Die zien we dus vast nog wel vaker. Bijna aan het einde van de avond bleek Reinier morgen jarig te zijn. Dus hebben we gezongen en hem alvast gefeliciteerd. En Tilly natuurlijk ook. Hij wordt morgen 72 jaar. Net zo oud als mijn ouders.
De weg terug naar het appartement bleek moeilijker te zijn op mijn hakken. De schoenen deden me steeds meer pijn, dus ben ik op een gegeven ogenblik maar op blote voeten verder gegaan. Alleen ligt hier overal op het asfalt van die kleine steentjes. Dus dat was ook niet zo prettig. Eenmaal bij het appartement hebben we nog wat gedronken en gekletst en voor je het weet is het dan weer 03:00 uur. Ik denk dat mijn plan om ’s morgens baantjes te gaan zwemmen, weer niet gaat lukken.

Sunday, September 18, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees and sunny

This morning I woke up at 8:30. I thought that was too late to go swimming myself. My intention was to do that every morning at 7:30. But when you get in that late, it’s no do. So I turned in one more time and at 9:30 we went out. First another nice shower and dressing and then our breakfast. Georgos and Katerina were both there and while I had been swimming laps anyway, Georgos had figured out that we should have pets. Two Greek ants and a cigarette case. Free of charge. Later he also had mosquitoes and flies for sale. From the box he then wanted to make a little house, with windows and doors in it. Well, thanks for the honor anyway ;-P.
We spent the rest of the day sunbathing and swimming. And just smearing with factor 30 in my case. And still I was slightly sunburned. But René is much redder. He applied factor 15, but he spent much longer in the sun. One advantage for him is that tomorrow the red will have gone away and he will have a huge tan. I am taking it a little easier. Maybe this time I won’t have blisters.

At 4 p.m. we went upstairs and slept for a while. Then we could get back at it tonight. After tucking in, we cleaned up and changed clothes. I would never go to the restaurant in shorts and a shirt. I like something a little nicer anyway.
At 18:30 we said goodbye to Edwin, Karen, Pieter, Jolanda and Marleen. It is all over for them. And it is becoming a tradition to wave goodbye to the departing guests together. This year we will be about the last of the regular guests. So then you get a bit of that 10 little fish effect. Each time one of them drops out.

After waving goodbye, we went to the restaurant. This time we were allowed the menu, but Georgos already knew what Rene wanted. Porkchops, or pork chops. I took Soutzoukakia and together we shared a platter of Tatziki. René actually always takes something from the grill and I’m the one who always tries all the Greek specialties. Rene also always takes fries with his meat and I always take Greek potatoes. After a few raki’s and a wiskey-cola, Georgos went to play as well. That was great again, though. His shoulder is fine again. Around 10:30 p.m. we walked back. On the way we counted lizards again. After 3 nights we are already at 10. That is more than last year in the whole vacation. So the population has increased again.
After sitting at the bar for a while, and after two games of pool (which I won), Georgos and Katerina also arrived at the apartment. And a little later we decided to give Katerina the laptop. We had seen last year in May that the one she had now was a very old beast. And at René’s work they had this laptop left over. It had been written off and they didn’t do anything with it anymore. Although there were also candidates for it at home, we granted Katerina a little more. In the Netherlands you can still get a second-hand laptop, but here on Crete you just can’t do that. Well, she was very happy with it. It was a hit. She had even been to Heraklion to look at a new one. But it was too expensive for her. Almost 700 euros. She wanted to have one, to make tests for her class. And now she can. She said thank you three times. And she kept saying she didn’t know what to do in return. And so she doesn’t have to. We are happy that we came up with the right gift at the right time. Being both in IT sometimes has its advantages. At 02:30 we closed the bar together with Ron and Katerina and went to sleep.

Monday, September 19, 2005
Weather: 32 degrees and sunny

Today I went swimming right at 09:00 after waking up. I swam a total of 30 laps. And it was wonderful. The water doesn’t seem very cold, but I think that’s because you haven’t spent hours in the sun yourself. Then I changed and when René was ready we went downstairs for our standard breakfast. After breakfast we walked to Malia. We would like a car for a few days. Preferably a Suzuki Vitara. Because we often make the strangest journeys and then it is nice that the car can cope. We finally booked a car at Minoan King. Indeed a Suzuki Vitara. They had a nice offer. Pay 5 days car rental and then you can have it for 12 days. Including insurance for €35,00 per day. So €420,00 in total. So that’s not too bad, for a Vitara then. Tomorrow evening at 20:00 we can pick it up. So we have to eat a little later than usual. So we should book a table just to be sure. The woman from Minoan King recognized us. Indeed, she also remembered that we had had trouble with that Suzuki Samurai back then (see 2003 travelogue). But they got rid of all those older cars now. She also calculated for us how much we would save if we would take a Vitara for 5 days and a smaller car for the other 7 days. The difference was 70 euros. But for that 70 euros we would rather drive the Vitara. Especially with those drives we always do.
On the way back we stopped at the sports store. There hung an away shirt of the Chicago Bulls. Jordon number 23. But this one turned out to cost €64.00. And we have to think about that. Moreover, it is size M. So the question is whether it fits. So for the time being it will hang around for a while.
We spent the rest of the day hanging around the pool. In the shade, because Rene was very sunburned yesterday. This time I am not the one who is red first. At 4:30 p.m. we went back to the room. After we slept for an hour (it was hot today, so we were languid), we took a shower. Then we changed clothes again for dinner.

Even though most of the tables were full in the restaurant, it was still quiet. Or maybe relaxed is a better word. People were not in a hurry. Later we heard from Katerina that Aristo had tried to call her, telling her it was okay to stay home. The four of them could handle it. But by then she was already on the scooter and didn’t hear the phone.
Today we ate Lamchops, or lamb chops (René) and Grandma’s recipe (me). We had another dish of Tatziki beforehand. Both meals were pretty greasy, as far as the meat was concerned. And I wasn’t very hungry in any case. But it was tasty. And that’s the important thing. When we wanted to return to the apartment, Katerina asked if we would take the long drink glasses with us. We had run out of these at the apartment. We also ran out of Metaxa, so we had to take a bottle of that too. No problem. Small effort. When we left there we saw people sitting next to me on the plane. They were an older couple and it was their first time in Crete. So we took a moment to ask how they liked it. They loved it. And it’s too bad they are going back to the Netherlands on Friday. So maybe they will go to Crete again sometime.

When we got back to the apartment and dropped off the groceries, we watched the movie Tomb Raider 1. And then played a game of pool. At a little before 02:00 everyone had gone to bed and we shut things down. At least then Katerina could go to bed an hour earlier than usual. She doesn’t want to go to bed until the last guests are in bed. While we have already told her that in Holland it is quite normal if the bartender says that one more round is served and then the bar closes. But she doesn’t want that. Customer is King. But she takes that very literally. But after we (Ron, René and I) very demonstratively went to straighten the chairs and clean up the mess, most of the guests understood the hint and went upstairs. And when everything was tidy, we ourselves went to sleep as well. By the way, the total number of lizards is now 21.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Weather: 34 degrees and sunny

This morning we got up at 09:00. I was still pretty groggy, so I didn’t swim. That swimming came naturally later with sunbathing. We did that all day. As of tonight we have a car, so we will be more active, but not yet. Besides, it was extremely hot today. Tomorrow it seems to get cooler. And then there should also be more clouds. We spent the whole afternoon reading and swimming and baking in the sun. And at 4:30 p.m. we went up to the room. Just flat for an hour. Then we took it easy and showered and changed clothes. We couldn’t pick up the car until 8 p.m. anyway. We had already eaten a little something at the pool, so we could eat a little later. At 7:15 p.m. we walked in that direction. And even though we had looked in the windows of all kinds of stores, we arrived way too early. But the woman from the rental agency didn’t mind. Filling out the paperwork also takes a while. Before I forgot again, I sent her greetings from John Grasso. To which she said that was a very good friend of hers. And that he was very nice. We agreed. After filling out the paperwork and talking for a while about everything, the car had arrived. A white one, without any advertising or anything. A nice neutral car. According to René it drove very well. Only my seat is a bit crooked, as far as the backrest is concerned. But we can manage. We dropped the car off right back at the apartment and quickly went to the restaurant. There we were at 8:30 pm. There were still two tables free. So we could still choose. Again we didn’t get from the menu. But we got a double mix grill, plus half a chicken and two garlic rolls. Way too much and so there was also plenty left over. Georgos also sang. And the restaurant was so full that people had to wait for a table. They were already taking the trays for the cutlery and the oil/vinegar sets from other tables. At 11 p.m. we walked back. This time again by the long road and we saw 4 lizards. Not as many as the day before yesterday. So the total is now 25 pieces. At the apartment we had some more drinks and chats as usual and at 03:00 we closed the bar. Then we went to sleep.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Weather: 30 degrees and partly cloudy

Even though we are going out by car today, we just got up at 09:00. First we just went to breakfast. Katerina was a little later, but that doesn’t matter. We are on vacation. At 10:30 we were at breakfast and then we left right away with the car.
First we drove to Kournas. So past Rethymnon and then before Georgioupoli to the south. We first drove through the village of Kournas itself and there we saw signs to Kournas Lake.

The lake itself is very distinctive. Light blue with dark blue. You could also paddle around on it with pedal boats, but we didn’t do that. 7 euros for an hour. Later I read on the Internet that there should also be turtles here, but part of the lake is closed to the public. And since we didn’t see any turtles, I assume they were on that side. After having a drink and buying an earthenware ashtray, we drove the car back to Kournas and from there via Patima to Argiroupoli. The way there was already very beautiful. The surroundings got greener and greener. So there is definitely water here. At one point I saw water seeping along the walls.

So we immediately hit the brakes full on. Turned out that was exactly what Georgos told us to look at. That was Argiroupoli. Via a staircase you came to a little chapel in the rock and under that chapel a source rises that finds its way down through all kinds of waterfalls. Magnificent! A village is not really. Well several tavernas. After we took some pictures, we drove on to Rethymnon.
It took a while before we found the parking lot where we normally park our car. It is largely one-way. So driving straight there is not possible. After we parked our car, we walked towards the old center. Right on the first street we walked we were approached by a British girl asking us to answer a few questions. And as a reward, we were allowed to pick up an envelope. In my envelope was a ticket for the Happy Train. Yippee ;-P. René had the grand prize. He had a card with a key on it and it could fit a radio, a VCR and a trip. But then we had to go to a certain hotel and look around there. A cab would take us there and then drop us back at the parking lot after that time. We looked at the hotel, but it wasn’t for us. Too big and luxurious. The prize René had won turned out to be the trip. But there are some snags there. For example, you have to pay for the tickets yourself. And €50.00 per person for a membership of the chain to which this hotel belongs. But then you are also a member and we don’t want that at all. And you still had to pay for your own food and drinks. I could also give a trip as a gift. So I don’t think we will use it. We were neatly dropped off back at the parking lot at the end. Since by then it had been 4:30 p.m. and the way back takes at least an hour and a half, we went back. Then Rethymnon will come another day. At 6:00 pm we were in Malia.

René then took another nap. I worked on this travelogue. Then I showered and changed and went to the restaurant. René had Souvlaki and I had Gemista. And instead of regular wine, I had Retzina. For those who don’t know it, it’s white wine with a bit of resin in it. Especially with hot weather, that’s very nice. The one at the restaurant was delicious. For dessert I had Greek yogurt with honey. Then I was really full to the brim. The food was delivered so quickly today that we finished eating by 8:00 pm. But we didn’t leave right then. We drank some more.
At 9:45 p.m. we really did go back to the apartment. There were really few lizards now. Only 2 of them. So the total now sits at 27 pieces. At the apartment we had a drink and a chat and Katerina asked how our day had been. At 02:00 everyone went to bed and after closing the bar we also went to sleep.

Thursday, September 22, 2005
Weather: 30 degrees and partly cloudy

When we got up at 9:30 this morning, it was partly cloudy. We took our standard breakfast after our regular morning ritual. Then we grabbed the map and looked at where we are going to pass today. We are going to Kritsa. That is southwest of Agios Nikolaos. There seems to be a church there with very old and beautiful frescoes. Once we arrived in the village, we parked the car somewhere and started looking for the little church. By the way, they have about twenty little churches here. We didn’t find the church with frescoes, but we did find another beautiful large church. The town itself was also very beautiful.

A bit like what Old Malia looked like before. We also bought a tablecloth. For a six-person table, sand-colored with olive branches embroidered on it. Handmade according to the woman, she showed some threads of the yarn. But they sold the same rugs everywhere. Also in other villages.
Near where we had parked the car, we had seen a sign pointing to the Katharo Plateau .

And according to the map, you could take that road to the Lasithi Plateau. We thought that would be a nice route and it was. Very rough and rugged and we didn’t go around the mountains, but over them. Fantastic. But we had 1 problem. The pointer on the fuel tank kept going down to Empty and in areas like that you don’t have a gas station. And the road was getting worse and worse. At one point we even began to doubt whether the road continued at all. So at a “taverna” we asked for directions. With my hands and feet, because I don’t know Greek that well yet. But with the map at the ready we made it. We were in Kopraki. I don’t think any tourists go there. But the road was the right one. The old lady gave us a piece of old bread. So hard you could almost use it as a murder weapon. We ended up giving that bread to a bunch of goats. But it was sweet of her.
So we drove on over that bad road anyway. It was a good thing this jeep has 4×4. We needed it and the car has good seat belts. But just as well, bouncing through the car. Everything was covered in red dust and no matter how many times I took a sip of water, my mouth kept tasting like dust. Finally we got the Lasithi Plateau in sight and with less than 10 liters left in the tank we arrived at a gas station. How happy I was! I literally kissed the ground at the station. Through Krassi we drove to Malia. What an adventure. Beautiful though, but next time please with a full tank. There appears to be only a small tank in it and it likes quite a bit. At a little after 4 p.m. we were back. First we had a nice orange juice. And then a little flat. At 6:00 p.m. back on our feet and showered and changed clothes. That was necessary.

In the evening at the restaurant we had a great laugh with the food. René had Gyros and I had Chicken Souvlaki. Three skewers of meat. But after two I was really full. I couldn’t finish the third one. Vasili thought I didn’t eat it because it was quite dark in color. But I was just full. But in the meantime, he had already prepared another skewer on the grill and I got it. Then suddenly I had two skewers, which I couldn’t finish. Then Georgos started asking if something was wrong, if I didn’t like it. So I had to explain what had happened. Georgos checked with Vasili. Then it was no problem, Georgos ate it. So every time he walked by, he took a bite. Later he put the pieces of meat on a separate dish. But because he had sung twice, it had become completely cold. So I put two pieces in small slices and fed them to the cat next to me. Later, when I went to the bathroom, Georgos asked René where all that meat had gone. Did I get another “scolding” for giving the meat to a cat. René later got his Metaxa in a very large glass. Such a fish bowl. And there was a lot more in it, too. So it took him a while to finish it.
At 10:45 p.m. we walked back. This time we saw even only 1 lizard, so now the total sits at 28. At the apartment we chatted and drank some more. And it was 03:00 when we finished and went to bed.

Friday, September 23, 2005
Weather: 30 degrees and partly cloudy.

This morning we got out at normal time, 09:00. Then we showered and dressed again. There were clouds over the sea, but not much else. Downstairs at the bar we had our breakfast again. A double espresso, a nescafe, two sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice.
And then we had a look at the map. Today we want to get from Malia via Sissi along the coast towards Elouda. The old map says there is a road, but the new map says there is not. So that will be a matter of trying. We went via Milatos, to Tsambi, to Agios Antonios, to Anogia (different from the one we went to last winter). There the road stopped, so we had to go back a bit. We drove back towards Tsambi first. Just before Tsambi we saw a sign on the ground towards Xirolimni and we went that road. Let’s just hope that this is the road that sign meant. The road was not very good, but not as bad as yesterday. Very beautiful again. Sometimes we almost drove into people’s yards. And by the looks on their faces, they never had tourists here either. Just before Neapoli we entered the inhabited world again. There we continued on the old road towards Agios Nikolaos. We still wanted to head toward Elouda, after all. And it was still early. Almost immediately we saw a road to Elouda. We then took that one. Very beautiful and winding.

In Elouda, we then parked the car near the beach. Then we walked through the village. Saw some nice stores and art, but didn’t buy anything. After that we had a quick bite to eat and drink. Crepes with fruit and a Fanta Lemon. And I also had to go to the bathroom. When I asked in fluent Greek, the girl chuckled a little and answered in English. She seemingly didn’t believe I knew some Greek. Since there were a lot of wasps coming at all the sweetness, we paid right away and then drove the car towards Agios Nikolaos. Just before Agios Nikolaos we took the old road towards Malia.
We got to the apartment almost directly through to the room. During our nap it sputtered a bit, but it was no big deal. It was over before you realized it had started. At 7 p.m. we headed for the restaurant.

Tonight Aristo was there again, so everything went at Turbo pace again. I had Spaghetti Carbonara and Rene had Meatballs. Then we had wine and beer first and then both had a banana split. Then “Dio Ak Vak Parakalo” and two good cups of coffee appeared. And then when I asked our Koubare for a Metaxa 5 star and an ouzo he thought I called him Koubare so great! “I like that!” and I got three big kisses on my cheeks. When we wanted to go home, Aristo asked if we wanted to come with him in the Lexus because he was going to take Rania and the kids back. That was okay and it saves walking again. That car is very comfortable after all. And I really like it too.
At the bar we agreed with Wil and Hennie that on Sunday, when the weather is nice, the four of us will go to Preveli. We are going there anyway and they wanted to see it too. And they are a very nice couple. René may even come and get a fried egg with cheese on Sunday before we leave. At 03:00 we closed the bar and then went to bed in a hurry.

Saturday, September 24, 2005
Weather: 30 degrees, sunny at first and more cloudy later

Got up at 09:00 today. Slept wonderfully, but my arm hurts more and more. Chronic RSI. Once in a while it plays up more than usual and so that is now. I could hardly get ketchup out of the bottle yet. But there is little I can do about it here. After our regular morning ritual and breakfast, we got our stuff together face and left for Rethymnon. At 11:00 we were in the car. At about 12:30 we were there.

This time we managed to reach the parking lot faster. Also those guys from that hotel were there again, so quickly walked on. The old center of Rethymnon remains very beautiful, but it is so crowded that you can not take pictures. There are also more and more stores with tourist junk. But even then it is beautiful. After walking around for a while, we had something to eat at the new port. Both of us a fruit salad and a fresh orange juice. Delicious. After that we were pretty quickly out of sight and walked back to the car. At 14:15 we were back in the car. We decided to take the old main road back. It takes much longer, but is also much nicer. Nice winding roads and right through all kinds of villages. And the nature is also very beautiful. It will be much more beautiful in May. Some parts were very dry now. We also drove half of this route in January. That was from the taverna with the oil press (see report 2005-1). And so we stopped again at that strange pit with goats. Only now there was no goat to be seen there. A few along the edge, though. And we heard some clucking. Suddenly we saw about five quails or partridges. Males and females. But they were gone in no time. I also saw some nice rocks lying around. Purple. Very strange. It looked like they had been glued together, but they weren’t. So I took two pieces with me. At a little after 5 p.m. we were back at the apartment. There we had a drink first and then went flat for a while. At 19:00 we went to the restaurant. And not much later Katerina along with Irini also arrived. All evening Irini came by for hugs, kisses and to sit on her lap for a while. And as she did, both the girls from Aristo also came by frequently. Wil even took a picture of all three of them wanting to climb on my lap. I felt like a climbing frame. Today I had half a chicken and René had lamb chops. And he even got extra from Vasili. So he had meat enough. Georgos played for a while and after long insistence Irini sang along. At 9:45 p.m. we went back via the short route. There are no lizards there, but there are stores with toilet paper. Also very important. And we also bought a new bottle of sunscreen. Factor 15 was almost gone. Then sat at the bar, but not for very long. We agreed with Wil and Hennie to leave at 09:00. So at 01:00 we went to bed.

Sunday, September 25, 2005
Weather: 30 degrees, sunny at first and more cloudy later

This morning we got up at 08:00. After showering and dressing we walked to number 304. That’s Wil and Hennie’s apartment. Hennie had promised us both breakfast. I got a croissant, which was about 3x the size of a croissant at home. And René got a bun (this one was also pretty big) with fried egg, ham and cheese. Even for René, who is very fond of eggs, it was too much. He couldn’t finish it. But he did his best.
The gentlemen had to take care of something for Georgos after breakfast, and in the meantime Hennie and I waited at the bar. A little later Katerina was also there, along with Irini. Irini could now unwrap her presents. These were very much to her liking. She likes everything pink and things for her hair. I also played a game with her. In the meantime, Reinier told me that our car was leaking fluid. We had seen that too. Only now it was worse. Later, René told me it was the radiator and that it was water. Well, judging by the puddle underneath, there was no water in it now. But if the car gets too hot we always have our drinking water with us. We never leave with the car without bringing water.
The gentlemen returned a little after 10:30. And at 11:00 we were finally in the car towards Preveli. Wil and Hennie already liked the road towards it. Just before Rethymnon we stopped to stretch our legs and take a drink of water. And in the gorge we stopped for photos. That gorge remains impressive. But no matter how you try to picture it, in real life it is much higher and bigger. You don’t get that effect in the picture. At the old Venetian bridge we bought some soft drinks at the taverna and there we also took a pee break. Very neat toilets. It’s also the last chance to be able to go to the toilet before you get to Preveli. There are toilets there, but it’s not much.

Then we left via the bad road to the bay next to Preveli. The road was not as bad as it was two years ago. But neither was it good. It was a nice bounce and it was very dusty! We found a nice spot for the car and then left on foot for Preveli. Wil and Hennie thought it was very beautiful. And it is. The sea does seem much bluer here! Preveli itself has been quite discovered by tourists. Busloads and boats full are dropped off there. It’s certainly not nice and quiet anymore. But even that does not diminish the beauty of this piece of Crete. René and I went swimming for a while. The water was incredibly salty. You could just see it swirling through the water. But it wasn’t really cold, only when the undercurrent ran under you. I had forgotten my flip-flops, so we had to go back and forth over the very hot, sharp stones and hot beach. So we had to walk quickly. We also wanted to walk along the river, but a tour guide was also just going that way with 60 people or so. So then we had a look at the mouth.

By now it was almost three-thirty. High time to go back. Otherwise we wouldn’t be home before dark.
We drove back in one go. There were quite a few clouds and there was more wind. Hennie and I were “bothered” by the wind anyway. We were sitting in the back and you really couldn’t hear each other. And our hair was going in all directions. By the time we got back to the apartment we both had a bunch of hair that felt like straw. Hard and dry and it stood in all directions. By 6 p.m. we were back. First we had a drink to wash away all the dust from that bouncy road. After that, René had his eyes closed for a while and I went for a nice shower. At 7:15 p.m. we then walked quietly to the restaurant. I took Soutzoukakia again and René had pork chops. I had my plate empty for the first time in terms of meat. As a starter, we had a dish of Tatziki. And I had two cocktails after dinner. One from the restaurant and one from ourselves. Usually if you just ask for any cocktail, you get on “Sex on the Beach” or “Sex on the Floor.” Only the color I think is different. But it always tastes good.
At 9:45 p.m. we walked back and along the way we counted 3 lizards. So we are now at 31 in total. At the bar we had another drink and since we were both pretty tired, we went to bed “early”, 0:45 approximately.

Monday, September 26, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees and sunny

This morning we slept in comfortably. Just before 10:00 a.m. we got up. At 11:00 we were downstairs at the bar having breakfast. A colleague of Katerina’s was also there. They have to get the schedule ready for school today. But that is almost impossible. They want to take into account not only where the kids come from, but also all the tennis, ballet, and I don’t know what kind of classes. They’re never going to be able to do that. They have over 300 students. And only 5 teachers.
During our breakfast, Hennie told us that it had rained quite a bit last night. They hadn’t been affected either, but their neighbors had. After breakfast we went to the SPAR. To get Metaxa and cigarettes. We still have the car and walking is not possible. Then we finally brought that Nestle Frapee cup of John Grasso ( to Ruud Jongeneeltje. John is in Greek class with me and also keeps a travelogue site. Ruud was not there himself, who was at work. So the schedule I had received from John with when he would be home and when he would not be home was not correct. But that doesn’t matter. The cup is at its destination and that is what it was all about. After delivering and returning our own groceries, we laid down by the pool. I’m already getting a tan, but I’m taking it easy. High protection factor and regular shade. Rene is doing as usual. Full in the sun and little sunscreen. He has been sunburned twice now and is also starting to peel massively. So apparently we are reversing roles this vacation.

At 4:30 p.m. we went to the room. Larissa had not been yet and when she was busy on the balcony next to us, I said to her that she could best do ours, that we would stay on the balcony. But she wouldn’t dare. “Avrio” she said, meaning tomorrow. But later, as we lay on the bed reading, I heard her come in quickly. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” then a lot of Greek. Quickly emptied the trash cans and away she was again. I said “No problem” several times. I hope she understood. I didn’t feel like going to sleep, so I just got rid of the laundry.
At 6 p.m. I woke René and we got cleaned up and changed clothes. It was pretty crowded in the restaurant and we sat in a bit of a corner. Georgos told us right away that their mother was out of the hospital and that he wanted to commit to that old bottle of wiskey at the apartment tonight. But he had already had so much raki and cola whiskey by the end of the evening that that didn’t happen. Everyone was beaming in the tavern. They were all extremely happy.
René had lamb chops tonight and I had Gemista. For dessert I had Baklava with ice cream and René had a coupe of ice cream. Georgos also played for a while and plates even fell. There were also four slovenes. From a motorcycle club. Nice guys. A little strange, though. They went through the restaurant dancing. And couldn’t get enough of Georgos’ music. At the beginning of the evening they had gotten a bottle of Raki on the table and at the end of the evening it was empty! They didn’t even think the stuff was very strong! Later at the bar we had some drinks and chatted, including at the end of the evening with Ron. Since we went via the shortcut tonight, there were no lizards to count. We went to bed at 02:30.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we slept in again until 10:00. We didn’t want to go far by car anyway. After our morning ritual and breakfast, we left. First we drove by car to Mochos, via the old road to the Lasithi plateau. At the top of the mountain pass is a cute little church overlooking Malia.
When the sun sets in the evening, this little church reflects the sunlight for the longest time. This is always a very beautiful sight.

So that’s where we stopped for photos. And while photographing, I saw that we were standing in between the wild cyclamen. So I took some pictures of those too. Then we continued our way towards Kastelli. Sometimes you drive through very narrow parts, with mountain walls on both sides and sometimes you suddenly drive on a very flat piece. After Kastelli we went in the direction of Peza. On the way we came across an old aqueduct. But because the road was quite narrow and there are no parking bays, we could not stop to take a picture. Peza itself is in the middle of a wine region. And they were also harvesting the bunches of grapes. Some will indeed be used for wine and some will become Sultanas. After Peza, the drove in the direction of Knossos. There it was so crowded, about 15 buses, that we quickly drove on to Heraklion. We couldn’t get to the main road from Knossos. They have been working on the road there for ages. We came right through the center. And fortunately we are beginning to know the road there. So after turning right a few times, we came to the road towards the airport. And from there you can get right back onto the main road.
At 2:30 p.m. we were back at the apartment. I quickly put on my bikini and then we stayed by the pool until a little past four. I went swimming, but there was a lot of wind, so it felt very cold when you surfaced. Not really nice anymore. At 4:30 p.m. we went to the room and slept for a while. You get pretty lazy from doing little and I sleep like an ox here.
After showering and dressing it was already 7:00 pm, so we quickly went to the restaurant. I wanted to get two bananas on the way, for the banana split tonight. They rarely have them themselves. They make the banana split with strawberries or other fruit, but rarely with bananas. And since we wanted to have a joke with Georgos, we wanted to order a banana split and then give him our own bananas. But we didn’t buy any bananas, because Reinier came by with the car and offered us a ride.
Later Wil and Hennie came up to us in the restaurant and they had only brought two bananas just to be sure. René had Meatballs tonight and I had Soutzoukakia again. That remains very tasty and the portion is not that big. After another drink I told Georgos that we wanted two banana splits. And that we brought the bananas ourselves. He looked a little weird at first but was able to laugh about it. A little later he came back with the bananas and informed us that they had just received 25 kilos today. Trick failed, but we did get a banana split with bananas.

At 11 p.m. we headed back home. Along the way we counted 4 lizards so the tally is now 35 in total. We spent some time at the bar and at 02:30 we went to sleep.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we got up at 09:00. After our regular ritual, Katerina turned out not to be downstairs at the bar, but Georgos. When we gave our order, he was silent for a moment and then asked again. Then we just repeated it piece by piece. Two orange juice. Two sandwiches, one with ham and cheese and the other with cheese only. One double espresso and a Nescafe. While he was still working on the sandwiches, Katerina arrived as well, and he also left everything right away. Nothing for him, all that hustle and bustle in the morning. Just give him a cup of Frappee. René took another look at the adapter of Ron’s laptop. He was having trouble charging it. But the adapter really doesn’t work anymore.
Then I showed René which monastery I really wanted to go to. The monastery of Arkadi. A lot of information about these places can be found at But René didn’t really feel like sitting in the car again for so long. Bad for his back. But Georgos looked over our shoulders and said that we really had to go there. That it was a really beautiful monastery.
So finally we decided to go that way. So we drove to Rethymnon again and then 23 kilometers to the southeast. It took a while before we got to the right exit at Rethymnon so that we were on the right side of the main road. After that, it was a matter of following the signs toArkadi. The monastery itself is on top of a hill. It is walled in. In 1866 it was attacked by the Turks and eventually set on fire. But just before that, the Greeks, entrenched in the ammunition room, blew themselves up. Better to keep honor to yourself than to be killed by the Turks. Halfway through our visit to the monastery, the digital camera suddenly stopped working. It didn’t matter what batteries we put in, the lens wouldn’t engage and none of the lights were on. That was a real bummer! René had the analog camera with him, so he took as many pictures as he could.

However, when he had his roll full and the camera indicated that the roll was rewound, opening the camera revealed that it was not. So the last pictures will be overexposed. Well, one more reason to go there again. Besides, the little church inside the monastery walls itself was in scaffolding. Maybe next time that one will be better to see as well.
On the way back, we took a different route. South of the old main road is another road. But then you have to keep a close eye on the turns yourself. This road goes through Zoniana and Anogia. Right through “Devils Triangle,” but we didn’t see any canabis. And no men with guns either. Well, one kid with a toy gun. But that doesn’t count. We did see quite young boys driving the latest types of the most expensive cars. BMW 4×4, cars like that. Really those models that you just know you can’t afford at that age. At least not if you’re just doing a neat job.

At 5 p.m. we were back in Malia. After drinking a Fanta Lemon at the bar, we immediately tried the digital camera again upstairs in the room. But even then it did nothing. So now we first charge a set of batteries and see what it does with full batteries tomorrow. Rene slept for a while after that, but not me, I was too fed up with the camera. Soon it won’t work at all and then you’re stuck for the rest of the vacation. At 7 p.m. we went downstairs. René checked the Internet to see if there was anything about the camera malfunction. But there wasn’t. Then we walked to the restaurant.
In the restaurant was 1 long table for 18 people. It turned out to be for the Slovenian motorcycle club. Who came with 20 men, well 1 girl was also there). Tonight we had Soutzoukakia (René) and Papoutsakia (me), which looks like Mousaka. The motorcycle club was pretty neat and nice this time too. When Georgos started playing, they got a little wilder, but that too was not too bad. One of them still played with Georgos. Again it became one crazy game. At 10:30 pm we finally went back and later heard from other guests that the party had continued for a while. Along the way we counted lizards again and came across 6. So the total count is now 41.
At the bar we had a drink until Wil and Hennie arrived. Wil had wanted to pet a street dog on the way and it had bitten him in the arm. He did not want to go to the doctor for a tetanus syringe, but after some insistence he and René went that way. They just didn’t have the syringe in stock, so they had to go to the pharmacy first thing tomorrow and then to the medical center around 10:00. After some more chatting and drinking we went to bed at 02:30.

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees, sunny at first and later slightly more cloudy

This morning we got up at 09:00. At a little before 10:00 we were downstairs. René then went first with Wil to the pharmacy and then with the tetanus syringe to the medical post. There was even a Dutch-speaking nurse there now. She gave Wil the injection plus tablets that he now has to swallow a few times. A wise but expensive lesson that you can’t pet street dogs here. As soon as the gentlemen returned, we had breakfast at the bar.
Today we didn’t feel much like driving, so we sunbathed by the pool. We love that, too. We may not really be beach people, but we like hanging out by the pool every now and then. And you don’t get sand in your swimsuits either. And we both love reading. We weren’t in a hurry today anyway, because we are having dinner with Wil and Hennie tonight. It’s their last evening. And we agreed to meet at 7:45 pm. So after tanning, we even went flat for a few more hours. Talk about napping.
At 6:30 p.m. we got up and got cleaned up. When we got to the restaurant, we had a nice spot. We were already busy browsing the menu when Georgos said he would arrange something. He quickly scribbled something down and disappeared in the direction of the kitchen. Later he returned with two large platters full of food. Far too much, of course. Eight people could easily eat from that. We couldn’t finish it, so we ate until we were full (or even too full) and finally Georgos even joined us and started to eat. Then it shot up. One bowl was almost empty. I think Georgos thinks we are starving when we arrive here by plane. But it was very tasty. It had Mousaka, meatballs, Soutzoukakia, Gyros, Pork Chops, Chicken, Greek potatoes, rice, Tatziki and some raw vegetables.

At 11 p.m. we called it a day at the restaurant and walked back via the short route. The two gentlemen wanted to play pool at the bar for a while, but although the pool table had been acting up, it really wasn’t working now. The pool table was taken apart completely, but that didn’t help either. Interesting to see what a pool table looks like from the inside, though. Although you will never find a table like this in the Netherlands. No slates and such. Nothing to keep the table balanced. But today there could be no more pool.
Tomorrow many regulars are leaving. Jos & Gonnie, Aad & Hennie, Wil & Hennie and Tilly & Reinier. So tonight was going to be a mad dash. Reinier and Aad joked to each other about Limburg and Rotterdam. And about soccer and the like. Tilly had put on an England soccer shirt. And there were also jokes. Georgos didn’t understand all the humor. He even thought that Aad and Reinier were having a fight. So we explained that they were just having a chat and that everything was still fine.
So we had a great laugh and despite the fact that some of us will be picked up at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, it was still 2:30 a.m. before we went to bed.

Friday, September 30, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we got up at 09:30. Getting up at 07:00 to wave goodbye to the guests was a little too far for us. After our coffee and orange juice (no sandwiches this time) we got in the car. We are not going to take a long drive today. We drove through old Malia to Krassi. It was already pretty busy at the big old plane tree. But we weren’t going to look at that today anyway. We drove on to the Lasithi Plateau, towards Tzermiado. A little after Tzermiado is a turnoff to Agios Nikolaos and Neapoli. We turned onto that road. It turned out that this was the same road we came out on when we drove from Kritsa to the plateau. But this time we drove the other way. The road itself was very beautiful. Nice and winding and right through small villages. There they sold honey, herbs, raki and fruit along the road. We also saw a little man along the road making wooden spoons. And the rock walls had very beautiful deep purple stripes running through them.
We just weren’t the only car on this route. It was crowded with tourists. Some drove so carefully and the string of cars got longer and longer. But René managed to catch up with everyone and at one point we turned left to Neapoli and the rest to Agios Nikolaos. Once in Neapoli, we didn’t want to go back to Malia yet. It was still early. So after looking at the map we went to the archaeological site Dreros. the site of Dreros was completely cordoned off with a large fence. In a small parking lot we could park the car. Then through a small gate and up a path consisting of steps and flat stones we climbed to the top. All around us we saw remnants of houses. And very old oaks.

Very strange oaks, by the way. The leaves were very small, the branches were full of thorns and the caps of the acorns also had spines. I took a few with me. At the very top of the hill was a little church. The bell hung in the tree.

There we enjoyed the view for a while and also took some pictures of the ruins. Down in “the village” René tried to get into a building. But it was locked. Later I read on the Internet that in this building was a temple of Apollo. But we could not see it. But Dreros is a special place.
Later, when we were back in Malia and told Katerina, where we had been, she said she had never heard of people going there before. And she had never seen the acorns before either.
After taking a nap and getting showered and changed, we said goodbye to some guests at 6:30 pm. And then we went to the restaurant. Today, René had Kapama (large pieces of meat in a tomato sauce) and I had fresh Gemista. René didn’t think the meat was that great. Some pieces were very fatty. Others, on the contrary, were too dry. After dinner Georgos started to play and there was singing by “Pavaroti” and later also by Eddy. The one we call Pavaroti is a German who is mildly mentally handicapped. And he thinks he is a very good opera singer. He actually only knows 2 phrases of a Russian song and that’s it.
Georgos got the hang of it and did the trick with the beer bottle and the filled glass of water again. He then puts an empty beer bottle on top of a table, on top of that he then puts a filled whiskey glass with wine on it, for example. And you then have to stand on top of that. The two brothers then keep you balanced and they carry most of the weight, by lifting you up. And then everything stays in one piece. And the one who stood on it then gets to empty the glass. Great! At 10:45 p.m. we went back via the shortcut, because I suddenly had to go to the toilet. At about 01:00 we were in bed.

Saturday, October 1, 2005
Weather: 31 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we got up at 09:00. After a cup of coffee and orange juice, we got in the car toward Heraklion. Yesterday we asked Katerina where the gypsy market was and her directions were exactly right. If you drive from the airport to the city center, you get to an intersection with a Mc Drive on the corner. There you have to turn left. Then at the second traffic lights turn left again. You will see the gypsy market right in front of you. You can then park your car in one of the side streets.
While we were in the car, the wind suddenly turned south and it started blowing harder and harder. After we found the market, we looked for a nice place for the car. In one of the side streets we indeed found a place. Meanwhile, the wind began to blow harder and harder. At one point we were walking through the gypsy market and a gust of wind knocked over a stall. Then we called it a day. They had no “leather” jackets this time, so I had “bad luck” anyway.
Then, as we drove toward the center, it even started to sputter. But it wasn’t really a shower. It took a while before we found the right road again. At the old harbor we found a parking lot with security. There we parked the car. For about 2 euros we could leave the car there for three hours.
Once in town, it was dry and warm again. Even muggy. We took a good picture of the Loggia (Cityhall) where we got married last winter.

This time there were no coat racks in odd places. Only now everything was covered in pigeon droppings. But the pictures turned out quite nice. Especially the border with small pictures looks nice.

Then we did some shopping. We went to a few record stores to look for Simple Minds CDs for Wim. But we didn’t find one he didn’t already have. We did find George Meis’ photo book ( A well-known photographer who has taken beautiful pictures of Crete. A lot of his photos are 360 degree panorama photos. I had already looked on the Internet to see what the book cost and here it was much cheaper. Still not cheap, but once in a while it has to be done. It saved about half. After shopping we had a Gyros sandwich somewhere. Not really fantastic and way too big for me. It was more like a shoarma roll, which they had filled with meat, mayonnaise and a pile of fries on top. But oh well there’s something in the stomach again.
Then we drove back to Malia. It was now really windy and because the jeep is half open, René really had to make an effort to keep the car on the right half of the road. After we took a nap and cleaned ourselves up a bit, we went to the restaurant at 7:00 pm. It was now completely overcast and there were very threatening skies. Inside the restaurant everything was already full, so we sat down at a table that was half inside, half outside. Georgos said it would stay dry, but the sky was very dark. In Holland, with a sky like that, you would have long since brought your laundry inside. And halfway through dinner it did indeed begin to drizzle. We moved the table further inside and then we were dry. We had a big bowl of spaghetti carbonara together. After dinner, the downpour really erupted. It poured! Everyone went inside, all the tablecloths and cushions were quickly brought inside Georgos started playing music to keep the mood up and the drinks flowed well. You have to do something to please the people. By the end of the evening, I had had just 1 ouzo too many. And despite all the water I drank later at the apartment, I still had a headache at the end of the day. At the bar we chatted for a while and at 01:30 we went to bed.

Sunday, October 2, 2005
Weather: 26 degrees and partly cloudy with a few drops of rain.

Last night I woke up and I knew right away it was wrong. I was so lousy. A combination of 1 ouzo too many, the warm wind from the south, the fluctuations in atmospheric pressure and the sandwich in Heraklion. After a close embrace of the toilet bowl (I’ll spare you the further details) I went back to bed. At 09:00 we were supposed to get out, because we wanted to go to Matala. But I woke up Rene and explained that I wasn’t feeling fit. So we both stayed in bed for another hour. Then Rene went out and got me a cup of tea at Katerina’s. She had seen yesterday that I had had one ouzo too many. Hi hi hi. After I finished my tea and ate some cookies I felt a little better. I took a shower and then went downstairs. Meanwhile, René was out and about with Georgos and would be back soon. In the meantime, I chatted with Katerina and had another cup of tea.
After the men returned, René and I went for a walk. The weather was not very sunny and we even found it “cold.” You get used to the temperature here very quickly anyway. And especially when there is more wind, it can feel quite cold. We walked to the little church by the harbor and from there along the beach to the “complex in the making.” It has been standing like this for years and I don’t think it will ever be finished. Once someone came up with the idea of building a hotel or apartment complex there. But pretty soon after that, I think the money ran out. Now only the concrete skeleton stands there. On the way back to the apartment we bought a carton of juice. René also turned out not to be really fit and it was again not really pool weather. So we lazed around in our room. We even slept for another 3 hours. After sleeping, I felt good again, only I didn’t trust my stomach very much. At 5:30 we got up again. Showering was not necessary this time. We had not been swimming, so no chlorine smell and so on. And it wasn’t so hot that we sweated so much. That was also convenient because we had to return the car.

The car had to be returned by 7:00 pm. From the rental agency we walked directly to the restaurant. On the way, it started to drizzle again, but that turned out later to be nothing with what Katerina had received while riding on the scooter. This time we had an inside seat right away. And it turned out that Katerina had already told Georgos that I was not so fit. Eddy looked strange for a moment when I ordered only water and not also a glass of Retzina. But he later heard from Katerina why. Since my stomach was still a bit rickety, I arranged with Georgos for ½ chicken souvlaki and just some rice. No fat and other heavy fare. René took meatballs. Not so greasy either. Rene later took some coffee and also Metaxa. I took tea and then bravely Fanta Lemon. No alcohol for me today. Tomorrow it will be again. Georgos has seemingly been in the mood to play lately, because tonight too it was raucous. And later Eddy also started singing. The more often he does that, the less shy he gets. That’s good for him, though. At 10:40 p.m. we walked back down the long road. And although the weather was not very warm, we counted a total of 5 lizards. The total count is now 46. René thinks we will see so many this time during the vacation because these are juveniles. Adults are twice as big. And they are much more shy. You hardly ever see those. But these ones sometimes stay quietly on the wall.
At the bar we had some more drinks (I soda) and chatted some more. Most of the older ones went smoothly to bed. The three younger couples (including ourselves) stayed longer and so it was finally 02:45 before we were in bed.

Monday, October 3, 2005
Weather: 28 degrees and partly cloudy

Got up at 09:00 this morning. After showering, we both put on our bathing suits right away. We no longer have the car anyway, and we want to come back a little tanned. So today at least, lazing around by the pool. We still didn’t feel like having sandwiches, so we had some kind of Greek breakfast. In other words, coffee and orange juice. The juice would be extra. Greeks usually just take coffee. It was pretty cloudy at first, but by the time we wanted to lay by the pool it was sunny enough. I updated my travelogue again, the result of which you have already read by now. And otherwise we mostly read. René started on Ron’s book collection. I still have 1 book, the thickest one, which I am working on. At 4:00 p.m. we were already getting pretty burnt out, so we went upstairs. First read some more and then slept a bit. At 6:00 pm we got up again and at about 7:00 pm we were downstairs. There we had another Fanta Lemon and then we walked to the restaurant. We were among the first in the restaurant. René had told Georgos yesterday that people had been complaining about the meat. We had talked about that once with other guests at the apartment. Those people had been to other restaurants several times. And also René had had meat that was much too dry. So René had asked Georgos if maybe that was because of a different butcher? Georgos was glad we mentioned it, because no one had done that before. And if they don’t know there’s a problem, they can’t fix it. They had consulted with the entire restaurant crew today. Since our neighbors at the apartment had not had dry meat, they looked at the times. Then they knew immediately how it was. Vasili normally stands at the grill, but when it is busy or there is little staff, he is always pulled away from the grill. As a result, meat is left lying around longer. Now that they knew what the problem was, they would try to keep Vasili at the grill. René had to try a mixed grill to see if it was any good. And it was. The meat was just right. Cooked, tender and absolutely not dry. I took Stifado, Greek Hachee. Georgos asked how it was and I said I had only just started. He pressed the meat with a fork and it didn’t fall apart. That wasn’t good, so he removed my plate and disappeared into the kitchen. After more than fifteen minutes, Aristo came out again with my food. “Who is this Stifado for?” he asked. To which Papa, Rania, Eddy and Georgos said, “There!” and pointed at me. This time the Stifado was good. But with meat like that, that can happen sometimes. I’ve had that before with Hachee. Then you can have that on for hours, but it’s still chewy. Georgos was happy. You can only solve problems when you know there is a problem. He even went back to play for a while. Maartje’s parents wanted to experience that again, but they were just about to leave and their table was already occupied. So we asked if they wanted to sit with us. Little Maartje was totally enjoying herself. She is a very bright child for 2 ½ years old. She already knows most of the colors and counts everything. At 10:45 p.m. we returned to the apartment. We walked back via the long road, but we counted only 1 lizard. So the total now sits at 47. At the bar we had some more drinks and chatted and at 01:30 we helped close up and went to bed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Weather: 26 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we got up at 9:30 am. We were going to stay here at the pool all day anyway. By 10:30 we were downstairs. Today we again only had coffee and juice for breakfast. After a while you get tired of sandwiches anyway. And we don’t feel like going to the bakery for bread. Yesterday we had frikadellen at 14:00 and today we took a plate of fries. I continued updating the report again and almost finished my book. The weather was not really great. It was blowing hard, west wind and there were huge puffs of clouds. So the sun sometimes disappeared for about five minutes and then it was really chilly with that wind. At 4:15 p.m. we went up. Despite the clouds, we had both had enough sun again. We slept until 6 p.m. and then it was a quick shower and clean up.
At 7:15 p.m. we went to the restaurant. After we got our drinks, I had to join Georgos in the kitchen. They had fresh Mousaka and Gemista today. And well, I continue to have a weakness for those stuffed tomatoes. So I chose that one. Georgos asked me if I had ever had a stuffed potato. No. Well then I got that one too. René chose Soutzoukakia. Georgos looked at him and said that René then got an extra ball. Normally there are three. Both dishes were very tasty. Only again way too much. Since René hadn’t taken anything from the grill, he also got two lamb chops later. That was too much of a good thing. He was able to taste two more bites, but then he really couldn’t say porridge anymore, let alone Baklava. Ha ha ha.

Georgos has a taste for playing, as he also played for over half an hour tonight. At 10:45 p.m. we returned home. Along the way René called his mother. We caught up and then asked her to make an appointment with Dr. Rob de Jong in De Wijk. For his back. Finally he is getting wise. He had already promised me in January that he would make another appointment. Once in a while he just has to go to have some yardage straightened again. And he kept putting it off. But because my arm is bothering me now, I can’t massage him as often as usual, and as a result his back is hurting more and more. While Rene was on the phone, I kept counting lizards. In the afternoon we had already seen one at the apartment and now I counted three. So the total now stands at 51.
At the bar we chatted again for a while and later in the evening we showed Ron a picture of Linda. We had talked about family and such. Ron talked about not having a girlfriend and what he liked like that already. And he liked Linda. He wanted to e-mail her. Hi hi. Who knows. Just out of fun. At 01:30 we went upstairs. Fast asleep again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Weather: 25 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we got up at 9:30 am. Much earlier is of little use lately. Katerina normally wants to be at the complex by 10:00, but she can’t make it. And when we come downstairs at 10:30, she has just opened and unlocked everything. So then she also has time to make coffee.
After our coffee and juice, we walked downtown. We wanted to buy some more little things. The end result was three leather belts, a purse, a road map, a book by Nikos Kazantzakis, a book about the plants and flowers of Crete and a tunic. And another carton of cigarettes for René. You buy more than you intended anyway. We had also bought sandwiches, so after returning to the room we ate them first. Then we lay down by the pool. Some more coloring and some reading. I had finished the big book, so I started the new one.

At 4:15 p.m. we went to the room. Read some more and then got some sleep. At 7 p.m. we were ready to go to the restaurant. But another coke at the bar. In the restaurant again a nice meal. First a tomato salad, then René Gyros and I a ¼ chicken and I even had room for Greek yogurt with honey. René was already struggling even with his’ Gyros. When we had just finished eating, Katerina came in with Irini. Irini had yet to do her homework, so she was seated at our table. But Georgos wanted her to sing with him for a while. I wouldn’t let her go to him until z finished the exercise, and Irini didn’t take that from me in thanks. Angry, crying. Well that’s bad luck then. Katerina was happy that she finished at least 1 exercise. Then she sang and ate something. When paying I immediately arranged a bottle of ouzo. Then I can make it back to May. Although Georgos would like us to come in the winter too, it is just not possible. That’s what happens when you have a new house built. It will come again. I know we will always be welcome here in the winter.
On the way we counted lizards again and later at our room we saw another one. A total of 6 today, so the vacation total now stands at 57.
After chatting at the bar and closing up, by now it had become 02:10. Time to go to sleep.

Thursday, October 6, 2005
Weather: 26 degrees and partly cloudy

This morning we got up at 9:30 am. This is our last full day. Tomorrow we will probably be picked up at 07:30. We will hear about that later today. At 10:30 we were sitting at the bar having our “breakfast.” Georgos stopped by to say he was coming to pick up René in twenty minutes. They were going to Chersonissos together. René wanted to have a certain kind of shirt that Georgos also wears a lot in the restaurant. And Georogos had bought his shirt in Chersonissos at the time. But after waiting for over an hour, he had not yet returned to pick up René. So we went for a walk around by ourselves. There were still a few things I wanted to photograph.
Among them a couple of sea lilies.
Those bloom from August to October. And I happened to see where they were blooming in the last few days and I wanted to take a picture of them. And we had also seen other large white calyces.

After the photos, we walked one last lap through Malia itself. Then we bought some baguettes, which we also ate right on the fist. When we got to the apartment, we packed our stuff for the pool again. Georgos was also just there at that time. He had forgotten the time and when he arrived at the apartment we were not there. He was sorry that he had not been able to look for shirts with René now. Oh well, we’ll look for them ourselves next vacation. New round, new opportunities.
At the pool we baked again. It is the last chance to get a “tan”. I haven’t sunbathed once this vacation and I’m still not shedding. At 14:30 we went upstairs. First slept a little until 5 p.m. and then showered and changed clothes. We were deliberately so early, because then it was the turn of the suitcases. Everything barely fit in and we were definitely overweight. One suitcase even bulged a little. I hope they won’t be too difficult tomorrow. Later, with sweat on our foreheads and, as someone I know would say, with throbbing armpits, we sat at the bar. First we had a drink. At a little before 7 p.m. we were sitting in the restaurant. Georgos was very sorry that it was already our last evening. But hey, we’ll be back in 7 months.

Tonight we ate lamb chops (René) and Soutzoukakia (me). And after dinner we had a drink in the restaurant for a while. We wanted to postpone the moment of saying goodbye as long as possible. But eventually the goodbyes began anyway. First from Rania. She was then taken home by Aristo. Then from Aristo, then Eddy and then Vasili. Georgos is still coming to the apartment tonight, so we won’t say goodbye to that yet. With 3 bottles of raki and a bottle of Retzina we left the restaurant. By the way, Georgos had also played tonight. The restaurant was very busy. At 8:30 pm the restaurant was as good as full.
On the way we counted lizards again. There were 5 and later we also saw one above our room door. The final total of the vacation is 63. At the bar we had some more drinks and then said goodbye to Georgos and Ron. Katerina wants to be there tomorrow when we leave, so we don’t have to say goodbye to them yet. At 01:10 we were in bed.

Friday, October 7, 2005
Weather: GR 24 degrees and partly cloudy, NL 20 degrees and sunny.

This morning the alarm clock went off at 6 a.m.. Well, not quite true. I was already awake. But I did wake René at that time. I can never sleep very well the night before departure. I am always afraid then that we won’t hear the alarm clock or that we will oversleep. After we showered and got dressed, it was only 06:40. So at a little before 07:00 we were already downstairs. At least well on time. The rest of the guests who left at the same time today were also coming downstairs.
At 07:15 Katerina also arrived. She immediately started making espresso and nescafé for us. So still our breakfast. One of the other guests asked for a bottle of water. And both coffee and water Katerina gave us for free. Katerina had even thought of bringing a polo shirt from the restaurant for Rene. I think Georgos himself now has one less. They couldn’t find the CD we wanted so quickly, so they sent it after by mail.
Exactly at 07:35 the bus arrived. So now we also had to say goodbye to Katerina. But that is not so hard when you know that you will be back in May. We were also on time at the airport. The plane was supposed to leave at 10:40 (Greek time), but of course there were people late again. Some couldn’t help that, who were in wheelchairs. With a 20-minute delay, we finally left. But the landing in Eelde was on time. There we then had to wait for the suitcases. It is quite a strange sight to be standing at the belt and then to see that they are taking the suitcases out of the plane. And you don’t want to know what happens to a suitcase. One fell off the belt from the plane. Right on the ground. Most of the suitcases had broken their straps. Fortunately, our straps were still intact. After we got the suitcases and walked out of the room, we saw Wim standing there. After we put the suitcases in the car, we went to the restaurant. First a cup of coffee and a sausage roll. By now we were in the mood for something to eat. And on board you don’t have much choice. We wanted a sausage roll by then, but by the time the trolley got to us, they had run out. And I wasn’t in the mood for poffertjes. After coffee we drove back to Meppel. It’s really over now. In 7 months we will go again.

For the rest of the vacation pictures see HERE