Greetings from a sunny Crete boys and girls, just jotted down a few notes that hopefully will keep you entertained at work for about 6 minutes atleast!
It all started as a need, a need to get away from the cold, grey streets of dublin and the anonymous filing cabinet where I work and have been working for the past 18 months without taking a real break. My budget was extremely limited so "budget travel" seemed like the perfect tour operator for me. I wont bore you with the hows and whys but I decided on a holiday resort called Gouves on the beautiful Greek island of Crete located somewhere between the Greek mainland and Colonel Khadafi's playground AKA Libya. The following story is a little personal diary come travel guide Im keepingof my time here and like a good dish its 95% main meal (fact) and about 5% herbs and spices (fiction) to jazz it up a little. Enjoy!
I arrived at the airport early and see a huge que waiting to check in at check-in nr. 12. My feelings of pity for the poor people waiting quickly turn into self-pity as I realise that this is the que for my flight to Heraklion. "For **** sake" is the only half-assed sentance my brain seems to be able to string together for the following hour and a half as I see the line of kids, somewhat cool young people and Eastenders-watching bingo grannies move forward at the pace of a lazy snail on valium. Like a golden shower, a sense of relief washes over me as I check in and head outside for what is to be my last smoke for the next 5 hours straight. Im seated next to a really nice Irish couple called Cormac and Sinead who are speaking Gaelic which sounds liek they're trying to cough up a ball of something lodged in their throats. They speak English too ofcourse, Wahey! The unfortunate choice of in-flight entertainment is a movie titled: "the day after tomorrow" which consists of several plane crashes and basically the entire world coming to an abrupt and violent ending. Being the hero that I am I had no problems watching this which cant be said about the poor 80 something granny sitting adjacent to me in the other isle. She has a look on her face as if she just heard her husband was leaving her for her 90 something sister. A smell of urine eminating from her general area fills the aeroplane. I try to open a window before realising Im an idiot.
Touchdown! A fairly rough landing awaits us which doesnt surprise me as Ive heard from several people that Greeks and good driving are a mix as illusive to find as a gay man with no natural talent for interior design and decoration. Its 3.30 in the morning and a warm breeze gently sways the palm trees. Im afraid we crashed and Ive been sent to heaven, but quickly snap out of it when I realise I just used the words I and heaven without the word not in the middle somewhere. I have a little chat with Cormac and Sinead before picking up my bag and heading back out for a smoke, a combination of paper, some dry brown tobacco and a filter that almost makes me climax and shout out: "**** yeah!!!" when I light it up. Im so laid back at this point, I feel like Im floating horizontally, straight into the tourbus that takes us past beautiful houses and rocky roads leading up to the holiday resort. Greeted by a friendly, most likely insomniac Cretan we check in at around 5.30 and I drop onto my bed for some well deserved rest.
Son of a beach
Im awoken the next day by a cleaning lady who sees me lying on my bed naked as the day I was born and an almost disturbing amount of days since. She averts her gaze and slowly goes back out leaving me pretty sure she deals with this sort of thing on a daily basis. 10 minutes later I hear a little knock and a voice saying: "kalimera" before she opens the door again. Her warm smile puts me at ease straight away as I let her do what she does day-in day-out. The sun is shining as I head out of my room and a MASSIVE mountain which I failed to notice the previous morning/night stares me dead in the face. Its awesome as you can see on the snaps and I wouldve loved to drive up if only I had a driving license and a rental car. I decide to trek down to the beach which takes about 20 mins on foot and almost inspired me to write a novel titled: "the joy of walking" before It crosses my mind that this is actually the first walk I thoroughlly enjoyed in a long time. The hills, the colourful humming birds, the friendly locals waving and shouting: "Yassou!" and the kiosks displaying their surprisingly wide variety of porn mags are all priceless. Yeah, this was a walk I really enjoyed and will take almost every day of my stay here unless I have something better to do ofcourse. A gorgeous, almost deserted beach awaits me like a pot of shining gold coins at the end of the rainbow. Crystal blue waters, golden sands stretching for miles and unfortunately a proverbial ****load of rubbish left by fellow tourists no doubt. I briefly thought I discovered a new species of strawberry-scented, tube-shaped jellyfish stranded in the dunes before seeing it was a used johnny on closer inspection. Things like this make me feel ashamed of being one of these tourists coming here to this island paradise to behold it in all its glory and completely **** it up at the same time.
Tons of fantastic pics to follow as soon as I get back home sunday or monday.