Oct.05.2010, Istanbul to Crete

leaving Ataturk airport, Istanbul

Sunny, heading to high 20’s.  Up at 0600, downstairs by 0700 – others straggle in over the next 15 minutes.  The hotel had made up sandwiches and gave us cans of Fanta to have for breakfast as we are leaving early.

0730 shuttle bus out to Ataturk airport, about a 40 min. drive.  Traffic is light this morning – interesting to see another part of the city along the sea on Kennedy Blvd.  0830 no check in problems, line up was short.  The Olympic Air plane is in the very last international flight docking port, the furthest you can get from the main building.  There were lots of empty docking ports between check in and the plan.  Do the Turks still dislike the Greeks? You bet!  Changed YTLs to Euros, no problem.

1030 Olympic Air flight to Athens International.  Debbie and I scored free red and white wine with our breakfast meals at 1100.  Later we find out that Richard, Kathy, Chrystal and Lindsay didn’t know about the free wine.  1130 no problems checking in or getting our baggage, quick.

1200 Took Chrystal and Lindsay out to the metro ticket booth and then kissed/hugged them goodbye.  They are staying at the Jason Inn in Athens tonight.  We won’t see them again until after we get back to Nanaimo although we can join up with them in a hurry here in Greece if need be.  1400 Caught up in my journal, just waiting for 1735 flight to Crete.

1630 Going through boarding gate control to B13, the guy found Richard’s Aqua Velva aftershave and threw it out (or kept it for later use or resale or drinking) because it was 115 ml.  Richard thinks it is a ridiculous rule.  He’s still talking about it at 1640.

1735 – 1830 Flight to Heraklion (Iraklio) Crete.  Debbie & I got a 1/2 sandwich but Richard and Kathy missed it possibly due to the huge guy that sat next to Richard blocking them off from view/conversation with the stewardess.  Heraklion airport arrivals area is small, old, dog walking around in and out of the open door of the women’s washroom.  Kathy’s cough is getting worse and her stomach is upset.  Rental car arrangements.  I will pick up the extra insurance & second driver fee for about 150E, otherwise the liability is about 1200E for damages.  Even with the extra insurance, the tires, underside of vehicle and outside mirrors are not covered for damage!  Interesting, wonder why?

1900 depart airport.  Richard is driving and I am navigating – a Skoda.  What the heck is that?  It’s dusk and starting to get hard to read the map which is all small print.  Also, what do those road signs mean?

2000  Arrived in Rethymno.  Stopped for some directions in town, then another .5 km and we found the Leoniki Residence hotel.  Kathy is in very poor shape and the hotel greeter made us wait for a long time in the lobby until they could explain to us their special “half board” meal deal.  Got Kathy up to the room and then went up the street by car to find a pharmacy for some cough and cold medicine.  Back to resort to unload our bags.

Then headed out almost for a bite to eat and a drink.  First Richard wandered off to look for the sauna and disappeared for a long time.  We thought something had happened to him but he had got lost on the other side, on the grounds of the Grand Leoniki.  Then across the street to a cafe.  Too many gyros (2) which were not rolled, some stuffed olive leaves, red wine, bread and dip.  Too much to eat!  Back to the hotel and to bed.

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