Oct.07.2010, Rethymno, Crete

first rain since April

Cloudy, overcast with occasional blue sky patches.  I was a bit upset last night.  Woke up at 0100 – 0200 with upset stomach.  Took some Alka Seltzer.  Then I couldn’t go back to sleep because my back was sore and realized it might be sore kidneys!  So, took an Ibuprofen.  Then I fell into a very sound sleep.  When I got up in the morning I had a touch of diarrhea – but it seems to have settled down so we’ll see how it goes, so to speak.

Breakfast on the balcony – cereal, coffee, juice, toast and jam.  Kathy feeling poorly so she stayed at the hotel.  Richard, Debbie and I drove into downtown Rethymno which is about 6 km. west of us.  Parking is difficult.  We ended up parked a long way east of the Venetian harbour, but still on the waterfront road.  Walked back into town centre, then the wind came up, air cooled off quickly and shop keepers started to prepare for rain.  We turned around and walked back to the car – maybe 2 km.  It was spitting and windy but did not pour on us, so Richard was right – no rain!  I drove back to the hotel.  Kathy is up.  Deb made lunch, fresh bread with cheese and tomato sandwiches.

No old cars here in Rethymno!  There is much less traffic here in Rethymno than there was in Istanbul.  Just as well, as Richard arranged for a standard car rental – it’s been a while since I last worked a stick.  Also noticeable – a much more relaxed manner of dressing particularly among women, and seeing many more women shop vendors/managers which were hardly seen at all in Istanbul.

1400  All of us got in the car and I drove downtown.  Drove around the fortress Ok but then got lost trying to find the parking lot so drove through the Old Town, then back on beach drive and found the way to the parking lot from the Venetian Harbour side of town.  I might have been driving the wrong way down a one way street for a block or so…  Driving in Old Town was an exhilarating experience.  I bent the side mirror in so I wouldn’t hit anything – other cars, pedestrians, lamp posts.  Yes, it’s that narrow in the old streets.

Overcast & cloudy.  Parked and up the stairs/ramp at 1445.  However, the archeological museum closes at 1500.  So up the stairs to the Venetian fortress which was built in 1673 – subsequently conquered by the Turks in the 1600’s.  How they got in to conquer it is beyond me unless the Turks just starved out the Venetians.  Otherwise, it looks impregnable.

It started to lightly rain about as soon as we started exploring the fortress.  Raincoats on and umbrellas ready, it was all manageable until the very end when the rain became torrential.  We raced to the tunnel entrance tunnel and waited until it slowed down just a bit.  We started walking into Old Town but it started raining harder again.  So we turned around and headed back to the parking lot.  We owed another 1E but grandpa said don’t bother, pointing at the sky and the rain.  The car was only 50 m away, but we stayed undercover for another 10 min. until the rain slowed down again.  Richard drove back and I navigated.  Parked – back inside the hotel to take off wet coats and clothes, rinse off feet, drink some tea.  Lots of thunder outside and a short power outage.  Watching CNN at 1730.

1930  Rain has slowed down.  Checked at front desk restaurant but a la carte is only available for lunch until 1700.   The only supper choice is a huge buffet.  We ran across the street to a family run restaurant.  I had sardines and they were good (did not eat the heads or tails) with Mythos beer.  Deb and Kathy shared a 1/2 l carafe of white wine for 3.50E which turned out to be surprisingly good.  The daughter who is about 24 came and talked with us for quite a while.  She is getting married next July and the wedding may have 1500 guests, if we understood her correctly!  Momma gave us free shot glasses of raki after the meal.  Stayed and talked and didn’t leave until after 2100.

Back to the hotel room, watched LOST until 2200, then got ready for bed.  Today was the first day of rain in Rethymno since April.  It made for a memorable day.

Leoniki Residence – 1 key only which is a bit tough logistically with 2 couples and people coming and going all the time; ridiculously small shower downstairs; toilet paper in the waste can; no a la carte dinner menu; registration delay even though Kathy was terribly ill upon arrival; no drying rack on balcony downstairs, 10E towel deposit for pool side towels, and a patio door that lets in copious amounts of water when it is raining hard.

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