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Maria and Gerry’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 17 Jun 2006

Location: Hania, Greece

MapDear Friends,
Arrived here yesterday from Rethymno in a 1 hr bus journey, and a 1/2 hr walk towing a suitcase each, saving the taxi fare for beer money, very necessary here in this high temperature.

Some impressions we have formed after more than 3 wks in Greece,
it hardly ever rains in summer, except when we are walking from the bus station to our hotel.
3/4 of the adult population smokes.
Greece has the lowest crime rate in Europe, but high road death figures. We did come across a 4 car pile-up on our bus trip once, caused by a mud plugger of course!
We were interviewed by a TV station on the costs of things in Greece, compared to NZ.
A restaurant owner shouted Gerry a handle of beer when he found out that we were Kiwis.
Against the dry landsscape, except olive trees of course, the colour is mostly different shades of the oleandar, together with the lovely hibiscus and
There are people here from all over Europe and the odd Aussi and even more odd Kiwi.
Most adult men pass the time of day swinging their worry beads.
Pedestrian crossings are there to be ignored by cars rather than observed. You wouldn't think there is a law in this country about wearing seat belts, or motorcycle helmets.
We met one chap, who we chatted with for a while, his daughter beside him occasionally translating until we heard that he works in Friesland, so we reverted to Dutch. Later in the day we walked down a side street, having dinner at a wee cafe of Katerina, who happned to be his mother of all things, very recently widowed. Her Dutch was definitely better than our Greek.
Last night we had dinner by the sea, in the old Venetian port, as the night before in Rethymno;lovely sitting there passing the time of day, with the ripple of water and the boats bobbing in the breeze.
Rethymno, especially, has still much to show from the different rulers, especially attractive are the wooden enclosed balconies of the Turks, their gates and their triple water fountains. With the Venetians, their fortresses, one wall of which is now in sight from where we are now sitting. Beyond that is a mountain range with a wee strip of snow near the top, but boy! down where we are the climate is somewhat warmer to say the least.
In the afternoon every TV set in every cafe & restaurant is tuned to the Soccer World Cup, even though Greece is not represented.
Farewell, dear Friends, take care and lots of love from
Gerry and Maria