Lightening and rain on the greek islands

Trip Start Sep 08, 2006
Trip End Dec 16, 2006

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

I apologize for not having updated this thing for the last couple of days, but we seem to have been hit with freak weather for the past week or so. There were purple lightening storms all through wed-fri, with pouring rain and nasty winds; It was actually very dramatic to watch (from a dry place), but it knocked out the internet at the hostel and around most of the town.

On Santorini I met up with this great bunch of people (there are six of us altogether), and we decided to travel to Crete together. Unfortunately, the only ferry that was available left at 4:30 in the morning... We got everything packed up at around 11:30pm, and thanks to some quicktalkiong by the hostel staff (kind creepy British guy), a local took us down to the port for a fraction of the cost of catching a taxi. But since we got to the port around midnight, we had to wait around for a few hours before the ferry got there. This means commandeering the outdoor seating area of a closed restaurant for 4 hours, which was fine, accept that sleeping in restaurant chairs is absolutely impossible. I think they design them specifically so that you don't get too comfortable and wont want to stay the whole night at the restaurant, which would ensure a fast turnover rate for customers, but makes taking a nap living hell. Suffice to say, we were really quite tired by the time the ferry arrived and didn't recover for the next day or so.

After taking the overnight ferry to the port of Iraklion, we emerged dazed and confused as to whether we should stay in Iraklion or continue on to Rethymno for the day. A fellow in Perissa (on Santorini) by the name of Chris warned us about the hostel in Iraklion, he said it was grubby and that the staff weren't so friendly, but that there was a much nicer hostel in Rethymno that was just a half-hours bus ride away. So armed with this information we got an early morning bus over to Rethymno and walked from the bus stop to the old town, which is not only where the hostel is located, but also is the most touristed area of the city. This is both a good and bad thing, because although there are lots of great restaurants and bars around, it was also packed with tourists during the evening hours. I really didn't do alot there, just wandered around and got some gifts for people back home (Mia, I got you something pretty neat), but after the sun set our little group decided to have some fun. The first night we stayed there everyone was too exhausted from the ferry to do anything, so the second night was decided to be party night. THe hostel has this rule that no outside liquor can be brought in, but since Raki is sold in clear waterbottles (Raki is the ethnic drink of choice among Cretans, and it is really something else. You could strip paint with this stuff, but since it's clear it looks just like water so the hostel manager didn't know). After drinking some of the raki we got kicked out for trying to have a few beers, so we just sat on the curb outside of the hostel and entertained ourselves for a bit. Eventually everyone got ready and we went out to the harbour to walk along the seawall, until it came to this little beach with palmtrees and covered in fine sand. After settling down on the rocks, the group finished off a few more bottles and goofed around for a bit until it was about 2am or so. At this point half of our number left back to the hostel, citing clubbing as being not their thing, but the remaining 4 went looking for active clubs to go dancing in. We found one down by the water about 15 mins away from our hostel, and although it didn't have many people in it, it was so small that us being there made it appear 3x more lively. Ben and Rama and I proceeded to make minor fools of ourselves, but whatever, we were having fun (Ben dances surprising similar to Sam back home, tall thin guys all move the same), with Mike just hanging out on the sidelines. But when a certain beat came on, Mike took to the floor and pulled off a few breakdancing moves which instantly won him star status among the Greeks at the bar. I'm guessing they don't get many breakdancers around here, so they were very impressed by just a few moves. Well, after that, we got free shots from the barkeep and smiles from all the young Greeks in the club.

Afterwards, when we were walking home, we ran into two Norwegians that had apparently been at the same club and thought Mike was the coolest thing ever. WE went to a nearby park together and just hung out for an hour talking, until some of the guys went to make phone-calls home. While they were doing this and everyone was distracted, the Norwegian guy somehow managed to climb the tree (which no one saw him do), and then when we regrouped he lost his footing and fell out. Most random thing ever, Norwegians falling from the sky! But anyway, he was alright, and we decided to call it a night.

Okay, that was alot of writing, but there's even more! I don't want to make two entries for Crete, so it's all getting jammed into one.

Well, after the fun time we had in Rethymno, I was ready to head down to Plakias (which is a small town on the South Coast of Crete), to relaxed for a few days. We caught the bus on Mon 9th (i think), and arrived at Plakias the same day. The hostel here really is fabulous, it has more the vibe of a summer camp then of a youth hostel. THere are lots of older germans who apparently returned here year after year, always with the same people that they've met from previous trips. The first day was great, it was hot and sunny and everyone was sprawled out in the grass playing guitar and drums (it seems that everyone is this group is absurding creative, which manifests itself in either sculpture(Ben), Acting (rama), or music (Mike, and Ashley)). Some of the guys have really good voices, and both Mike and Ashley are in bands back home, which lead to some awesome late-night jam sessions on the hostel balcony.

After those first 2 days, however, the weather got nasty (as previously described, so i won't do it again), and we've been getting more and mreo anxious to leave Crete. I think that everyone is taking the ferry back to Athens on Tuesday and then splitting up from there, but i'm sure that we will all swap emails and stay in touch.
There are other stories that have taken place within this time frame, so check back to this entry in the next few days and i will put more stuff on, but right now i'm tired of typing!
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