sunny days & lobster looking skin

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May 20th 2006
Published: May 22nd 2006
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Tasty tasty gyroTasty tasty gyroTasty tasty gyro

french fries included.
We flew to the island of Crete from Athens. We figured flying was an easier and faster option for our needs than taking a 9 hour ferry ride. We took Aegean airlines which I thought was a discount airline as we only paid 20 euros + taxes for the flight. For the 40 minute flight we were offered a mint, tasty caramel cookie and our choice of non-alcoholic drink. The island of Crete is fairly large and the some of its landscape includes highways and ugly concrete buildings. Its a bit of a contrast to one of the smaller islands near Athens I visited the last time around that was whitewashed and donkeys replaced vehicles.

Janice and I fled this ugly port town of Iraklio/Heraklion and headed west to the 3rd largest town in Crete called Rethymno. This is cute little town with small cobblestone streets and a large venetian/byzantine fortress. We've been spending our days getting lost in these little streets always knowing we can find our way back to our hotel by looking for the tourist shops which increase in number as we get closer to the beach.
The tourist shops are filled with ouzo, raki and honey. This town makes a tasty liquor called Rakimelo which is raki (like the italian grappa) plus cinnamon and honey. Its supposed to be a soothing cough remedy and some locals use it for mosquito bites. I bought a little jar of honey with nuts and learned that on a wedding day the in-laws serve the happy couple a few spoonfuls of this honey & nuts in the hopes that the newlyweds will say sweet nothings to each other.

We went snorkelling on the south coast of Crete. On the way to getting picked up for our tour, we passed by a McDonald's. I was curious to see what the local burger was (In Mexico... it was the McFiesta, India... the Maharaja Mac). in Rethymno it was the Greek Mac. I couldn't stop laughing as this burger consisted of two beef patties in the middle of a pita (like a sideways taco) with tomato and sauce. After that long lecture by the waiter... I thought this was amusing as its supposed to be a "greek" spin on a burger. The snorkelling itself was fun. The tour was a bit disorganized and Max, the Italian guide kept bickering with the British guide. The snorkelling location was breathtaking. It was in this little alcove with a tall volcanic rock cliff overlooking it. We wore wetsuits to keep warm but the crotch hole in my wet suit didn't help my situation much. We got to see some cute tropical fishies and the odd sea cucumber and starfish. There were others that took a beginner scuba-diving course but it seemed a bit sketchy so we were glad we stuck to snorkelling. We suntanned a bit (it was the perfect location - isolated, amongst the jagged rock cliffs and sunny mediterranean climate). However, Janice and I turned into slight lobsters.

Back in town... I've noticed that I've definitely been checked out by men of all ages. Its certainly flattering to be given the twice over, smiled at and called upon but I can't quite explain why this has happened as frequently as it has in Rethymno. I've come up with possible explanations (I'm sure you'll find them amusing):
a. I've been wearing a bikini or a short skirt (but I've also been wearing more modest clothing and gotten checked out).
b. I've blossomed into a more beautiful person and I havn't fully realized that yet.
c. It's not quite full tourist season yet so there's not a lot of foreign women my age to really gawk at.
d. They like asian women more so than in other european countries.
e. I don't dress like a hippy backpacker anymore.
f. I'm just another peace of meat and I shouldn't think too much into it.
g. There's two women (Janice and I) to look at for the price of one look.

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