Crete 2018 #2 Blog 4

October 6th 2018
Published: October 7th 2018
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Reminder: the panoramic photos at the start of the blog change every 7/8 seconds and give a larger and clearer image than when viewed with the other photos. Also, there are more photos below the text if you want to skip the diary details; and if you double click on any of the photos you will get an enlarged, clearer image. You can return to the text anytime.

Monday 1st October to Saturday 6 October:

Not a lot to report for the week as the weather stayed mostly overcast which limited our ability to enjoy the scenery and beaches. On Monday it was very windy and the surf was up in Plakias Bay, so that put paid to any notions of lazing around on the beach. Besides Jane was still feeling queasy after the dodgy meal at Heraklion the previous day so we went for a walk along the beach to get some fresh air, but spent much of the time in our apartment. On Tuesday the weather was better and the sea had calmed down so at least we could walk over to Damnoni for a change of scenery and some good food. In the evening we had hoped to go to our favourite taverna in Mithios halfway up the mountain behind Plakias but it was full and had several people waiting for a table so we went next door to a taverna which had a similar "Very Good" Tripadvisor rating as the Plateia: our favourite. The alternative, the Panorama, was much worse than the Plateia in every respect. The service was slow and the food was almost as bad as the dodgy meal we had in Heraklion that caused Jane's upset tummy. I ordered fried mushrooms and chips. The mushrooms were served flattened, deep fried in batter and just tasted of batter, while the chips were very hot but completely without flavour. Jane had oven roasted chicken with some kind of sauce with potatoes: similarly flavourless. A scathing review will appear in Tripadvisor to try to lower the overall rating to a more realistic level.

Wednesday was the big move to Chania where we'd booked into the former British Ambassador's residence which is now a hotel, the Halepa. First off though we decided to take advantage of what was some rare fine weather to spend a last leisurely lunch in Damnoni before setting off to Chania. On arriving in Chania we found the hotel without too much trouble and checked in. The frontage of the hotel is very grand but the guest accommodation is in a new wing at the rear with no view. After unpacking we went for a walk into the Old Town and harbour area before heading back to look for somewhere for dinner. We chose a restaurant near to the hotel which had been recommended to us by the receptionist. Bad call: limited menu and quite expensive. I tried the Cretan village sausages, having seen them on most restaurant menus while Jane had chicken fillets. In the event I didn't like to sausages and Jane didn't care for the chicken so we swapped. On returning to the hotel we concluded that we not only didn't like Chania, we didn't like the hotel either so Jane booked us into a hotel in Kissamos where we had stayed previously and enjoyed it.

On Thursday morning we told the Halepa receptionist that we were going away for two nights and would be returning on the Saturday evening; then we headed west to Kissamos, where we were very warmly welcomed by the receptionist at the
Plakias Bay on our last dayPlakias Bay on our last dayPlakias Bay on our last day it should have looked every day
Aphrodite Hotel who remembered us from our previous visits. After quickly unloading the car we drove west for another 10 miles to Falasarna where there was a good beach which would be sheltered from the north easterly wind that was blowing. I had a light lunch as I was still feeling queasy from the previous evening's dinner then afterwards we went for a swim. In the evening I was still feeling rough despite the swim so at the restaurant behind our hotel I ordered a very small dinner as I had no appetite. When the food arrived I decided that I didn't want anything to eat and told Jane that I would return to our room. I tried to stand up and then fainted: woke up on the floor and chucked up the previous evening's dinner. Jane, the staff and other customers were incredibly helpful, including an Irish nurse called Ailish who came into the restaurant and took charge. I was carted off to the local clinic in an ambulance, which Jane had summoned, and hooked up to a saline drip then put back into the ambulance and taken to the big hospital in Chania for further tests. Jane who
"He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy""He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy""He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy"

Some guy in Damnoni who could walk on water
had stayed with me on the way to the clinic was told that she could not accompany me to Chania so she went back to the hotel, collected the necessary paperwork: passport and insurance forms and my phone, then got a taxi to the hospital in Chania. In the hospital I was examined by a doctor in the emergency room who took a blood sample, checked my blood pressure and pulse then summoned a neurologist to come and check me. When the neurologist arrived she examined me to check my reactions (tickling the soles of me feet, pins into my hands, legs and feet) and checking my co-ordination (touch nose with left then right forefingers, lifting arms and legs and other exercises which I managed without any difficulty). Jane had arrived by then and described to the neurologist what had happened when I passed out in the restaurant. The neurologist decided that I should remain in the hospital overnight and would arrange for a CT scan the next morning. At 2.30am Jane went back to our room at the Halepa Hotel in Chania for the rest of the night. By this time I was actually feeling much better than I had before the ill fated visit to the restaurant in Kissamos and slept quite well. Jane came back to the hospital at around 8.30 am. A bit later I had the CT scan, then another examination by another neurologist who pronounced that all was well and I could leave. I still don't know what caused my problem. I think that it was a combination of the dodgy meal in Chania on Wednesday night, or dehydration, or a combination of the two. However, as Jane had a similar though milder stomach upset it may have been some kind of bug that we both caught. Whatever, the important thing was I that I got the all clear. So, in addition to my previous very high opinion for Crete and especially the Cretan people I can now include their health service which is great. In respect of payment or paperwork all that was required was for me to show my European E111 health card at the hospital reception on our way out. And the only reason why the receptionist asked for it was because we had gone to the counter to ask her to order a taxi for us; otherwise we could have walked straight out. Then it was back to Kissamos and a quiet day at our hotel; but with only a takeaway pizza for dinner as I still had very little appetite. On her way to get the pizza Jane called in at the restaurant behind the hotel to pay for our dinner the previous night as we'd left without paying (obviously), but the boss, Giorgios, would not accept payment and was concerned only for my welfare.

On Friday I was feeling ok and we checked out of the hotel and went to Falasarna for a last day on the beach. On arrival we stopped off for a drink (fresh orange and coke) and were greeted by one of the waiters there who also works evenings at the restaurant we went to in Kissamos. He had been there on Wednesday night and was evidently glad to see that I was well. When we got to the beach, a German couple who had also been at the restaurant on Wednesday night came over to greet us and to enquire about my health: faith in human nature restored and reinforced. So we had a quiet day on the beach - with plenty
Halepa Hotel ChaniaHalepa Hotel ChaniaHalepa Hotel Chania

A fitting residence for the British Ambassador in 1850
of water - no swimming for me as there was a cool, quite strong northerly wind blowing. Jane went for a swim and confirmed that it was colder than on the Wednesday. After a late lunch/snack we headed off for Chania and our last night on Crete.

It's not been as enjoyable as usual mainly because the weather has been unseasonably cool and overcast; but our experiences have reinforced my view that the Cretans are the nicest people I've met on my travels.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Eastern ChaniaEastern Chania
Eastern Chania

The district called Chalepas, where our hotel is located. Residential and old money
Falasarna BeachFalasarna Beach
Falasarna Beach

Wednesday 3rd October
Falasarna BeachesFalasarna Beaches
Falasarna Beaches

Saturday 6th October
Falasarna BayFalasarna Bay
Falasarna Bay

Saturday 6th October

7th October 2018

Crete NHS and hospitality
Good to hear it has turned out OK and very impressed with the Cretan NHS; we could do with some of that!

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