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Crete & Rome: The Bullet-Point Version!

sunny 24 °C

St__Peter_s_Basilica.jpgRoom_of_ma..Vatican.jpgSo, seeing as how I’m so far behind, this blog is going to be short and sweet! And no pictures, sorry, bad connection!

On our last day in Santorini (which was last Sunday, by the way!) we hit the beach and hung out poolside with our hostel guy Nicholas. It was fun and hot. We got literally sandblasted at the beach, and then went down to the supermarket and had our best Greek pita yet - full of good veggies and French’s mustard, I couldn’t be happier. We get to the port and had about an hour’s wait, so the three of us downed a warm litre of white wine, while Nicholas waited with us and sipped on a coke.

It was just about 4, and we hadn’t even seen the boat coming around the corner, so we made friends with 2 guys from Levenworth, Seattle, and waited with them. Spencer and Logan were brothers, Logan was on R & R from firefighting on a base in Iraq, and Spencer had just finished school. So we’re waiting around, sitting on our packs and chatting, when this woman comes up to us and asks if we’re waiting for the SuperJet, and informs us that it’s not coming and that we’re being put onto a new boat at 7. It’s just after 4 now, so we invited her and her husband to come sit on our packs and drink Mythos beer, as it was a super nice night out. It turned out really fun, but it was a long wait, so we all got pretty buzzed in the sun. Our boat comes just before 7, and we’re herded in first. Once on, this crazy Greek woman makes us all jam into one corner, then she tells us to move and put our luggage away, then she herds us back again! Mom I guess was standing up for too long as the woman grabbed her by the wrist and led her away to a different section. She turns to us and yells, “I love you!” as if she’s leaving forever it was so funny. She finally escaped the crazy lady and got to sit with us again for a 3 hour, extremely wavy boat ride. If you got up to walk around, it looked like you were hammered everyone was staggering all over the place it was really bad. But we made it and found our hostel on the other side just fine. Our hostel looked pretty sketchy at night, but we didn’t have to walk far up the road until we were in.

For our first day in Crete (Monday) we walked around and found some Starbucks, which was so good as the ladies hadn’t had real coffee for a week and I hadn’t had any soymilk for like half a month! We found some rally cool shopping streets and bought some souvenirs and jewelry. I bought a really cute silver ring, which has since broke! I was playing around with it and it snapped in half! So I’ll have to get it fixed at home.
The restaurant guys here are really pushy, always trying to get you to come eat in there place, so we try and eat at the nice, quiet areas. There are also a lot of gypsies in Hyraklion, so the ladies got their first eal taste in them bugging us through our wine while dining al fresco. Kristal and I went and saw “Love Happens” in the theater because it was English! It was really cute, but mom didn’t feel like coming so she stayed home.

Day 2 in Crete we had planned to take the bus to Chania and look around, but when we got to the bus station the tickets were 19 euro a person, which is crazy for a public bus! Then we found out the trip was 3 an a half hours long, so it made more sense, and we didn’t want to go that far anyways in one day. We decided to go out to Knossos, an ancient settlement area, and look at some more rocks. It was ok, I walked into a pole and got a nice big bump on my shin, but it was mostly just more rocks laying around. After the bus ride we walked to the big complex where we saw the movie and had lunch, then found a mini beach and just hung out for a bit. That night we went out and found some good white wine and got a little buzzed, and then found some pita for dinner. Our last veggie pizza was really good, so we were sort of expecting the same. When we said no meat, they just threw one slice of tomato on and tons of fries and called it dinner. We were like, uh, thanks I guess! We were a little too buzzed to care I think!
Wednesday in Crete we hopped on a bus in the morning heading to Rethymno. It’s a cute little seaside town, and on the way into town we passed a big market, so as soon as we got off we headed back towards it. It was really good; tons of fruit and veggie venders in the first half and lots of clothes and shoes in the second. The food vendors were really nice, all trying to get you to try their food. We bought oranges, peanuts, tomatoes (SO good) and bulk olives (even better!). We also bought bras for 2 euro, and they fit perfect! We were trying them on over our clothes as the sizes are different over here, but it worked out well. We then headed through the old town, finally finding mom some beer (if she doesn’t have a beer in her hand by 12:30 she starts getting antsy; it’s really cheap here and you can drink it everywhere you go) and doing a bit of shopping. While shopping we found another great, super cheap pita place that had falafel and zucchini, mmm so good. And cheap. We wandered down to the beach, and eventually found a really nice one that made us pay for the chairs (which is crap, but the ladies insisted) so we soaked up the sun before heading back to Hyraklion and going to bed early for our flight the next morning.
Up and out the door by 4:30 yesterday morning, we were at the airport early for our 7am flight to Roma. We had easy flights, and mom and I even got a little vegan breakfast on the plane! Very cute. Our luggage took almost an hour, but we found our bus pretty easily. What we didn’t find was the ticket booth, so we missed the first bus and the second one didn’t come for almost an hour. It’s not after 12 and we got in at 10, but we finally got to our hostel practically starving and hot tired. We found some really good risotto and bruchetta at a place down the road, and then headed into Rome to plan our next couple of days, and just see some things before we passed out at home. We got off at the main terminal and saw a fountain and a big, beautiful church.

We were pretty tired from being up since 4, so we decided to head back to our hostel, grabbing pizza and wine in cartons on the way. We also booked a walking tour for the next day, which we went on today (finally up to date!) and had such a good time. It took us through the Vatican museums, pointing out things we never would have known about, and teaching us about the Sistine Chapel, and then led us outside St. Peter’s Basilica, where we went in ourselves. It was huge, and beautiful! We saw part of a service as well. They have tons of confession boxes, it was different; I didn’t think people actually still did that! Mom was telling us all the stuff she used to confess when she was little. We wandered away from the Vatican and found some spaghetti for dinner. The metro home was absolutely packed, so the ladies got to experience rush hour metro for the first time. We got off at the Colloseum for a quick look, and it was all lit up at night it was good. We’re going to do a walking tour of the Colloseum and the Roman Forum tomorrow. On the way home we got gelato and now we’re drinking wine at the hostel!


Posted by kvandervegan 12:42 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking

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