Crete, Greece
April '07

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There are prettier places than Heraklion, although the port is nice. Walking along to review firsthand the selection of restaurants on the water, I chose the one where the most people were. The first day I almost didn't get served. The boss came along and proclaimed "Service is finished," but I managed to stammer, "But I already placed my order." The next day's reception was friendlier, as were the ones when I returned to take my flight back to Marseille. The waiter remembered me. Somehow, a scene gets better accompanied by wine and good food.

Since the renowned archeological museum in Heraklion was closed for renovation until August, I decided to move on. Besides it's a pretty gritty, ugly city.


My first Greek experience was finding the 33-euro-a-nite hotel, the Mirabello, booked online in advance. Taking the bus in from the airport, I asked five times about the address with helpful directions resulting each time. It turned out to be a 4th floor "penthouse" with shower & sink in the room and shared toilet (not a problem unless one spends an inordinate amount of time in the loo). Best of all, I succeeded in getting hooked up to its cable internet access. Online info said it had wifi, but it was a manual cable setup with IP numbers. Kostas, the owner and resident manager, spoke excellent English and answered myriad questions. After 27 years at the hotel, he knows most of the answers.