Crete, Greece
April '07

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Rethymnon has a Venetian port as do Heraklion and Chania. The forts were built in the 16th century to protect against the Turks, who finally did take over in the 1650's. Evidently that is the origin of the custom where a lot of men carry beads that they flip periodically and/or incessantly; it's supposed to be soothing.

After a good hour's bus ride from Heraklion, I had to find a room and happened upon one that was open early in the season (Makri Steno at 54-58 Nikif Foka St.). The room was on the ground floor with a bed and shower (so to speak). It also had a refrigerator and hot plates dating from I know not which century. For 25 euros, I just needed a place to sleep. A nearby tavern charged 3.50 euros ($4.25) for a half liter of wine, accompanied by a colored Easter egg and piece of sweet bread—an inexpensive way to spend a couple of hours reading a novel about life in the days when the Spartans kept invading the Athenians.

I was getting in the the rhythm of taking a bus, finding accommodations, walking to get oriented to a new place, a nice lunch, walking some more, retiring to the hotel and checking email.