Monday, 13 July 2015

A Day In Chania, Crete.

Wednesday 17 June 2015. The Captain parks the boat at Chania in Crete. The harbour is a little way out of town and a local bus runs a regular shuttle service. We have joined David and Miss Jeannie up on the top deck to see the final stages of our arrival.

This is going to be one of the stand-out days of the cruise holiday. As in Mykonos we are not booked on any excursion, but will take the shuttle bus and see where it takes us.

Souda Port Chania is quite a small and mostly industrial port. Our tug boat returns to its own spot after escorting us in.

David and Jeannie have gone back to their cabin to change for breakfast. We are down first and are greeted by the familiar and cheery face of this chap. Everyone seems to call him Abdul and he welcomes you into the restaurants and is witty and cheerful - he always adds fun to your day.

Where are the honeymooners?" he asks and then feels the wall "Ah, still in their cabin - I can feel the vibrations!"

The shuttle bus is a regular service and leaves every ten minutes. The bus tickets are Euro 1,50 - just over a pound. You can't get 3 stops for that at home and here they are valid for the 20 minute drive plus the return journey back to the ship! A flyer tells us where to get off and the return journey will start from the same place.

The bus drops us off at this market hall. Whilst I prepare to look at the map to see where we are, everyone else heads into the market - so I'd better follow them...

I buy a new belt. I was really wanting a genuine fake Boss one like I had before, but this has a design not a logo on it. Not a fake at all then...

The market hall is shaped like a cross with a clock hanging in the centre of the crossing. Stalls of every sort present their wares to you but without the owners bothering you at all. It's a shop though... I reach the far end and stand there like a wazzock for about ten minutes. The others haven't even reached the crossing yet...

I have to go back to look for them. Miss Franny has made a purchase and may well make more...

Eventually we make it out into bright sunshine and to more shopping streets. Progress is slow... Traffic is rare though and when it appears is slightly more attractive than an ancient smoke-belching van!

The sun is fierce! Large awnings shade the street and shop fronts and sometimes it's like walking in a street and other times it's like walking through a mall!

Leather to smell - Miss Franny is in heaven!

OMG! OMG!!! She is now!!! An entire shop dedicated to fridge magnets! We could be here for days!!! Round ones, square ones, sculptured ones, flat ones, shiny ones, photo ones, cartoon ones, slogans, scenes, sunsets, windmills, dolphins... Aaaaagghhh!

However, after only an hour or two, she says she is disappointed by it... I think this is a ruse - it enables her to stop at the next shop selling fridge magnets...

We come to a square with a church at the rear. David disappears into the square to take photos, stepping backwards with the camera up to his face and causing a motorbike to swerve wildly...

"It's up to them to miss me..." he says airily, when we point out the still wobbling bike... The church is in shadow and it's only 25 minutes to ten.

I knew we would have to walk past this spot again on our way back for the bus. I took this photo at half past one in the afternoon and the sun has moved round nicely, lighting the front of the church. A group of lads on motorbikes pointed at David and roared off quickly, looking over their shoulders...

The square has several statues, though none of them make us go "Oh look! It's..."

We arrive at the harbour and first thoughts are for a drink. It's not yet ten o'clock so we make it a soft drink whilst we decide what to do.

The harbour is a large square with buildings around three sides and a harbour wall or jetty along the other, sheltering the harbour from any large waves that the sea might throw at it. To one side the harbour extends around the corner to a second dock and in this one the cafes are joined by old warehouses. Glass-bottomed boats are chugging in and out and other small and medium size boats make it a picturesque place to be.

It's decided I'll plonk myself on a bench and sketch the harbour for a while - my toe is still glowing in the dark and causing me to limp so a rest will do it good. The other three are going for a wander around the harbour. This is the view I've chosen to sketch. A photo records the detail - I have a sneaky feeling the boat will not stay all that long as already people are getting onto it and whilst I usually start top left and work down to bottom right so that my hand doesn't smudge my work, this time I just do outlines of buildings and try to get the boat done first. I just manage to finish the boat in time for it to go out! You can have a look in the next entry! Heh heh - ain't I a rotter!

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