I swear to god this is going to be a short one. For everyone’s sake. Yesterday was a travel day anyway so we didn’t do all that much. There’s a Starbucks very close to our Airbnb here. I just went there and immediately asked him if they had brewed coffee.
“Yes.” He said.
“Incredible. Thank you.”
“But maybe not be enough.”
What is with this place!? It must be that nobody orders it. It was enough.
Yesterday we finished off Mykonos by eating a final gyro at Jimmy’s Gyros and taking the sea bus back to the port. The wind was blowing and we were getting a little chilly on Mykonos. I’m sorry if we short-changed you Mykonos. I know we didn’t see much of you. If I ever come back, I promise to do more than just the scene. There’s a lake on Mykonos. I bet it’s lovely.
We got to the port early. We usually do. These ferry’s don’t spend a lot of time messing about. They dock, people disembark, people board, they take off. You want to be ready.
While we were there, we marveled at how much stuff fit into this one ferry that was docked right by where we were waiting. Lots of cars, several large trucks, a full brass band in their uniforms of dark blue pants and light blue shirts, just carrying their instruments by their sides, no cases or anything, a bunch of tourists. It sat there for a while, eating its fill. Finally it was time to shove off. The dock crew unhooked the huge ropes from their steel pegs and the boat crew took in the slack. The great boat wheeled it’s stern away from the dock, its prow still at anchor.
As this was happening a lonely car sped up to the landing. A woman got out of the passenger seat wearing dark blue pants and a light blue shirt. She was holding a snare drum.
“Oh no!” Joe and I both cried, at once laughing and feeling genuine sympathy.
It was a tragic scene. She waved at the boat, suggesting it come back and pick her up. The boat ignored her. You could see her band mates on the deck of the ferry, unable to aid their stranded percussionist. Knowing that their next show would be a little less crisp.
She get back in the car and they drove away. To where, I do not know. Maybe she knew another way. We continued to wait.
Our ferry arrived and we boarded. We had paid a little extra this time for Club Class because this was a long one, four and a half hours to Crete. Club Class gives you more space and the ability to order water and coffee. I think that might be it, but the space is worth it. I napped all the way to Santorini. When we pulled in there, Joe insisted I go out on the deck and check it out. I went up there exactly long enough to be judgmental about all the jerks coming from Santorini.
Where to next? Mykonos?? Jesus you people are so predictable. And now we have to share a boat with you? Thank god for Club Class.
I continued to show off my new-found European sophistication and social caste by ordering an americano and the worlds largest donut.
We docked at the port of Heraklion on Crete at about 2000. We walked the short distance to our Airbnb, me taking careful note of the location of that Starbucks. Our host met us down stairs and showed us some of the quirks of the place.
“This is the switch for the boiler. If you want to take a shower, turn this on for 10 minutes and then turn it off for safety reasons. Because the boiler is above your head.”
“So turn it on, ten minutes, turn it off, take a shower?”
We looked in the bathroom. This is the worst shower yet. There’s a hose and a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor. The entire bathroom is the shower. Also I’m assuming you’re on a tight leash with that hot water. Neither of us have tried it yet. The toilet seat doesn’t stay up. There’s a trashcan next to the toilet for toilet paper but we’ve been ignoring those for weeks.
The rest of the place is decent, spacious. We asked her for a dinner recommendation.
“Do you eat lamb?” She asked.
“Oh yeah. Back on Santorini, Joe completed a lamb slam.”
She recommended a place where you had to reserve your portion of lamb in advance. She’d just come from there. She might have been a little drunk.
We turned on the TV. At first there was no picture, only audio and only 8 stations. One of them was called The Voice of Greece.
“Joe I think the TV is playing the radio.”
After a some fiddling with the menus I was able to locate actual TV.
We settled in and then went walking around Heraklion city center. It’s pretty great. It’s all walking streets with tons of shops and restaurants. We passed three different live bands. REAL bands. One was playing a cover of Alien Ant Farm’s cover of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. The other two were playing more traditional Greek music.
We picked a weird restaurant, McDellys. Which, as you can probably guess, is a Greek McDonald’s. That’s unfair, it’s better than that. And there were a ton of patrons which is why we ended up eating there. We got a Greek salad, cheeseburgers, and a fried chicken sandwich with something called chicken sauce, to split. Gotta find out what chicken sauce is. It had been a long time since we’d had cheeseburgers. They looked pretty good. We took bites.
“Tastes like a hot dog.” I said
Next we tried the fried chicken sandwich. Joe gave me a puzzled look.
“It kind of comes off as a fish sandwich.”
It really did. I think because the chicken sauce was tartar sauce.
So we’ve got a TV that’s a radio, a cheeseburger that’s a hotdog, and a chicken sandwich that’s a fish sandwich. Heraklion is crazy!
After dinner we walked around some more. We were gonna get ice cream but the McDellys wasn’t sitting well with Joe. He mourned the other, nicer looking restaurants we were seeing as we more fully explored the town.
“That one got past me.” He said, “I don’t know how I let that happen.”
We returned to band we’d seen before. A sextet playing in front of the Basilica of St. Mark. They were absolutely fantastic. All of them skilled musicians who played multiple instruments. The bassoon player doubled on the harmonica, the violinist played a lute, and they all played with such joy. They played fast. They played slow. They played bright. They played heavy. It takes real talent to make a flute sound heavy. They were basically the Led Zeppelin of classical Greek instrumental music. It was a truly great show.
We were thrilled. They finished and took a bow. We started to walk away but then they picked up their instruments walked down into the crowd and played one more song unplugged! People were dancing and clapping really having a tremendous time.
When it was finally over, the crowd dispersed calling “Bravo! Bravo!” We walked around a bit more but there was no way we were going to top that. We went back to the spot and got back to sleeping 8 hours. That’s the kind of party we can get behind.