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Featured in: A Shambles Ramble: Crete
"I arrived at the hostel at around 7:30 in the evening, which counts as late afternoon in the summer, as we can all agree. The hostel was quite near to the main shopping street, which is easily identifiable as it’s the only street here that is large enough to be a main street."
By the Harbour Wall
"The nice old lady that runs the place was very nice indeed. Wasn’t even bothered about me getting the cash to pay for the room immediately. She just encouraged me to settle in, drop my bags off, etc."
"The office behind the counter looked like an extension of a private residence, complete with old shirtless husband watching a beaten-up TV in the corner of the room. Since then, it has been made pretty obvious to me that this place is, in fact, an extension of a private residence, as the rest of the family bobs in and out occasionally."
Oh, To Be as Happy as This Cat
"And then finally, today has been a mixture of sleeplessness, small local walks, aborted naps, and catching up on some writing. Oh, and I saw an adorable sleeping cat. Now it’s time for some food."
"Then the fried fish arrived. I never did find out what kind, but it was roughly the size of a fish, and tasted of fish. "
"Luckily there was a cat loitering nearby that was more than happy to help me finish what I couldn’t."
"In fact, after being informed by Ketiya that the cat was pregnant, I felt like I was doing a good deed, and not necessarily entirely out of embarrassment for not having finished more by myself. So ended yesterday."
Lights off the Harbour
"Heraklion just ends. You leave the city and within one minute you may as well be in the middle of nowhere, so little as their surrounding the palace."
Great Views Though
"Somewhat disappointingly however, Knossos itself is titchy. I had expected big things! Labyrinths and minotaur's, and the most important archaeological sites on Crete, of the whole of Greece! But no."
"There's a little path you follow around the ruins and Victorian reconstructions, and if you aren't that interested in what is there to see, you can be done in about 20 minutes."
Old Stones and Olive Groves
"I cried right there in the throne room, so disappointed I was. Everyone was so embarrassed, they didn't know what to do. Finally, I was peeled off a column by security, and went home shortly afterwards. And that was the day I saw Knossos."
End of the Line
"You could run the whole route in around 40 seconds, probably."
Out in Heraklion
"I got more of an insight into Greek life back at the hostel when I ran into Raina [the owner] changing the sheets in my room."
Artist's Studio on a Cretan Sidestreet
"She's been working in her capacity as a hostel operator since she was 20, though technically she's a farmer with an olive Grove outside of Heraklion which she works at in the winter."
Loved These Alleys
"Her son has a master's degree in engineering; he works for seven euro's an hour at the airport behind a desk and still lives at home. because there's just no money left in Greece anymore."
Dinner Under the Canopy
"Elina had much the same to say."
Heraklion from the End of the Harbour Wall
"She told me how all the children I see running around alone on the streets are gypsies, and that the gypsy population in Greece is given access to grants and financial support that the Greeks aren't given themselves. The same for the Albanian minority too."
Flowers and Lamps
"To return to Renner, she essentially explained that Greece is a wonderful country to visit, but not to live."
Final Night in Heraklion
"The final nights in Heraklion I spent on the roof, first talking with some of the other hostel guests, and then to sleep. "
"Sleeping on the roof turned out to be the best place in the whole hostel to sleep, once the planes had stopped for the night and the cats stopped screaming in the street."
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