I started the morning socialising with other tourists over breakfast then headed off in search of the public park, my camera slung around my neck. I had trouble finding it actually, I asked a shop attendant, still got lost, then looked left down a side street as I was walking and there it was. I had thought it was going to be some glorious botanical garden, but no it was just a public park. It was only worth a couple of photos and so I ambled down the street I should have come down passing many more shoe shops!
However I did spy the indoor market and inside were many food shops, souvenirs and the like. The building was really unusual in that it is shaped like a cross with a door at each axis. It has domed ceilings with great structural detail. Suddenly a striking looking woman appeared and asked if I would take her photo. She repaid the favour and I couldn’t get over how articulate her speech was. She could have come straight from a royal household, possibly South African.
After the market I ended up somewhere to the right of the main waterfront in front of some crumbly old buildings that were great to photograph. I passed a colourful funky bar, some Cretan knife shops, then a garden caught my eye. It has lots of old pots with red geraniums, overhanging leafy green vines and tables and chairs set out on a stone slab floor. A little chihuahua was outside chewing on a bone. It was a bit early for lunch but I felt drawn inside, and asked a man cleaning tables if they were open yet. He replied “in 10-15mins” so I asked if I could sit and wait. He agreed (only because I said I couldn’t come back) and I watched the dog being fed more bones until he decided he was going to be open. Which he was after he washed his face and hands… He was quite hospitable really and answered all my curious questions. He even showed me how the dog could jump on a chair.
I ordered the tastiest salad of chicory leaves, pear, walnuts, local goats cheese and a sweet tangy dressing. I was given the customary bread basket and to my surprise he gave me a plate of diced watermelon free of charge. Then it was time to go back to the hotel and do some work (yes I still have a bit of work to do) before heading out to Starbucks for a chai latte and cheesecake. The thing is after having these I now don’t want them any more, they just don’t seem Cretan!
As I sat I could not help but notice the architecture of an old multi-story building across the square. Yellow shutters on all the windows against a white painted exterior reminded me of Havana in Cuba. After the guys smoking at the next lounge chair annoyed me I went for a walk to discover what was around to the right of the main waterfront. I ended up walking all the way around to the lighthouse on a stone walled path. It was a long walk, and I noticed a mature woman continually calling someone’s name and walking up and down the path. After spending time taking photos and admiring the views I meandered back, but this woman was clearly distressed by now. I tried to ask her if she had lost a boy, girl or dog, but she was Italian and according to an Italian man nearby she had lost a large man!
He had been taking a photo, was wearing green trousers and had totally disappeared! They had to call the police in the end, and I wish I knew what had happened to him. I really felt for the woman…
Feeling the heat, I headed back to the hotel for an early night for an early start to see Elafonissi Island tomorrow.