We got up early to see if there was a response from the boat tour company. They replied during the night. They’re not running the boat that does tours of the volcano this time of year, but offered to have us take their other boat (at twice the price) to visit some beaches. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out either, so we had a day of relaxation ahead.
Taking it Easy
We got up, packed our bags, and walked to a nearby bakery for breakfast. This one doesn’t have a beautiful view and doesn’t really cater to tourists. That made it a lot cheaper, but it was also a lot more complicated for us to order. I ordered something I had never seen before called “salty pancakes”. Brett got an omelette. Charmaine and Jess each got a Greek yogurt. The portions were huge, as they always are in this country. It was a real job eating all our food, but we managed to do it.
After breakfast we stopped by our hotel to check out and move our bags to the front desk. We asked them to arrange for a taxi to pick us up there at 2:00, but they talked us into waiting until 2:30. That was a smart move. There’s no reason to wait at the ferry port longer than necessary.
With our luggage secure, we strolled down into town, window shopping here and there. We talked about riding the gondolas down to the marina where all the cruise ship people come in and out, but we decided there really isn’t a lot to do down there. It’s not like we would be swimming again. So we found a bench under a shady tree with an amazing view and just sat and relaxed, watching the ocean, talking about whatever. It was really nice.
When we got bored with all that relaxation, we did some shopping. We considered many things, but ultimately walked away and back to our hotel. We picked up our bags and thanked our hosts right as a minibus arrived to speed us on to our final destination on Santorini, the new ferry port.
Ferry to Crete
The port was crowded. We sat down at a table in the shade and enjoyed our time waiting for our ferry with a couple of cokes and a couple of lemonades. It wasn’t long before it was time to go. As we walked toward our ferry we saw a bus accident. Most of the busses were parked, waiting for their clients to get off the ferry that had just arrived. One started rolling and for some reason made a hard left turn, scraping a mirror off the bus next to him and putting a nice sized dent in his bus. They took a quick look at things, exchanged information and then went their separate ways.
Getting on the ferry was chaotic. There were thousands of people and no order whatsoever. This is not Washington State Ferries. Everyone got on board the ferry with the cars in the garage below the passenger area. The ferry pulled out almost immediately with an entire football game’s worth of people still in the garage, yet to have their tickets scanned. Eventually it was our turn to go in the door and find our assigned seats up two flights of stairs.
It was really nice to have a window seat with a big air conditioner blowing air up alongside the window. I couldn’t have hand-picked a better situation for me. The seas were glassy calm with almost no wind and we were flying. This is a fast ferry with huge jets on the back. Being in the luxury area was excellent. We had big leather seats with plenty of legroom.
As we got close, it was obvious Crete is completely different from Santorini. For one thing, there are trees and other green things on Crete. And Heraklion looked like a big city. We were excited to get off the Ferry and pick up our rental van, but first we had to fight the crowds.
Our hotel, the GDM Megaron, is about 2 minutes from the ferry dock, so it didn’t take long to get there. It’s a really nice hotel. They upgraded our rooms for us and they are nice. Huge comfortable king-size beds, super tall ceilings, a jar of complimentary cookies and some chocolates. This is what a hotel should be. This is a great start to a couple days on Crete.
After settling in at the hotel, we wandered the city, had dinner at a random cafe, and then did our own sort of pastry and dessert tour of the city. I really like Heraklion. It has a good energy and lots of fun stores and cafes. We’re going to have a god time here.