Chania on a Sunday is quiet. Tourists are certainly milling about the second largest town on Crete, but many shops and cafes are closed and not as many people are working or are out running errands. It’s peaceful and calm, perfect for a stroll- especially after crowded Fira on Santorini. We walked along the water’s edge. We sat on a bench hoping we weren’t getting sunburned too badly. We ducked in expensive boutiques. We ducked back out when we saw the prices. We stopped for tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt dip). We wandered. We enjoyed the quiet town and appreciated the lack of hustle before the sun got the best of us (got the best of me) and we made our way back to our hotel just outside of town.
All of the restaurant touts tried, as expected, to get us into their restaurant. One cafe had a sign that proudly declared “No blah blah, just good food!” and then the waiter tried to get us to stop.
“But your sign says no blah blah!” I told him, and he laughed.
“Yes, I wondered why you stopped at that last restaurant… what is wrong with you? Take a look at my fish!” He told us.
The cafes in the back streets were my favorite.
They weren’t crowded, sometimes completely empty. More relaxed than the more obvious touristy restaurants on the waterfront. I especially loved this outdoor cafe decorated with old wooden doors. I have a weakness for old windows and doors. I blame the summer I studied in the south of France and the semester I spent in Italy. Old European doors are so full of character, it’s hard not to love them, isn’t it?
There were buildings in the old part of town that have not survived the wars, or maybe just time on an island when many younger generations have started going towards the mainland for education and careers. We’ve been told that properties stay within the family- so if the family leaves, the property likely stays in the family, but goes unused and sometimes forgotten.
Throughout our snack, we watched a family of four eat their lunch. They had two young girls, ages about five and two I’m guessing. They were not a fan of the cat that would come by waiting for some food to fall. The younger girl would yell at the cat until she saw others watching her amused and get really shy. The older girl would sometimes get up from her table and stomp her foot until the cat would run away. At first I thought they were Greek, but their aversion to cats it would seem would not make them Greek at all. As there are cats everywhere and sometimes if you’re paying attention there are little bowls of food set out for them.
There is also the occasional octopus or squid hanging out to dry.
I was proud of myself for getting the blog all caught up on Santorini. But I was also a little frustrated with myself for having spent so many mornings and evenings on my computer instead of relaxing and enjoying our time on Santorini even more than I already was enjoying it. As we get closer and closer to coming “home” we get more and more anxious about moving to a new city, and not having a job lined up, and of course, our savings dwindling down making this trip happen.
It’s been hard for us to strike a balance preparing ourselves (me blogging and working on my portfolio, and us both looking up neighborhoods in Brooklyn, sending out emails about possible jobs and/or connections, etc. etc.) and really enjoying the trip at the same time. We made some rules for ourselves to cut down on computer and internet time. We also started watching the most recent season of Game of Thrones. Which is partly why you haven’t heard from me this past week. But nearly a week more on Crete and then back on mainland Europe for the foreseeable future!