Because half of the shops were closed on Sunday, I wanted to hit the market in Chania in the morning before we left for Rethymno in the afternoon. I shouldn’t have been, but still was surprised by how touristy the market was. After living in Korea for so long, and photographing the many (many, many) markets in Seoul, I’ve realized my preferred ‘local market’ experience is far from the typical tourists’ preferred experience. If I’m not jumping over puddles of murky fish water, walking past pigs’ heads, and getting elbowed around every turn by older patrons annoyed that anyone -let alone one with a camera should interfere with their daily errands it feels a bit disingenuous. A few shops weren’t as touristy as others, but only a few. Nearly all of the others sold boxed olive oil or raki gift sets for tourists to take home to their loved ones. Unfortunately, glass and alcohol aren’t so easy to travel with and my loved ones will be spared of any and all raki shots in the future. (This is a good thing, I promise.)
We wandered around Chania before our bus for Rethymno. Amazed at the remnants of an older city, like you can see here in this random archway half demolished tucked behind some shops on a pedestrian street. I also liked how many shops or even studios had open doors so you could peek inside a bit to see what was going on. Some were tailors, some were artists, framers, I lusted after their studio spaces and reminded Andrew that one day I will have my own… And then there was the graffiti. We may have escaped it on Santorini, but not on Crete…
Wandering around Rethymno (the last picture above) in the afternoon felt very similar to Chania. The Venetian quarter was full of little alleyways and mostly pedestrian filled streets in between shops. Mostly jewelry shops. Lots and lots and lots of jewelry shops. It was nice to wander, as it always is, but it didn’t seem to be as unique as I thought it would be in comparison to Chania.
Both cities were surprisingly expensive as well, especially compared to Santorini. A private room was nearly double in price, so we thought we’d be responsible ’round the world’ travelers and check out the youth hostel instead. ‘Youth’ was a relative term because it seemed half of the guests were old- like really old- men. At first we thought it wouldn’t be so bad, because despite it being a nine bunk dorm (Yes, you heard me. NINE BUNKS. Eighteen beds) it looked as if only four people were sleeping in the room. We turned in early to watch an episode of Game of Thrones and had the room to ourselves, when not ten minutes later, one of the 70+ year old men walked in. He took off his shirt and climbed into the bottom bunk less than eight inches away from mine and promptly laid down facing our- my direction.
Of course. Out of the seventeen other beds in the room, he had to pick the bed next to mine to sleep in. Andrew, being the gentleman he is, promptly asked if I wanted to switch beds and took one for the team sometimes facing him throughout the night.