Thursday, October 31, 2013

On the road again in Crete

Last day in Greece found us on the beach all morning and on the road in the afternoon. We took to the hills and crossed the island on an adventure. Today's photos are coming to you from the hands of Christopher. I was supposed to teach him how to drive standard on this, our last trip with a rental car. But as it turns out, there are no such things as long stretches of road with no one on them or large parking lots with room to learn... I guess we should have expected that from every other European location we've gone but we naively thought otherwise. So I drove up and over the mountains with Chris as copilot as usual. I think it suited him just fine. It was definitely alright with me once we hit the continuous 180 degree switchbacks on either side of the White Mountains. Even driving I was getting carsick. Picture time! 

No deer crossings here, but plenty of goats! Sometimes they were actually laying right in the center of the road. They hopped up pretty quickly though. 

The rental car situation itself was pretty unusual here. If you've rented from any of the well-known names like Hertz, Avis and the like then you know it's usually a new to three year old car with little mileage and absolutely no problems. In Crete? Not the case. I used to get a good deal. It was a great deal, something like $14/day! That being said, it was probably a good 10+ year old car that struggled to maneuver the daunting climbs of the trip across the mountains. No power anything and dents and scratches galore. The funniest part of all? When we were to return the vehicle the guy said to just pull in the parking lot and someone would take us to the airport. We assumed it would be himself or someone else official looking. It turned out to be someone with no identifying outfit but a t-shirt and camo pants. I switched to the back seat and he drove us to the airport. We got out, gave each other puzzled looks over the top of the car and he waved and drove off. I'm still holding my breath, hoping we don't get a call from Greece about a stolen rental... 

47 days left guys!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Apartment 10 in Greece

It was October while we were there. Oc-to-ber. Incredible. I can see why people move to warm-weather climates and islands specifically. Being a lover of all things autumn and then winter with the sparkling snow (but only until New Years) I could never do this. But I suppose a vacation to one every once in awhile would be nice. Chris, on the other hand, would definitely move here indefinitely.

These were our views. Everything in this post is from the lawn of the apartment...which is this yellow and blue loveliness. It also came with a three-legged friend named Roger. He was awesome. He'd come hopping over as soon as we came out of apartment. At first he was timid but then once we gave him some treats he lost all that shyness in his quest for food. It's like me at parties where I don't know many people... 

One last goodbye to Roger on our final morning there.

Only a few more posts from Greece and then we are recapping Megan and Sean's trip here which is on it's last full day today. I'm sad for them to go home but not nearly as sad as I was with the first few waves of visitors because this time I get to see them so soon afterwards. 48 days left!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Venetian Fortezza

From our apartment we could see this massive stone structure rising out of the sea on the far edge of our view of the island. That first morning we set out to find out what it was. Voila, this is it, the Venetian Fortezza  of Rethymno, built in 1573. It was built to ward off the Ottoman Empire but was conquered by them in 1646.  

It was hot hot hot up there. We left with intentions to head straight back to our apartment and its beachfront. I'm taking you all there with me tomorrow! Today, in real time, I am headed to Paris with Megan and Sean! Oh, one last thing too, we've passed a mile-marker on our time left. 49 days to go til we fly home! Aaahwoohoo!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunset walk in Crete

The colors at sunset were such a contrast to daytime. Everything was muted, no blazes of blue or pink or orange, with the hazy clouds moving back in at night it seemed like the world was under a pale pink fog. I loved it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Old Town Rethymno

Welcome to Old Town Rethymnon. 

I don't really have too much to say about this locale. It was fun to wander the small streets but really every time we couldn't see the water we were mostly distracted, trying to find our way back to it. The coolest part of it was how inexpensive everything was. Honestly, super cheap for mostly everything. I'll take that on vacation any day. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rethymno, Crete, Greece!

I can see why people live near the ocean. Yes, this is the Mediterranean, same thing though, right? 

He probably spends most of his days on these rocks, fishing in the great wide blueness. Not a bad way to pass the time.

The blue waters that I've always seen in pictures of Greece online are for real. It reminded me of the only time I've been in the Caribbean but deeper, more sapphire than aquamarine. Birthstones on the brain. The pictures you see before you are unedited. It is truly kind of hard to take a bad picture during these European mini-vacations we've gone on. When I look back over past trips I feel so overwhelmingly blessed to have seen and experienced all we've been allowed to this year. Thank you all, faithful readers, for joining us on each journey with joy because it's hard to share these things without feeling like it's showing off. When we video chat with friends and family back home I'm sometimes at a loss for what to talk about when we're asked what we've been up to because this isn't real-life. It's temporary and I'm pretty thankful for that too. As is our bank account (yikes). But mostly I am so humbled by God and how He's allowed us to live this past year plus in Belgium and beyond. I know without a doubt that this is all blessings from Him. We don't deserve it, but I'll take it.

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