Before any of you wonder why I would break my theme of alliterating the title, Chania is pronounced HA-knee-AH (so now you know). I definitely was pronouncing it cha-KNEE-ya before I found out. CH in Italian is K, and CH in Greek is H.
Coffee was brought to our room first thing in the morning and the clocks were set ahead to Greece time (nine hours ahead of home). We decided to try the buffet breakfast, which was amazing: so many different things were available including the best fresh fruit. Before arriving in the port of Chania on the island of Crete, we suntanned on the top deck. Later, the ship docked directly at port and a bus took us into town. The bus dropped us off by the old market there, where we walked through, taking in our first sights of Greece.
There were little kittens wandering around people’s feet, and of course we thought it was wonderful. We had been told not to touch the street cats, but my cat-crazed sister couldn’t resist. The cats and kittens were all friendly and loved the attention.
There was a bit of a walk to reach the beach through the small streets of the typical Grecian town. Vibrant flowers hung overhead and little tables and chairs frequented the streets outside restaurants. Shops spilled out into the roads as well, making the tan coloured town colourful and welcoming. Buildings often looked as if they had grown there, sprouting from the ground just as foliage does.
We made it to the Old Town and the Venetian Harbour. The area was buzzing with both locals and tourists. There were many outdoor restaurants here, as well as stores, all along the shore. Across the man-made bay filled with turquoise water was the famous Chania lighthouse. We passed squid tentacles hung to dry and obscene wooden gag gifts. There were beautiful horses and buggies for hire. Old Greek men cast fishing lines into the water from the cobblestone walkway. Little lampposts and benches dotted the harbour.
The beach was on our mind, so we didn’t spend much time here. A few more miles brought us to what we were seeking, and once there, we rented a set of chairs and an umbrella. We took turns laying out to bake in the Mediterranean sun and swimming in the warm and wavy sea. It wasn’t as clear as the bay had been, the shore was sandy here and not rocky. We spent the whole of the afternoon here before it was time to head on board the ship.
On the way back, we lost our way to the old market. The map was confusing, and the street names were all in Greek letters. It took us a while, I had to use my knowledge of the sun as a guideline, but we finally found our way back to the marketplace and the same bus brought us back to the ship.
It was 6:30 in the evening. The buffet dinner called to our empty stomachs. They served a Greek-themed meal, and I had the lamb. After dinner, Julianna and I had the pool and hot tub all to ourselves, before eventually calling it a night.