We got up and after breakfast (still the odd mix of smoked sausage, fruit cocktail and scrambled egg for Ciaran) got into the ca heading for Rethymno. I’d originally wanted to travel to Hania but realised it was ambitious enough to head to Rethymno let alone the extra distance to Hania. Ciaran woke up as we passed Bali and announced he felt sick, my suggestion that he go to sleep led to tears. We pulled into a taverna in the middle of nowhere rushing him into the loo.
We headed inside for diet cokes and water. Chris practiced his Greek on the owner while the boys were entranced by a green parakeet. All feeling slightly more stable we got back into the car for the final stretch of our journey. Sadly by the time I’d navigated us to the Venetian fortress and we’d found. Parking space it was nearly twelve and very hot.
We took the kids on a whirlwind tour of the fortress, having explained that it been built by Venetians to stop pirates stealing their things and to stop the Turks stealing the town (history needs to be distilled slightly for kids). The boys peered inside the old church (boarded up) and ran around the old mosque.
Years of visiting Warwick castle paid off as I pointed out to the boys that the narrow windows on the wall allowed people inside to shoot at pirates or enemies coming near the fort but that it would every hard to shoot at the people inside as the window was smaller inside than out. We started looking down a cave but Ciaran was concerned that this was the ‘Bear Hunt’ cave so we didn’t go too far. Chris went off to satisfy his inner archeologist while me and the boys sheltered in the shade with Toy Story figures (never leave the house without some toys in your bag!). We hopped from shady patch to shady patch and answer came out of the fortress turned right into the first Taverna we found.
The owner agreed to cook half size portions for the kids of burger and chips (Ben), spaghetti bolognase (Ciaran) along with our dinners. Having pretty much missed lunch the day before Ciaran attacked his food with great relish before turning his attention to my potatoes and Chris’ chips. Amazingly the delicious meal came to under 30 euros including drinks! We headed back into the car and I suggested heading home through the mountains.
It all started well, we found the gorgeous village of Margarites and enjoyed cold drink looking down a mountainside as swallows dived in the trees, window shopped the gorgeous pottery and got back into the car; my map showed a straight drive through one of the towns but when the road forked I guessed wrong and we had. Nerve wracking drive through the mountains lost and off the map! After an hour, road signs riddled with bullet holes and lots of goats we found a road that was on my map again! Hallelujah!
We got back to the hotel around six and had a pre dinner drink (a Blue Aegean for me), after dinner we pretty much all collapsed into sleep apart from me. I tossed and turned but the combined snoring of three men in a room was too much for me and I knew that the next days trip to Knossos was going to be a challenge.