Hello. I went to Crete. I am now back from Crete.
Here are the places I visited:
Agios Nikalaos (where we were staying)SpinalongaA Cretan Olive Farm experience place.Elounda, and the surrounds.The Knossos ruins.Heraklion, though mostly the Archaelogical Museum bit of it.
These are the things I wish I'd known before we left: That even though it was October, it was still going to be hot. I would have bought some suncream BEFORE I got sunburn. And that it was a four hour flight from Manchester to Crete. I would have bought a book, before the only ones I could find were about 13 euros in the Duty Free shop in Heraklion airport.
It was a bit of a funny holiday. Before we went I was barely able to muster up any enthusiasm for it, since it had dropped in the middle of a bunch of other things I needed to do. My mum, while packing, kept saying that sometimes it felt like these holidays were more bother than they were worth, and my dad said "I'm fed up already". Then, on the day we travelled there, I ended up coming down with some sort of stomach bug, and spent most of the evening doing things whatho
wouldn't want to hear about, and other things the rest of you probably wouldn't want to hear about. I couldn't actually stand to go into the dining room, and ended up going to bed at 10 o'clock with the shivers. Mum thought it was just because I didn't get much sleep before we went, then travelled all day, and maybe ate too much chocolate on the plane. I suspect it was something to do with the fact she had my ON over the night before we left, and my MN had been throwing up that day, and my ON then apparently was throwing up that night. My dad was also suffering on that first day with some sort of stomach thing. My mum saw no connection. Hmm.
But after that, it turned into a pretty nice holiday. I felt much better by the next day, the weather stayed pretty nice most days of the week, and it was sort of nice that it was so relaxed. It was a bit funny because we went at the end of the season, and there were basically no tours, or trips, or anything to really just go on. As the man at the Cretan Olive Farm, who was very nice, explained, most of real Crete is up in the mountains, and all the towns and stuff by the sea were basically built for tourists. So essentially, everything just started to close down. Even our hotel, which was huge, was apparently closing today, 1st November, until next Spring. So it was sort of quiet. The boat trip we took to Spinalonga was the last one for the season, so we were lucky to go on that too. It was a lovely trip though - Spinalonga's a tiny little island that has in the past been a Venetian sea fortress, then a settlement for the Turkish, and finally a leper colony. We joined a tour group on the island to learn a bit more about it's history, and I really thought the leper colony aspect would be the one that was least interesting to me. But the woman explained it, and it was really pretty cool. The lepers couldn't leave the island, but they had houses, and markets, and grew their own vegetables when people from the mainland tried to price gouge them, and had constant access to medical care, and got to hang out with a bunch of other people who didn't just hate the sight of them. There were a bunch of marriages on the island, and 154 children were born there, even though their parents couldn't keep them. Only 10 of those children ended up with leprosy when they grew up. So it was pretty lovely. The guide woman said she always cried on the last day of the season, and she did, but it was lovely all the same, and really sort of eye-opening. Also she was pretty permanently annoyed about an art exhibition that had been set up on the island, which was pretty fun too.
So yeah. We wanted to go to the Knossos ruins - had been wanting to since we booked the holiday - but there were no trips still running, so we had to rent a car. Pretty much the last time we rented a car abroad was in Barcelona, when we had that crash, so it was a little bit nerve-wracking. But without a Sat Nav distracting dad, and basically just a lot of highways between us and Knossos and Heraklion, and with us all pulling together to spot the signs for where we needed to go, we made it there relatively easily. And because it was off season, it wasn't crowded, and because it was October, it was a little overcast and windy instead of baking sunshine, so it turned out pretty nicely. We got another guide, who explained some of the history and about the Minoans. It was pretty fascinating really - I couldn't always understand because of her accent plus high winds, but it sounded like the Minoans came over from Egypt, so there culture was a lot more Egyptian-influenced than Greek-influenced. It was pretty cool. Then we went to the Archaelogical Museum to see some of the artifacts they found at Knossos and other Minoan palaces and - I cannot even explain, except that the craftmanship and the detail on some of those things were insane, and just blew me away. For things made in like 2000 BC - yeah. I thoroughly recommend looking into the Minoans, if you're interested, and going to the Archaelogical Museum in Heraklion if you're going to Crete. It's all pretty amazing stuff.
And then I came home on Tuesday. And unfortunately, after getting on pretty well with both my parents for the entire week, my dad and I fell out - and I got pretty angry at him - the night we came back. Which is a shame. But other than that it was really lovely, and good weather, and a pretty interesting time. Also I swam in the sea! Which I haven't done in quite a few years. It was lovely.
And yes, now I'm back. Halloween was yesterday, and I missed most of it, between computer games and unpacking. I started playing my computer games again, and as I largely suspected before I went away, I was pretty much near the end of Dishonored and Bioshock 2, which is always an annoying place to leave it. Except actually, I wasn't expecting Dishonored to end so soon. I finished it today, but it was a little bit anticlimactic, with a lot of loose ends that didn't seem that tied up, and irritatingly, I'm assuming - I'm pretty sure - it's because they want to pad the game out with DLCs. Which is annoying after enjoying the game so much during the beginning and middle. And I haven't finished Bioshock 2, but I'm pretty clearly on the home straight. So I should be done with it before too long - and before the next game comes out. Hurrah!
I'm largely caught up on my flist, and even managed to get through my ridiculous email inbox. The other main news I have from the internet is that Evil Villains Studio made another vid about villains being villains, and I love them. It's called Monster, and it probably deserves an epilepsy warning. Also the song is a Dubstep remix, so apologies if you hate that sort of thing. This is probably the first Dubstep-y thing I actually like though, which is nice. I can finally be one of the COOL KIDS now. It's much better than Crush On You
, at any rate.
HOPE YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WELL IN MY ABSENCE. I know most of you have anyway.