It is so sad to see how the fear of COVID-19 has negatively impacted the tourist economy here. There have been so few deaths but such draconian measures implemented! Hopefully the post-mortem will be done and government heads will roll! Incompetent donkeys!!
I have to fill in a passenger locator form for coming back to the UK. Compared to the Greek version the UK one looks like a typical UK government IT project. Crap and not fit for purpose. An example.. We are travelling as a family and I can put my kids on the form but not my wife... We're all travelling on the same tickets, same flight, same eventual destination etc.. Go figure!
The Greek one, easy! My details, passport number etc, flight details, hotel details and I just had to add Anna and the kids to the same form! Easy!
We had a leisurely 'get ready and have breakfast' and then got packed up and handed in the room keys for the kids room. The message that we could have our room for the day had survived the change of reception staff so I stashed the important documents in the safe and headed out for coffee!
After this, we walked out to do some souvenir shopping.
After this seemingly never-ending shopping trip, we found ourselves in the harbour area where we sat and baked in the shade (it was about 1 pm at this point.) Holly and Reuben decided to go off and price up some baseball caps for Reuben to possibly buy; alas, the one he liked was too expensive for him!
At about 3 pm, we decided that we could do with some food as we would be landing at 12.05 am Saturday morning. We finally succombed to the "hello family! You want to eat?" and stepped into one of the restaurants bordering the coastline. The food was amazing! Anna, Holly and I all had gyros, pork or chicken with salad, pita and some fries. On the street the food would be wrapped in the pita but at the restaurant, it was all on plate with tzatziki! Absolutely nostimó (delicious).
We had a really good chat with the proprietor, a buxom Greek lady who was probably about 7 years younger than us. She had two children, 9 and 7 years old respectively. She offered her view on all this covid nonsense (in fairness, we did ask her how badly it had affected her trade) and it was pretty much identical to mine, 'a lot of fuss over a bad flu that, in Greece is hardly killing anyone and those it does are generally pretty ill anyway.
After paying for the meal we departed the restaurant and headed back to the hotel for a shower and for me to sextuple-check all of my necessary documentation to allow me back into England. For some reason, I always seem to be totally task-focused on getting back home to the point that I really do not enjoy the journey. I'm usually semi-justified in this as proven today when waiting for the taxi back to the airport from the hotel. I saw a grey Mercedes turn right down the road than the hotel was on about 5-10 minutes before we were due to be picked up. I thought to myself "I bet that's our taxi" but waited... Nothing... I stood on the corner looking for other taxis but none were for us. Eventually I acquiesced to my nagging doubts and sent Reuben off on a mission to see it the taxi was an the back of the hotel. He got about 5 yards down the road and said "the grey Mercedes is coming back up. It was our taxi!
The ride to the airport was smooth and scenic and after half of the journey being in silence, we asked the driver about 'the island on the right. We could not shut him up after this. He was talking about broken government promises to expand the airport capacity on Crete, but it was all hot air and empty words! I guess politicians are liars the world over!
Check-in at foreign airports is always a stressful time for me as most of the officials seem to be bored, in a hurry and expressionless; this was even more so with masks on, making their 'snapped' instructions so much more difficult to fathom. We eventually made our way through and snaked inexorably to the departure gate... B9...
We settled down here and waited until the flight was ready to board. The time dragged but finally we made it onto the plane and took off heading into the bad weather we had left behind..
There's nothing like a stormy August day to make you want to jet off to get some sunshine.......