I arrived safe and ready to discover Crete. We were unexpectedly not met by locals trying to sell us a room for the night so we managed to find the local bus to take us to Hersonissos. This was Cody’s idea, apparently it was popular with the Swedish ladies who he was very eager to mix and mingle with. We found a variety of different rooms on arrival, way above our price range until eventually deciding to take on an apartment within the first week. This allowed us to have a room each, bathroom and kitchen.
I quickly learned that the ‘Cretans’ considered themselves very different to the rest of Greece and that the local dialect also sounded different, much in the same way we have back at home. It was also a bit more built up than the islands I had visited so far, nonetheless it was still filled with lots of Greek charm.
Luckily jobs in Hersonissos were ample, unfortunately they were usually agreed over numerous free drinks and often I would forget the following day where I should be turning up. The night-life was much busier here and Cody would speak to everyone, so we quickly gained a few groups of friends. We settled here for quite some time and I even managed to get a few visitors come out from the UK including one of my best friends.
Cody loved a laugh and we would often go out at night wearing zinc, dressed in bed sheet togas and on one occasion when we dressed in our normal clothes we decided to swap them, I looked fine but he was riding a scooter in a full length skirt and crop tops! On one occasion we had a rare night in, I remember trying to teach our belly buttons how to smoke cigarettes, very random I know!
We had a few crazy months, fell off the scooter, Cody got in a fight with a bar owner, broke his bed, lots and lots of ouzo and local wine was consumed; we met many great friends and had numerous jobs. One I kept for the longest was in a café bar, popular with locals and tourists, this was my favourite as it was evening shifts and I got free food and unlimited free drink (yes alcohol too!) when working. It was family owned and they were all lovely and tried to unsuccessfully help me get over my tray fear. This was also where I became very aware of how much the word ‘Malaka’ could be used in a day and between friends and family more so.
I then realised that there was such a thing as a Holiday Rep. Having not been on a package holiday before, I did not realise such jobs existed and figured it would be a much safer and easier way to travel around.. I would certainly have to look into that when I got home?!
This summer was when I first sampled how your emotions can go on a roller-coaster in just one day when travelling. You experience some circumstances that at home would be much easier to tolerate and your friendships over a few months can be more special than others that you have maintained for years. I have memories I shall cherish forever, some I wish I could forget and others that looking back I still can’t believe they actually happened. It is easy to believe you are invincible when you are young, especially when you are away from home but we are all so vulnerable and your life and future can change in an instant.
This is not the end of the story of a summer I shall never forget. In honour of a dear friend who’s life drastically changed that summer I believe there is a part of this story that deserves its own blog post (Look out for ‘A Greek Tragedy’ coming soon!). For me, well I stayed until October when I gradually had to part with Greece and all the friends I had made over the months. Many I have since had the joy to visit in their hometown or meet up somewhere else in the world.
In reality My Big Greek Adventure continued on from this summer. Greece has became and continues to feel like my second home and my adventures with the country continued after this trip and hopefully well into my future.
If you have enjoyed this adventure, do not fret there is plenty more stories to come.
Thanks for reading. Where is your favourite part of Greece?