Remember the time I was going to post about my week(ish) in Crete? Well, that time has come. Only a month and a half late!
So I hopped on the one am ferry for Crete and got there around 5:15, just in time for my hangover to kick in. Ugh. I lugged my stuff to the bus station missing my first of two buses to Rethymno by literally three minutes. After purchasing the next ticket for a 6:30 bus I did what I did best in Greece and fell asleep at the bus station. I awoke around 6:15 and headed outside in case my bus was early. There were a lot of people waiting outside so I did what I did second best and struck up a conversation with strangers.
With a little bit of my usual luck the two girls I talked to happened to be heading to my small town of Plakias (we had to take a bus from Heraklion to Rethymno and then to Plakias). At first I wasn't sure if they liked me but I think the early morning bus schedules and my bright pink bag were deterrents to these world traveling Australians. By the time we got to Plakias we were great friends and by that afternoon everyone was asking how long the three of us had been traveling together.
Our youth hostel was described, in every bo
ok and on every website, as a great place to meet people (hence why I traveled there alone). The hostel was in a great location, totally beautiful just a little less "youth-y" than I had imagined. The manager gave us a little speech which was pretty entertaining, especially since he gives it to all the people staying at the hostel--word for word. A lot of people, the manager said, end up staying in Plakias for weeks, months and even years and I can see why. It is totally gorgeous. There are beaches and mountains, lazy activities and hiking trails. We took a waterfall hike (literally hiking up and through waterfalls) one morning and spent the afternoon lounging on the beach--pretty much like paradise.
Two things that I did in Crete that I had never done before:
1. Went to a nude beach. These Australian girls were from a town on the coast and they were a lot more comfortable with nudity than this American girl. But the beach, called "Pig Beach" due to the overabundance of Germans and their pink flesh-
-ick, was too beautiful to pass up. Plus, I figured, why not? None of these people know me! And, you know what? None of the people on the beach gave me a second look, they didn't care what I was wearing and that made me a whole lot more comfortable. I'm not saying I'm going to make it a habit (hello sunburn!) but it was slightly empowering. (Sorry if that is TMI dad/uncles.)
2. I hitchhiked!! I remember my dad telling me stories of hitchhiking around Europe (and I remember him hitchhiking in Providence, RI once whic
h was pretty funny) and again I thought, why not? My friend Kate and I were stuck coming back from the beach and so we decided we might as well try to hitchhike. After 15 minutes of walking with my thumb out (it was a 45 minute walk or a 6 minute car ride) a kindly Italian couple stopped and picked us up. Success!! (And we felt safe the entire time!) I'm glad I did it, at least once (with another person in broad daylight).