03May22 - Day 1: We’ve been tango’d!
I know, its hard to believe. We can hardly believe it ourselves but today we’re off to Greece. It’s also hard to believe we were last there three years ago, in Lesvos (what an excellent holiday that was) and as we all know, so much has happened since then. But finally, after booking almost a year ago we’re on our way to Crete. To Elounda. To stay in the Akti Olous hotel. And we are very excited!
The Friday before our departure we decided to have a holiday planning meeting on a bench overlooking the river in Wareham. It was a lovely spring day. The sky was blue, the white fluffy clouds were scurrying aimlessly across the sky, a few small boats were gliding by causing slight ripples on the river as it meandered slowly on its journey down, up was it upstream? It was all so picture perfect as we sat on our bench drinking our cappuccinos and eating our croissants. But the idyll soon changed when ‘the man with the bag’ arrived and decided to sit on the bench right next to us. Opening said bag, he placed his hand in, took out a slice of bread and promptly started to feed all the feathered creatures that had by now started to gather around us. We were literally surrounded by at least thirty gulls and ducks all looking for a tasty morsel of bread! And just like that, our lovely relaxing morning was no longer. Thankfully neither of us got splattered, although they do say it’s good luck if a bird decides to poop on you! Must remember to purchase some scratch cards for our journey to the airport!
The day before our departure it was time to despatch our respective ‘pets’ to their holiday homes. Milly, as usual was off to stay with Alison at the Purrfect Cattery in Weymouth and on this occasion, because I hadn’t started packing yet she didn’t have an inkling that I was going away so it was easy to get her into her carrier. Sir Winston on the other hand was a different kettle of fish. He was already feeling skittish around Maice and gone into hiding under the bed due to the fact that it was that time of the month, you know when he needs his flea treatment and worming tablets administered. He was not a happy chappy so to reek revenge he insisted on removing all the clothes Maice had just packed into the suitcase, out of the suitcase, giving it a good shaking and then he’d go and hide himself under the bed! So he was literally frogmarched to friends Jane and Mike over at Wool where their black labrador Geordie was eagerly awaiting his arrival…..NOT!
With Milly and Sir Winston finally off the scene we could begin packing in ernest. After numerous FaceTime calls to each other with a dialogue of…’what you taking’, ‘what you wearing’ ‘are you taking this, ‘are you taking that’ we managed to complete our packing. To be honest it’s been quite difficult packing for just a week and as we’re going early in the season we’re not sure how hot it’s going to be. To be fair, the intention is to sit on a sunbed all week and do nothing so really, we don’t need to be taking that much at all.
I was picking Maice up at 8am but what with all the excitement I was ready by 7am so arrived forty five minutes early. Well, can you believe this. She opened the door and we were both decked out in orange! Me sporting a bright orange sweatshirt accompanied by a white pair of jeans and Maice sporting an orange tank top, an orange cardigan, wide-legged ankle grazers dotted with all colours of the rainbow set against a turquoise background and bright pink flip-flops! Yes, you can honestly say we’d been ‘tango’d’!!!! They’ll certainly see us coming and at least we won’t lose each other at the airport! After a bout of re-swopping of bags and the usual faffing about we finally set off at 7.45am. Selfie taken, Mr Smooth of IMAP fame plugged into the windscreen and off we went. Crete here we come!
We’d just made it to Yeovil when we had a slight disagreement with Mr Smooth who wanted to take us via Shepton Mallet and we wanted to go via the M5, however after a number of reroutings we won and followed the signs to the SilverZone parking at Bristol via the M5. As is customary when we drive anywhere on holiday we always purchase a couple of scratch cards which Maice, as the passenger got to scratch off. However, on opening the window to brush away the scrapings the wind caught one of them and whisked it away up into the atmosphere. And there it was gone. The sixty million dollar question was, had we won anything? Well, we’ll never know will we although Maice swears blind we hadn’t, although last time she thought that we’d actually won £5. So there may be a scratch card somewhere around the Bristol area floating in the air that’s worth a lot of money!
Having parked up at the SilverZone parking, which is now automated and very easy to manage, even for us, we found ourselves at the airport with four hours to spare. What to do now then? Well, first things first. Cappuccino. Second thing…..Check in. We, and three other people, stood in what we thought was the quickest queue but which actually turned out to be the queue with the longest wait! Third thing. Pass through security. So far so good but lots of faffing from everyone trying to retrieve their items, including us. Fourth thing. Shopping. With only a few shops to look around we managed to save ourselves oodles of money! Fifth thing. Find a bar and enjoy a well deserved, and may I add, very healthy Bloody Mary containing three of our ‘five a day’ …..celery, tomato and lemon! Sixth thing. Enjoy a picnic before boarding. Maice’s very own cheese and olive sandwiches accompanied by a bag of Walkers crisps (other brands are available). Mmm, what’s not to love. Seventh thing. Departure lounge. Met up with the trio who were in the check-in queue. Can you believe it. Of all the hotels in all of Crete they’re staying in our hotel! Now that’s a coincidence. We didn’t catch their names so we’ve called them Alan and Betty. Their a married couple, much older than us who are travelling with his sister who we’ll call Carol. No doubt we’ll be seeing a lot of them at the hotel!
We’d forgotten how wonderful it is to be at the airport where it’s possible to spend hours people watching. Ah, what a great past time that is. One particular lady stood out as a) she looked like Scarlet Moffat only with extra, extra long blonde hair extensions and b) she was orange. Honestly, no kidding, and not to be unkind in any way but she had obviously overdone it with the fake-tan. She could certainly give Donald Trump a run for his money! Well, you’ll never believe this………she only went and sat down next to me on the plane. I kid you not, the three of us looked like a bunch of oranges on display in the local green grocers!
The flight itself was a rather jolly and social affair. There was chatter and laughter up and down the aisles, Maice and I played our gin-rummy with our over-sized cards, we drank two small bottles of wine each due to their being no Prosecco on the plane and Maice managed to fall asleep with her water bottle in her arms which split all over her frontage! Honestly, you can’t take her anywhere! With an hour to go, to which Maice raised the pun…’it’ll fly by’ the flight landed to much applause from all the happy holidaymakers and after what seemed like an hour waiting for our luggage we were on the transfer mini-bus being whisked away to Elounda. We read the information pack given to us from our tour operator, Jet2Holidays advising us that their ‘happy helpers’ were happy to help us during our holiday. We’re surprised they didn’t want to ‘hold our hands’ too! They definitely like to be known as the ‘happy holiday tour operator’
Having checked in to our room at 9.30pm we decided a drink was in order and made our way to the rooftop bar. It was freezing. It may well be warm in the daytime but it’s the breeze that’s really quite cold. Mmm, we’re thinking we may not have enough warm clothes to see us through this holiday. Ah well, let’s just hope it warms up tomorrow……….! Before we called it a night we stopped to chat with Alan, Betty and Carol who were sat at the bar and aren’t actually called Alan, Betty and Carol. They did tell us who they were but by the time we got to our room we’d forgotten, so Alan, Betty and Carol it is!
On that note, its time for bed. It’s been a very long travel day and sleep is calling. Καληνύχτα