My First ‘Long’ Holiday in a while… and it took me some time before I realized just how nice it was…

The first surprise for me came when I was waiting to depart from Brussels and noticed that I was – by far – the youngest person travelling on this plane… That immediately gave me the ‘Benidorm Feeling’… I knew I was not travelling in the core holiday season but still one would expect that there were at least some young people around… nope!

Second surprise was when we were in the coach towards the hotel; with the exception of two Dutch people everyone else was having the Belgian nationality… so far for the ‘Holiday Feeling’… And it was a long trip to the hotel and it was completely dark outside I could not even enjoy the nature of Greece… doh! When we finally arrived at the last hotel (which was obviously mine) it was well past midnight…

Because my friend arrived early I just put my bags in my room (which was quite good and big actually) and we met at the reception. We went to his hotel (the Atrium Hotel – also really nice) and which was basically on the other side of the road. There I received my third surprise of the day… One of the English guests was celebrating the last day of his holiday and together with quite a big group of people we celebrated the way real Englishmen do… so… drink to you (almost) drop… Needless to say I enjoyed that party for the next 2 days… but hey… we had fun!

The next couple of days I learned something I did not yet know about my fellow Belgian’s… It seems that the further we (Belgian’s) are from home the more social we become… Almost every evening I met some new Belgian people at the bar of the Atrium Hotel, and I must say it was great to do so as the people I met were really nice and interesting and all shared (at least) one common thing: we like to drink at the bar ;-) The B52’s, BB Specials and local beers were countless and I am sure that each night we were keeping the other guests awake till way past 1:30…

During the rest of my holiday I discovered that Crete – and in particular the area around Rethymno – is a nice and quiet place; REALLY GREAT FOOD, really cheap, perfect weather (around 30 degrees) and lovely people. I can’t say that there is a wealth of things to see but if you want to have some peace and relaxation this is an amazing area. My friend and me also rented a car for three days during which we explored the South-side of the island; during those excursions we saw some nice things – check out the photo’s! Please note that driving through the little villages with their VERY small roads in a big SUV is not something you should do if you have a heart condition… There were times I thought I would never see Belgium again… driving up serious ‘hills’ in a VERY narrow street not seeing if there is a car (or cow) coming from the opposite direction… thinking back of those moments still gives me the shivers!

Oh yeah, before I forget… For the Belgians who are planning to go on holiday to Rethymno: make sure that you go and have lunch or dinner at ‘Takis Place’. This is a restaurant on the beach-side about a 15 minutes’ walk from the Old Town and has great food and (Belgian) beers! But there is more!!! Try to go when the owner (Takis) is there and say hello to him… you will notice that he reminds you of Belgium in a way you would not expect… I wont say more as that would spoil the surprise! (PS: just a heads-up: he does understand and speaks quite some Dutch… so be careful when you comment ;-)

So overall I can say that it was a very nice holiday; less active as I am used to but for sure relaxing… and – with the exception of my last two days – the weather was just perfect. Have a look at the photo’s I made during this holiday so you can see for yourself – enjoy!