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September 19, 2006

Meeting "The Splendour of the Seas"

The main reason for timing our visit to Iraklio when we did was to meet two of Claire's ex-colleagues who would be around for the morning as part of the itinery on a cruise they were having. "The Splendour of the Seas" docked at 7am, so we had a very early start to the day.

We'd ordered some coffee in our hotel for 6:15am, and rather expected it to arrive in the room. So Claire was a little taken aback when at 6:22am she got a phone call from an angry Greek man barking at her "Are you awake? Your coffee is downstairs!". In truth, it was kind of them to set a breakfast table up early for us, and they gave us some cake as well.

Although the harbour was very close to our hotel, it is a bloody big harbour, and we felt like we walked for miles looking at a procession of giant ferries and cruise ships until we found the right one. Scarily at one point we appeared to find ourselves on the wrong side of the port's passport control gates, with our own passports happily nestled in a drawer at reception in the hotel. Typical, we thought, just our luck to end up getting deported because we were being nosy. In the end after slinking through some cargo yards, we made our way to the ship and met Eric and Linda.

Iraklioclaireandco_1 I've never been on a cruise myself, and the facilities sounded fantastic on the ship, but I do wonder whether I would be able to keep busy enough. I also was horrified at the people bundling off the ship onto tour buses to try and cram in some sight-seeing during the five hours they were ashore - it would hardly scratch the surface of what was available to see and do in Crete.

The four of us made our way into town, had a frankly sub-standard breakfast, had a bit of a walk around the harbour to the old Venetian fort, and then settled down in a little cafe to have a very, very early beer o'clock. They had to be back on board for 12:30, so after we parted we popped back to our hotel, and still had most of our day ahead of us.

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