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April 11, 2008

The thin end of the wedge for the harbour?

I know it is quite normal for people to moan about how things "aren't like they used to be". And a lot of people say that the beauty of Crete has been drastically reduced by all of the tourism development and modernisation on the island. Certainly the film clips from Anthony Sooklaris show an island that in many cases has now completely disappeared.

However, we think we spotted a new low for the globalisation of Chania. Just as you enter the old Venetian harbour, opposite the fountain, a coffee and ice cream parlour that opened last year has closed down. There is obviously some work being done to get it ready for the season, and on the plastic sheets keeping the elements away from the work, there is sign advertising for staff.......for the new Chania harbour branch of Starbucks.


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Is there no escape from the colonisation of the world by these retailing giants?

Do you think that any Starbucks employee knows how to make a decent frappe? Especially when the power goes off? I just cannot see Greeks falling for that nonsense

oh, poos, and only just a month ago, I wrote an article about how this form of globalisation had not yet reached us...

Oh dear, how sad.

I saw those videos from a time gone by and the harbour front could not be more different.

We can't stop progress, however, part of the charm of any place is its individuality.

This, however, makes the harbour front less individual and, in my book, less attractive. Not that we would visit the harbour for the over-hyped prices in any case. I don't mind looking to see what i'm not missing, of course. :)

I'm sure it's a demand from the younger locals, or perhaps drawing in the tourists and Americans from the base. I can't imagine it being popular with the Greeks. Perhaps i'd be wrong.

the younger locals surely dont miss it - they dont know what it is in the first place. starbucks is coming here to attract ignorant foreigners during the tourist season into having a cup of coffee - surely it's going to close down once the summer season is over.

That is sad. The invasion happened prior to the Olympics, and like an infection, it just keeps on spreading. But I suppose if no one gave them their business, they wouldn't be opening more, would they?

I never went there when I lived in the USA, I see no reason to go there now. I call them the evil empire.

Many visitors feel "safe" going to brands they recognise, such as Starbucks, McDonalds, etc., however, it doesn't mean they are any good.

I once went to Starbucks, some time back. It was the most insipid, tasteless cup of coffee I ever had. Aftre one sip, I took it back and suggested it had no coffee in it. The assistant apologised and said she'd run another through the machine. The replacement looked the same and tasted the same, so I asked for my money back. I have never gone into a Starbucks since.

It's a shame that folks think it is good coffee.

If there were a shortage of eating places in Chania I'd understand them getting a foot in but for some reason people think these "brands" are trendy.
From my very brief visit to Crete one of the charms of Chania was its unique character and general lack of any sign of the Starbucks/McDonalds mentality.
On the other hand passing through the sprawling coastal resorts to the west we saw many signs of it.

Hopefully it can be absorbed without spoiling the nature of the area.

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