June 19, 2019: Ancient Aptera

Wednesday. GT2 Day Eleven. Aptera, Crete, Greece.

We are now, officially, in the “middle” of our thirty day grand tour of Europe. And we are all pretty tired. Actually today, we are doing pretty well first thing in the morning. If first thing is ten thirty. Dominica and I slept in until close to nine. My watch tells me that I got a good night’s sleep. And I feel pretty good.

The Flickr photo uploads from yesterday did not make it through the night, so I had to massage them this morning. All in all, it took ten hours to upload yesterday’s two hundred photos. YouTube did not manage to upload a single video during the course of the night. About three hours left to go on the current post. Ugh. Emily and I did so many great interview videos yesterday, too. And they are going to take forever to get up there. And I am hoping to cajole Madeline into making a series just the same, too.

Around a quarter till eleven the house cleaner arrived. We ended up with the four of us all hanging out in the warm living room (it is a really hot day) sitting around on our phones. Dominica and Madeline were reading, I think. I was chatting with people trying to run down my battery so that I could get my phone plugged in and charging before we tried to do anything today. So the maid had to work around us all morning. But very handy that we have someone to clean the house every few days, this is really nice. Even the maid commented on just how hot it is here. This is way hotter than it usually is here, she said that it was making things very hard.

The girls struggled to decide on what they wanted to do today. As Dominica said, no decision is a decision. I am thinking that I might venture out and check out the local ruins in Aptera today if no one is up for doing anything. Sitting around the living room seems to be the order of the day. There is a little food in the house, so going out for anything is not strictly necessary. Honestly, for me, staying in is better. More chance to get caught up and relax. I’ve lived here, and I am not a big beach person, so continuous trips to the beach is not something that I really need. And the less we go out, the more that our media can start to catch up, not that that is a big deal, but a benefit. At least the blog has stayed up to date the entire time.

It was almost noon when the one video that I started uploading yesterday evening before we went to the taverna finished uploading. So about fourteen hours!

Eventually the girls decided on getting some lunch at the local taverna, the same one that Emily and I went to last night. But we didn’t really eat there last night, we just had drinks, so now we are going for some real food.

Lunch was great. Everyone liked their food, although Emily had been wanting gyros and they did not have it there. I went for broad beans in fennel which was amazing. We had a fun time at the taverna, the owner was hilarious, Dominica loves going there.

After lunch we did not feel like doing anything, so we took a quick drive up to Ancient Aptera, the nearly four thousand year old ruins right here in the village, and spent an hour in the heat going around that site. It is very cheap to get in, I think that for the four of us it was just four Euros. Both girls ended up being free, Madeline as a student, Emily as a non-adult. Dominica and I were two Euros each. A good deal for how cool the site is.

We had fun, especially with the Hellenistic theatre there. That was really cool. There are lots of different things on the site, and there is a movie that plays as well. It was very hot, though, so we were awfully warm. We got some good pictures and video while there. Emily stumbled on a snake that hissed at her, we are thinking that it was a Balkan whip snake.

After the Aptera site we just came back to the house. We chilled for a while and the girls did some swimming in the pool here.

Everyone but me napped for several hours this afternoon. I sat outside and got a little sun and just enjoyed a couple of beers on the patio and chatted with people via my phone. It was nice to get a little quiet time to myself.

For dinner tonight everyone was feeling like a change of pace. There is an Italian restaurant that we cannot see from the road but we keep seeing on maps called Don Rosario that should be right around the corner from us. So we gave that a try and were so glad that we did! It is the neatest place. You really have to know that it is there, you have to turn off of the highway unto an unmarked and barely paved road and go to the end and then there is this huge restaurant that, when we got there, only had about two other people eating, but was packed by the time that we left.

Our waitress kept trying to speak Greek to us because she said that we all looked so Greek that she couldn’t believe we didn’t speak it. My Greek tan seems to be working. Dominica and Emily really do have the majority of their facial looks and skin tones from Greece so they make a bit of sense. We’ve been being told a lot this week that we really look Greek.

I got salmon a la vodka with penne. Dominica got the house pasta. Madeline went for spaghetti in pesto. And Emily got ravioli. Everyone loves their dinner and we could not even begin to finish it. We brough so much back to the house with us. The whole restaurant was amazing, highly recommended. I wish that we could eat there several more times!

Home, more time to manage media uploads to get pictures available for the folks back home following along. Emily and I made some plans for tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be Dominica’s day off from all of us. Emily wants to go see one of the inaccessible beaches that you have to take a boat or hike to get to. Glyka Nera is ranked in the top three beaches in the area, so is the top contender. All of the travel sites recommend it. Dominica keeps trying to tell us to go really early, but Emily and I want to leave mid-morning, get breakfast on the drive, and get there so that we don’t have too long (like six hours or more) before the golden sunset light starts happening. If we are there in the middle of the day, you can’t really take pictures and you just burn in the sun.