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Old 15 Aug 20, 05:17 PM  
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srh
Excited about Disney
 
Join Date: Dec 14
Crete - the raki diaries. Travel Day.

So I am desperate to read a trip report and they are scarcer than hens teeth. So thought I would have a go.

I havenít got a great track record in finishing them, so letís just see how far we get.

We have had two hols cancelled this year, Crete in May/June for ten days and Florida for three weeks in August. So when it looked like things were going down the pan, I made an Ďinsurance bookingí in the Easyjet sale.
It was fully transferable, so could have amended to some time next year. I didnít book any accommodation that wasnít cancellable.

I asked my two adult children if they wanted to come, but apparently Crete isnít Florida, so just me and DH ĎRí.
My sister and family were also flying the same day to Heraklion, but with TUI. They took a taxi straight from the airport to Elounda, where we will meet up with them later.

We have booked flights for sixteen days to Heraklion, car hire and three different hotels.
I do like a good amount of flopping by the pool, but also like to get out and about too.

So the biggest stress before we flew, apart from the holiday actually taking place, was filling out the Greek PLF. The Greek government are very strict with their Covid regulations, which is why their infection rates are so low. A few days before the flight, the government announced a bar and restaurant curfew from midnight to 7am. No wild nights for me then ho ho.
Back to the locator form and as with all things Greek, it wasnít clear how to complete the forms. Facebook forums were full of questions with lots of different answers, so I filled one in more than 48 hours before departure and hoped the magic QR code would arrive in my inbox and I wouldnít have an airport drama like a certain celebrity from Love Island.

Went to bed in the rare stifling heat of a British Summer heatwave with the alarm set for 3am. Didnít expect a wink of sleep, but to my surprise, was flat out until the iPad did itís job in the early hours. First job, check emails. Yesss QR code received. Jumped in the shower, put last bits in the case and woke DS up who was driving us to the airport. To my surprise, DD appeared too and said she was coming along so DS wasnít on his own on the way back. Do not be fooled dear reader, there is not always such harmony in the household.

We set off at 4am, right on target for the 30 min trip, with my sister about 15 mins behind in her taxi. It was strange that we were travelling to the same place, al be it different airlines and different terminals, but didnít set eyes on each other.

Now Iím not going to lie, Iím a champagne, clubworld kinda girl, so didnít have a clue what to do at Easyjet bag drop. What a breeze it was. Weigh your luggage, print your tags and off you go. Only minor heart in mouth moment was when Easyjet checked my Greek PLF and could only find my husband, not me. Frantic scrolling and downloading and there I was. Phew.

Off through fast lane security, which in all honesty wasnít needed and popped out into the terminal.
Most shops were open, a few closed, but everything available that was needed.
Duty free was quiet. As an incentive it was buy 2 of the same brand and get the third free. I needed two Chanel products so got a bonus lipstick.

Bought sandwiches and water from Pret A Manger as I knew there was no food for sale on board, just snacks, and we had a two and a half hour drive the other end so wouldnít be eating again until the evening.

Next stop the Escape Lounge. It was very quiet and table service only.
Now itís only fair to tell you that I am terrified of flying.
Until fairly recently I could not set foot on a plane without diazepam. I know itís the safest way to travel, I know turbulence wonít bring us crashing down into the sea, but itís a phobia - irrational.
Iím telling you in the hope that you wonít judge me or my 4 glasses of wine at 6am. I ordered a full English, nibbled at it and my husband polished it off.
My sister texted from the escape lounge terminal two, to ask how many glasses were acceptable and we settled on 4.
Flight was called for boarding at about 7 am for 740 take off. No social distancing, but of course masks compulsory.
I was sat in row one and could hear the cabin crew discussing who was furloughed, who was flying etc. It was the cabin managers first flight back and he was obviously delighted to be there. He got a clap on landing!

Thank goodness it was quite a smooth flight, only one seat belt incident.
We were supposed to disembark by row, with each row getting up after the one in front and getting their luggage out of the overheads, but in Great British tradition, it was a stampede.
To be fair we all got on the same bus to drive the ten foot to the terminal building anyway.
I have to say, I thought it would have been more tightly controlled.
We went through immigration, up the stairs and showed our QR code again. No testing for us hooray!

Our baggage took an age to arrive. The belt kept stopping and the flight details were never displayed to show which belt was ours. I was in Greece, Iíd made it. Awesome.

Outside the exit a twelve year old boy ( I jest, he just looked it or am I just old?) held up a card with our name on. He took my case and sped off up the hill talking non stop. I trotted behind and tried to keep up. DH was unable to speak by the time we arrived at the car hire.
ďSave yourselfĒ I think he said, but it probably wasnít, as the twelve year old proceeded to demonstrate the finer details of a Peugeot and every speed limit of every road on the island of Crete.
He told us the car was brand new, indeed the milometer showed 2800 miles. The PEU E T badge told the story of hard Greek roads.
We finally left the airport for our destination of Spilia village in the West of Crete. It was basically one long road, with graffiti over the road signs at every junction making them unreadable, so you just exited when you felt it was about time.
It was about 260 km to our hotel, but well worth it when we arrived.
A tiny village with two tavernas, a pharmacy and the oldest olive tree in existence. Itís quiet and quaint. The hotel is a series of individual rooms with a terrace built out of stone overlooking olive groves.
We were greeted like old friends with a glass of fresh lemon and shown to our room overlooking the pool, which incidentally is guarded by three of the most evil cats I have ever met. There is a gorgeous dog who has free rein to go where the cats let him.

We unpacked what we would need for the next three days and walked up the hill accompanied by an orchestra of cicadas to one of the tavernas.
Tzatziki, chicken cooked in honey and feta, mythos and a carafe of wine. Delicious. All for 27 euros and free chocolates and icecream served with raki on the house.
If youíve never experienced raki, itís a clear digestive shot. Itís made by 90 year old women and sieved through their husbands old y fronts. Wouldnít be without it after a meal!

Thatís it. Travel day over. Still canít believe weíve made it.
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Edited at 08:36 PM.
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Old 15 Aug 20, 06:45 PM  
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becky2203
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becky2203's Reviews
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Great day, thank you. It's good to read a trip report again
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Old 15 Aug 20, 08:59 PM  
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mobeckwith
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love this,i will look forward for more
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Old 15 Aug 20, 09:13 PM  
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darbs
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Sounds wonderful, enjoy!
We are due to fly to Greece tomorrow so are anxiously awaiting our qr codes...
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Old 15 Aug 20, 10:18 PM  
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srh
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Excited about Disney
 
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Hope you have a great trip and those QR codes arrive!
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Old 15 Aug 20, 10:33 PM  
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darbs
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Originally Posted by srh View Post
Hope you have a great trip and those QR codes arrive!
Thank you!
They have arrived and start with a 4 so think that means no swab on arrival?
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Old 15 Aug 20, 10:35 PM  
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srh
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Yes you should be ok. Ours was a 4 and so was my sisters and no tests for any of us.

Have a great travel day x
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Old 15 Aug 20, 10:39 PM  
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darbs
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Originally Posted by srh View Post
Yes you should be ok. Ours was a 4 and so was my sisters and no tests for any of us.

Have a great travel day x
Thank you, will be glad to get there 🌞🏖🍻
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Old 16 Aug 20, 10:22 AM  
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mickeyspal
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Great, the road to our villa last night was almost none existent, steep drops ,no road, boulders, trees in the way and next to no headlights... we needed the wine the villa owner had left in the fridge for us !
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Old 16 Aug 20, 02:48 PM  
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srh
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Excited about Disney
 
Join Date: Dec 14
I bet you did!
DH only remarked yesterday that he wouldnít like to try and find a villa at night!

Glad you arrived safely and I hope the villa is lovely.
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