Today we travelled from Germany to Crete. It was a fairly painless trip but having had local folks take care of us for the first part of the week was a bit jarring to have to figure out travel plans from Stuttgart central to the airport. It turns out not to be a big deal, but a few hints:
- Tickets to the airport from the central station can only be purchased from the ticket machines.
- The ticket machines only take cash, not credit cards (well not Canadian credit cards, which was the first this trip)
- The ticket machines only take denominations in less that 10 Euro notes.
- The airport is in zone 3
- There are multiple ways to the platform, not only the one indicated at the train station
- Trains S2 and S3 go to the airport.
We got that all sorted, grabbed a juice and a chocolate croissant (not sure what the German world for a pain au chocolat is) and made our way to the airport.
I really do appreciate European transit. Getting to and from airports via public transporation is really quite easy, once I get the hang of it.
We arrived in lots of time, made it through security which was complicated by me somehow getting a bottle of water wedged into my carry on in a pocket I never use (whoopsie). We were the first one at our gate and we waited. And waited some more. And then the flight was delayed due to mechanical issues. So we waited. And waited a bit more. We finally boarded, waited a bit more while they deplaned some luggage of some poor folks that wouldn’t fit on the new plane they got for us, and we were finally off.
The flight was uneventful and we landed at the Chania Airport. It’s a small airport, easy to navigate and given that we fly with just carry on luggage we were out the door in less than 20 minutes. We decided to take a cab to our hotel which is the Creta Dream Royal Luxury Suites. This was the ‘backup’ hotel that we were sent to by our original hotel due to their electrical problem. It’s a beautiful property. Our room is very nicely appointed, has a balcony and is very modern. The downside is that it’s about 25 km from the conference location. We have the option of staying here or (assuming the repairs go according to plan) returning back to our original hotel early next week. I need to figure out the logistics of getting from here to there which is on tomorrows list of things to do. Regardless, it’s not a hardship by any stretch of the imagination.
We dropped our bags off and headed out to find something to eat. We’re close to a number of other hotels, restaurants, markets etc. We settled on Maria’s Restaurant. There was a fixed price menu that looked great and we were both starving. Oh. My. Goodness. It was fanatic. Greek Salad, Grilled Bread, tzatziki, grilled meats, potatoes, fruit, chocolate mouse and honey flavoured Raki. We also had wine and Deanna had a Strawberry margarita. We were there for a couple of hours and left stuffed to the gills and pretty tipsy from the wine and Raki. Fortunatly our hotel was a block away so we made it back without incident. The weather is beautiful. We sat outside with a nice breeze. The temperature wa around 28 degrees C at 10:30 at night which is a pleasant change for us Canadians.
The plan tomorrow is to figure out travel logistics to the Orthodox Academy of Crete which is where the conference is held, and track down some of my great friends who have also travelled from afar to get to this beautiful island.