Showing posts from September, 2008

A spontanious memorial off the beaten track

I have been knocking around with Vaughn a gentleman from Wales. He is a young 55 year old who is now a parole officer in England, but he has traveled the world doing a variety of things ranging from teaching English (how I don't know, I can barely understand him - ha ha, sorry Vaughn!) in places like Greece, Crete, Indonesia, Russa and China. He has worked "smoothing the beach" here in Plakas, working in bars etc. Doing whatever to extend his travels. He is a pretty cool cat who loves talking about politics - "Oh them (insert any nationality other than Welsh here) are bloody bastards"; philosophy - "fuck those daft (insert name of anyone who disagrees here) bastards"; shagging - " Fuck those - "see - you - next - tuesday's" they'll fuck you then screw you..." He's really not that bitter. I rather enjoy his rants and he is a good guy. Anyway, he and I have been knocking around and the other day we decided to go see this

I've seen fire and I've seen rain...

I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again... Yesterday I got word that Bryan Schultz, a very dear friend of mine died from a heart attack this past Saturday. I was shocked and very sad. I will miss him. He was a good person, someone I was lucky enough to have known and call my friend for over 25 years. None of us know how long we have, all we can do is live life the best we can; do more good than harm, inspire through our actions and keep going until our path is at its end. As William Wallace said, "Every man must die, few men truly live." Bryan your music plays on in everyone that you touched... words cannot express how much I will miss you. ~Craig

Remembering 9/11

Today is 9/11 and I want to take a second to remember all of those who passed away in and who sacrificed their lives for the lives of others in the World Trade Center attack. My hope is that we can all take hate and turn it into love. Through compassion, education and deeds we must as Gandhi said "Be the change we want to see in our world." ~Craig

The Service of Service

Hello all. Lets talk a little about the service industry over here. I am referring to the service at restaurants. In a word it is SLOW!! It kind of goes like this: They sit you quickly. It often takes them a while to get you menus. Then it takes maybe 4x the time you would expect them to take your order. They get you your food extremely fast (probably 2x as quick as in the US) but then you NEVER see your server again unless you send out a search party complete with flairs and the National Guard. Now at first glance the intreped if not particular American may be put off by this and get impatient and pissed, but hold on to your Coke a Cola's and strip malls gang because this strange non-capitalist type behavior was explained to me in this way: Things are much more layed back here. It is not so rush, rush, rush. People get together for a meal to do more than just eat. It is an event to be shared between people. It is a process not meant to be rushed. That said they would think it rude

Ray Ban Sunglasses

Ray Ban Sunglasses are very popular here. Well, let me rephrase: Ray Ban knock-offs seem to be very popular over here especially w/men. I liked them so much that I shelled out 10 euro for a pair. :) Heck, they even say "Made in the USA!" You can buy a lot of knock off stuff over here. Sorry, but I gotta jet... ~Craig

Typos galore!!

Hello gang ~ Wow I am reading back through some of my posts and seeing sooooo many typos , add on and fragmented sentences , bad grammer , spelling etc. etc. I corrected some but not too many. I am usually in a hurry here and rarely proof read ; that combined w/ poor internet / computer conditions add up to. .. well , you see the result. Anyway , I will attempt to do better in future posts. :) Thanks for your understanding!!

Samoria Gorge

Yesterday I hiked the Samoria Gorge. It is about 20 km of very rugged terrain (& hot, temp. was in the mid 90's), but very beautiful. The entire hike takes people from 5 to 8 hours approx. to complete. This trip would never fly here in the states, at least marketed how they do. It was a very touristy and high profile hike, all of the tourist places sell this trip; They sell it to everyone; young, old, fit or not. What they don't tell you is that it's a technical, very physically demanding hike. Not to mention that you definitely need the right gear (aka hiking shoes and possibly poles). The only way in or out of the gorge short of a helicopter would be by foot, by donkey, mule or horse. Three people got carried out on stretchers, two more had to ride out on donkeys, and a number of them had to turn around because it was too rough (and that was just yesterday). I guess last year a couple tried taking a short cut and ended up lost. Their tour guide was afraid to report th

Plakas is Greek for...

Well, I think Plakas (the town I am staying in) is Greek for the middle of flipping nowhere!! This is GREAT! An all day bus ride (well, about a 4 hour bus ride and a 2 hour "layover."). Through the mountains the bus driver had his work cut out for him. We kept getting further along our journy and further from Western Civilization the roads keep getting more narrow and the guard rail eventually disappear almost entirely. A couple times while going up a mountain we had to stop and back the bus up because there was a car coming from the other direction and we both couldn't fit. Yea, it's all fun and games until someone plummets off the side of a 300' cliff. Which incidently is what I was staring down inches from my window of the bus... no guard rails...miles from anywhere w/the technology to put an American like me back together if broken like humpty dumpty... Oh well, the view was amazing anyway. This is like Zen, you really have to let it all go and live in the mom
The internet is crap here, so it is very difficult to get anything through, but her we go... I am waiting @ a cafe' by the bus in North Crete. It is beautiful here. I am on the waterfront that looks like some postcard you would get from someone you want to hate. This seems like a nice town. Not too tiny, but far from being huge. It looks like an ancient venisian fortress to the East of me. It runs along the shoreline; the lookout towers and large stone walls stretch into this modern time from somewhere in antiquity. It was funny, I got here @ 2:12 pm and I see the bus schedule sign for transport leaving to Plakas (from what I can make out) and it says the next bus leaves at 2:15pm... uh, oh... So I am rushing to get to the ticket window so I can hopefully catch the bus. Well...things don't move too fast here in Crete. People tend to chat and linger which is exactly what happens. So when I finally get to the ticket window the time is 2:17pm. Now although people here aren't i
It is amazingly hot here today and it's only 10am. I have been here in Crete for about 4 days now. I am heading to southern Crete on a bus to a Youth Hostel in Plakas. This one should prove to be interesting because I am supposed to be staying in an 8 person dorm. I am going to try to get into something with less people in it, but we'll see. It has been nice being in my own room here. I saw some really cool things here in Herkiloin (which means city of Herculies), Crete's capitol. The town has some cool museums (only if they weren't under construction) and such. I went to Knossos (ancient Minoean city/palace), Yeta a town that produces olive oil and wine (pretty cool) and some areas that I didn't see down town. In Knossos I found out about the Minetour and Theasus. Saw the oldest paved road in Europe (dating back to 2000 bc). I guess they (the people inhabiting Crete) make up some of the founding members of European society, ranging back to 6700 bc or so! The tour g

Are people from Crete Creteans??

Here I am in Crete. It is a pretty cool island. It is a bit more difficult getting around, but far from impossible. Most people speak at least a little english and I have gotten very good at asking (in Greek) if they speak english. I walked around about 15 miles today. Into town, around town, to all (and I do mean all) of their museums, archelogical sights, some cafe's and town squares. I really didn't even get lost today. Wow, I must be making some progress. I met a couple English people (yes, people from England silly) we hung out until about 1am or so and talked about politics, troubled youth, the difference between the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service (don't ask, if I told you I'd have to kill you:), body guards, ccw laws etc. It was kinda of funny, most of the museums that I went to today were under construction and had only one exhibit open. Geeze, you'd think that they would have at least discounted their entry price, but noooooooo! Oh well. I at least had a real

The Transporter goes Greek!

Well, today I decided to have an adventure and rent a moped to scoot around the island. Wow is all I have to say. That was quite an experience! First; of all of the European countries Greece has the most accidents; second, I don't understand their signs; third, I may not understand the language, but I understand what the sound of the horn means; 4th, the roads are narrow and everyone experiences traveling on the road, cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, scooters, atv's, people, animals, etc. There are no sidewalks and the roads are REALLY narrow. I wanted to go to Fira which is the capital of Santorini to see their Historical Museum. I figured what the heck it probably won't get any easier to drive in Greece than on a small island. I go to rent a scooter it costs about 12 euro, that's $18 US. The thing looks fairly beat up with bald tires and a horn that doesn't work. Not to mention the guy renting this to me either didn't explain well or I didn't understand,