“Travels to A Different Time” : July 1970 Squabbles in Iraklion, Crete and Robert to the Rescue

July 25, 1970: Up early at 7:30 today. Mom hand washed some of our clothes and we went down for breakfast at the pension we were saying at owned by Ismini Georgiadis. Bread and honey with scrambled eggs. Mom had a little squabble with Ismini over a cup of coffee. When we arrived at her pension she offered Mom a cup of coffee and now she was asking payment of 30 cents for it. I suppose Mom thought this was just another example of Greek hospitality we have become used to. Well Mom gave her a piece of her mind and paid up. Ismini came back and apologized and tried to return the money which Mom accepted. She then asked us to write a letter in English to a family in England. We don’t like Ismini very much. She charges $3.00 a night for breakfast and a room which is too much. After the letter was written we headed to the beach taking a bus there and again the little old ladies would bowl you over to get a seat. The beach we went to was a sandy beach Aminosos with huge waves good for body surfing. Suddenly when I was drying off in the sand I heard Mom shout for help. She disappeared under the waves and then surfaced. I grabbed her and hauled her in. She was coughing and gasping for breath and a small crowd gathered some offering help. She had some bad cramps and panicked. This made me think about our cottage in Vermont on Lake Champlain where Mom had a strict rule that there would be no swimming after a meal until you waited an hour. Something about blood flow being diverted to food digestion stopping blood flow to other parts of the body and causing cramps.

July 27, 1970: A Real Nasty Squabble!

Up at 8, breakfast and then off to the Iraklion Museum. What a bore and I yawned throughout it all. Well that caused Mom to have a tantrum and now she wants to return home to Montreal and she says she is sick and tired of me! I hope this will pass. Maybe it was the scare on the beach the other day? We went out for dinner and before we ordered she got up and stormed out. I followed her and ended up in a cafe where she went for a drink. When I walked up to the table she got up and stormed out. I followed her again and almost lost sight of her in a crowded marketplace but I spotted her at a restaurant. We had a silent meal and returned home where she said we should return to Montreal as I’d like it there. She sat on her bed tapping her foot on the floor. I have seen her take a few tantrums lately but this is a bad one. What a shame to ruin a vacation like this. No way I want to return to Montreal.

July 28, 1970: Goodbye Crete and Hopefully Better Temper Ahead!: We are leaving to go to the island Skiros today. Perhaps Mom’s temper will cool down? Cretans seem less friendly than the people we encountered on the other Greek islands. We settled our 5-night bill for $15 and headed out to the marketplace for a spectacular lunch. I think it was the best food I have had in Greece. We boarded our boat the Miaoulis after taking a 50-cent cab fare to the docks. We had a second-class cabin for our overnight trip. It was smaller than the ship we had our last overnight trip on but very clean and much newer. As we left the harbour at 7 p.m. I think we both decided Crete is the worst place in Greece we have been to. We ate our sandwiches we brought on deck. A couple of kookie guys from Austria invited us to the bar for a drink. One of them had rings all over his fingers and was wearing beads.

July 29, 1970: We had a good sleep aboard the ship and jammed up some buns we had brought for our breakfast. At 1 Mom went to the snack bar and we had a portacolada with salami on a bun. We arrived on Skiros at 2 p.m.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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