Dispensing Advice

 

Almost all of the restaurants and tavernas in Crete are relatively small family run businesses, which, when combined with the legendary generosity of Cretan hospitality, makes drinking, dining and socialising in Crete such an enjoyable experience. You regularly find that presiding over a great many of these establishments is a (sometimes formidable) matriarch type figure, cloaked in black, whose word is to be taken as Gospel. These women are often direct relatives of the restaurant proprietors, and pass on their culinary skills – particularly expansive knowledge of Crete’s rich history of traditional cuisine and recipes, and are even known to lend an expert helping hand in food preparation when the moment calls for it. Even when not directly related to the establishment (and I’m not sure whether this lady is or not, but I did see her sitting at this restaurant quite regularly), it is often the case that older people living near tavernas and restaurants are warmly welcomed.

These people have lived through the German occupation of Crete during the Second World War, the struggle between Communism and capitalist politics that embroiled the Greek mainland in civil war, the development of the tourism industry as an important segment of Crete’s economy, Greece and Crete’s accession to the EEC (now EU) in 1981, the arrival of the Euro in 2001, and now the Eurozone crisis and Greece’s austerity measures. All of which tends to qualify them for an opinion or two, something this waitress appears to be on the receiving end of.

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Cretan Life

Dispensing Advice

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Couple Holding Hands

 

Rethymno during a summer’s night is a real gift for photographers – not only is it bustling with people walking, biking, and talking animatedly to one another and into phones, but so much of the Old Town is lit and coloured beautifully thanks to the prevalence of shops selling all sorts. I really liked how the spot lights on this mini art gallery picked out the couple walking past, and how their jeans matched the blue of the Mediterranean sea in the paintings.

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Cretan Life

Couple Holding Hands

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Yum...Me!! Froyo Bar

 

This is another example of Rethymno’s very popular frozen yoghurt bars, cited along the always buzzing Eleftherios Venizelos street. Yum…Me!! have a chain of restaurants in Greece, and have just opened a second cafe in Rethymno specialising in coffee and patisserie.

I love the decor of these bars, and particularly distinctive use of the company’s corporate colour scheme, which also extends to the multicoloured alfresco seating on the terrace outside the bar. What made this bar really stand out at night though was the widespread use of white and grey for the ceiling, walls, bar and floor which lent the place a modernist and almost science fiction-esque aesthetic.

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Cretan Life

Yum…Me!! Froyo Bar

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Night-time Kiosk Stop

 

I think this is probably the most popular kiosk in Rethymno Old Town, and is right next to one of Rethymno’s Ottoman era minarets. The kiosk does a roaring trade in cigarettes and ice creams, making it an essential stopping off point on a night out. It is also opposite what is probably my favourite bar in the world.

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Cretan Life

Night-time Kiosk Stop

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Rethymno Popcorn

 

 

I love cities at night, they seem to come alive! And nowhere is this more true than the Cretan city of Rethymno. Despite Greece’s deficit woes, it remains a vibrant and exciting place, and the harbour area is home to all manner of bars, clubs and street vendor stalls.

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Rethymno Popcorn Stall

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