Susan's sketchbook log: Only a  Cretin couldn't love Crete


Chania harborVenice - but with ouzo

Chania, Crete
I'd seen photos and knew the two harbors on the northwest coast were picturesque. But until a wonderful walking tour of old Chania with the Brit (we immediately heard about the English cricket team's win) Tony Fennymore, I hadn't realized the Venetians had spent 465 years here and tried to make it look like home.

WIth substantial success, even into the 21st century! The Venetian harbor is lined with old palazzi, and if you squint so that KAFENION could be CAFFE, you'd really think you were in Italy.

Chania is Crete's second largest town, but staying around the old harbor, you don't realize it. You do, however, get to take advantage of some really good restaurants and shopping. But mostly, of course, you get to sit in cafes, and let your cappuccino get cold while you sketch.


Chania harbor view

My hotel, on the "quiet" side of the harbor, is outstanding. Amazing buffet breakfast (included). The waiters bring pots of coffee and always smile when I give my room number in Greek. They also think I'm crazy when I choose a terrace table, with a blue-checked tablecloth, about 15 feet from the water. They think it 's too cold. Hah! Coming from Seattle, I will ALWAYS choose the outdoor table, given the opportunity.



Rain at Cafe Remezzo

I lucked into the Cafe Remezzo on day one... and returned every day. Most of the harbor views are painted from there; pick a view, any view. The first day I ordered a cappuccino. The second day "my" waiter saw me and asked, "Cappuccino?" and from then on he just brings one -- always with an offer to barter it for my sketch. Is there anywhere more fun to paint than in a Greek cafe?

There are a couple rainy days. Chania isn't very well-prepared, roofwise. So we all retreat farther under the most permanent awnings. At one point the sky really opens, and -- easily entertained -- everyone applauds the onslaught of rain. During a break, a couple arrives, sits down in the first row and orders drinks. When the rain starts again, she just puts up her umbrella and they keep talking. Everyone loves THAT too!

waiting out the storm - Chania | sklog home | previous | next

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