Wiki Info Rethymno
3-25 The port for Hania is actually 7 km away in Souda. We leaped forward one hour in time last night so instead of being 5am it is 6 and dark outside. We remain on board the ferry 2 hours (we are the last to leave - but the crew very kindly let us stay w/o hassle). There was a taxi just parked - the only one) and he drove us to old town in Hania. The bus station only a few blocks walk has an hourly schedule for leaving to Rethymnon our ON stop. Having a bit of time we walk to the old port and along the way see preparations for their Greek Independence Day parade (happens today)! The hour long bus ride to Rethymno goes along the coast and below a ridge of snow capped mountains. Beautiful scenery! Checking Bon's Kindle LP we locate the IYH hostel
and a short walk brings us to the old town, Ivan, the Serbian manager who is very welcoming and orients us to the entire town. He also explains about the parade here in just an hour from now. Our small 3 person democracy votes to see it instead of going on a bus ride to a village in the nearby mountains...although Bon thinks it is still possible with the bus leaving at 2:30pm. The scheduled parade begins an hour late due to a protest parade with the theme 'Freedom or Death! All goes peacefully tho there is a riot police presence (ones with plastic shields) nearby. See photos.
After the parade we check out the bus but it only goes to the town, no return trip until tomorrow. There is another option to travel S. over the mountains and immediately return on the same bus but this round trip would cost almost $13 euros each! Budget stretched already so no go. Instead we opt for a walk around the huge fort and old town...boring. While walking about we saw a large cruise ship in the harbor and found out that this was the first day they've had any tourists here this year! Even so no museums open! The cruise ship -(15 days, 240 passengers - capacity of 350) was sponsored by a N. American group specializing in historical trips aimed at college/university types so most were from US/Canada. We are going to hurry through Crete because there are only 2 ferries a week onward to Rhodes - Wed. & Sat. Can't afford the extra days in Crete since the interest now is in Cyprus! Moving along!