Chania’s Old Town

Chania’s Old Town was extremely touristy, and yet, still charming, thanks to its narrow lanes and leafy canopies, colorful shops and cafes, and biscuit-colored buildings lining the harbor. Many wait staff were also super friendly. During lunch at a seafood restaurant, the waiters played with Elise’s Beanie Boo turtle, pretended to steal her hat, and even brought her an extra crab and taught her the right way to eat it. The maitre d’ had surreally green eyes, which she told me were her Albanian Grandmother’s eyes. Later, in a toy shop, we met a Bulgarian woman who’d come to Greece on Erasmus 12 years ago and just stayed. I wondered how many other Eastern Europeans had come – perhaps for the laid back lifeystyle or tourist-industry jobs, and how they – along with everyone else – were weathering the financial crisis. A Greek manager from Athens told me that the islanders had it slightly easier, since they have chickens and gardens (not to mention lots of tourists in towns like Chania), but his statement is nonetheless worrisome, because it means that many are existing at the subsistence level.

Chania's Old Town - view from our hotel - @World Travel Mama

Chania's Harbor - @World Travel Mama

Chania's winding shopping alleyways - @World Travel Mama

Chania - Albanian maitre d - @World Travel Mama

Chania - narrow alleyways - @World Travel Mama