Paleohora Chillout

7-21-2016–Paleohora, Crete, Greece

Hanging out, hunkering down, in Paleohora on Crete’s southern shore. After the Daly/Thoma show I spend a day in Iraklio, at their archaeology museum. I’d seen it before, but not since 2011. I’d heard that they’d overhauled and improved it extensively since then. They have. It’s now great. It’s mostly Minoan stuff (which makes sense—this is Crete after all), which is now planned out and displayed quite well. The old set up they had was pretty cramped and generally not in the league of the material they were presenting. I’m glad I decided to check it out again …

So what am I doing in Paleohora (again—his is where I started my trip)? Well … After my concert, as I’ve mentioned, my trip suddenly felt over—I felt as if I’d accomplished everything I needed to here. This was a bit of an overstatement, but it was definitely feeling like mop-up time. I was also just as suddenly feeling exhausted, in my mind and body—I didn’t feel as if I could take in anything new. So I landed here. I know this town, it’s relaxing, easy—it’s a good place to come down, take stock, transition out of here (Greece). This has turned out to be a good move: my exhaustion and travel saturation have not abated—I’m out of it, crawling thru the days …

I’m happy, though. It’s been a good trip; I’ve basically gotten out of it what I wanted. I’m just ready to move on, come home.

I’m not quite there yet, though. I’ll probably spend a couple more days here and then head up to the north coast, where I’ll end things on a mostly urban note, with stops in Rethymno and Hania (where I’m flying out of), with maybe a side trip or two.
Notes:

Down tourism continues to confront me. I couldn’t believe how empty Iraklio seemed. This is me of year it’s usually packed. Based on the number of tourists I was seeing on the street, I’d say that tourism is down by something close to 50 percent. This is devastating for a country that so heavily lives off this trade and is already essentially in a depression. It wouldn’t surprise me if Greece explodes politically this winter when people start to realize they don’t have the funds to make it to the next tourist season. This will only be exasperated when it also sinks in that all this hardship is for naught, that the basic structure of the Eurozone means that they can be subjected to all the austerity Brussels can dish out and never repay their debt. This is essentially a bankrupt nation that, due to the monetary union they entered (foolishly, from both the Greek and generally European point of view), cannot claim bankruptcy. The whole thing smacks of the 17th century, debtor’s prison, except on the level of the nation state …

Tourism seems very down in Paleohora too. This place is fairly busy compared to some of my other stops, but that’s just because this spot is always pretty popular. I’d say, though, that tourism is down here too, somewhere between 35 and 50 percent.

I’m seriously considering purchasing a Cretan Lyra (this is why I’m heading up o Rethymno, to talk to a luthier there). If I can find something good in my price range why not? One always needs new challenges in life …

I was considering heading down to Lendas on the south coast of Iraklio province instead of coming here. I’m kind of glad I didn’t do that, though. The winds have kicked up heavy all across the south coast and there’s nothing to do in Lendas besides lie on the beach, which would suck right now. Here at least there’s hiking, restaurants, etc. The wind’s a drag here too. Was thinking of heading down the coast or maybe down to Gavdos, but all the boats are in port. It’s weird to feel both relaxed and a little trapped at the same time …