Monday, September 3:   I drive back to Rethymno from Hania and on the way in, I pass by an adorable little church right along the sea.

a little Greek Orthodox church next to the sea in Rethymno

the view of Rethymno Fort from the little church by the sea

another view of the church

Across the street I find some colorful graffiti on a wall.  Obviously the street artists are not confined to Athens.

colorful street art in Rethymno

more street art

After stopping at this place to take some photos, I park my car again by the Fort and meander back through the town.

a lovely cafe covered in ivy

a very old part of the old town

I head directly to Cafe Galero, where I order my first Mythos beer in Greece.  Cafe Galero is a huge cafe in the center of the old town of Rethymno.  Large groups seem to congregate here.  The cafe also has an internet cafe upstairs, which I use after I relax and enjoy people-watching.  I catch up on my emails and Facebook.

relaxing at Cafe Galero

After this little respite, I head back to Barbara Studios to take a shower and lie down a bit before going out to dinner at Erofili Restaurant.  Their menu describes the restaurant as such: “Traditional Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine, a great selection of the finest Greek wines in a beautiful outdoor garden in the old town.”

Erofili by day

Erofili by night

The hostess at the restaurant seats me perfunctorily, as if I’m somebody to be shaken off.  As I sit waiting for service, listening to the beautiful music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, I begin to wonder if maybe I died and only my soul is wandering around in the world.  Maybe I died so seamlessly that I don’t even know that I died, perhaps in my sleep or so suddenly that I never even realized it.  For as little as I’m noticed sometimes, as a middle-aged single woman, I feel I am invisible.

a blurry (almost invisible?) me at Erofili

I muse about this and think that even if I am invisible, it does not ruin my time here.  I have no one, no one to love me or to share these moments, yet I am still enjoying them.  It’s as if I’m having a romance with the place, with Greece, with Rethymno, with Erofili, with the food, with the music, with this moment.  I think of a quote I recently came across: “Collect moments, not things.”  And I think to myself this is exactly what I am doing.  I’m adding to my own personal collective experience of happy moments, even if I am all alone.

I order red wine, as always my drink of choice, and “mousakas ~ fresh Cretan, mince, eggplant, potatoes and cream made of fresh milk.”  It is piping hot and rich and delicious.

“mousakas”

While eating, I look around at my fellow diners, fellow adventurers or locals, who are sharing this place with me.  There is the woman with bulging eyes who looks like Hugh Grant’s sister in the movie Notting Hill.  There are two large & sturdy women, not fat and flabby, but solid and strong, like Amazons.  Then there is the group of four possibly British or Australian men.  They seem to be having a grand time together.  Other couples are quietly sharing a meal as if they’ve exhausted every possible topic of conversation in all their years together.  I wonder if all these people are happy.  Are they simply content?  Are they passionate about their lives and this moment?  Are they bored and just going through the motions?  Are they having insurmountable problems yet still trying to make the best of things?  Are they quietly going crazy with loneliness?  Or with sadness?  I don’t know.  But I wonder.  I would love to know the stories of these people.  But of course, I’m outside of their lives, just an observer.  Never to know the truth.

another view of Erofili

In the end, I wonder if I would enjoy this place more if I were with someone?  I wonder who it would be?  Who?

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About nomad, interrupted

As of July 15, 2015, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 24 countries.

21 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on a nomad in the land of nizwa and commented:

    back to rethymno and musings over mousaka…

  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I would much rather be comfortably alone, as you were, than part of a couple who no longer have anything to say to each other.

    • Yes, I know what you mean Gilly. It used to scare me that my husband and I seemed to be heading in that direction. But I sometimes wonder how it would feel to just accept the quiet company of someone you love….

  3. I would have a mousaka right now….. You ‘ve opened my appetite! Lovely shots! 🙂

  4. adinparadise says:

    It’s lunchtime here, and I would kill for that Moussaka. 🙂 The graffiti is actually really beautiful art. I love it. That restaurant looks so cool with all the greenery, and I know exactly what you men about feeling invisible. It’s quite a nice feeling sometimes. 🙂 Love the photo of that ivy-covered cafe; it looks so attractive. Thanks for the lovely tour, Cathy. 🙂

    • Thank you once again, Sylvia, for coming along. I’m glad someone can understand that feeling of being invisible. Sometimes it bothers me; others it’s perfectly fine. I took so many pictures of that ivy-covered cafe and the sunlight was always wrong. This was the best of the shots!

  5. What a fabulous church! You’re photos are so lively and colourful! Thanks for this little exploration into Greece.

    • Thank you so much, Jennifer! I loved all the colors in Greece, so warm and vibrant at the same time. And that light and the Mediterranean…. all so gorgeous! Thank you for coming along on my journey…. 🙂

  6. Lovely pictures and the moussaka looks divine. The picture of the church by the sea looks like it is made from ginger bread…

  7. Carol says:

    I don’t know if the being seated in a perfunctory manner is a result of being not quite visible, or of being a woman. During some of my single time, when I first discovered computers, I used to often stop at a computer store near home where the male salespeople seemed to not see me. There was one young man, obviously quite astute, that did wait on me, discovered I was actually quite a good customer, and soon started zooming in on me when I came in. I’m sure the being ignored was because I was female, and couldn’t possibly know anything about anything. I cannot tell you how much I admire your gumption in getting out there and going places on your own. I need to learn to do that.

    • Yes, Carol, you’re right. It’s either being a woman, or being single, or being middle-aged. The middle-aged thing is probably the biggest factor, at least in my experience. I find many younger people who look right through me as if I don’t exist. I guess I used to do the same thing when I was younger. In Oman, a culture where women are practically invisible, I really feel insignificant than I do anywhere else. That’s why I can’t stay here for longer than one more year.

      Thanks for admiring my gumption and getting out there on my own. I really have no choice; it’s either get out on my own, or stay home, which I refuse to do. Since it’s my choice to go, and since whoever I travel with has to be someone really special to me, and since I haven’t found that person, either man or woman, then I go alone. I had to learn to be brave because of my circumstances. And I really don’t like to travel with any person unless I feel a great connection with them. A great connection with anyone is really rare!

  8. what a feast for the eyes! thanks for the great tour! the ivy-covered cafe was my favorite, though the mousaka sure looks tempting! z

  9. Marco says:

    I like that quote you put down, collect moments, not things 🙂 The best part of feeling invisible, you have more fun studying the people around you.

  10. […] To read the related post about Rethymno, please feel free to visit: back to rethymno & musings over mousaka. […]

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