At 6.20 pm we finally arrived. The last time I was in Paleohora was in 1997, which was my first long trip on my own to Greece. I was lucky that it was to Paleohora because back then it was a new destination for Finnish travel agents and I was enchanted by its fresh and authentic atmosphere. I was very much looking forward to seeing how the village had changed during the past years and to meeting my friend Aris whom I had met for the first time here in Paleohora back in 97. He was waiting for me at the harbour and it was a happy reunion. I was to spend the next 3 days here before returning to Chania and then on to Athens.
During those three days I enjoyed the company of my dear friend and also that of his friends who I had also met back in 1997. I was happy to see that they all remembered me. I went to see the owner of the hotel where I had stayed in '97 and her family, too. I had become friends at that time with her son Nikos and I remembered that he had his birthday on the day that I arrived, so I went to the hotel to see if he was there to congratulate him. To my great surprise he was also visiting his home at this time on holiday. He was visiting his home and parents with his girlfriend from England where he now lived. He made me laugh because when he spotted me coming in, he asked me to stay still and not move. Then he ran upstairs to get the letter I had wrote to him from Finland after returning from previous holiday and the photos I had sent in the letter. I was so touched because he had saved them. I was invited to stay with my friend Aris and his relatives at their house in the middle of the village. Paleohora had not changed much. It was still the serene little village. In fact it was even quieter than it used to be in '97. There were very few Finnish tourists now and some Scandinavian and English. If the village had changed, I think it was only for the better but I was sad to notice that the secluded beach of Anidri had changed for the worse. There was a road built all the way to the beach, a big parking lot and now there were sun beds and umbrellas, showers, and a restaurant too. The beach itself was still beautiful, but now it had been discovered by the crowds. I spent one day there and luckily that day it was quiet and not too many people.
The beach in Paleohora village is good choice too and it's perfect for water sports. We spent a lot of time on the beaches in the village and outside the village. There are so many of them and with a motorbike they are all easy to access. I loved spending time "with the boys" in cafés and bars. They made me feel very warmly welcome and I liked the attention they showed towards me. On my last morning I met Aris's cousin Dimitris and his fiancée Katerina who had come from Athens to spend a few days in Paleohora too. I had met Dimitris in '97 and again in Kos in '99 when I last visited Aris. He was amazed to see me again here in Paleohora. His face was a mixture of disbelief and astonishment. That really made my day!
All too fast the morning was spend with Aris, Dimitris and Katerina on the beach and at Palm Tree café. My stay in Paleohora was over and I had to say goodbye to my friends and continue with my journey. I had to take a bus to return to Chania and as I got into the bus I noticed some very dark clouds coming towards us. People on the bus seemed to be expecting rain. I couldn't quite believe it would rain, it was the end of July and to my knowledge, it never rains in Greece in July! As soon as we got on our way it started to rain. Gently at first but it rained.