Tuesday 16th – Friday 19th August 2022
Relaxing and Training
Another condensed update for the last few days. I’ve been taking it easy in Malia with not much sightseeing planned, just relaxing at the hotel pool, eating nice food and trying to balance out the calories with some decent gym sessions.
On returning to my room last night, I found a note under the door telling me that I was being moved to a different room the following day. At first, I was a bit annoyed but I quickly remembered that I had agreed to this when I arranged the booking with the owner via Facebook – I’d just forgotten about it. After checking with reception what time I needed to be out of my room (midday), I headed down to the gym as usual, figuring I’d have plenty of time for a workout before packing the few bits I’d removed from my suitcase in the room so I could switch.
The gym session was decent and I’d taken a spare vest so I could shower there and walk back feeling less sweaty than usual, picking up a protein drink on the way. Back at the hotel, I got my suitcase sorted and wheeled it around to reception, having been told that my new room would be ready in a few minutes. Soon enough, I was shown to room 108 – a smaller room, but on the top floor and just behind the bar/pool, so it was a much better location and I was pleased to have switched.
I checked in with work and then headed out to the pool for a relaxing afternoon. For dinner, I fancied Chinese food so managed to find an Asian restaurant in Malia called China Royal. The food was good – sweet and sour chicken strips to start, then chilli beef and egg fried rice plus some house wine. A bit pricey at €25 but tasty.
After 60 days in Greece my UK mobile network, Giffgaff, finally cut off my free roaming access – apparently their T&Cs require UK SIMs to register within the UK at least every 60 days to qualify for the roaming usage. I knew this was coming, but it was still a frustration I could do without.
As a result, my first order of the day was finding a phone shop where I could purchase a Greek PAYG SIM with enough inclusive data to get me through the remaining few weeks of my trip. I need internet access for work (relying on hotel/public WiFi is a bit risky) and I like to stay connected with family and friends when I’m out and about.
I checked Google Maps for any hint of a mobile phone shop in Malia but couldn’t see any, so I resigned myself to taking the bus all the way to Hersonissos just to get a SIM card. It must’ve been my lucky day, though: as I was walking along the main street of Malia searching for the bus stop, I nearly walked right past what turned out to be a mobile phone store. One of the displays caught my eye and when I turned back I saw it they were selling phones so it seemed logical they would also sell SIM cards. I went in and managed to get a Vodafone PAYG SIM with 40Gb data for €45 – it seemed a bit steep but I wasn’t prepared to travel all the way to Hersonissos on the bus just to see if they had any better deals.
Pleased that I’d saved myself a bus trip, I headed to the gym instead and then back to the hotel for more relaxation by the pool.
For dinner, I returned to the Red Lion and had another great meal: chicken strips to start, followed by a burger and mash, then carrot cake for dessert.
Thursday 18th and Friday 19th
Nothing much to say about these days: they both consisted of the gym, time by the hotel pool, a bit of work and a fair amount of food. On Thursday, I dined at an Italian called Fratelli just opposite China Royal but was slightly disappointed by the experience: the garlic bread was a little dry and the mushroom risotto a bit too wet. They didn’t have any cheap house wine, so I settled for a large draft of Peroni. On Friday, I played it safe and went to the Red Lion for a third time, enjoying another meal this time chicken tikka curry with poppadoms and mango chutney. The meat was a bit hit-and-miss but overall it was tasty.