Falling for Crete

It is well-known among my family and friends that I can be somewhat (very) clumsy. I am still hoping for medical studies to be released proving that clumsiness is a serious disorder. As a result I often hurt myself; bruises, cuts, scrapes. I even fractured my wrist in Grade Two and had to wear a cast for several weeks (on which I spilt water, yogurt and various other liquids that should never make contact with a cast).

It was only a matter of time until I hurt myself during our three-week trip around Greece, and so I bring you the tale that has honoured me with the new nickname “Marble Slab Ice Cream”. Some of you might be familiar with the frozen delicacies of the food establishment by a similar name, so I want to be clear that this story in no way should tarnish the decadent ice cream concoctions sold by Marble Slab Creamery.

Our first day in Crete was a bit more hectic than normal – we had to disembark the cruise ship, make our way into Heraklion by bus, then of course the taxis were on strike so it was difficult to get to the hotel. Not to mention Greece in the summer is hot… go figure! Eventually we made it to the Castello Hotel, got rid of our bags and exhaled. Four of us decided to make our way to the ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Keeping in mind the taxis are on strike, we try out the public transit. First attempt took us to the airport, which by the way is not the Palace of Knossos. By this point I was very hungry so I quickly picked up an ice cream cone from a street kiosk (I’ve been known to pass out, so if an ice cream cone will prevent that, than an ice cream cone I shall have).

Imagine if you will, an overheated Helen following her family through the streets of Heraklion trying to find the right bus stop. She is not leading the way, but simply trusting the directional instincts of her travel partners. Walking and eating her ice cream cone, and walking and eating and walking and eating and walking and smack! One second I’m strolling along the sidewalk, perfectly upright. Then, as though no time had passed, I was sprawled across a set of three white marble steps. Let me elaborate…

I was obviously paying too much attention to my ice cream cone and not enough attention to where I was placing my feet. This set of marble steps were built sticking out into the middle of the sidewalk. I did not even see the steps until my face was an inch away from them. So naturally I tripped on the steps, ice cream flying and I hit the marble. I’m told it sounded very loud and painful. And ya, I cried. I admit it. It hurt a lot and it just topped off the hectic morning perfectly. For a minute I thought I had broken by arm. Fortunately I only ended up with a decent bruise on each of my knees and a weird bruise on the inside of my thigh.

My family was very nice and caring at the time of the accident. Now? Oh it’s all jokes now! “Hey Marble Slab, where’s your ice cream?” “Helen cried because she dropped her ice cream!” This is not true of course… but it was really tasty!

Goodbye ice cream
The day after, my two sisters and brother-in-law returned to the scene of the crime. This was all that remained of my dear ice cream cone. Photo courtesy of Anna.

3 replies to “Falling for Crete

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