Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Limnoupoli (Λιμνούπολη)

I had promised the children a jaunt at Limnoupoli one day in September when - I had heard - it would be free for locals. I still ended up paying 20 euro to enter (with a discount on the full price - it would have cost 42 euro otherwise). It's only free in September for locals when you procure a card for this purpose. You need ot apply for the card by the end of June (although an extension was given this year till early August). They don't hand out those cards 'just like that', a phrase I recall being used by a Berlin waitress when we asked for some water to go with our meal. "We don't serve water just like that," she said, meaning you have to pay for water (I suppose it came out of a bottle or something). 

But I didn't know about the card business. I only knew about the free thing. And at this time in the year, it was too late to get one. This was the first time I had ever taken the kids there, since I felt that only now can I feel some sense of security that they know hoe to swim well enough without supervision, and - I had heard - Limnoupoli was free for the locals. But I was ignorant. I did not know what freedom meant. And I hadn't earned it. My ignorance ended up costing me. My tardiness caught me out. 

Limnoupooli reminds us of how the economy is going these days. Professionals win; amateurs don't. The hotel business is running along these lines too: two hotel owner friends complained that their season lasted no longer than 1 and a 1/2 months this year for them. But isn't summertime Crete 6 months long? Yes, but not for them. They had made no internet arrangements for bookings, their hotels were badly located, they had not had a facelift for a while, and now they were pretty much stuck with white elephants, they told me. Tourist numbers in Crete - for both Greeks and foreigners - were definitely high this season but tourists are also more demanding. Even when they are quoted a low price for a room (say, 25 euro a double), they still turn around and say: "OK, we'll think about it." 

Limnoupoli is great water fun for all the family. The pools are well guarded (there were something like six lifeguards alone at the pool in the above photo). The chlorine smell dominates the area and your eyes get very itchy after prolonged use of the pools (your swimwear also comes out feeling the bleach effects). It's only once a year, I remind myself, and hopefully for free next time. Limnoupoli opening times are depnedent on the weather during May and September - it's full season is quite short too (4 months at the most).

I consoled myself by pretending to think that I would have spent the 20 euro anyway at Limnoupoli on overpriced junk food for the kids (club sandwiches cost something like 6 euro) and an equally overpriced coffee for me. But the truth was that I knew it was all my fault. Oh, the shame!

The early birds catch the worms these days; the late ones remain on a strict diet for an extended and undefined period. 

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