|One of the mountainous roads the Nissan Dorma took us down.|
Our car hire in Crete didn't start well. Aegean airways had altered our previously convenient flight so that we now arrived at 3 am. Nigel phoned Europcar to make them aware and they came up trumps. On the phone that is. When we actually arrived red eyed at Heraklion airport their office was in darkness and we had to hire not one but two expensive taxis to our hotel.
Nigel had no hesitation in using their negligence to our advantage and we gained an up grade on our car and a free sat nav. Then we went back and swapped it for a sat nav that worked.
The car was an unaesthetic square-built Nissan although we never did determine of what model. Nigel called it the Nissan Dorma. It had a feature at first alarming, later endearing, of screaming like a Chelsea Socialite who has just seen that Bolly is on special offer at Harrods. It turned out to be the air conditioning.
Later when the air conditioning packed in altogether, we missed the screaming. We managed to get five adults and all their luggage for two weeks into it without trauma by insisting that everybody pack their chattels into soft-bodied bags. Oh , and by me forgetting to bring the snorkelling things and aqua shoes.
The Nissan Dorma served us well and introduced an essential note of tension to the holiday when half way through we scratched the roof trying to park in the shade of old olive tree. Other tree branches are soft and give a little, but apparently not ancient olives. How much would we be charged when we returned the car?
However, it never came to that – faced with a long drive into the mountains and broken air conditioning, Nigel demanded a replacement, and the Nissan Dorma was retired and replaced with a Fiat Punto with never a murmur about the roof.
I hope that if there is such a thing as counseling for cars, the Nissan Dorma is now receiving it – carrying five adults, (with occasionally an extra person in the boot) and all their luggage in Cretan heat on Cretan roads cannot have been easy.