My Blissful Beachcombing Days!

Whatever else is going on in my world, the beachcombing days are always wonderful! This is such a great time of the year for going out on day trips and exploring the many beautiful coastlines here on Crete. Last week I had two lovely days out, first to Elafonisi and then to Falasarna. I was lucky enough on both trips – to have not just the welcome company but chauffeurs as well, which is a real bonus for me! Both Ron and Ian offered to drive in their respective land rover-type cars – much more suited to off-road driving! Strange though it may seem – I am not used to being driven about and I love the chance to really study the scenery as we travel. En route down to the south coast with Ian a couple of weeks ago, we stopped to take photos of the clouds hanging really low over the valley of Askifou. I got what I thought was an eerie photo of the ruined castle on the top of the mountain at the side of the valley.

Ruined Castle, shrouded in cloud at Askifou

Ruined Castle, shrouded in cloud at Askifou

I had a lovely day with Ron in Elafonisi. The scenery there at this time of year is truly breathtaking and It was the wild heather that got my attention immediately! You don’t see this multi-coloured heather during the summer months and I had forgotten how beautiful it is. The last time I was at Elafonisi was with Fran in June. Of course I have seen it many times before, yet each time I do – it’s like the first! I just wish I had a better camera because I don’t think my photos do it anywhere near justice!

The areas surrounding Elafonisi beach

The areas surrounding Elafonisi Beach

The beautiful heather that is everywhere on Elafonisi beach

The beautiful heather that is everywhere on Elafonisi beach

On the seashell collecting front there was very little in comparison to what has been there on other visits. Nevertheless, we collected plenty of the seashells I needed and I took a carrier bag full of mixed shoreline stuff to sort through at home. Ron was great company and we enjoyed a packed lunch in the warm sunshine, while we admired the scenery.

Two days later I was on the road again – this time to Falasarna, accompanied by Lisa and Ian. On the way there, while still in Kissamos, we stopped at a beautiful chapel built half into the rocks. I had been there before but wanted to show Lisa and Ron how unusual it is. Next to the chapel and in its grounds there is a large cave where they have set up displays of the main biblical scenes such as the birth and crucifixion of Christ. We had a look inside the chapel and marvelled at all the rock dominating the interior and giving it such a dramatic look. In sharp contrast, the ornate paintings and religious artifacts appeared to shine out like gold!

Chapel built into the rock at Kissamos

Chapel built into the rock at Kissamos

Also in the grounds is a viaduct-type tunnel which leads down to a small rocky cove. While we were walking through this tunnel Lisa and I were in the middle of a giggly fit when Ian took a photo of us. He had brought along his fancy camera and was our photographer for the day. Thank goodness because the battery on mine turned out to be flat and I was kicking myself for forgetting to check it the night before! Anyway, Ian took some great photos and I am giving them credit on this post!

Lisa and I in the tunnel leading to the cove

Lisa and I in the tunnel leading to the little cove

Once we had arrived at Falasarna we took in the beautiful scenery and I remembered the last time I was here over two years ago. I’d been out for a trip with Paul and I must say it did make me think of him. It’s already nearly a year since he passed away. How the time flies… Back in the present time, we’ve had such lovely warm and sunny days lately that it would have been an absolute crime not to be out and about and enjoying them!

Part of the sandy beach at Falasarna

Part of the sandy beach at Falasarna

The shell collecting on this huge beautiful beach was just the best! It’s a long time since I’ve been able to say this but Lisa, Ian and I collected what amounted to a bumper crop! The seashells are amazing on this beach and we couldn’t pick enough of them! There was even a little wooden shelter with two beach chairs – the perfect place for our base camp and picnic lunch break! On the way back we stopped for coffee at a charming little harbour outside Kissamos. What a lovely way to end what was a perfect day out. Great company, fabulous weather, a beautiful location and so much ocean treasure to show for it!

In the little beach shack - Lisa and Ian during our picnic lunch break!

In the little beach shack – Lisa and Ian during our picnic lunch break!

All this shell collecting has meant many hours and days of sorting which I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t begin to tell you the pleasure I derive from looking through all the seashells that Lisa, Ian and Ron had collected for me. I was seeing them for the first time and boy did they do me proud – there were some real corkers amongst their collections. Even looking through my own collection is a pleasure because during the sorting process I am intently studying them and they are just so beautiful that I can’t wait to place them in my artworks.

I’ve been going through a really ‘creative’ period these last two weeks and I know that it is Jenny’s project that has sparked it off. The landscape I am doing for her is coming along well and it’s reminded me of the ideas I had last year but didn’t get time to progress. In actual fact I didn’t have what I call a ‘creative brainstorming period’ at all last year, so this one is most welcome and I am so enjoying it! I just wish there were more hours in a day to fit everything into my life that I love doing.

The Almyrida Christmas Fayre is on Sunday, so this week I will have plenty to keep me occupied with.  It’s a massive social event and I am really looking forward to it!  Most importantly – it’s another chance to showcase my seashell mosaics and collages and hopefully make a few sales.  Tell you all about it next time!

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