Ange & I Enjoy Walking The Imbros Gorge

I have had three good selling days so far this month but the weather was not good enough for a couple of days last week and disappointingly I only managed to sell on the Monday. Tomorrow will be my last day in May before I fly back to the UK for 16 days. The weather otherwise has been sunny and hot and for the first time in two years there are plenty of tourists – including British – around and about Almyrida and Plaka.

At Taki's restaurant & the party in Plaka square

With Ange at Taki’s restaurant & the party in Plaka square

Ange arrived on Saturday afternoon and that evening we were up on the Almyrida Residence Hotel Rooftop terrace, enjoying a complimentary glass or two of wine. A lovely couple I met before Covid, Sarah and Chris, finally had their long-awaited wedding celebrations and it was so lovely to see them on their special day. It really was beautiful up there on the roof and it brought back so many memories of my daughter Emma and Ash’s wedding held there in June 2016. I am halfway through a commission for Sarah and Chris – to commemorate this special day in their lives together. They will be forwarding me some photos from their wedding so that I can complete the seashell mosaic design they have chosen.

About halfway through Imbros Gorge

About halfway through Imbros Gorge

On Tuesday there was a big party in Plaka square with a band playing and so we ate outside and danced in the street. The following day we got up early to walk the Imbros Gorge. It was so nice for me because I got to feel like a tourist for the day and instead of driving down to the south coast – we booked an organized trip and went on the coach. It is many years since I walked Imbros and I’d forgotten how beautiful it is! The scenery was awesome and there were many pretty wild flowers everywhere amongst all the rocks. The weather was just perfect – not too hot as we scrambled in and out of the shade of the gorge. The only thing that spoilt it a little for us was the sheer volume of tourists. I did not expect that so early in the season. It was difficult to stop and admire the scenery around us or indeed – take many photos. All along the gorge there were people right behind us. Nevertheless, we loved every minute of it. In the afternoon afterwards, the coach took us further along the south coast to Chrora Sfakia, where we only had a short time for lunch before the ride back.

Posing in an archway in the harbour wall leading to Chania lighthouse

Posing in an archway in the harbour wall leading to Chania lighthouse

The weather was very windy with showers the next couple of days so we spent a full day in Chania, walking all along the harbor wall to the lighthouse. Then we walked the cobbled backstreets and looked at some of the shops before stopping for a late lunch at a lovely open-air restaurant just behind the harbourfront. We should have checked the opening times and missed visiting the Maritime Museum. Also and annoyingly, the Archeological Museum had moved its location and so we missed visiting that too! Instead we continued shopping until arriving back in Plaka and Vangelis for a glass of wine to end the day at around 8pm.

The Amphitheatre at Ancient Aptera

The Amphitheatre at Ancient Aptera

The following day I took Ange up to Ancient Aptera as she was really keen to see some ruins. Again, it has been many years since I was last there and so much more has been revealed since then. First we watched the video they had running in a loop… giving you lots of information about the 2,000 year old site. The computer generated graphics really gave you an idea of how the buildings looked all those years ago. Still intact though, was the Roman three-aisled Cistern which is an amazing example of skilled ancient engineering. The recently revealed amphitheatre is said to be one of the smallest in all of Greece. We really enjoyed walking all around the excavated areas but were disappointed to find the enormous fortress was closed so we couldn’t look inside. We spent several hours at Ancient Aptera, taking a picnic to eat in the grounds.

The view from the fortress at Ancient Aptera

The view from the fortress at Ancient Aptera

In the afternoon we visited Koumos in Kalyves which I have written about many times over the years. It’s a charming place with many interesting buildings and mosaics built by a very talented Greek man over a period of about 30 years. After wandering all around the grounds, we had coffee and a pastry there.

Ange stayed with me for ten days during which we enjoyed a lovely dinner as always, at Thalami in Almyrida and a gorgeous lunch at Elia & Thyme, also in Almyrida. After dropping Ange back at Chania airport last night, I went to a gig in Kalyves where Ross and his mate Matt were playing their acoustic guitars and singing some great tunes.  Tomorrow night I am going to see them again in Vamos, after I’ve finished selling in Almyrida.  If I can get my packing done and organized, I will try and make it to the music quiz at Vangelis on Friday as I forgot all about it last week with Ange.  So my busy social life continues…

Looking through one of the arches in the harbour wall leading to Chania lighthouse

Looking through one of the arches in the harbour wall leading to Chania lighthouse

However I am now starting to get really axcited about my visit to the UK on Saturday. The Last time I was there at this time of the year was in June 2018 for my nephew Rob’s wedding. I can’t wait to see my family again and spend some time with Ralph, Neve and little Arthur.

Now I Have Time for Everything Including Lots of Socialising!

The weather has much improved since my last post and Almyrida has fully opened up for the early tourists. I am going to set up my stall and display in a few days and I am thrilled to be able to start this summer season in May instead of July or only August, as was the case in 2020 and 2021. I am particularly looking forward to welcoming the English tourists back to Crete. Continue reading

Disappointing, Dull & Miserable Weather For October

For the rest of September the weather here on Crete was much more comfortable to live and work in. I did well from my beach stall and sold 29 Seashell Mosaic Paintings, the majority of which were the larger and more expensive designs, which surprised me! Last September there were virtually no tourists here so I couldn’t sell at all that month. Therefore this is indeed a good result and I am happy! Continue reading

Crete’s Long Hot Summer Continues into September

I am pleased to report that the temperatures gradually came down to a more normal level and by mid August, were a lot more bearable, especially with the return of the cool breezes coming off the sea. By 9th August I was back selling from my stall by the beach. It was busy in Almyrida and Plaka yet still the majority of tourists were from France and Germany. By my recollection of the past 13 summers in Almyrida – I have never seen so many French and German tourists. There were hardly any British tourists this August and I am not surprised, given the way the UK government has made it so difficult for British people to travel this summer Continue reading

Another Heatwave Way Too Hot to Work or Play in!

The post you are about to read was actually posted on 6th August, but the hosting company migrated my site and in the process I have been offline for several days and have lost that post.  As it was a special one (well all of them are special to me) and because luckily I keep drafts, I am re-posting it now.

It is the 6th August and we are in the midst of another dreadful heatwave here on Crete. The Greek authorities have declared it the hottest on record and wildfires have been raging all over Greece and the islands. This is putting enormous pressure on the Electricity supply and this morning we had the inevitable power cut! I am so grateful that this heatwave didn’t happen last week, when my family were over. Out of curiosity I put my fridge magnet thermometer outside on my balcony overlooking the sea, to record the temperature. It went off the scale at over 120F (over 50C) and burst the bulb! Continue reading

It’s Late, but Summer is Finally Starting to Kick Off!

It’s true! Aside from the exciting UEFA Championship final between UK and Italy happening tomorrow, slowly, slowly Almyrida and Plaka are starting to fill with more tourists. I cannot wait to welcome the UK tourists back. They have definitely been conspicuous by their absence, with mostly only Germans, Russians and a few Americans visiting. But with the easing of restrictions in the UK on travel, this means many more British tourists can now visit Greece without having to quarantine on their return. Continue reading

Missing Almyrida’s Tourists for the Second Year Running

How strange and sad it is to see everywhere so quiet and deserted for the second year in a row. Both Almyrida and Plaka would normally be buzzing at this time of the year, yet there are barely enough tourists to warrant all the restaurants and shops being open. Indeed everywhere is open but everywhere is almost deserted! Continue reading

Happy Beachcombing Trips with my Friends

Despite all the awful consequences of this Covid Pandemic, I have had such a great summer.. that the bubble was bound to burst at some point! For the last few years October has always ended up being a month for sorting problems out and this year was no different. But always being positive by nature, I’m not even going to mention what these problems were. There is no need to because I have resolved them all and anyway, I have far nicer things to talk about! Continue reading

UK’s Quarantine List Didn’t Spoil Holidays with my Family

Despite the UK adding Crete to their quarantine list – it didn’t stop my brother, Mark from enjoying his Cretan holiday with me. He works in the film industry, which like everything else has been greatly compromised and anyway, Mark has been working from home on his book and so the quarantine restrictions on his return to the UK weren’t an issue for him. Continue reading

Back to a more normal life.

What an unexpectedly busy August it’s turned out to be! I started selling by the beach in Almyrida right after Emma, Ash and the kids left Crete, and because it is still so quiet in Almyrida – especially for August, I decided two days a week was enough. Yet those two days have proved to be really profitable. I have sold a total of 29 Seashell Mosaic Paintings this August and I am more than happy with sales, given these unprecedented world circumstances. Continue reading