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.

A Christmas of Joy Worth all the Stress of Covid

I arrived home to Crete on 2nd after leaving a very cold UK and I am blown away by the wonderful weather I’ve come back to!  I am amazed to be sitting here on my balcony with warm and tranquil sunshine washing over me like a comfort blanket. It’s been blue skies and sunshine ever since I returned and it’s forecast to be 24 and 25 degrees at the weekend. Wow!  Despite having a list of stuff I need to deal with – I just have to sit here and enjoy it!  My view is magical and my recent memories are magical… so I am perfectly placed to write all about them here and now. 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

Missing Almyrida’s Tourists

I realize that I haven’t posted for many weeks, but then there hasn’t really been much to write about.  For the first time in 11 years I have not been selling my unique Seashell Mosaic Paintings & Collages by the beach in Almyrida. I have dearly missed seeing the tourists that visit Almyrida every year and meeting all the new visitors that arrive from all over the world. I have missed that wonderful holiday atmosphere that is so normally prevalent in Almyrida during the summer months from May to October. I have missed all the buzz and the fun that comes with my beach selling season. Continue reading

A Beautiful Day in Bali

There’s not much to report since my last post. Working on my Seashell Mosaic Collages is always a given, because whenever there isn’t anything else that takes priority – I am busy creating! This is also the time of year that I do my seashell sourcing and place orders with my regular suppliers. But I wanted to write this final post of 2018 before I return to the UK on Saturday morning. Continue reading

August Beach Sales Have Been Really Good This Year!

It has been over six weeks since I last wrote and that is because I have been so busy coping with my hectic work schedule.  That month I spent in the UK meant I had lost a month in terms of production.  I was not as fully stocked with my Seashell Mosaic Collages for the summer season as I would normally have been. So August has been mega busy while I’ve been trying to keep up with the designs that are selling well. Continue reading

Almyrida has that Holiday Atmosphere Again!

It’s Easter Sunday and I’ve been busy getting the spare room ready for Zoe and Donnas’ visit in a couple of days. The weather has been glorious again and so later this afternoon, I couldn’t resist a couple of hours working mosaic on my amazing balcony! Now I am enjoying the peace and tranquillity and the early evening sun, whilst I lounge comfortably on the balcony sofa. Continue reading

Happily Enjoying my Creative Splurges!

white mountains

The amazing view from my balcony – you can see why I love working here!

I’ve been working on my balcony this afternoon. Recently we’ve had some odd days in between rain and cloud that have been so warm and sunny – that it was just plain daft not to work outside! A few weeks back we had so much snow and it wasn’t just confined to the mountains but crept into our villages as well! I got stuck in the snow and ice several times on my way to the dentist in Vamos. A journey that normally takes around 10 to 15 minutes took me over 45 minutes and was so treacherous that I was holding my breath for most of the way! In 8 winters of living here on Crete I have never seen so much snow! Continue reading