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

Goodbye to the Good Weather for Weeks of Cold and Rain!

For several weeks it has been really cold and we’ve had rain almost every day. So this winter on Crete has been a real yoyo between hot and cold temperatures. It’s been difficult to plan anything, especially beachcombing and long walks. The price of petrol has rocketed here (as all over the world) and we are paying 2.10 Euros a litre at the pumps – the highest in Europe! Continue reading

Making the Most of the Warm Winter Sunshine

During the last six weeks the weather here on Crete has been switching constantly from cold and stormy to warm and sunny. A few weeks ago so much snow fell in parts of Greece and Athens that the Greek government declared two days of national holiday as services and businesses struggled to cope with these extreme conditions. Greece is just not used to this! Continue reading

Enjoying Long Walks in the Beautiful Cretan Countryside

We all had a wonderful first day of beachcombing in Falasarna the first week in November. The weather was gorgeous and whilst Lisa, Debbie and I were hunting for shells and sea treasures – Ross actually went swimming and snorkeling. As usual we had a picnic on the beach and stayed until after sunset.. and what a beautiful sunset it was! Continue reading

So What is There to Write About?

We’ve been in lockdown here on Crete for almost 5 months and everyone is feeling totally fed up! A couple of weeks ago they tightened up the restrictions even further and we are now only allowed to shop locally. No more trips to the large supermarkets in Chania. Also we are not allowed to travel by car to exercise, which means we shouldn’t be going to Kalyves for our lovely walks along the beaches there. Curfews are still in place from 9pm until 5am and you must always have a valid reason for leaving your home. Continue reading

Enjoying Weeks of Sunshine and Warm Weather!

I am loving the mild winter we’ve been having here on Crete. A noticeable indication of just how much sunshine we’ve been enjoying shows visibly on the mountains, where almost all the snow has melted. The fact that we’re still in lockdown is frustrating but is nowhere near as limiting as it is in the UK. I have been making the most of the hours of sunshine and warm weather by getting out and about on walks, because there is always somewhere close by to explore on foot. Continue reading

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

Wild Horses Won’t Stop me from Spending Christmas with my Family!

Having been in lockdown ever since my last post, there is very little to talk about and so this is just a short post before I leave for the UK for Christmas. It is only 3 days till I go yet I still have not had confirmation of an alternative flight I accepted after yet another was cancelled 2 weeks ago. I knew that because of this pandemic, trying to get to the UK for Christmas was never going to be easy. I expected cancelled flights but wild horses aren’t going to stop me from trying! 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