I was told officially this morning by my neighbour Nikos, that summer is over and it is now autumn. Today, I was supposed to be on the island of Spinalonga today with his wife Maria but I woke up to thunder and rain so the trip was postponed. This is the first rain since the end of May and badly needed but for me, I wish it had waited until tomorrow! However the rain is very much needed, so I am not complaining.
I start with the fun. Throughout the summer, we have had some very invigorating cycle rides to Tholos and a nice walk up our local gorge.
There were a few random people at the beach already but they were quickly included in the proceedings – bubbly, wine, a wonderful barbecue produced by the captain of the boat and a lot of chat, plus this magnificent salad.
It reminded me of being in a funfair where you have complete faith that you will survive, but on the other hand my body does not like the sensation and I did feel a bit queasy. But it was a wonderful day.
John and I celebrated 33 years of marriage in our favourite local spots – Bobo’s taverna in Pachia Ammos
More recently we booked an apartment 50 metres from Kouremenos beach, near Palekastro on the east coast, only 20 minutes from Siteia. The beach is lovely and has some human interest too as it is a prime spot for those who enjoy watching windsurfers.
Palekastro, a village of over 1000 people, is only 5 minutes away in the car and given the very narrow streets, John parked the car in a small car park on the edge of the town. I got out of the car and my first view was of pomegranates,
Then we visited the local Folk Museum, set up by the local Cultural Σύλλογος which was a real joy, partly because of the interesting and well displayed exhibits but also because our guide Δήμητρα, proved to be an excellent communicator.
She has a degree in social work but cannot find a job and is considering her future. In the meantime, we benefited from her knowledge and her very friendly personality.
We learned that Palekastro was a very small place until the 1940’s and then people started coming there to live instead of in villages in the hills.
The museum was set up like a house with different rooms to display the traditional clothes, tools, bedding, furniture etc.
On the wall of the school, there were some murals which were very nice. Some were pictures of well known Cretan men and another of Kouremenos Bay.
We had gone there before with our friends Vince and Rosie. It was a lot warmer this time and so nice to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. The archaeologists have hoped to find a Minoan palace there but as yet, it has not yet been unearthed. However, like many Minoan sites, the setting is so wonderful that sitting amongst the ruins is enough.
We were staying only a quarter an hour way from another beach which I also put in the ‘paradise’ category – Itanos. We drove past Vai, where bananas are grown on a large scale and then a huge area of melons (the car had to be stopped so that I could appreciate fully the sight)
But the important development this summer, apart from buying a flat in Cornwall has been the new bathroom in our house here in Crete. It is very beautiful and well worth the wait. There was a scary change early on when the old bathroom was demolished.
And then, there was some delay. Some of the appliance ordered, like the wash hand basin, were late because of Greek holidays in August and the electrician was on holiday when the electrics were ready for his attention. During this time, John and I decided the living room and dining room paint looked distinctly grey so decided to show we still could something in the DIY stakes and painted both rooms.
The bath has some jets and with some bubble bath (το αφρόλουτρο), you can sink into a wonderful whirlpool of froth (ο αφρός)! This new Greek vocabulary arose during our first Greek lesson on the new session when I tried to describe my new bath!!!
And finally the best news is left to the end! John’s banana plant is producing some bananas.
Ever since we arrived in Kavousi over two years ago with the plant, there has been some expectation that we would have bananas. However there has been increasing resignation over the last few months that nothing was going to materialise! But a few days ago before we went on the small break to Palekastro, there was an indication that what at first had seemed to be yet another leaf was in fact, something else. Four days later we returned and we can now see the bananas. Every five minutes we look at the plant and the bananas are bigger! Just keeping fingers crossed now that we can actually eat one eventually!