Tag Archives: Greece

Crete (1995)

T Minus 86

Nineteen years ago we headed off on honeymoon. It was our first holiday abroad as a couple. We travelled to Malia on the Northern Coast of Crete – in high season this is a busy resort full of young people. In May it is a little quieter, but with enough life to give it a good vibe.

Malia Dedalos

We arived at ‘Dedalos’ Hotel at 5am in the morning! Malia was to be our home for the duration of our honeymoon.Our hotel for the week was back from the coastal strip but close enough to the beach. We found a hairdressers ‘Anita’ juist round the corner from our hotel.
Outside the hotel and also down by the beach were lovely palm trees.

Malia Old Town

We much prefered the old town to the coastal strip which was a bit too ‘English’ for our tastes – we came to Crete to embrace Greek culture not to sit in bars drinking beer and eating fish and chips. So most evenings we found a local Taverna and had a Greek meal. The food was fantastic = we enjoyed sampling stifado, souvlaki and soutzoukakia to name but a few of the delicacies.

Iraklion

Here in the capital of Crete we spent a morning wandering the harbour, and enjoyed looking at the Venetian fort which has a sculpture of the lion of St Mark on all 4 walls.

Knossos

The reason for visiting Iraklion was to travel to the Knossos. This Minoan Palace was the centre of a civilisation which flourished 10000 years ago. We were shown around by a guide who made the place come alive. She explained that the double headed axe was the Minoan symbol for sacrifice – similar to the cross in the Christian faith.

Malia Beach

The beach was an obvious ‘must’ and Malia had a lovely sandy beach with clean warm water. We bought a disposable underwater camera with which to take some fun shots (long before digital cameras of course). We also decide to splash out on Parascending it was great fun.

Aqua Splash
We decided to head out to a local water park – but thinking it was fairly nearby we decided not to take a taxi (which was very expensive) and there was no bus. So we decide to walk. It took us a couple of hours to walk 7.5km up into the hills in the hot sun, but it was worth it. There were numerous water slides, lazy rides and crazy rides we had a fabulous time. Fortunately there was a bus back!

Santorini
One of the highlights of our holiday was a day trip cruising to Santorini and back. We got up at 4am to catch the bus to Agios Nikolaos where we caught the cruise ship. It was a 4 hour trip and we were accompanied by the sounds of Abba’s Greatest Hits all the way there. We docked at the harbour and looked high up the cliffs at the capital, Thira, right up the top. We decided the best way to get there was to go by donkey – it looked like it would be a long slow climb, but the donkeys ‘beetled’ up the mountain like there was no tomorrow and we were soon there. The view from the top was magnificent. The whitewashed stone buildings accompanied by deep blue roofs, doors and window shutters. There were a maze of side streets threading through the town and we followed these stopping off at a café and enjoying an ice cream.
After lunch we headed off to a volcanic island in the centre of the bay. Here we walked through ‘fields’ of black ash searching for the crater. It was so hot!
Someone even offered to take a photo of us together – in this time before ‘selfies’ it was the only photo of us together on honeymoon! Descending back down the mountain we took a plunge into the sulphurous waters, generated by volcanic springs. The water was warm. The t-shirt never recovered!

The journey home we were treated to a fabulous sunset and some Greek dancing.

Anapoli

One evening we went up into the mountains to a village where we enjoyed a Cretan Night of dancing and Greek cuisine. Beforehand we had the chance to wander around the village of Anapoli and look inside a very ornate Greek Orthodox Church.

Malia Palace

Smaller than the Knossos but within cycling distance was the Minoan palace. so we hired bikes and travelled the 3Km. With the help of the guidebook we were able to make sense of the ruins.

Weekly Word Challenge : Travel

A submission to the Weekly Word Challenge : Travel

As a child I wanted to visit every country in the world.
As yet this aim has not been achieved. However, I have traveled widely in Europe and can count the following in the list of places visited

Although I have been fortunate in recent years to travel more widely in Europe many of these countries were ‘ticked off’ in two family holidays as a child.
My dad drove for a living as a Food Technologist, so the thought of travelling across Europe with only the Ferry and first night’s accommodation booked was no problem to him. The first trip, in 1980, took us through Belgium, down through Germany following the Rhein, staying in towns (e.g Boppard) along the way – veering across Southern Germany and into Austria. We entered near Salzburg and tracked back towards Switzerland. The small town of Telfs in the Alps comes to memory as does Bregenz on the shores of Lake Constance. We then travelled on through Switzerland and back through France. The last night was memorable. Seeking to find a place in Luxembourg we did not realise that they did not accept French Francs and so ended up in Northern France in a run down town. The hotel was old and the owner somewhat intimidating – we asked for steak and were served horse (Dad was a Food Technologist and so knew the difference.


Our second trip in 1981 began as before but this time we travelled via Mannheim ( where we spent a surreal day watch the wedding of Charles and Di on TV in a Lounge accompanied by a German lady whose repeatedly commented “Schön Schön”). Leaving Manheim and on to to Southern Austria staying near Klagenfurt before crossing into what was then Yugoslavia. We turned up in one town Opatija in what is now Croatia, liked the hotel so much we stayed a week. We use the time to visit the caves at Postojna as well as spending a fabulous time on the beach. We travelled from there into Slovenia and up to Venice in Italy. Leaving Yugoslavia via Italy and Southern Germany where we stayed in the Black Forest before returning home.

These holidays were tremendous experiences in an age when petrol was a lot cheaper and company mileage included holidays! We couldn’t do it today unfortunately.

Other than this my only childhood experience of foreign parts were a German exchange and a day trip to France.
In more recent years I have travelled further afield travelling to

  • West Africa visiting The Gambia (with a brief sojourn into Senegal)
  • South East Asia visiting Vietnam and Cambodia (with an 8 hour stop over in Thailand and a journey across the city between airports – so it counts – just).

 

Gandalong

T minus 133

Gandalong is a nickname used to represent us.

We got engaged in Swanage, in August 1994, whilst away for a week Youth Hosteling in Dorset. One of the first things we did was plan our Honeymoon Continue reading