October 10, 2008

...but then again, too few to mention

If you think that there haven't many stories about Chania on this blog recently, you are not wrong. And that is because we feel like we've barely been there in 2008. In fact, between January and the end of September this year, we've spent as many days away as we have at home.


And that is part of the reason that we have decided to move on. Sadly this is to be the last entry on 'A lemon tree of our own'.

We left London just under 3 years ago for an adventure around Europe, and to try our hand at living abroad. Our initial journey went through Spain, Qatar, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and finally to Greece. We found our flat, and set up a new home, armed only with our backpacks.


We moved again later on when I had some work in Austria, and lived just outside Salzburg for 6 months, then came back to Chania. We've also visited Macau, Miami, Dortmund, Barcelona and Amsterdam along the way. But now it is time to head back home to the UK, and finish the blog.

By the end of October, we will be full-time Londoners again. I'll still be writing at currybetdotnet of course, and we'll still be posting our pictures on Flickr.

We'd both like to say thanks to everyone who has read the blog or got in touch with us about something to do with Chania and Greece. It has been an amazing adventure, with 3 wonderful years spending so much time together as a couple, and we've enjoyed sharing it with you on the web.

Καλή αντάμωση!

Sunset farewell

October 08, 2008

Greek animal cruelty comes to our street

We went for a walk down to our local beach the other day under a very broody sky.

Broody Chania sky

As we got near to the beach I suddenly spotted three ginger kittens scurrying along in the undergrowth, trying to clamber up a concrete kerb. They were very small, and very, very cute. "Aah, cute!", we said, and stopped to watch them.

Then we saw a fourth kitten.

And a fifth.

And a sixth.

And then we found the box that they had been abandoned in.

Abandoned kittens in Greece

In all there were twelve kittens, maybe more, as at least one hadn't ventured out of the box. They'd been left out on a bleak stretch of wasteland near the beach. They were far too young to look after themselves, and were just wandering around in a bemused state whimpering and crying in the cold.

Abandoned kittens

Thankfully, we think there is a happy ending to the story. We couldn't take in 13 kittens, and didn't know who to contact, but when we walked down the road the next day there was no sign of the kittens, or the box. It looked like someone must have gathered them up and rescued them.

Still, it takes real malice of forethought to have carefully packed them up in a box lined with newspaper to prevent any leakage into your car, and then dump then along a quiet stretch of road to die.

October 06, 2008

The Iris Museum in Agios Nikolaos (at last!)

Whilst we were recently on holiday in Elounda we made a day trip to Agios Nikolaos. Whilst we were there we got to visit the Iris Museum.


We'd wanted to see the Iris Museum during our road trip last year, but when we were visiting then it was shut. It is a folklore-ish museum, about the history of herbs on the island. It is particularly concerned with how Crete's plants were traditionally used to dye wool.

Most of the exhibition consisted of cuttings from the many, many herbs that naturally occur on the island, with descriptions of their medicinal properties. These were framed on the wall. Large cases in the centre of the room contained samples of yarn dyed using different recipes, with booklets explaining the different recipes used for each colour.


At the end of the museum there were a range of sample bottles were you could smell preparations made from herbs. I didn't quite understand the full story, but there was an information panel that made us laugh as it described the process of making "The Raki of the Smelling".


There was also a poem on display, inspired by herbs, written by Costis Hatziphotinos.


It was certainly a quirky little museum, but we really enjoyed it and were glad we'd finally got the chance to visit it.

October 03, 2008

Cocktails in Elounda

We recently spent a week in Elounda on the Eastern side of Crete, a place we had visited the previous year on our Cretan Road Trip. Whilst we were there we obviously had to check out a couple of the "cocktail bars". The first was the Malibu Bar, which was on the main drag as you approached town.

Although not to be confused with the Malibu Club in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City it nevertheless had quite an 80s theme to it, mixed with football memorabilia, as it had three screens showing sports all the time.



The wall of photographs showed the progressive thinning of the owners hair and a myriad changing fashions. I spoke to him, and he had in fact had the bar for nearly 25 years, and joked about his hair.


He was a friendly enough chap, but since I was only really there for the football we didn't get to sample any cocktail creations. Nor did we get to see the DJ in action - there were stacks and stacks of vinyl LPs at one end of the bar, which put me in mind of the Rock Bar in Chania.

We also tried a place called Bar 74 on the town's main square. We had a sundowner of a 'zombie' and a 'tequila sunrise', which were very satisfactory.



The view looked out onto the main square, where lots of young Greek boys were very busy making a noisy nuisance of themselves on their bikes!


Our third cocktail stop was Katafygio, on the sea-front itself, curiously decorated with shop mannequins. We had a whole selection of cocktails, but the Mojito didn't come up to scratch. We got distracted from the drinks though by a Kingfisher, which seemed to be nesting underneath the boardwalk.


A lemon tree of our own

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