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December 29, 2007

The brilliant white mountains

We had some brilliant sunshine for a couple of days in the run up to Christmas, and this picture was taken on Christmas Eve. I really must find some advice somewhere on the net about taking pictures of distant landscapes, as I never quite seem to capture them. This was only taken on my phone anyway - a Nokia 95 which claims 5 megapixels, but then mangles the resulting photo with some ultra-blobby compression technology. In real life, the sun shining off the white mountains was absolutely brilliant, and they looked like cut-glass glaciers rather than their usual snow-capped peaks.

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December 28, 2007

Now Asterix gets into the fast food business

A minor obsession of mine since we got to Crete had been the number of businesses using Obelix as a mascot, whether it was moving homes, controlling parking, or making a pun on the fact that a kebab is called an Οβελιας. So it was a bit of a novelty in Kalyves to see a fast food outlet named after the famous partner of Obelix, Asterix.

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December 27, 2007

Stormy Agia Marina

A few people have asked us what the weather is like here during winter. It was pretty damn chilly in our house without the heating, but most days it is still really lovely here. Temperatures hover around the 20°C mark, although it can get quite overcast at times. When we do get storms they are sensational, and being near the beach, they whip the sea into a frenzy. I took this clip on a Saturday afternoon down in Agia Marina, when I was looking to see if I could find somewhere to watch English football. The wind was so strong...

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December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas everybody!

Thanks everybody for reading the site during the last year, and sticking with us when we had a break from blogging. We'd especially like to thank everybody who took the trouble to send us cards and presents over to us in Greece. It is lovely to have Christmas just the two of us, but we do miss everybody terribly, and your cards and gifts make a real difference. Happy holidays wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.

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December 24, 2007

Christmas lights in Chania town

We had quick trip round town looking at the Christmas lights before going out for dinner on Friday night. Outside the Municipal Market there is a large tree, and a nativity scene flanked by brightly lit angels. There are also various ships made of fairy lights around town, presumably out of respect for Saint Nicholas. For dinner we had some very strong Mojitos at Hippopotamus first - real headache inducers actually - and then went to Konaki. Konaki is a bit of a favourite as it was the first place we ate in Chania. We've recently celebrated two years since...

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On the twelth day of Christmas...

The 6th January brings an end to the Dodekaimera. Dodekaimera, or the 12 Days of Christmas, run from Christmas Day on 25 December to the Epiphany on 6 January. The Greeks refer to 6 January as Ta Phota (meaning The Lights) - the Epiphany. The Ayiasmos service is held and, especially on the islands, priests throw a cross into the sea, while young men dive in after it. The man who retrieves the cross is blessed. Though for Greek Orthodox Christians who still follow the old calander, this is Christmas Day.

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December 23, 2007

Bizarre ref in the PAOK game

An utterly bizarre thing happened yesterday evening in the match between PAOK and Levadiakos. The first bizarre thing, of course, is to wonder why I was watching it. Well, as ever I was down in town trying to watch English football on a Saturday. I did OK for the Arsenal-Tottenham match, but come the 3pm kick-offs UK time I was heavily out-numbered by locals wanting to watch PAOK. Damn these Greeks and their ridiculous constant desire to watch their own football in their own country ;-) In between the PAOK game I got a bit of Liverpool-Portsmouth and the end...

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Oh lucky day!

While most of us are nursing our hangovers on New Years Day, the children of Greece are waking up full of beans, excited to see what Ayios Vasilis has brought them. While Saint Nicolas is thanked for protecting sailors, Saint Basil takes on the role of the Greek 'Santa Claus'. This first day of the new year is when the Renewal Ceremony is performed. All of the water jugs in the house are emptied and replenished with St Basil holy water. Also known as Saint Basil Day, New Years Day is the luckiest day of the year. While some Greeks...

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December 22, 2007

Who needs a golden ticket when you've got a golden florin?

New Years Eve appears to be enjoyed in a fairly similar way all the world over. Fireworks in the main square, people taking over the bars and streets, and generally having a good ol' time. Well, apart from all this, Greeks also have their last minute shopping to fit in. As the day for giving presents is New Years Day, rather than Christmas day, New Years Eve has a certain Christmas Eve about it. And while the adults are shopping frantically, the younger generation are, so I've read, causing chaos in the streets with mock 'wars' between each other. The...

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December 21, 2007

An excursion to Kalyves

One of our recent excursions has been to Kalyves. We figured that since it has quite a big British ex-pat population it might have a few things open, and we had heard rumour of there being a butcher there who imports....bacon! We though we might have to rely on my sixth sense for cured pork, but actually we found it really easily - it was on the main street down from the New National Road to the sea. They also had sausages, so we got ourselves the ingredients for a thoroughly British fry-up. We then had a wander around the...

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A lemon tree of our own

  • The journal of a British couple who left the UK to set up home in Hania, Crete.
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