« July 2008 | Main | September 2008 »

August 30, 2008

Don't mention the Olympics

Whilst my homeland has been enjoying a bumper Olympic haul and celebrating hosting the next Games, my adopted home of Greece has not been basking in the Olympic afterglow. Having sent their biggest ever contingent of athletes to an overseas Games, the Greeks returned with just four medals - their worst performance since 1992, and well down on the 13 and 16 picked up in Sydney and Athens respectively. It was events off the field that bought most of the doom'n'gloom though. In the four months leading up to the Games and during them, fully 15 Greek athletes failed drugs...

Read all of

August 29, 2008

The origins of "Macau"

Whilst we were in Macau, we visited the A-Ma Temple. This was built on the sea shore, at the spot where the Goddess A-Ma is said to have ascended to heaven. The buildings and shrines were beautiful, but it was bustling and absolutely hectic, so there wasn't really much chance to take photos or to take it all in. It isn't as close to the sea as it used to be. Reclaimed land has formed a small area in front of the Temple, and it now features one of Macau's main roads. However, ships still approach as close as they...

Read all of

August 27, 2008

The giants of basketball - missing stunt photo!

Sadly I missed out on a brilliant photo, because I couldn't get my camera ready in time. We were walking through the Venetian Casino's Shopping Mall in Macau, when we came across this chap on stilts. The thing was, at the time, the casino was holding a mini-basketball competition between the USA, Turkey and Lithuania. As the stilts-man walked around, towering over the Chinese, he was being followed by two of the Lithuanian basketball team, who basically were only fractionally smaller than the guy on stilts. I have never seen such big people in all my life, and to see...

Read all of

August 25, 2008

Macau's pawn shop history

One of the little museums we visited in Macau recently was the "Pawn Shop Museum". Claire got me their under false pretences - I thought I'd been invited to look at a "Porn Shop Museum", which sounded like much more fun. Actually, it is one of the old pawn shops in the busiest district on Macau, which has been restored to look like it would in the early 1900s. You can pose for a stunt photo behind the counter, and then visit the store-room. So, of course, we did. Pawn shops did a roaring trade in the colony, and there...

Read all of

August 22, 2008

Obnoxious Chelsea in Macau

Whilst I was staying in Macau, Premiership Corporation Club Chelsea came calling as part of their money-spinning football promoting Asian Tour. They "played" Chinese side Chengdu Blades in the Macau Olympic Stadium, in a rather one-sided affair that ended up 7-0. In advance the promoters had announced that the game was sold out, but in the event the 15,000 seater stadium was barely half-full. I did think about going along, but eventually came to the conclusion that since I wouldn't be inclined to spend £20 watching a Chelsea pre-season friendly match in London, why should I suddenly go to one...

Read all of

August 20, 2008

The magic of Macau

One night we took a wander around Macau looking at the nightlife on the main peninsula. We had a good two hour stroll around, and one of the things we were looking for was the night market. We found what was left of the day market, before it fully closed, but apparently the special night market stalls only come out at the weekend, so we missed them. We did make a fantastic find in the back-streets around Rua de Barca however - Iong's Magic Shop. When we went in, it seemed empty, and so we had a peer through the...

Read all of

August 19, 2008

Rock comes to Chania!

We don't get to go to gigs very much here in Greece - it is one of the things we miss most about the UK. There are a lot of concerts across Greece, but not many big international names come, and certainly, few of them reach Crete. So, imagine our excitement when we saw a poster for Chania's Rock Festival featuring Paradise Lost, a band we have CDs by! It is just down the road from us this weekend. A whole rock festival in our adopted home town. How cool. Oh, hang on, this weekend you say? You mean, the...

Read all of

August 18, 2008

Eat local. Eat cheap

We've recently made another visit to Macau, the ex-Portuguese colony that is one of China's "Special Administrative Regions". One of the ambitions we didn't fulfill on our last visit was to get some really cheap Chinese food in an authentic little lunchtime spot. Well, this time, we managed it. We'd gone on a sight-seeing walk around town, looking at a selection of (inevitably) Churches, and had reached lunchtime. We were aiming to eat in a little Portuguese restaurant listed in our guide book, but when we got there they hadn't opened for lunch yet. Well, we'd spotted a small Chinese...

Read all of

August 15, 2008

Dawn at Souda

A recent environmental report published in Greece suggested that 40% of rubbish and waste found in the Med was the result of smoking and the tobacco industry. I can well believe it. On our ferry journey back to Chania, we got up at 5:15am and stood on one of the decks, to watch dawn creep over Souda Bay. The view was only slightly spoiled by the constant ducking and weaving we had to do to dodge the ash and cigarette stubs raining down on us from the decks above, as people discarded them in the sea.

Read all of

August 14, 2008

A story about how Aptera Beach became ruins

We recently had an interesting comment on our Lemon Tree piece about the abandoned Aptera Beach resort that is near us. Daniel from Malmo recently stayed near there, and he heard a story about what happened from the locals. This is what he posted on the site: "I was of course curious what had happened to the hotel which, in my opinion (and some others i read) is perfectly located close to a beautiful beach. And as I searched for answers I came across an answer not so shocking in these days when it comes to people. Money! The two...

Read all of

A lemon tree of our own

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

Search this site

Powered by TypePad