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September 29, 2008

Meow space in Macau

Seeing the 3D cat sculpture on our local beach reminded me of our feline encounter in Macau. Taipa Island, where we were staying, has a little Sunday morning market. They make quite a big thing of it in adverts and posters for it, but in reality it is a very small collection of stalls. The nicest of them by far was 'Meow space'. The artist, whose name we didn't catch, takes her own photographs of cats, and then hand-makes cat merchandise. When we were walking around mainland Macau on our way to Penha Church, we came across her studio and...

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September 24, 2008

3D cat sculpture in the sand

We were most impressed the other night to stumble across this 3D sand sculpture of a cat on our local beach.

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Balou Beach Bar in Agia Marina

Although this is our third summer here in Crete, we are still making new discoveries all the time - the latest being the Balou Beach Bar in Agia Marina. A couple of weekends back we headed out to the Agia Marina / Platanias tourist strip to try and see as much of the opening 2010 World Cup Qualifiers as possible. I was hoping that the early matches featuring Scotland and Wales would be on somewhere, but we trotted around for a bit with no joy. In the end we said well, why not just have a pleasant drink by the...

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September 22, 2008

End of an era for Olympic. But please don't strike before I've flown, OK?

A long running Greek saga is beginning to draw to a close, as the Government and the EU have finally agreed on a plan for what to do with national carrier Olympic Airways. It was in 1994 that the EU first began complaining that the Greek government was distorting the market for air travel with illegal subsidies to the company. By the end of next year the intention is to split Olympic into three companies, so that flights, maintenance and ground staff are no longer one big state-owned monopoly. The numbers involved are staggering. According to last week's Athens News,...

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September 19, 2008

Not so much on the Plus side

One of Chania's least successful recent business ventures recently closed just down the road from us - Plus. The land next to the old owl house was cleared during the winter, and this new shopping complex built. We missed the opening party in February because we were in London or Macau or Miami or somewhere. From the logo and branding we thought it might be some sort of DIY superstore. In fact, it was a Lidl clone, a supermarket with a seemingly random assortment of pile 'em high, knock 'em out cheap produce. Anyway, it doesn't seem to have done...

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September 17, 2008

Fire! Fire! Pour on water! From a great height

This is one of the sights you never want to see in Greece - the fire-fighting helicopter thundering down your street. Until it has made a return journey, and you can judge how far it traveled, you don't know how close the fire might be. Which didn't worry the kids on our street, who were absolutely overjoyed when it appeared the other day, running down the road shouting and pointing and calling all their friends out to look. The helicopter was re-filling at our local beach, but fortunately the fire was some way away. Crete has suffered some bad fires...

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September 15, 2008

Athens (Slight Return) - for Byzantine stuff, obviously...

Arranging flights from Chania to Macau was a bit of a nightmare, with a lot of the routes offered taking over 24 hours to make the journey. We eventually settled on Qatar Air via Doha, but that meant having a six hour wait in Athens. Having just visited it a few weeks before, we decided that rather than hang around the airport, we would head into Athens on the Metro whilst waiting for our connecting flights. It was a bit of a risky plan - what if we got stuck in town? And we nearly abandoned the whole idea, because...

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September 12, 2008

Awesome photos of Macau on Flickr. Not mine.

I thought I had taken some pretty good photos of Macau, most of which I've now uploaded to Flickr. Then I saw this collection by The Scalpel Master on Flickr...

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September 10, 2008

The skull in the Holy House of Mercy

One of the landmarks in Macau's Senado Square is the Holy House of Mercy. (Not to be confused with one of our favourite bands, The Sisters Of Mercy) We've never paid it much attention, and even when I spotted that there was a museum around the back, we had no burning desire to see it. Until, of course, I found out that the skull of the founding Bishop was on display there! Well, you know us, whether it is an ossuary in the Czech Republic, a severed hand in Budapest or mummified monks in Rome, we can never resist the...

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September 08, 2008

Casino-a-go-go. And singing Camels.

Macau's main attraction, and main source of revenue, is gambling. We visited a few of the casinos whilst we were there. Not to spend big bucks you understand - we are past masters at making $20HKD (about €2) last half-hour on a fruit machine. We had a fun evening at the Grand Lisboa. This is a distinctive building shaped like a lotus flower that you can see from virtually every vantage point on Macau. Up close it appears to be covered with shimmering flashing lights, but from a distance this in fact form a giant building-sized video screen which shows...

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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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