Thursday, September 20, 2007

No parking

I include this for comedy value as in it was taken in Hania in Crete. It also fits in with a series I'm working on of vehicles parked with visible no parking signs.

There is a deepwater submarine port to the East called Soudha.

The locals seem to be a bit miffed.

I also saw some graffitti which said "better dead than marine". I thought it may be along the same lines but then again it could be a fashion label for all I know.

Two ponces in a landrover

I have to write about this as it is rare I get incensed by a tv programme.
This one got me.

I thought that the premise of this show was ok. Living off the land and only eating wild caught food.

I am sold already. The skills of living off the land should be taught in schools, in my opinion.

Ok the two protagonists are terribly posh, I can get past that.
They have a landrover stuffed to the gills with supplies from a supermarket…..
…aren’t they supposed to be living off the land? I can’t get past this one.

Oh, the “arse in the sunlight whilst pouring water over himself shots” guy always carries a shotgun when he’s out in the country. Everyone has one lying about don’t they?


I was looking forward to these people eating trout stuffed with sorrel or seafood medley. You know, the sort of things you can get in the wild. Not stuff taken from a farmers garden supplemented with vegetables, herbs and spices from the local bloody Tesco!!
Describing a wild wood pigeon as “free range” ……….. Wild equals free range then?
Give me strength.

I’m sure the producers are doing the “we do good TV” dance.
Poncy arsed crap, I say.

Lifestyle TV for cityfolk who have never been in a field.
Bloody Bankers.
I knew I wouldn’t be viewing another episode half way through the first one.

Rant over.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cafe Ellinikos sketo, Parakalo.

I was away on holiday.

An honest to goodness hot country sunshine and beach type holiday.

A real get away from it all and relax type holiday.

It’s crap to be back.

Mrs M and myself went to Crete.
We have been twice before, the first time to the lager swilling infested North east coast. Loved Crete, hated the yobs. Well, it was a package holiday that first time, once bitten etc etc The second time we went it was on honeymoon and some serious research was done first. We picked a great place to get away from it all. So great, in fact, that we are just back from another two weeks in the same place. It IS that good.

Frangokastello is not frequented very much by English speaking tourists, nor does it have bars, discos or nightclubs. The beaches are empty and the tavernas serve really good food and the house wine is really very good. It is also very cheap, a meal for two including wine coming to about 18-27 euro. I love it. I now regard it as a home from home. I have fallen for Crete, especially the Sfakia region where this is.

I want to go back…..

Oh, while I remember, Nelly will laugh at this…who was standing beside me at the baggage reclaim at 1am in Iraklion airport, only Willie Drennan and his wife!

I hope they had a good holiday.

Back to my story then.

It is mostly ( I would hazard a guess at about 85—90% ) Germans who go on holiday to Franagokastello and the surrounding area. For the UK and Ireland the flights arrive in Iraklion which is 2.5 hours drive away. Since the flight arrives at 1am local time an overnight stay in Iraklion is essential, no way would I drive those scary mountain roads at night when feeling tired. Too scary.

It is very quiet, the weather is fantastic, the locals are friendly, the food is good the wine is good and the local firewater RAKI is brilliant, can you tell I like it? I brought home 4 bottles of the stuff and it’s all mine I tell you!! They bring you a shot of Raki and a little pastry or a plate of watermelon chunks after dinner. Now that, is civilised, I tell you.

What can I tell you about the holiday then…we didn’t do very much as we did a lot of exploring the last time, this time was for relaxation, quite a bit of swimming and snorkelling and sunbathing, you should see my tan!

A trip to the city of Hania was a little break midway through the holiday. People watching, wandering about, eating dinner in Tamam inside, we had only ever eaten lunch outside before ( 3rd visit) and coffee and pastries or ice cream, in this instance, in the old town where the locals go in Zharaplastio 13 afterwards.
I could go native, you know.
What sort of work I would undertake to support myself and Mrs M still eludes me, as does any real grasp of Greek. Rather difficult language, never mind the different alphabet filled with letters that look like ours but are pronounced differently.

September is really the time to go as getting somewhere to stay is really easy even if you haven’t pre booked. The weather is less fiery and the Cretan winds die off. Glad we didn’t go earlier in the summer, temperatures were crazy. It was 30C at 9pm ish when we were there some nights, what must it have been like in July?

The beaches were empty and the most difficult decision to make was where to eat dinner. Magic.
Though after having found what we considered the best place to eat dinner the last time we visited, not much decision making was done. I did say it was very relaxing didn’t I?.

I bought Mrs M a camera before we went ( guess who is really skint now…..) and she took some really good photos.
I am well impressed.

Wanna go back. Must start saving.

I'll save the story about the red tape on the airline for later...
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