After John and I returned to Crete in the middle of September, the next month flew by in a social whirl.
Gord, my second cousin, and Debbie, his wife, who live in Coldstream, British Columbia, arrived first. We saw them last year at the Sunshine Coast, north of Vancouver and they said then that they were keen to come to Greece. They have visited us in Scotland and spent time with us on our canal boat but they have never experienced Greece or Kavousi! After a few days in Athens, they arrived here and then we explored the east of the island by car and by foot. Their first day here was a special one in Kavousi as each year the village hosts an important mountain running event. We had a good view from our house of the competitors, crossing the bridge down below before they set off up the Havgas Gorge.
Of course, we ourselves did not take part but Gord, Debbie and I did manage a number of walks which included going up the Havgas gorge, visiting the impressive post Minoan site of Azoria,
admiring the ancient olive tree, whose branches were used for olive wreaths of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and finally drinking a well deserved beer at the very friendly taverna, which is situated next to the tree. We travelled further afield to walk down the Zakros gorge,
and again enjoyed lunch and a beer at the end of the walk. It is always good to choose walks with refreshments guaranteed! Our guests liked the Minoan village of Gournia, and throughout
they were full of wonder at all the evidence of the Minoan civilization, so long ago. We admired the Lassithi plateau and Zeus’s cave,
and we clearly were enjoying the sights and the company!!!
I can’t help taking photographs of blue sea (this time at Spinalonga)
or sunsets (this one taken from the wonderful ‘Panorama’ taverna and
the cocktails in Moxlos.
After a few days, we drove our lovely, newish car to the south of the island and I realised that it was a rough ride in the back seat. Every time the car was driven over a hole or a dip in the road. Debbie and I experienced a very bad sensation. Debbie was too polite to make a fuss but after my moans, John did raise the issue with the garage later when the car had its first service and I feel vindicated because it is being fitted with new shock absorbers so I hope that will make a more comfortable ride! But it was all worth it to see the beauty of Phaistos, one of the Minoan palaces, where one can also view the Messsara plain and the highest mountain of Crete, Psiloritis.
We drove onto Matala for a swim,
and then to Agia Galini where we enjoyed the view from the hotel,
and sampled the tavernas and the beach. On the last couple of days of their visit to Crete, we stayed at a very nice AirB&B in Herakleion. The main purpose was to see Knossos,
and to show Gord and Debbie the wonderful exhibits from the Minoan period which are in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. This museum presents Minoan life and culture so vividly and each time, I go, I see something else to be dazzled by, like an amazing piece of jewellery,
or a beautiful pot,
or an old favourite, that just stuns you with the craftmanship.
And as Gord and Debbie said, these works of art were made so long ago!
John and I enjoyed our last meal with them at Amalia’s kitchen.
The next morning, they travelled by ferry to Santorini. We hope to see them again in a couple of years in British Columbia where there is a plan for another adventure!
Sarah and Mark arrived a few days later from London for a different type of holiday. We joined them for a period of complete relaxation! We walked to Tholos beach, we swam,
we talked and we ate. And it was all centred around Kavousi. Perfect!
Then our Scottish friends Maggie and Andrew arrived for 24 hours! Maggie and I have known each other since we were children! They were on holiday for a week in Fodele, west of Heraklion with their family but took a day out to see us. We made the most of that time. I walked with them to Tholos beach, we all swam, had dinner at Mochlos and the next day I walked with them to the secret beach at Agriomandra.
It was all really good fun!!!!
Then Pat and Jerry, like Gord and Debbie, also from British Columbia arrived for four days.
They had as much to tell us as we had to tell them! John and I met them on a tour around Vietnam and Cambodia a few years ago and we visited them in their lovely house on Hardy island, British Columbia last year. We hoped they might come to Greece and we were excited when they decided to make the trip.
They flew to Athens and then explored the Peloponnese by car. Whilst they had places they wanted to go to, (some of which John and I had recommended based on our experiences there,) they were also very flexible, exploring whatever seemed interesting to them. There were occasions when they turned up in a village and found a room, without a previous booking – real travellers!
From the mainland, they went to Santorini for a few days and then flew to Heraklion where they hired another car and explored the west of Crete, finally arriving in Kavousi (the best was left till last!!!). We found out about their trip and enjoyed interesting discussions about their travel and their impressions. They were very enthusiastic about Greece and curious about aspects of culture that they had glimpsed.
We showed them our village,
the Havgas gorge,
We went to the east of the island and Spinalonga,
before they left for the Air Transat flight home.
A few days later our friend Susan, our former Greek tutor, from Kirkcudbright, arrived from Herakion by bus on her way to Siteia for a holiday.
We ate lunch, had a nice chat and then she got on the next bus to complete her journey!!! I hope she will come for a bit longer the next time!
Life had been hectic for a few weeks and when everyone had gone, it was a bit of a surprise for John and me to have no-one staying in the house, other than ourselves! But more of that in the next post!