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 Post subject: Elounda Day 8 - Day 15
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:34 pm
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Day 8 Sunday

Sunday I had decided to go over the other side of Elounda's peninsular to see what was over the back. The strong winds had dropped and walking down to the windmills was very hot.

At this point in time I didn't know a lot about the area but now armed with more researched information I can now unravel  a few things.

so passing the salt pans

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which are opposite this beach

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However, now down at the windmills I decided to stay the Elounda side of the peninsular as there was a breeze to keep me cool. Also I had noticed another windmill that I had not seen before which has been refurbished.

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Also a further one that remained derelict, so may have a look at those later

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So on the peninsular there is a large white building which are apartments and seen across Elounda Bay and has a small jetty type beach

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you can see despite there being a car park at the windmills, there is a tour company parking their vans next to the windmills making it impossible to get good pictures on this Sunday morning lol

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Looking at Elounda from this side

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The main town beach and the Upper Elounda village above

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Better see what Mrs Db is up to on the beach lol

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Anyway, heading along the peninsular I can see a small empty beach. At this point two cars zoom passed me

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Oh today is not a good day for taking photographs of empty beaches

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however, around the back I find an inlet which has a goat farm at the end of it

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I reached this point and lined up a goat farmer's shed and a car went passed me, after the dust settled I took this picture and thought if I got a little nearer it might make a good competition picture. However before I could get any nearer the car came whizzing past me again and then parked his car right next to the shed. I give up lol

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So now back at the windmills

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This is the recent made concrete bridge built in 1962

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In 1911 a wooden bridge held up by beams against two stone walls was built for the community to access their land and it had a hinged board which raised to let small sail boats through. In 1935 a new drawbridge was built but kept getting damaged in the winds this eventually was replaced by the current concrete one. I can see from my photograph this would be the remains of the original bridge built by the French which was 40 metres south of the current one.

See not many people would notice that lol

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The inlet from Elounda Bay

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One can see it is now impossible to take pictures without cars in the way

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But I still have this refurbished mill to look at but after trying to get round the salt pans and failing I had to reach it via the main road

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So down a side road I found a taverna opposite the mill and went in for a beer. I spoke to the taverna owner and asked if I could go into the grounds to get a better photograph and he said, no problem it was for rent.

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So I got quite a few photographs for perhaps using later in our little photo competitions

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During the conversation with another couple in the taverna the conversation from the chap went like this. "I can't understand why they don't drain the sunken lost city of Olous and open it up as an attraction". "What lost city? ", I asked. "Just out here", he said pointing to the salt pans. Oh I thought they were salt pans and got quite excited. I'll have to take some pictures of that.

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But things just did not seem right

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where are the door ways ?

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This needs further investigation I learnt that there was a sunken city of Olous but this was not it. These are salt pans and there were recordings of them in the 1300th century in Italy but whether the Venetians built them it is unknown. Elounda Bay is rich in salt content and with the sun and strong winds it is good place for collecting salt. In early days salt was needed to preserve food as well as the fish and by the time the Spinalonga Fortress had been strengthened stopping piracy there were over 40 salt pans working and producing around 1400 tons of salt.

Once the Turkish captured Spinalonga the Venetians did a surprise attack and destroyed the salt pans to stop the Turkish profiting from them. Although they were rebuilt, production halved as some of the pans nearer Elounda were not repaired. Since the 1800's salt production increased until 1973 when production ceased due more modern methods use and the expansion of other salt pans. Today it is a bird sanctuary and a fish breeding ground.

To the right of the photo below, there is a building being restored which sits at the end of the beach which use to store the bags of salt ready to be shipped out

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On the way back, at the harbour I discussed what time the late boat went to Spinalonga in the afternoon and as I am a lousy sailor and Mrs Db hates gang planks which of the boats would be used.

One like this, he said.

I'm not sure whether that pleases either of us lol

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Our afternoon was spent on the beach

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It was evening and we had decided to give Vritomart a try, this was the first taverna we turned down for having house wine at 14€s lol

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The menu, I was going to have their mixed grill as it was suggested by them as a good choice on our last time we looked there

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Mrs Db had the Pork fillets in honey & mustard sauce

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Inside and the view

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Mrs Db's dinner

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My mixed grill, in fairness there was more too it than the one I had earlier in the week at 8.5€s and a piece of steak as well, which seem to cost the world over here.

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Free melon & cherries afterwards

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The restaurant from the harbour front

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Afterwards our coffee was on our balcony

End of Day 8



Day 9 Monday

Today we are going to go to Spinalonga and we wanted a late boat which is around 4:30pm and would be a good time for a look for me, as fewer people would be there and ideal time for Mrs Db.

Getting up for sunrise shots early morning is not on at the moment lol

So here I am in my pyjamas racing backwards and forwards to the balcony and front door to see where it would rise

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so it is the front door side

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Oh we have had a power cut. Cut the yellow wire lol

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A fishing boat has come in with a catch

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Nothing really big though

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I'm actually off to photograph an ancient mosaic floor that I had been tipped off about, where is it ?
well yes, down at the windmills again and then afterwards locate a beach that is said to be good

On the way past, I noticed two guys drinking coffee, excuse me could you tell me what this object is or was?

Yes the town use to have a carob factory and this ground the beans and fodder ready for shipping. Another mystery solved. The factory opened in 1938 and closed in 1957 when a disaster happened which ruined the machinery.

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Now, down at the taverna by the canal there is an up turned boat on the shore under these trees

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If you turn left at the boat or go around it and turn left and then up this pathway

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you will see a fenced off piece of land

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This has been laying here untouched since 450 AD Roman times but parts are missing. A scholar has read that three donors paid half a gold coin each to having it made

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Its a Basilica floor and was a meeting point for the community

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but a building considered above the status of a church

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So now off to find Kolokylha beach on the other side of the peninsular

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It's a long walk going into the distance

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A small cove with locals in it

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I had to go way into the distance and up a steep hill

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I cut a lot of this out but its is a long walk and up a steep hill in the end

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below I could see smoke and a boat but no beach

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well I was looking for a big white beach

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so i carried on walking

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I was getting further away with no sign of a beach so thought I would make my way down

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So it was a boat load of people enjoying themselves and I had trekked miles in the heat just to say hello lol

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The beach

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not really impressed, perhaps worth it in a car

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Not a lot of cover

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However, I found it quicker getting back up to the church

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The church

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another bell to my collection lol

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View over the far side of Elounda on the way back

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After lunch we watched the boats from the beach

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Around 4.00 pm we headed for the local jetty but found the kiosk had gone, so we started to head for the harbour but I noticed one kiosk remained at the side of the main beach but no boats. The chap radioed the harbour kiosk to keep the 4:30pm boat for us.

We moved quicker than we wanted to as it was muggy afternoon and there was no breeze. I was beginning to think doing this may be a mistake as we were previously told that there was not a lot of shelter protection on the Island.

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However, Mrs Db had negotiated the open stairs ladder on to the boat and it was now me hoping it would be a smooth crossing lol

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Leaving the port there was no breeze at all and very hot

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further out a bit of breeze

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now a good breeze and quite pleasant

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The boat was now having to manoeuvre over to the Plaka side

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rougher here but made it

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Spinalonga

I have just read a book on the history of Crete and was astounded at the atrocities that have been inflicted on them and the bravery they have shown fighting for their rights against the Venetians, the Turks and the Egyptians that all heavily taxed and enslaved them.

During all these wars and fights Spinalonga has been a living place for people since the 1500's. With the increase of Leprosy in Crete the people having the disease in surrounding villages like Elounda were sent to Meskinia outside of Heraklion and two other places on Crete. In the early 1900's there were a 1000 suffers living in these colonies. In 1901 a law was passed to segregate these people and in 1904 the first 251 people arrived on Spinalonga. The Turkish /Cretans already living on the island fled not even taking the compensation offered to them by the state regarded as too little.

Although the housing was already there the Lepers had poor conditions and a miserly allowance from the government that barely paid for food. However, they were resilient people and tried to carry on life as normal as possible. They more or less had to be dying to get any medical attention in the hospital.

Anyway, I will continue the story as we go in

I was quite surprised that there appeared to be no wall on this entrance side and found it strange for a fortification but digging around, I read part of the wall was dynamited by the community to make a way around. One article said it was dynamited as a point of protest against poor conditions.

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A way in for us was through this tunnel described as 'Dante's Gate' the entrance for the poor souls that entered it, a point of no return and a frightening experience having been split from family and not knowing what was going to happen on the other side

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looking back through the tunnel I assume the gate on the end may have been a locked entrance.

However, there is another entrance which we will see later. I have not read book 'the Island' but it is so easy to imagine the thoughts of the poor people being rowed over to the island and not be able to return to families

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Out of the tunnel we get our first glimpse of the buildings

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Some are in poor condition as the locals from the surrounding areas were able to plunder anything useful after it closed in 1957

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Going through a second archway a street has been restored to its original look with the help of over 2 million EU funding. I believe the first building started being restored in 1980.

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The village as it now is

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There are various notices all around telling one of the happenings. People tried to live normal lives, got married and had children

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The notices inside do help and if one is lucky the street does clear for a few seconds to take photographs at this time of day

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One of the many notices around

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The archway for shade

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This is a photograph of a picture of a flying boat painted by an inhabitant of the Island
which was found on a wall during it being fastened.

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These are photographs of the village before any restoration has taken place

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And the other side of the street and beyond

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over 300,000 visitors now visit this Island each year and are providing more funding to restore these other buildings

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Conditions did not really improve on the Island until 1936 when Epameinondas Remoundakis a 20 year old lawyer who had previously lost his sister to the Island caught the disease himself and was also sent. He was one of the few intelligent ones who eventually went blind and also lost a hand. He did not want to wait to be part of the living dead and he rallied the people and fought for decent conditions. He got disinfectant to clean the place and managed to acquire a generator (even before Plaka)

Later the Islanders had a theatre, cinema, cafes and a barber's shop and were able to play music in the street. The solidarity he created help people lead an almost normal life

Mr. Manolis Fountoulakis, the last survivor of Spinalonga, passed away in 2010 and the age of 86 years old.

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I have also read that some of the buildings have been completely removed as they were not considered to be in keeping with the rest   :shock:

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A very large room with a window that sort of attracted me to it but I may have to brighten up the rest of the picture later

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This is the main entrance and may have been used for the first arrivals in 1904 but I can't find anything to confirm this

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View looking back to Elounda

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View of Plaka

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This could be my favourite picture of the holiday but can't tell you why lol

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May be some restoration taking place here with piles of bricks stacked below the building.

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The battlements below

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At this point on the corner, the wind was so strong we wondered how safe we were going to be but we were ok once around it

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The view out beyond Plaka

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One of the watch tower

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Another further along

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I had my eye on climbing up into the tower but was not sure if it was possible

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I gave it a try

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but the stone stairway I tried was like smooth glass and very slippery. So one would need both hands free and not a camera to break in attempting it lol

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So i had a walk down to a lower area

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Elounda in the distance

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The tower

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There are refreshments and toilets on the island

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some shade waiting for a boat

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Visiting the place will have many people feeling the sadness but having read quite a bit on the Cretan history since coming home they have all suffered over the centuries with ladies throwing themselves over parapets rather than end up as slaves

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For our evening meal we returned to Poulis

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menu

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view

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I had the stamna

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Mrs Db had the stifado

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and another free dessert

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and a walk back to our apartment for a coffee on the balcony

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End of Day 9

Day 10 Tuesday

With Mrs Db on the beach I was going to return to upper Elounda to see if I have missed anything there

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This time I am going past the Olive Grove and leaving town

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going up the hill via the road it was not too steep

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I recognised this spot from Davis's walk

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and taking the left turning off the main road

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and heading for the village

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Lovely flowers

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and liking the brickwork on this building

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taking a different pathway from before

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More lovely flowers

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and different views

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I met Marie and 'this time' I bought her a drink, a very nice lady

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love the rustic look

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Found the place of the film set again

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but taking a different pathway again

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The view

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The village church but did not take a photograph for my bell collection lol

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what a lovely cottage

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A lovely village

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some houses are being renovated

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One day I will get a good shot of this flower lol

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Now going down the donkey track that Davis took us down on the walk. I have more time now and noticed this fossil in the pathway

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and another in the wall, a good place for fossil hunters lol

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Back in town

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These are some of the averagely priced taverna's at the back of the two town beaches

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and the blue Plaka train

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Our afternoon was on the small beach

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We were recommended this place for an evening meal and it is used by the Greeks

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It was evening, so we thought we would give them a try

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It's down here past the two beaches

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we chose a table and the place was fairly full

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I was just taking a photograph and the lady came to serve us

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It had a small menu and a couple of specials for the night.

I am told her father has a butcher's shop in Agios Nik.

I had the lamb chops and Mrs Db the pork souvlaki

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yes look at it

a litre of house wine for 5€'s

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Menu starters, we picked cheese pies to share

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free nibbles

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cheese pies were lovely

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Mrs Db's pork souvlaki

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My lamb chops and so much meat on them.

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free melon

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Free raki

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An the bill all this for 25€s

These places are about but you have to hunt for them and certainly in the hillsides

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coffee is always on our balcony to let the air con cool the bedroom

End of Day 10


Day 11 Wednesday

The ancient sunken City of Olous

Having been tipped off about this but given the wrong area to look, I was off to seek out what I could find on the city. The Minoans first had a settlement here and were trading around the world but the civilisation was said to have been destroyed or weakened by volcanic eruptions and tidal waves from Santorini, another theory was an earthquake. The Dorians, a more brutal race capitalised on this and moved in and some time later the Romans.

Coins and artefacts found suggest the Olous people worshipped the God of Zeus. Some artefacts dating back to 1500 BC are in the museum. The Olous people were quite productive making dyes from sea shells. I remember reading about these dyes in Lanzarote which were extracted from plants and shellfish producing purple and red dyes which were considered colours of importance in the Roman Army.

So where is this lost city to be found, yes near the windmills. I think it would have been better if I were a miller spending most of my holiday down here lol

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The French when digging the canal uncovered a slab with the figure of Apollo on it, so I am in the right area.

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And this mosaic is a clue to it all. I now have my small camera with me, so I can push the lens through the gap in the fence.

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Indiana Jones could have worked all this all out

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however, I needed to get to the side of a church for further clues as parts of the city are visible in that area

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a bit uneven on the feet lol

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Just gone back and found this better way to the church

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The first sighting of the city of Olous but going to need flippers and a mask lol

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More to see here

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The church does not give any clues

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A bit frustrating really and a bit like 'Treasure Hunt' with Kenneth Kendal asking Annie if she can see a Roman Helmet in the water and her reply of 'I can see a red buoy' lol

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I clearly needed to get to the other side of the canal to see if I can find more structures

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If only trees could talk

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At least the hunt has found another beach I wonder if Julius Caesar sat here waiting for his cloak to be dyed red.

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Over on the Salt Pans I can see an Egret

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and popping into the taverna that started all this hunt I sat down for a beer. Lucky for me I didn't pick the table in the corner, as behind the table asleep was this dog and he was not pleased to see me lol

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After my beer walking back down the high street I spotted this place but my Billy Elliot days are all over lol

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now cutting down to the front, this hotel is named after the ancient city

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Their menu

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I see they have rabbit Stifido, what has happen to beef ?

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now back on the harbour and the boats are all tied up ready for trips to Spinalonga

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After lunch it was on the beach but like a Jack in the box, I was up trying to see if I could take an interesting shot of this boat

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but not much good really so back to Mrs Db

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Evening was dinner at Vachus


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menu house wine was 10€s a litre

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The taverna view

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I had the chicken and shrimps but they were prawns in my book lol

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Mrs Db had Lamb Kleftiko

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Free melon

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Free raki

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Coffee on our balcony

End of Day 11


Day 12 Thursday

It was already a hot morning and at breakfast time there was very little breeze. Somebody important had arrived by helicopter and landed by the windmills. Probably the police wanting to know what all the activity has been going on down there in the last week lol

I can even see there is a boat ready to go through the canal to Agios Nikoloas


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Today I had decided to have a closer look at the properties above us

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so turning left up this hill I spotted a tanker

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Who's driver is obviously a fan of Pam Ayres poem 'dolly on a dust cart' as I think the dolly had now amassed a few more friends lol

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gosh it's hot

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some nice flowers on the side of the road

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I got to the top of the hill but it is so hot

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I took a couple of photographs of the view

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and some flowers

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And a better photograph of The Hope

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I saw the way down the other side but not a lot to photograph

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There was another village high above but too hot to attempt that today

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so it was back on the beach watching the tour boats going out. I did enquire about them and they were private tours I guess tour company trips. Nothing else seems to leave the harbour except the Spinalonga trips so a travel shop may be the only other option

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This afternoon/evening we had arranged to meet up with TA member MG100surrey and partner who kindly drove us to Agios Nikoloas for a drink. We arrived in the harbour car park to see this statue it is called 'The Abduction of Europe' could this be another Wooden Horse of Troy lol. It was placed there in 2012 by the Mayor as a sign of unity and peace in Europe and designed by painter and sculptor Nikos Koundourou.

I had to investigate lol.

From Homer, Europe was a beautiful woman the daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician King of Tyre who came to the ear of Zeus. Zeus wanting to get to know her more and changed himself into a bull with beautiful fur (don't ask me why lol). He then galloped down to the area where she mingled with her friends. They became good friends and she jumped on his back and he carried her off to Crete. Europe had three sons fathered by Zeus: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon

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Anyway, we had a lovely couple of hours talking over drinks looking over the harbour

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We had a ride around the inner lake and saw the taverna's around the sides

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It was nice to meet them both after their help on picking Elounda

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This evening we ate at Marilena

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The menu house wine was 10€'s

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I had the Rigatom al a creme

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Mrs Db had pork medallions

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Mrs Db's meal

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My Rigatom

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The inside look of the taverna

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followed by our coffee on the balcony

End of Day 12

Day 13 Friday

a sort of rambling around the resort day. I was interested in what other cruises were about but told this was a private cruise and there were coach loads of people around so arranged from outside Elounda

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on the main beach i saw this life guard tower being made in a morning the carpenter was up the top building the tower and the painter was already painting the structures legs lol

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In town it was fruit market day near the main beach

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I bought a large yellow melon for just over a euro

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and two euros of very large cherries

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I had a euro worth of grapes from this chap but I think he was very generous

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returning to Mrs Db with all these bargains she asked why I had bought all this fruit with only two days left to eat it. Perhaps we can eat it on the balcony with coffee I suggested lol

Anyway off to the bookshop to get some information on Elounda

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One of the supermarkets in the square

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This travel/car hire place appears to be the only exchange bureau in Elounda and with the interbank rate showing 1.14 at this time, they were offering 1.09 with a 2% commission. They did say the Greek banks were at a rate of 1.09 so somebody is making a profit lol.

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A Greek bank Atm

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The town's square

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up the high st to the bookshop

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Here I met Lynn 'The Oracle'

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She has a vast knowledge of Elounda

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I was looking for a book that would fill in pieces of the jigsaw that were still missing from my travelling around
I was recommended one by Lynn that did the job nicely and a good job we had and extra 5kg of luggage allowance going home lol

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I also had a check to see if the Imperia had opened but it was still closed

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but got another guy on the pole lol

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All the holiday I was trying to get a swallowtail butterfly to land and open it's wings well did it..............no lol

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back at the apartment our three rooms

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comfortable beds

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Kitchenette

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for our evening meal we were going back to Vachus

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house wine still 10€s

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I went for the Pork and Roquefort sauce

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Mrs Db was going to try the chicken and shrimps divola I had the other evening

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my pork meal

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Mrs Db's chicken & shrimps

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oh forgot the photograph of the melon but we have more to eat on the balcony

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So back to the apartment for coffee and see life is just a bowl of cherries lol

End of Day 13



Day 14 Saturday

Our last full day now what can I do for you.

Well the moon is still out

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The beach is empty

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It's still 27 degrees

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The sun is not up

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I have made a special effort to position myself at the harbour for a good view

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The town's clock is showing just before 6:30am

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Here it comes

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The start of our last day and what could be a better start  (in bed says Mrs Db lol)

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The town is coming alive for another day

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a beach with no towels

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Back to Mr Db

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A morning on the beach reading my book

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Lunch time I had a craving for baked beans

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afternoon of reading and watching a rescue of a ring that should have been left out there lol

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It was our last evening and I had booked a table by the sea at Olondi's

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Olondi's

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menu

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And we saw Spinalonga lit for the first time

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Mrs Db had The Village Style Chicken

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I had my favourite meal again, the Lamb Olondi

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different vegetables

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a lovely setting

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oh no, not more cherries, melon and grapes lol

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finishing with free Raki

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A vibrant town whilst walking back on a Saturday evening

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to sit on the balcony with a coffee, more cherries, melon and grapes lol

End of Day 14

Day 15 Sunday

Going home

We were both up early me with a stomach ache. I told you not to eat all that fruit, said Mrs Db   :shock:

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Our coach arrived early at 11:40am but there was a delay in getting away, as a couple did not get on a taxi sent by Thomson's to meet the coach.

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We picked up people in a number of hotels and even going into Malia and Stalis to pick up somebody before getting onto the motorway

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The motorway was being rebuilt and we ended up behind a really slow car

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Heraklion Airport had queues for check in, then another queue to Xray the cases, then having to find the departures and security which could be two places at the end of the airport. Our plane never got a gate number allocated, so we had to ask airport staff in the know to get into the correct one. In departures there was still no gate number on the board and then finally a mumbled gate number was called but when we arrived there at the gate  it was showing a Birmingham flight and we wanted Gatwick.

We then had a big hunt of all gate numbers and could not find Gatwick. At this point we even wondered if we were in the right section which was seal off from other gates 1-7.

Finally I had to ask an official who said gate 18, we were then back at gate 18 with Birmingham still on the board with other people asking the same question. One guy said this is definitely Gatwick so we joined the end. The board was not changed until we started to board. Summing up chaos!!!

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Finally we were away

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Arriving at Gatwick our luggage took over an hour to come onto the carousel and our taxi driver had clocked up £12 in the car park fee waiting for us.

Anyway, holiday over, hope you enjoyed holidaying with the delboy's once again

End of holiday


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