Thursday, 26 May 2022

Our Greek Odyssey - The Grand Finale


After Sunday's Greek epic, Monday was a lazy day with breakfast at the harbour and a wander around the shops. 


I managed to find a replica of the Malia pendant in 925 silver, in the same size as the original.

Meanwhile, Tony bought a couple more tee shirts. The gorgeous shop owner insisted we joined her for a 10.30am glass of ginger and lemongrass raki and pleaded for Tony to retire to Crete so they could be best friends. Originally from Ukraine, she'd travelled to Crete when she was 19 and upon reaching Chania ripped up her passport and never left. Tony's in love.


We spent the day on Nea Chora beach. On Thursday it had been overcast and quite chilly out of the sun but on Monday the weather was perfect, baking hot with a cloudless cerulean blue sky. I went for a dip in the Med, swam out to a rock which I climbed and stood waving at the boys who were too busy chatting to notice. When I returned half an hour later they were surprised to see me soaking wet, they assumed I'd just gone to the loo. It was probably the furthest out to sea that I'd ever swum and they didn't even notice!


After a leisurely lunch, we put in a few more hours before wandering back.





Back at Eleonora Sophia was waiting for us. There'd been yet another mix-up with the bookings and she'd moved Tony's stuff to her friend's apartments in the next street, it might have been our penultimate day but for Tony, his Greek Odyssey was set to continue. We followed her to where he would be spending his final night and discovered it would be in an 800 year old heritage home which normally cost €150 a night. Sophia's friend had even baked him an apple pie and a bag of biscuits to welcome him. Tony then realised that Sophia had failed to pack his phone charger which led to a series of very strange mimes, her English was good but "phone charger" was a step too far - luckily we got there in the end.


We decided our sundown beer should be taken on Tony's posh new terrace rather than our roof.






Wandering the alleyways, we chatted to man enjoying a raki outside his house and, me being me, asked if we could look inside. I was fascinated by that photo of his handsome grandfather, taken in the 1930s and of his father, looking every inch the Northern Soul boy with his Oxford Bags and fag hanging out of the corner of his mouth.

We continued to the Albanian man's restaurant for pre-dinner drinks where the cat recognised me immediately and climbed onto my lap for some fuss. The Albanian man joined us and insisted on another session on the raki but after two carafes we said our goodbyes before things got messy.


Tony had been eulogising over the patatas bravas since we'd eaten them two nights ago so we went back to The Well of The Turk for more.


Tuesday was our last day and, as we didn't need to leave for the airport until 7pm, Sophia kindly let us keep our room on for no extra charge . She brought us a tray of feta and leek pies, custard pastries and cheese toasties which we took round to Tony's place and ate in his courtyard. His landlady then delivered us a platter of freshly baked cheese pastries drizzled in honey, a Chania delicacy, which we also demolished. Tony had realised that Sophia had failed to pack his best trainers and that they were still under the bed in the room which was now occupied by a Polish couple. We promised we'd ask her about them later but, in the meantime, to keep his eyes peeled for a man walking around Chania wearing his trainers - don't laugh, it's happened before. In 2000 we were in Brazil and my brother and Tony sent some of their tee shirts to the hotel laundry. The following day some of the staff invited Tony & Marcus to join them for a five-aside football match, only for them to discover several members of the team wearing their tops. 


Stuffed to the gills with pastries, we wandered around Chania for the last time.



Tony's beautiful Ukrainian friend spotted him and came running out of her shop to hug him, demanding he come back & see her in September. The foolish man never asked for her number and has since mislaid her business card. Talk about a Greek Tragedy! If you're heading to Chania in the next few months and spot this lady do let me know. Incidentally, did you know that the word "idiot" is derived from Ancient Greek?


We visited an exhibition charting the history of a local football team held inside the old Ottoman mosque on the harbour and had an iced coffee at the Chania Sailing Club, never tiring for those spectacular views.





Anarchy is derived from the Ancient Greek words for "without rulers".











We visited a fascinating (but sobering) photography exhibition of The Siege of Crete then walked up to the Chania sports stadium before settling down outside the beautiful Amphora Hotel for an ice cold beer.





Then it was time to return to Platina 1821 for a late lunch. 


The Cretan salads and complimentary watermelon raki and chocolate brownies were as good as ever and Tony was very impressed with his handmade burger and skin-on chips.



Yammas!





We returned to Eleonora where Sophia had managed to retrieve Tony's trainers thus averting another Greek tragedy. After showers we walked across to the new town and hailed a taxi to the airport. 


Although is was a "goodbye" (antio sas) to Crete it was only a "see you soon" (ta léme sýntoma) to Greece as within three days of getting home we'd booked another trip!

49 comments:

  1. Thank you, Vix, for sharing these golden days! The meals were the stuff of which a gourmet's dreams are concocted; the scenery -- each and every photo was magazine-cover worthy.
    So glad you've already booked another trip! (You might find friend Tony has taken up residence and is learning Ukrainian...)

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    1. I'm delighted you enjoyed sharing our Greek Odyssey, Beth. Everything was perfect and it was a real treat to experience Greece before the main tourist season starts and the mountains were still snow-capped. Tony's kicking himself for not asking for that lady's number and for losing her card - it's a Greek tragedy! xxx

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  2. This all sounds amazing! Will Tony be returning in September, I think he should!!
    Did your clothes feel a little tight towards the end of your trip? The description of all that food have me feeling rather peckish! xx

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    1. It was wonderful, Hazel! I think Tony needs to go back, too - unfortunately the holiday calendar where he works is fully booked for September, it looks like he might have to wait till next Spring!
      I was expecting my Wii Fit to shout at me when i got home but I'd actually lost 1lb! I think it was all the walking! xxx

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  3. Oh, the drama of the vacation love-connections! I hope Tony finds that phone number! What a wonderful record of your vacation, Vix! I would go to Crete in a heartbeat...aside from me hating travel and it being two days to get there from here. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful pictures and travelogue with us. Congrats on your beach swim, even if the lads missed it completely!

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    1. I know! Tony is so slow on the uptake - no wonder he's single!
      Crete is absolutely wonderful. There were a few Canadians on your coach trip to Knossos and were such lovely people - it's a long journey for you, though, like our 26 hour epic journeys to Rajasthan back in the days before Covid! xxx

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  4. Evening Vix, ahh what a read! Poor Tony hmm reckon a holiday back there is on the cards for him! what a delightful time you had and as always thanks for sharing with us. The scenery and the colour the food and your fabulous selves well it all adds up to great posts! I think the shuffling of rooms etc just adds to the stories. I am going to catch up with the previous post now great another adventure for us all. How marvellous to be back only 4 days and book again!! cheers Shazxx

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    1. Hello, Shaz! Tony will just have to go back to Chania, won't he? He's been searching the internet trying to find that lady's shop - can you believe he never even asked her name? He'll have to go back next Spring I reckon - I'll volunteer to carry his luggage!
      The shifting of rooms made it feel like a holiday within a holiday, we never knew where we'd be sleeping from one day to the next - a proper adventure.
      As excited as I am about Glastonbury, I think I'm even more excited about going back to Greece! xxx

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  5. ende gut - alles gut!
    finally you got a beach day! but men - one could drown in the mediterranean sea and the don´t notice ;-D
    tony´s love story sounds so very cute!
    xxxx

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    1. I know - I wonder how long it would have taken them to realise I'd been kidnapped by pirates and whisked away to another land? I was thrilled with my beach day though! xxx

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  6. It must have broken your hearts to leave this time, but at least you have 'your' Malia.

    The 10th picture - those terractotta walls with blue shutters. Oh, be still my beating heart!

    Talking of hearts, if Tony were to move to Crete just think how often you will have to visit! (Can you use Google Streetview to track down his lovely lady and her shop, or if he bought the T shirts on plastic will his bank statement give the business name?)

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    1. Could that photo of the terracotta walls and blue shutters be any more Greek? I think I might have to use it as my screensaver!
      Tony (and Jon) spent most of last Wednesday scanning Google Street View to track down the shop to on avail! Great minds think alike, he's currently waiting for his bank statement to see if the name of the beautiful Ukrainian lady's shop pops up! xxx

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  7. Reading about your holiday and seeing the beautiful photos it looks though you all had such a happy time together x

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    1. We had such a lovely time, Flis! Its a shame Tony won't be joining us next time but I'[m sure Jon'll torment him by sending him photos every day! xxx

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  8. I absolutely loved following in the footsteps of your Greek odyssey, and it doesn't surprise me in the least that you've already booked another trip! I wonder if Tony will be joining you again, if only to ask the gorgeous shop lady for her number :-)
    Glad to hear you've found a replica of the Malia pendant, as it couldn't have been more you.
    It's quite disappointing that the lads hadn't noticed you swam out to that rock, as I'd have loved to see a photo of you waving to them!
    Like Jayne, I'm totally in love with that photo of the house with the terrace walls with the blue shutters! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Ann. It's fun to share our travels, isn't it? It makes the holiday last a little longer.
      Aren't those boys terrible for not noticing I'd gone missing? I shall drag Jon into the sea next time even if he squeals like a baby at how cold the water is - and he can witness my sea swimming!
      I wonder how the conservation department would react if we pointed Stonecroft terracotta? xxx

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  9. I'm drooling over the thought of a swim in the sea!!!!
    What a tragedy about Tony! She sounds lovely!
    Your Malia necklace is beautiful and so you!
    I'm envious of your Crete trip. Still no passport for me! No half term adventure then!

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    1. I'm so cross about your passport impeding your half term adventures, that is very disappointing indeed.
      Poor old Tony, she was such a lovely lady. xxx

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  10. Put Tony on the first flight back....we need a happy ending! Arilx

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  11. Not only will you carry Tony's luggage on his return trip, you'll need to act as liaison to be sure he has all of the information! And provide backup, just in case he loses it! 🙃

    I can't believe your personal lifeguards completely ignored you during your swim! You'll need to schedule some training time before your next group adventure! ;-)

    Greece is gorgeous. Have to enjoy it vicariously through your blog, as transatlantic travel is not an option for this body. That's okay. I visited most places that interested me (thank goodness my ex also enjoyed travel) over about 50 years. It's good to see many of them through your eyes. :-)

    ...Taja 🏜️

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    1. Hello Taja! i'm happy to volunteer as luggage carrier and keeper of paperwork!
      What a shame that you no longer travel but fifty years of adventuring must make for some fantastic memories! xxx

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  12. Never heard of ginger and lemongrass raki
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Its a family recipe, I doubt whether it's known outside of Chania! x

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  13. That was quite an adventure! I'm so glad everything got resolved in the end, except the phone number, sadly. That could be a whole other story. X

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    1. We certainly packed a lot into the seven days we were there! xxx

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  14. What a generous and friendly place you have found - plus a friend for Tony, I love that part of the adventure. This is beautiful place and the food - well we would love it - our son cooks this kind of thing - patata brava being his speciality but how lovely it must be to eat it in a traditional village with all that beauty around you. You were very brave to swim out in the sea - I don't like being unable to touch the bottom! and am scared of currents, what a shame the men weren't paying attention! Lovely to see you found a malia pendant. Betty :)

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    1. We thought Chania was fabulous the first time we visited and going back confirmed we were right! I can't recommend it enough, loads to see and do, immaculate beaches, great food, friendly locals, incredible architecture and bags of personality.
      I love Mediterranean food, its all about freshness and quality, isn't it? Despite the amount of food I consumed, I came back 1lb lighter!
      Its funny, like you I've always been scared of deep water and swimming out of my depth plus I hate getting my face wet but all of a sudden it doesn't bother me any more. I bought a pair of googles on Monday and jumped into the deep end of the pool today - I've never done it before and loved it! xxx

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    2. Goggles make a huge difference - since I got mine I can now swim face down in the water without fear and try to get halfway down the pool length without coming up for air - am building up for snorkelling on my next holiday :)

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    3. I might try swimming face down next. I loved ducking underwater in the deep end and giggling at everyone's legs going nineteen to the dozen! I tried snorkelling when we visited the Gili Islands in Indonesia back in 1999 and I was absolutely useless at it! xxx

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  15. That was some trio! Tony, Tony! She was adorable. It's a good thing you walked so much- I'd be rolled back onto the plane after those delicious treats. It's like you visited family.

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    1. What a disaster for Tony! Wasn't she stunning - and with a personality as beautiful as her smile! xxx

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  16. Oh Tony - what are you like? A Greek tragedy indeed... I loved the Malian bee; I'm so glad you managed to find one. What a wonderful holiday you've had and how you've feasted; the food sounded amazing. I so much want to go back to Greece but it's unlikely this year. Glad to hear you'll be returning!
    xxx

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    1. Isn't he hopeless? I can't believe he's mislaid her business card!!
      i was so pleased to find the Malian necklace, I suppose I could have found one on line but it wouldn't be the same as buying one in the land from which it originated!
      What a shame you don't think you'll be able to get back to Greece this year, Vronni. xxx

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  17. Vix-Your Greece trips always overwhelm me (in the best way!). There's so much to comment on that I'll just say it and you all look marvelous and it's no wonder you can't stay away! Of course I need to know how Tony's saga continues ;))

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    1. Forgot to sign my comment! -Karen-

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    2. Hello Karen! Thank you so much, it's lovely that you commented and enjoyed the profusion of posts! I promise to keep everyone updated if Tony ever does manage to find that lady's details! xxx

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  18. Oh what a trip! Love that you cheekily asked to look around the local's house and that photo is a masterpiece! I still can't believe you were swimming for so long and they didn't spot you. Jon and Tony would be useless as lifeguards! :-D Cats know who best to focus their attention on don't they? Tony's love story can't possibly end there...you'll have to go back! xxx P.S. So glad you found a replica pendant - it's lovely!

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    1. I couldn't get over that photo, if someone had said it had been taken at Wigan Casino, rather than Crete, I'd have believed them!
      They say women talk, Jon and Tony are terrible, I could have been swept away by pirates and they'd never have noticed! xxx

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  19. Ocean swimming and no one noticed! Well done though.

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    1. It was one of the highlights of my trip and nobody even noticed! xxx

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  20. What a fabulous trip!
    I do love the pendant, I actually prefer it in silver (sacrilege I know)
    We shall all be on tenterhooks to hear if Tony goes back to see his lovely lady. I'm impressed that the sea was warm enough to swim in. I don't know how you are with cold water, but I do need it fairly warm to venture in beyond a paddle 🙂 xxx

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    1. Thanks, Annie! The gold version really appealed but I knew I'd get more wear out of the silver version - and would have money left!
      I'm okay with cold water - it was chilly wading in but once I'd started swimming it was perfect. Jon refuses to set foot in the sea until it's September! xxx

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  21. Well I absolutely loved your Greek Odyssey Vix! The swimming story made me laugh out loud. It's just like one of those funny films or comedy sketches where someone goes off and does something extraordinary in the background, whilst their friends / family re just chatting away casually in the foreground. I hope Tony gets to see his new Ukranian friend again xXx

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    1. Thanks, Lulu! You're right, I could have wrestled Gorgons, been captured by Poseidon and spent half an hour in the underworld and they'd never have noticed! xxx

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  22. I think Tony should be seriously thinking about re-locating to Greece! I'm very impressed by your Mediterranean sea swim. Even if I did know how to swim I wouldn't be brave enough to swim in that large a body of water. Bravo! I've so enjoyed reading about and seeing the photos from your trip. The food, the sights, the accommodations, were all wonderful.

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    1. If only Brexit hadn't happened - the only way he could retire permanently there would be to marry a local (he really needs to find the business card!) xxx

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Lots of love, Vix