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Did The Dream Come True?

Posted by DaveW., 16 July 2006 - - - - - - · 3,457 views

Yes, I think overall that it did, although the actual physical effort of picking the olives was not the romantic picture that I had in my mind. It was very physical, as my friends in the village had told me, it was extremely tiring. But, heck, it was satisfying at the end of the day to reflect on the friendly back-chat, the disagreements, and I suppose on...


The Afternoon Of The First Day.

Posted by DaveW., 29 June 2006 - - - - - - · 2,043 views

After having caught up on a few hours sleep I woke up just before 1 o'clock and made my way into the village for lunch with George, Anna and the girls. The presents that I had brought the girls were greeted with much excitement, a new satchel for Eleni as she had started school this year and a Minnie Mouse rucksack for her younger sister Maria. We were joined for dinner by george's father Costas, who for his age (82) was fantastic and although we had no common language we became firm friends over the next two weeks.

Dinner was all home produced. Cheese pie (like I've never tasted before), coleslaw, beetroot and broccoli and this was the starter! The main course being lamb (the lamb wasn't home produced!) stifado accompanied by roasted potatoes. Now I am not a 'good' diabetic and eat foods that I probably shouldn't but the dessert beat me. I still don't know what the fruit was but it was far too sweet for me and I unfortunately had to decline this and have an orange. Try as we might we couldn't find an word that would translate from the Greek to English to describe the fruit. Never mind, it didn't seem that important as we washed down the meal with George's latest red wine. Entertainment was provided during the meal by being joined by the pig who had escaped from the garden and was attempting to get into the kitchen after the scraps. What a noise and a mess an excited pig can make!! Unfortunately he isn't going to be around for too much longer, in the garden that is.

After lunch George took the girls along to the olive grove and I walked back along the beach towards the apartments. It was such a glorious afternoon that I walked on a bit to the 'turtle' river but decided against crossing it as the clear water was still very, very cold. In fact it is cold throughout the summer. Strolling up to the apartment I was greeted by our old friend of a couple of summers. Yes, the cat. When we stayed a couple of years ago she ws a young kitten and now she ws ready to produce her second litter. She spent most of the evening curled up on the settee, acting as though she owned the place. It has got dark by now and the temperature is dropping, so out goes the cat and into bed goes 'moi'.

George is coming to pick me up at 8.00 in the morning and I am both excited and nervous about the day ahead. Excited because this adventure is something we have spoken about for a couple of years and nervous as I hope that I do not let George down and can do the work that is expected of me. After all, he has only employed two local men instead of his normal three and my pay is to be the roof over my head and my bed. Roll on tomorrow night because although I have read up on collecting olives it is a complete new experience for me and I don't really know what to expect.


Olive Picking

Posted by DaveW., 29 June 2006 - - - - - - · 1,913 views

I'm jumping a couple of years to Nov/Dec 2005. Over the last years I have been talking to my Cretan friend George about life on the island and how locals make a living and one of the subjects we spoke about was the olive industry. Whilst sitting and chatting in August last year he commented that I was very welcome to stay in one of his apartments if I...


First Arrival

Posted by DaveW., 13 February 2006 - - - - - - · 1,808 views

What a surprise it was. Initially, a shock as the coach couldn't get us to the apartment as the road was in too poor a state. But, then we were greeted by a lovely, shy man who helped us into the site. We stood by the pool and gazed in awe over the olive groves at the vista of Suda Bay. At this time the apartments were standing on thier own, the highest on the hill, but since then there have been several more built within the area. But they are all far enough away to remain private. So our first impressions of Crete and dusty Suda had been proved wrong. Here, we had one of the most wonderful views and for me these awakened old memories of holidays in South Wales as a child. We used to travel down from London to a place called Wigfach (only a small field with about 30 small bungalows, and only a track to it), the view was over sand dunes towards Ogmore and over the Bristol Channel towards Minehead. The track to the apartments and the view across the bay were so very similar that they brought back some wonderful memories of holidays spent with uncles, aunts and cousins. This time, for me, was similar to that which I experienced on first coming to Crete, as Greek and Welsh familes were (and still are in some areas) very much akin. The family was the unit around which everything revolved and this is one of the things that I find so appealing about Crete. Although I fear that as the island becomes more materialistic that Cretans will also loose this, as we seem to have done in the UK.
Not only did we receive the usual 'welcome' pack from the travel company but later on there was a knock at the door and there was Ianni with some tomatoes, straight from the small garden in front of the apartments, for a snack. We had arrived and experienced the first of many such marvellous gestures of friendship that have over the ensuing years cemented a great friendship .


Why Crete?

Posted by DaveW., 12 February 2006 - - - - - - · 1,927 views

As Dinny has tried to read my invisible 'blog' I suppose that I had better start with some background info. For years my family and I (wife and two girls) had been going on package holidays with large well know companies and were finding that as we grew older that they were not providing the type of holiday that we were looking for. Anyway one day in Puerto Pollenca, Mallorca we found a small advert for a company that we hadn' heard of before and made some enquiries in the town. We subsequently booked with them and continued to visit the same apartment for several years until one year we found that we could not get the dates or the apartment that we wanted......know the picture? On searching their catalogue we found an island called Crete and a village called Kalives with some nice looking apartments and so we thought that we'd broaden our horizons and give it a try. Thus started a love affair. Mind you the initial coach journey through dusty, industrial Souda was a bit of a shock but after several years of holidaying around the area I love it as much as anywhere else. The girls who were then I suppose about 13 and 19 also loved the place where we stayed. Now this is where the title of the blog comes in. I am very, very selfish. I want to share my love of the place but I don't want to share it so much that more people come and spoil what I have found. Selfish? Yes. I don't want the area I visit to become like some of the Spanish coastal resorts. Mind you as the blog grows I think that there will be a number of you who will recognise where I am talking about.
Isn't it a shame that as we travel we find these places where we find ourselves completely at home but then we settle there and by bringing our own values/perceptions we destroy the very thing that we had searched for and found?
Right, I think that I have raved enough for one morning but blame Dinny!!!...





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