Jump to content

Hooly's Content

There have been 23 items by Hooly (Search limited from 27-October 19)

Sort by                Order  

#13624 Crete In 1961

Posted by Hooly on 25 March 2008 - 03:33 PM in Explore Crete


Great pictures and well worth viewing.

I'm not a great expert but have spent most of my holidays over last few years around the Agios Nikolaos area & the section of the 2nd film either side of the 2 minute mark is definitely taken around the War Memorial in Venizelou Square in Agios itself, which can be seen here (greeka.com picture).

I know from reading your articles that you have a depth of knowledge going well back, but wondered if you had previous come across the items shown in the "Images from another age" section of the
Agios Nikolaos municipal site. I can't see any trace of their vintage but they are interesting (to me anyway!).


#13386 Possible Cheaper Route To Crete

Posted by Hooly on 27 February 2008 - 02:14 AM in Explore Crete

How dare you Lil! Consorting with the devil. You should be ashamed. :wub:

To be fair, since I booked them my out Sep/back Oct flights have now risen £80 for the 2 of us in the last month, but like your 1st dates are still only around £210. Which is the same price as my earlier in the year GB flights were, but obviously no exotic meal or freebies. Hey ho!

The moral being. He who books early laughs longest (unless there's a glut of spare charter seats). :rolleyes:

#13243 Aegean Airlines

Posted by Hooly on 12 February 2008 - 04:23 PM in Explore Crete

Ooops went a bit wrong there & should read

"The ultra optimistic think there's a chance easyJet might take a punt on perhaps a couple of flights a week in the winter, if the summer service runs well, but the pessimists reckon that after they've run the 2008 flights they are contracted to under.......... the takeover of GB then we'll see no more flights to Crete by easyJet at all. We'll just all have to hold our breath on that one."

#13237 Aegean Airlines

Posted by Hooly on 12 February 2008 - 11:58 AM in Explore Crete

hh, out of season you will have to fly via Athens if you want to go from the UK & as far as I know even European carriers like Air Berlin also do not fly to Crete during the winter. The ultra optimistic think there's a chance easyJet might take a punt on perhaps a couple of flight a week in the winter, if the summer service runs well, but the pessimists reckon thet after they've run the 2008 flights they are contracted to under

The seasons are generally, taking the old GB service as an example, from around the last week of March through to the last week of October, but with the odd charter carrier who flies either earlier into March or for the 1st couple of days of November.

I don't think he posts on here but on some of the other forums a guy with the moniker "filippos" has a website attached to his profile which lists pretty well all the carriers & where/when they fly from. I won't link it on here as some forums are a bit touchy about that sort of thing.


#13228 Aegean Airlines

Posted by Hooly on 11 February 2008 - 08:12 PM in Explore Crete

The rumours that Aegean were planning to fly from Stansted to Athens have been confirmed with flights starting on 15th May.

Aegean news

Looking at the website they seem to start at €51.00 plus €27.92 taxes, so about £60ish, for a one way flight. At least it gives the anti easyJet brigade a small iota of solace. :lol:

#13195 Property Market

Posted by Hooly on 08 February 2008 - 04:03 PM in Explore Crete

hh, perhaps I should have phrased it as "I didn't have a problem" with the agents rather than "I don't see your problem", no offence intended.

To be honest in the dealings I had with the 4 or 5 agents I contacted, I didn't have the issues with sold properties, although the house I bought did stay on another site for a month or so after I purchased it. I suspect that, with the volume of properties on the books for quite long periods in many cases & the multiple agencies, the agents will generally only contact the vendor when they need to arrange a viewing or they get an enquiry. It seemed a very ad hoc system, which is only to be expected I guess.

As for the language barrier, only one of the agents I dealt with was actually Cretan, though my experience is limited to the eastern end of the island. Dutch & Adriatic coast amongst others but no language barriers, unless you count the lady from Yorkshire.

You're also in the dormant part of the year so the arrival of new properties into the books must be much lower & their interest in updating the websites is less.

It has indeed been a most informative thread.

#13145 Easter Processions

Posted by Hooly on 06 February 2008 - 11:28 AM in Explore Crete

Ear defenders might be a good idea around the lake as well.

Also on the Monday IIRC last year, they had some groups of young people doing traditional dances down by the lake in Agios in the afternoon. Great to see the interest of childen of various ages in these historic activities. When the demonstration dances were finished it then turned into a general dance which all & sundry joined in. Most enjoyable.

#13100 Property Market

Posted by Hooly on 03 February 2008 - 05:03 PM in Explore Crete

Was beginning to think Crete has been evacuated as no one seems to reply.....

It's a pity that there are so few people on this forum so it's not been a good start.

They've probably gone out there for a restful life & have other things to do so don't spend all their time surfing the web, unless you go by the initials RIC B) . And hey, you haven't had a definitive answer within 24 hours, chill out. If you expect that sort of speed for anything on Crete you'll be in the wrong place (spoken only as a non resident house owner but regular visitor).

As for estate agents I don't see where you're coming from with that either. We bought a house last year & there are loads of people dealing in property in my experience, some better than others, & most are on the interwebbything. They hold many of the same places on their books and prices can vary between them, so that need to be checked. I went out on our 1st visit with a portfolio of places I'd downloaded to look at, some of which were unrealistic it turned out, nearly bought on that trip but spotted somewhere online before our 2nd buying jaunt & purchased it shortly after returning. Simple & fast in my experience.

I was going to agree with Pam, & I see Tim has whilst I was penning this, based on the little I know of the resale market. I am under no illusion that the house I'm having renovated will be worth little more than it's accumulated costs, if that, and then only to a non Cretan. As has been said most natives & many incoming foreigners want new builds & there are tens of thousands of plots out there. Every Cretan friend I have has several pieces of land dotted about & usually more than one house. These plots are always for sale at the right price or they'll build on it themselves, so the need for a village house like mine is limited to people, basically, like me.

I'm not due to retire for another 15 years, so for us it's a bolt hole that we can use as & when we want to, rather that being reliant on others like holiday companies. And that's where we'll make back by saving our money a little at a time. Hopefully in the interim we'll be able to spend more time there, who knows. But an investment, no. For me it's a love of Crete & it's people that makes me return & that's why we've done it.


#13065 Visits For 2008

Posted by Hooly on 01 February 2008 - 01:16 AM in Meet in Crete

Already booked before the GB takeover for 10 days over Easter and 12 days at the end of June into early July. Late April will be the 1st stay in our, hopefully by then, renovated little house in Kalo Horio and in June we'll also have friends staying just up the road in one of the houses where we've holidayed until last year. Which'll be nice.

The early October flights have just appeared on easyJet so, as it's supposed to be doom & gloom with them in future years, I've literally sorted flights 20 minutes ago for another 10 days for late Sep/early Oct costing under £130 for the pair of us. Happy as a sandboy! :o


#13059 Easy Jet

Posted by Hooly on 31 January 2008 - 06:47 PM in Explore Crete

Not sure whether anyone else had already received theirs but I am finally the recipient of emails confirming the transfer of my GB flights to easyJet.

Details pretty well as expected with 1 free hold bag up to 20kg per passenger plus 1 free sports equipment bag. So I guess my old golf bag cover, which is about the size of a coffin for a 30 stone man, will have to come out of storage & can be used to transport the gallons of raki & olive oil back! :o

So, if you've been waiting like I have, you might want to check your emails and look amongst the 3000 spam items at around 13.39, if sent at the same time as mine.


#12969 Easy Jet

Posted by Hooly on 27 January 2008 - 02:55 PM in Explore Crete

Anthony, have they "not been able to" or simply "not" given you an answer? I'm interested, as like many who view here I have a number of GB flights in 2008 moved as a result of the takeover, but having used eJ several times before am aware that the wait for the block of post September flights to be released on their booking site is highly frustrating.

We're also trying to sort a weekend away later in the year to another venue via Ryanair & their site only goes to 15th September which is just as annoying. So eJ are not alone, but I'm afraid you get what you pay for. There's probably only 1 winner in all this, The Bland Group, who've got their £103.5m tucked away somewhere.

But then are BA much better? They sent me an email on 3rd January asking if I wanted to add extras to a booking for April they would no longer be operating.

The OFT, who was the regulatory authority, released it's 20 page report on the takeover last Thursday OFT eJ/GB merger report which includes that
"The OFT found that a number of potential competitors remained at both LGW and London airports generally, and that GB Airways was limited in its ability to compete with easyJet pre-merger by the terms of its franchise agreement with BA. The OFT found that the merger could even result in enhanced competition between easyJet and BA, and hence there would not be a weakening of potential competition as a result of the merger"
but I presume that relates to the shorter routes where other carriers provide alternatives, i.e. not Crete.

I'm no legal beagle but of course the report makes no mention of the guarantee that the "full" summer timetable will be honoured, in fact it is mainly concerned with overlap routes, slots etc & the much bigger picture.

I guess we'll all have to rely on the original BA statement "On completion of the purchase of GB Airways by easyJet, customers who hold a BA/GB booking involving any travel from 30 March 2008 to the destinations below will travel on an easyJet flight." until the October eJ schedule is released. :rolleyes:


#12298 What Makes A Good Language Lesson?

Posted by Hooly on 28 November 2007 - 07:50 PM in Explore Crete


Bit late, but I've been off line, & possibly not much uses on a TEFL course but undoubtedly my Y1 greek class found the learning of the alphabet the most useful part of our course.

It helped expand on the simple phrases we'd been taught and, as Wim suggested, pick up words we'd not been taught but were similar to the English derivative. Thus expanding our vocabulary for not much additional effort. We all felt much more positive as we were able to link simple building blocks of the basic language.

Also learning one regular & a couple of irregular verbs helped us no end. Whether this applies to teaching English I don't know as it's difficult to envisage learning a language I've still not mastered after 48 years! B)

Hope it ends up ok.

#12112 Any of you actually trying to learn the Greek language?

Posted by Hooly on 26 October 2007 - 02:18 PM in Explore Crete

Like many, I imagine, who are unlucky enough to come to Crete only for holidays I have a collection of greek language books & CDs of which I'd consistently failed to get past the early lessons. But last year I enrolled on our local (Chelmsford) adult education course with a very good Cypriot lady teacher called Biki, as we liked to joke with her.

We had a great laugh & but more importantly learnt far, far more than we ever could have done on our own. Unfortunately with a couple of people moving to Greek islands, another 2 or 3 deciding Year 1 was sufficient etc we didn't have enough people for Year 2 to run. My better half is now doing the Y1 course & my plans are either to get private lessons from Biki or wait until the 2nd half of Y1 starts in the new year & join that for revision of the basic verbs etc. Also with the hope that enough of this year & last year's classes might mean we've enough for the second year to go ahead in 2008. But that seems a long time away!

Biki must have taught me something as on my latest couple of visits in July & September, people have started complimenting me (well they are generous like that as we know) but also answering me much more in Greek & asking me how/when/where & why I'm learning their language.

I agree with previous poster that learning the alphabet is a great help but also the conjugation of the simple verbs. These give you the ability to say "we" etc do things rather that referring to everything in the singular when there are obviously 2 of you. Perhaps that's why some think I know more than I really do. But Greeks being generous in their reaction really inspires me to progress.

#11339 Crete Holiday In September

Posted by Hooly on 19 June 2007 - 01:09 PM in Explore Crete

As you've not had a reply about Spinalonga I'll put my thoughts over.

I've been to that area for the last few years & visited Spinalonga several times. It's definitely "different" & on a first visit would take about an hour(ish) to walk slowly round on your own, with a bit more if you can get up to the fortress part at the top, as this is a bit of a clamber. When I was there at Easter the place was looking very overgrown, but presumably that was due to it being the very start of the season & I would hope they've tidied it up since then.

As for the Island itself, there are some well preserved bits around the gateway & what would be the shops referred to in the book but much of the rest is pretty well verging on ruin & seems to have got worse over the few years I've been there. The 1st time I went was on one of the tour boats from Ag Nik. The British guide (Lana) was heavily into the Leprosy bit but on this occasion couldn't go on the island as her Greek compatriot wasn't well & she wasn't allowed go on her own. So we had the speil on the boat which to be honest went on too long for me. However I know people who swear by her (although she may not still be about) & another guide who work out of Ag Nik.

There are basically 3 ways of getting there. There are a number of boats out of Ag Nik which is the longest route and they vary from all day cruises including barbecue & swimming to the simpler out & back trips which IIRC take about an hour each way. Closer is Elounda which is probably 15-20 minutes each way, and I believe there are guided trips etc available. Opposite the island is Plaka which is not much more than a 5 minute hop.

Heraklion to Ag Nik I reckon is roughly 1 hr & Stavromenos is about 60km by the look of it from Heraklion, so maybe a 2 hour journey each way, with Elounda another 10-15 mins on. Would I do it? Mmmmm. All I can say is that my 1st visit to Spinalonga left me wanting to go back again as I found the place made a distinct impression. Having been there at Easter we'll certainly go back in July or September but I'd like to do another proper guided trip this time. I would definitely prefer to drive 2 hours to see Spinalonga rather than the same up to the Dikti cave on the Lassithi Plateau, which I found a sad disappointment. Agios is a very pleasant, laid back place & there are a number of other sights like Lato (Minoan town), Panaghia Kera (small but beautiful church) etc that are closeby. Certainly more than enough in the area to make a day of it.

Hope that helps a little. Sorry it's a bit wordy!

#11336 Good Holiday Reading

Posted by Hooly on 18 June 2007 - 02:38 PM in Explore Crete

It's been out a couple of years but I've just started to read "Falling for Icarus" by Rory MacLean, however I did a forum search and can't see any reference to it. It's the story of a man, grieving for the loss of his mother, who comes to Crete to fly his own hand built plane. Hand built on Crete, that is, with the assistance of the local villagers around Anissari.

I don't know if anyone else here has come across it, but so far I've only got through the 1st couple of chapters. To be honest I chuckled so much at these that I decided the best place to read it would be in the sunshine in Crete so I'll take it on my holiday in July.

There's a review of it which I got to via the Hellenic Book Service site on Falling for Icarus review (Apologies moderators if this link is against your rules as I'm aware there are sometimes issues elsewhere). Has anyone else read this?


#11309 Hello From Pete

Posted by Hooly on 13 June 2007 - 01:59 PM in Introduce Yourself

2 quick things.

I'd also like to say how much I like the music links that Wim & Yannis post in the other section of the main forum, they seem give a broad range of the styles available. Excellent to listen to some days as I'm working away in dark, dank .

& Hi Lesley you have a PM.

#11272 Hello From Pete

Posted by Hooly on 09 June 2007 - 04:09 PM in Introduce Yourself

Hi everybody & thanks to those of you who provide such useful information, both on here & elsewhere, to those of us who haven't as much experience.

Been coming to Crete for the past 6/7 years. My better half had previously visited Plakias but for my visits we've always stayed in Prina, a small village in the East between Istron & Ierapetra right in the middle of the narrowest part of the island. Managed a couple of times a year more recently but this year can fit in 3 trips!

Early July will be our last 2 weeks by the pool in Prina as in January we bought a small place in Kalo Horio (holidays as can't retire yet). Still need to sort a builder for the renovation as we've not finally agreed with the ones we saw at Easter, so will do that next month.

Dinny said in one reply about visiting all the other places you need to before coming to Crete as you'll always want to come back. How right that is. Have made some Cretan friends (I hope) on our visits. Still feeling guilty as one of them insisted on giving me his Komboloi (his best & he didn't like his other set) when I asked where I could by some decent ones! :)

If I want a blast of Crete anytime I just sit & watch my DVDs of "Who Pays The Ferryman" or "The Lotus Eaters". Wish I'd seen the island when it was was that unspoilt. But hey ho. Trying to learn Greek at evening class. Hopefully we'll have enough bodies for year 2.

Mad keen Southend United fan. But that doesn't make me a bad person! :D

Oh. And my posts will always be far too long.

#10914 B A Franchise Flights

Posted by Hooly on 30 April 2007 - 01:53 PM in Explore Crete

Hi Ian

Yes, we used the BA flights for our Easter visit at about twice the price I paid last week, which was still reasonable enough IMO. Those were run by GB Airways and indeed one of the flight times changed, albeit by only 10 minutes, just after I booked in December. Flights were on time & as good as one could expect.

My Thomson flight out of Stansted in July has chaged radically since I booked earlier in the year. Instead of 7am it's now 2pm & the return has moved to reflect the later outbound flight.

It does clearly state on the website about the franchise & other codeshare operators, indeed my outwards flight in September is noted as being with Excel, so I have not used them under the impression it was BA itself. But at 51 I'm not sure I can be too precious about that.


#10883 B A Franchise Flights

Posted by Hooly on 27 April 2007 - 01:56 PM in Explore Crete

I received my regular "BA sale" email a day or so ago & as we were thinking of an Octoberish trip to Crete I thought I'd have a browse.

The result being 2 x returns from Gatwick to Heraklion around the end of September/beginning of October for 204 inc taxes etc. I think 51 each way is a decent price, even after my trawling of the charter sites. There were many days in the latter part of the season (ends 30th Oct I think) at those prices yesterday & this morning, if that's of interest to anyone.


#10882 Visits For 2007

Posted by Hooly on 27 April 2007 - 01:47 PM in Meet in Crete

Just booked flights with BA (or at least it's franchised versions) for our 3rd visit for the year.

Fly out evening of Thu 27th Sep & returning to the UK late on Sun 7th Oct. 51 each way inc taxes, which I thought was very reasonable. B)


#10859 Walking Book Updates

Posted by Hooly on 25 April 2007 - 12:37 PM in Explore Crete

I also emailed & had a reply by return. Very good indeed.

Think I can now see where the "ruins" walk we tried earlier this month had changed again, since the update that was with the book I bought, when we didn't exactly get lost but had to retrace our steps.

Interesting to see on that walk where the extension of the New National Road will cut it's way through towards Kalo Horio. There are a couple of road bridges set up on that route. Does anyone know more of a possible completion time or is it just siga-siga?


#10721 Coming To Crete Late March

Posted by Hooly on 14 April 2007 - 10:19 PM in Explore Crete

Hi Ray

No that's further north past Elounda opposite Plaka. Looking at map in one of my 97 guide books of Crete I think it's called Agios Pandes and iirc it's only open one day a year. The kri-kri goats are reportedly there but very difficult (or impossible in my years of going) to see.

As for Spinalonga itself. We've visited it several times over the last few years & went out again on Good Friday. I have to say the island was very overgrown in places & they've got a big job on their hands to tidy it up anywhere near enough for when the full season starts. I'd never seen it that state before but then have always visited later in the season. Ignoring the merits of the book I would've thought "The Island" might provoke more interest in the place & people may be disappointed if it's still like that.

Thanks for the good wishes & the weather was indeed very pleasant by the time we left. Unfortunately we're not in a position to move full time but hope to spend more & more time over the years in Crete, at periods that suit us. Thus the little house, though I'm sure the winter visits will come later in life. Having said that last November was chilly enough!

But one of my frustrations with the builders I spoke to was that they don't want to restore it as a village house they want to make it psuedo modern with bits of marble on steps, perfectly straight walls etc etc. When I told one that my house in England was 200 years old & virtually every door in it was a different shape & style he said "I hate your house". Going to be tricky sorting out exactly what we want I feel.


#10709 Coming To Crete Late March

Posted by Hooly on 13 April 2007 - 06:55 PM in Explore Crete

We got back in the early hours of Wednesday after getting to Crete a few days after Pam. We stayed in Heraklion for 3 days & then, in a change of plan, stayed in Ag Nik over Easter at the Creta Hotel (basically small apartments) which look out over the island, whose name escapes me, where the goats are reputed to be. Exceedingly reasonable (I thought), comfortable & spotlessly clean we had a great stay and were invited to lunch with the owner & his wife on Easter Sunday.

The weather was fine for us, sunny apart from Good Friday, around 20ish when we got there but up to mid 20's+ when we were leaving. Though as Pam said it was a little breezy at times, but in that area it's easy to just head in a slighly different more sheltered direction.

Ag Nik was like a flower opening up as more & more of the shops & bars came to life in the week before Easter. Watched the fireworks, both official & un-, around the lake on Saturday night and they are indeed pretty loud. All in all a fantastic time was had and I certainly would recommend Easter (as a 1st timer at that time of year) as a nice time to go. Even came back looking a bit tanned, must have been the wind.

Can't wait to get back on 1st July for a couple of weeks when, hopefully, the builders will be working on our little renovation project in Kalo Horio.