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Boiling Snail

Member Since 06 Nov 2006
Offline Last Active Apr 22 2007 06:24 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Accomodation In Matala

18 April 2007 - 10:01 AM

We book a car online in advance wherever we go. Sites like autoeurope.com will get you a Hertz, Avis etc. car cheaper than booking online with Hertz or Avis. Autoeurope book large numbers of cars daily and negotiate cheaper pricing.

Booking in advance is less worry and less work when you get there - trapsing around small rental car dealers looking for the right price is not always a holiday favorite with the kids. We have never had trouble picking up a car we booked online, so we don't worry about the reliability of online reservation.

However, I'm talking about our trips round Europe. Crete is different. It is very easy, we have found, to find a car once you are there. One car we booked in advance online turned out to be from a small dealer 200m from the hotel.

So our advice would be don't worry, look for a car once you"re there. You're not arriving in August with five beach-hungry children, so you'll have time to find a good deal. Have a good trip. And drive safe.

In Topic: Containerharbour In Timbaki, Part 1

20 November 2006 - 08:26 PM

Reading your updates, Ton, is like watching a heart monitor with our hopes jumping up and down all the time. Fingers crossed.

In Topic: Containerharbour In Timbaki, Part 1

10 November 2006 - 05:46 PM

Again, thanks for the invaluable update, Ton. The point about the unions is a good one. I couldn't understand what the problem over expansion of existing ports was.

If it went to a referendum, how long do you think it would take? Euro referendums took months to set up in other countries, didn't they?

In Topic: Containerharbour In Timbaki, Part 1

10 November 2006 - 09:33 AM

I don't want a good discussion to degenerate any further. Thanks for your reply Retired in Crete.

I looked at the discussion on BritsinCrete (let's face it, it is a vulgar title for a site). I didn't find evidence for your assertion that most posters changed their minds. Just Ken1 who thinks that the container port may be an alternative to tourism. You should check and provide names of posters who changed their minds. I think it could possibly be your imagination.

I very much liked your assessment of tour operators : "The sole purpose of tour operators is to generate profits which can be distributed to the company owners and shareholders." I am stunned that you don't make the same connection with investment in large industrial projects such as container ports. Messara locals will not invest in the port and will not reap the rewards. A new local job market will only be generated if the containers travel by road or rail to Heraklion, as at Felixstowe, UK. Since they will merely "jump ship" the development will not generate a boom in the local economy.

Basically there is no alternative to tourism to revive a local economy. Other than wine, no new agriculture can have the same effect. Industrial investment can. But is Greece's last unspoilt coastline the right place for this?

I was very happy to find two posts by StevenPen on page 5. The Marine Minister says : "Timbaki will be given the opportunity to become a large town over the next few years". Retired : are you really so naive as to take politicians at their word? Does he have evidence for this?

The article by Greek lawyer Androulakakis says everything. "Let’s look beyond the short-term profits and consider the long-term evils for our land. We must not let Timbaki become another Ano Liosia, a profitable rubbish dump, which will however be permanent and irretrievably destroy the natural landscape. We have fought so hard to prevent the construction of a new landfill site in the Timbaki area; will we now fling open the gates to something so much worse?"

Like most of the population of Crete, I guess, you are simply living on the North Coast.

In Topic: Containerharbour In Timbaki, Part 1

08 November 2006 - 11:05 AM

I don't know about Stanstead but Heathrow is an expansion of a Second World War airport. I lived in its flight path for a year - many people do. Later on I used it for business. I now live in France and don't use it at all. As Heathrow results from a constant expansion over 50 years it does not compare with a container port at Timbaki. Nobody was "asked" about it, as you state, and no referendum has ever been held about it.

The French government want to build a large airport to serve Paris and may start from scratch. Many acres of farmland will be taken over. This project can better be compared to Timbaki as there is no existing airport. But as local inhabitants object, and following your logic of comparison, Timbaki locals should vehemently object.

But, France is not proposing a referendum on the construction of the airport. And it does not ruin precious animal habitat, or coastline. So, it's a very different monster. Also, unlike France, there are alternatives to the Timbaki project, such as expansion of existing ports.

You obviously haven't seen the coast of Italy which was ruined in the 1950s by motorway and unrestricted house building. It is a sad experience to tour the coastline of Italy. And not just for tourists. Italian authorities have learnt from history and now apply very strict planning laws on countryside house renovation.

Spain is worse, as everybody knows. And many Spanish people regret it. Benidorm (I think) town council not so long ago decided to reverse the trend with stricter controls.

The coastline in Southern Crete is a legacy. Noone yet regrets unrestricted exploitation of it, but will one day. It is almost the last unspoilt south-facing coastlines in Europe. I personally hope the beauty can be preserved and local industry find stability without unrestriced development. Some people have argued that a container port would not contribute to the local economy. It would benefit China, etc, and other parts of Europe.

Holidays at the seaside have a long tradition. What did your father do for the summer? Come to think of it, why have you retired to Crete? Was it for its potential for foreign investment and industrial growth? I don't think so. Airports in Europe are experiencing growth in part due to cheap flights that take us all on holiday. What would we do without beautiful places to holiday in?

Your argument is confused. "if only the people around Heathrow and Stanstead Airports had been asked"? Heathrow does not result from a referendum. No one was "asked". "the port will affect the whole islands economy"? You will have to explain how, since noone has yet provided a convincing argument that profits will not be pumped to foreign companies.

The "explore crete" forum would benefit from a preserved coastline in Southern Crete. And here's the real issue. A countrywide referendum is a way for the Marine Minister to win support for the project. I personally hope the project will not find the support it needs. Don't you? Why did you retire to Crete? For its quiet, its splendour, or its industrial areas?