Return to Crete
We arrived back in Crete on 6th March after nearly three weeks in the UK. In England we had three really cold weeks with snow. We drove to Gatwick in a snow blizzard for our return flight to Athens.  We had intended to catch the ferry from Athens to Chania but the service had been suddenly withdrawn.  The only available flight was business class from Athens to Chania. Quite an expensive experience. The flight is only 35 mins. but includes preferential transport and baggage handling. We were served with drinks and canapes. The coffee cup had to collected quickly just before we landed as the flight is so short.

We noticed that Crete was even greener and the hillsides colourful with trees in blossom. More and more wild flowers have appeared as the days have flown by. It is now 7th April.

Over the past few weeks we have had some great experiences and met some lovely people as we have searched for another property to rent. Lots of people have been really helpful.  We would like to thank them all.

We are now in a house at Provarma which is near Stilos. It is on the edge of the village within walking distance of the local tavernas and mini-market. We have Greek neighbours and the house is owned by a Greek family who have been very helpful. From one balcony we overlook their land: olive trees, orange trees with chickens, sheep and turkeys. There are mandarins and lemons and oranges growing in our garden. There are also flowers, vegetables and herbs.

13th March was Carnival Day in Kalives. The day was sunny and warm and we were able to have breakfast, lunch and pre dinner drinks outside. On Sunday afternoon Kalives was crowded with hundreds of people enjoying the atmosphere of the carnival. Many of them were in fancy dress and there were stalls selling fancy hats, various 'eats' and balloon sellers. It was really hot waiting for the carnival procession. It was quite an experience.




14th March was 'Clean Monday' the beginning of Lent with 40 days to go before Easter. It was a public holiday and many families went out for lunch. Traditionally it is kite flying day. We saw several as we walked around the countryside.
The bakery, in Kalives, had a display of traditional breads for the occasion.



18th March was another dry, sunny day. We went on a trip to the beautiful Amari valley with friends Alan and Margaret. We had a picnic on the yellow and green carpet of flowers in an olive grove. Wandering about an almost deserted Amari village a friendly, old lady, dressed all in black and wearing wellies insisted on unlocking the old church tower for us to climb. There was a great view from the top. She waited for us at the bottom, gave us rosemary and roses which she picked from the hedgerow. She then escorted us back to the village.

20th March we called back to Stilos where we had enquired about renting a house. As we walked passed a taverna people we had met a couple of days previously insisted we joined them at their table for lunch.
21st March the weather continued dry and sunny. We went for a walk by the river near Stilos.  A family were picking oranges from their trees and we were given an armful. Although there is still fruit on the trees the orange blossom is appearing and the perfume is wonderful. We continued onto Provarma where we met with Yiannis and Niki to confirm that we would rent their house and move in on 1st April.
22nd March we went for a walk around Douliana (near Vamos) and called in to see Vaso at her wonderful mini market. She had to take her children to Kalives and asked us to wait for her.  She made us welcome with tscouthia and walnuts and left us sitting comfortably at the table while she was away.
24th March warm and sunny. We had a picnic on the beach near Petres gorge and then walked to the gorge where we spent a pleasant afternoon.
We have noticed that preparations are well under way for the tourist season.  Shops and tavernas are being painted and cleaned. There are also a few holiday makers around.

25th March was Independence Day in Greece - another sunny day and a public holiday. There were military parades and processions everywhere. We joined local people for lunch at Lake Kornas.

The weather continued to get warmer. On 27th March it was 89 degrees at 15.45.

28th March was my parents 65th Wedding Anniversary. I was sad not to be with them and this is one down side of living outside the UK. My sister made their day special and several relatives and friends called to see them during the day.

29th March we had a wonderful day out. We went along the north coast to Rethmyno and then through the mountains to the south coast, along the coast and back along the Imbros gorge road to the north coast again.



30th March we were welcomed to Yiannis' and Niki's house and given coffee and spoon sweets.
The next three days we spent gradually moving to the house at Provarma. We left the olive grove in Vamos on 1st April. It had been a wonderful five months. Jim and Tilly were great neighbours and friends.
Time has defeated me again. Photographs and more notes next time.
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