ΜΑΡΤІΟΣ - March - 2006

Wednesday, 1st March -
March started warm and sunny with breakfast and lunch outside. I attended the final art class - six weeks have flown. It has been really interesting although I am not quite ready to exhibit!

The next couple of days were warm and dry with blue skies and sunshine. The snow is gradually disappearing from the mountains. On Friday afternoon we enjoyed a walk by the Diktamos gorge which is now dry again.
 

Gorge with road bridge to Stilos

One of the many wild flowers


This is the planting season and land is being cleared ready for new crops. The tidy-up of the villages has begun. Tavernas are having a facelift ready for the tourist season. The pot holes in the roads, caused by the winter rains, have been filled in, making driving less traumatic.

Saturday, 4th March -
I undertook my first mountain drive and we took a picnic to another favourite spot - the church at Tsakistra where we parked and then walked into the mountains. It was a lovely day with blue sky and sunshine. Roy's day was made complete when he watched a 'Bearded Vulture', for about 20 minutes, through his telescope.

Wild flowers are appearing everywhere. Plants are growing at a fast rate.

The next day was glorious weather so we went to the mountains again.
 

Abandoned village

Tsakistra church

Lesser Celandine


It was carnival time in Crete - a chance to feast and celebrate before the Lenten fast begins. Children and adults wear fancy dress costumes and masks. The shops are full of a wonderful selection of costumes.

Monday, 6th March - 'Clean Monday' marks the beginning of the forty day fast leading up to Easter. Kite flying is a tradition on this day.

It was hot and sunny again with blue skies - 23C. I drove to Maheri gorge where I left Roy birdwatching while I wandered down the hill to explore Maheri. I walked around looking at the picturesque houses but it was too hot for much exploring!
 

Road bridge to Maheri

Village house

Maheri taverna


Early evening the wind became really strong again. Everything outside rattled and banged most of the night.  We then had torrential rain and a storm. The weather is certainly varied.

Tuesday, 7th March -
today weather is cooler with just a few glimpses of the sun. One advantage is it gives me a chance to update the website. As I sit here by the window I can see freesias and honeysuckle flowering in the garden. Today we had salad from our own small patch of garden for lunch.

The next few days continued to be cool with some rain and glimpses of the sun. More snow fell in the mountains.

Friday, 10th March - we called in at Vamos to see Tilly - who had been our neighbour during last winter.  We enjoyed a chat and coffee. As the weather was brighter we enjoyed a walk at Douliana.

The next day we enjoyed lunch at Alan and Margaret's house at Exopoli. Early evening the wind became stronger and we had rain. The wind increased overnight with lots of 'banging' and 'rattling'.

The next few days were cooler with rain showers. We still managed to enjoy some local walks during the brighter spells.

 
Saturday, 18th March - blue skies and sunshine again so we took a picnic to lake Kournas where it was warm and sunny.

That evening we had been invited to a meal in Vamos with Tilly and Jim. We enjoyed a delicious meal and talked for several hours. It was Sunday by the time we returned to Provarma.

Sunday, 19th March - we had a walk by the river near Stilos. The recent rains and melting snow had swollen the river and the bad weather had created natural dams of rubbish, wood and bamboo.  


That evening at 5 p.m. we had been invited to the home of some Austrian friends in Provarma village.  Our hostess had baked a huge traditional Austrian cake layered with cream and crammed with chocolate.  We enjoyed this with coffee and then had an Austrian liqueur. It was very enjoyable.

Roy's back problem persisted so he was referred to a physiotherapist in Souda. He attended twice a week for the next few weeks.

The weather became warmer again - it was t-shirt weather.

Thursday, 23rd - the wind had been increasing and it was very warm. The wind brought more of the red dust from Africa.  The air was full of dust obscuring the sun. The temperature reached 30C.

I was delighted to receive a beautiful bouquet of pink lilies, pink and red roses for 'Mother's Day', from Ian, Jan and Sophie in England. 


The next couple of days were cooler but dry and overcast. We were pleased to received a box of oranges from our Austrian friend.

Tuesday, 28th March - my parents, in England, celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. It would have been nice to have been with them.

Wednesday, 29th March - blue sky and sunshine all day so we took a picnic to Melidoni. It was warm, sunny and peaceful. The herbs scented the air and there

were lots of butterflies and flowers. This was the day of the eclipse of the sun and the light was subdued. It was still 22C at 5.30 p.m.

March ended with blue skies and sunshine. The build up to Easter continues with everything being tidied and made ready for Easter and summer. The chanting of the priests was often heard throughout the valley.

 
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