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31st January the Cretan winter arrived.  The temperature dropped to 40 degrees and below. We did not see much of the sun again until 12th February. Most days it rained. We also had sleet and hail. The electricity supply was off on a couple of occasions.
2nd February we enjoyed another day out with friends Alan and Margaret. This time  the weather was cold and rainy. In spite of this we travelled to Milia. This is a traditional village in the White Mountains, south west of Hania. The road has been improved but it is still quite a challenging drive up into the mountains. The village has been restored and is in a picturesque setting. The taverna in Milia had a warm, welcoming, wood burning stove.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch - all the food is produced organically.
The scenery was spectacular on the drive and we saw several rainbows spanning the valley and mountains.


 


 

5th February our neighbours returned from the UK. We called round for a 'catch-up' and enjoyed delicious hot cross buns and tea by the warming, log fire. This meant that our 'cat caring' duties were over. We were relieved that all four cats were fit and well.
 
12th February we woke to blue skies and sunshine.  The wind had moved to a southerly direction and it was much warmer.  We took advantage of the good weather and drove towards Sfakia along the Imbros gorge road into the White mountains.  Just twenty minutes from Vamos we arrived at a winter wonderland scene. The road is kept clear over to the southern coast of Crete allowing travellers to enjoy the wonderful snowy vistas.  Parents take their children to play in the snow.


 


 

13th February was another lovely day so we decided to join the Greeks on their weekly outing for Sunday lunch at a taverna. This time we choose the 'Eagle's Nest' at Samonas high in the hills above Stilos and Neo Horio. The taverna was crowded but we were just in time to find a table. Most of the Greek people were in large family groups and we appeared to be the only English couple there. We again had a very enjoyable lunch rounded off with a gift of raki (tschikoudia] and chocolate cake.


 


 

14th February Valentine's Day. Lots of cards and goods in the shops and reports on TV.  Another warm day.  We visited Souda bay to look at the ferries, which leave every evening for Piraeus - the port for Athens.  The wind grew stronger after dark and became gale force. We know that Crete has strong winds but the ferocity of them still amazes us.

This will be the last update for a while. We are returning to the UK on 17th February and coming back on 6th March.

 
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