Monday, September 27, 2021

Samariá Gorge, Botanical Gardens, and 76 Olives

Europe's longest gorge at 16 km is the Samariá Gorge in Crete - we decided we would pay it a visit on one of the cooler days this week. It's a brilliant drive up to the gorge - lots of hairpin bends and stunning views. At the start of the path leading down to the gorge we looked down at the incredible depth with some trepidation. There were lots of other people there, all a lot younger than us. Most people seem to walk the entire gorge (5 to 7 hours), and get a boat and bus back. We had decided that we would only do a short bit and turn around. We soon found that while walking down the path to the gorge was quite easy - coming back would be a lot more difficult. The further we went down, the tougher it would be. There's no shame in admitting that we felt that we would not be up to the return trip, and we abandoned it after just a few hundred metres. 

On way back from the mountains we stopped off at the lovely Crete Botanical Gardens. We got a nice hike in here as it is a 2 km walk down and up the side of a mountain. September is not the best time of year to see the gardens in all their glory as most flowering plants had shed their flowers. There was still lots of fruit and tropical plants from all over the world to see. 

76 olives?

In the Olive Tree restaurant at the end of the gardens we had lunch. I had a dish called "Walk to the Village" which was a tomato and olive fried dish. Delicious, but I never had so many olives on one plate. I had to count them - 76 in total.

Monday, September 20, 2021

First time on a Jet Ski!

Riding motorcycles for most of my life should mean that I take to a Jet Ski like a duck to water - right? 


We hired two Jet Skis for the first time yesterday and took to the waters with just a short lesson in how to turn the machine on (green button) and off (red button), and how to accelerate. When that 20 second lesson was over I was suddenly riding out to sea. I found the machine very difficult to control - nothing like a motorcycle. I kept trying to turn the handle as a throttle and bending like on a bike to turn. It took me a long time to get used to the handlebars and how to control them. I had a lot of stopping and starting. Nevertheless, I had great fun when going in a straight line at top speed. Turning was a different story, I fell off the Jet Ski when it was almost stopped.

Learning something new is good fun - especially when it involves engines and speed!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

On Holidays

It's a strange feeling going on holidays for the first time as a retired person. Despite being retired for almost a year now, I am on my first "holiday" abroad. Today I am in Crete enjoying the sunshine for a couple of weeks. Normally, holidays are a break from work and all that goes with it. The moment I feel that I am finally on holidays after months of work was always when I have a beer in the sun at lunch time on my first day. Though just as enjoyable as always, it doesn't feel quite the same. The end of holidays always brought that resigned feeling having to go back to work. 

I am now enjoying learning about being on holidays without the before and after boundaries of work!

Cheers from Crete!