Why Crete?

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
lshall05
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:13 am
Location: Malia

Why Crete?

Postby lshall05 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:16 pm

Sitting at work with about 6 months (fingers, toes and everything else crossed) to go before we make our move to Crete, I've been thinking back to when we first decided that we wanted to make Crete our home.

Our first holiday to Malia was May 2000. The week that we were there was warm enough for us to be in shorts and tshirts (although the locals were still in their winter clothes) but it rained almost the whole time. This gave us a chance (or excuse) to spend time in the bars, mainly on the main road as we prefer 'local' type pubs, and get to know the owners and staff well in a couple of the bars. I think it was after this first holiday that the seed was planted and we started to think about a life in Crete (although probably more as a place to retire to).

When we got back we immediately booked a week in the September. When we went back to the bars everyone remembered who we were and made us feel welcome and we felt as though we’d never been away. We missed the following year as we moved house but when we went back in 2002, again everyone remembered us. Every year we've been back since, we've become more and more friendly with our Cretan friends to the extent that every year it became more difficult to leave at the end of our holiday.

Over the years, we’ve spoken about moving over but at first it was a long term plan and sometimes felt more like a dream than something that would become reality. Our Cretan friends suggested that if we eventually wanted to move over we really should visit in the winter to see the difference because some people can’t cope with the difference. We’ve done that for 3 years now and we actually prefer the way of life in the winter.

After hearing the positives and negatives of living in Malia from expat friends last year (and from what we've learnt through the forums), we made the decision that we would definitely move a lot sooner than we had originally planned.

I think if we hadn’t been made to feel so welcome that first year, we would probably have ended up holidaying elsewhere. We’ve made friends with Greeks and expats and are now treated as part of the family of our Greek best friends there.

So, what was the deciding factor in you making (or planning to make) the move to Crete and what made you decide on the area you live in (or plan to live in)?
Living in Crete!!

Nita
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 4:59 pm
Location: Chania

Postby Nita » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:19 pm

Lynn, I first visited Crete (Agia Marina) in 1998 and didn't want to go back home at the end of the holiday. I fell in love with the island but, more than anything else, the incredibly friendly / hospitable Cretan people. I returned many times, up to four times a year, at all times of the year and made some wonderful friends who, now that I live here, treat me as a member of their families.

During those years of flying back and forth I, like no doubt many others, considered the possibility of moving here, but lacked the courage to make the dream a reality. Finally, one Saturday morning in January 2004, I was in a busy shopping area when a teenage thug mugged me; not one person came to my rescue! That was the deciding moment and just over 8 months later, having sold up etc., I moved here.

I've no regrets but will admit there have been a few wobbly moments when I was ready to pack up and go back - I guess that's normal.

andheath
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:46 am
Location: Sitia - Stay Away - Go West

Postby andheath » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:09 pm

I was sat on a rock in a small cove near Faneromenos this afternoon, the waves sending a refreshing spray all over me every minute or so. H fast asleep on one of those mat things just behind me. The sun on my back and not a sole in sight.

I started thinking of how it used to be, raining, targets, dickhead directors, staff responsibilities, etc. and I just caught myself smiling to myself "How lucky am I" .......................

You need a reason?

Tonight, as we sat quietly in the taverna enjoying our own company, a drink appeared at the table. From a neighbor I am told and why? because we live in his village.

You need another reason?

Tomorrow we go to our first big Greek wedding. Invited just because he knows us.

Any more reasons necessary?
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

kvsteele
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 2:42 am
Location: Latsida Crete

Why Crete

Postby kvsteele » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:51 am

Why not? My husband and I have been spending our holidays each year in Greece in the fall. We started in Athens and spent time on Spetses and on Karpathos and Crete with many trips on the side. We fell in love with the people, the food, the music and the scenery and the history. We have always been embraced by the Greek people and always wecomed back. The reason we chose Crete on which to retire was because it is a larger island and we need to retire to an island that could offer all the amenities that older people would need. Our finances also made retirement on Crete a better possibility...property being half the price than in our area in British Columbia Canada and the cost of living also being much cheaper...therefore our pensions will stretch much further. We have bought a little house in Latsida that gave us everything that we required for our retirement and thanks to this forum we are learning everything that we need to know. We look forward to spending 5 weeks in our new house in October 2008 and learning the ropes! I am very grateful to everyone on this forum including Caroline and her book which has given us so much help. We will be bending everyones ear from now on to ask all the questions before we retire to Latsida in 2011....Thankyou...Vivien

andreass
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:33 pm

Postby andreass » Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:39 pm

same happened to me. 3 years ago i was a tourist here, and now i moved.
But why did u choose Malia? I personally prefer other places. I live in ammoudara now.

paulh
Posts: 2435
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:13 pm
Location: Akrotiri

Postby paulh » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:16 pm

I'm married to a Greek so its somewhat different for me.
We always intended growing up as a family in the UK and then when the kids moved out moving over to Greece but we thought it would be around Salonika area. '95 we came over to Stavros for a holiday as the wife's cousin lives here. Loved it. There was a piece of land for sale 100 metres from the beach, I thought it would at least be a good investment and had the money in the bank so we bought it. Then 6 months later we got a phone call, the house next door to her cousin (200 metres from the sea) was for sale, again I had the money so we bought that too and used it as a holiday home each year also getting it changed to the way we wanted it.
The kids had all left home, my business reached the stage where I had to plough all the savings back in and grow it to the next level in size, Potters Bar crash happened and my journey into London went up from 1 hour.30 min to 2 hours.15min each way! I reached 50 so early retirement was possible.....Stopped and asked myself why was I doing this I already was set up to live in Crete.....no contest......packed everything in, sold up (took a year from decision to being ready to leave) in the UK and moved here. That was 2002. Been back once since then for a wedding.

Plans yes but the move to Crete was an evolution of small factors rather than a deliberate aim. Would I have chosen Stavros if relatives hadn't lived here, don't know but they do and I do so why bother myself about it.

lshall05
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 12:13 am
Location: Malia

Postby lshall05 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:00 pm

Some great responses so far!

Nita, sorry to hear about the mugging, I can't imagine how you felt.

I've always said things happen for a reason. We moved down to London because I had the chance of taking voluntary redundancy in Edinburgh. The company that I work for just now are now talking about closing the business at the end of the year - just at the right time for us to make our move to Crete.

But why did u choose Malia? I personally prefer other places. I live in ammoudara now.

Andreass, you asked why Malia? As you say, you personally prefer other places, we prefer Malia.

It's where we went on our first holiday together, we fell in love with the people and the area. Malia is a lot more than just Beach Road (or Bar Road/Street as the tour operators seem to have renamed it). In the winter none of the bars are open down there, Malia returns to the small town (or large village) that it is.

We've visited other towns and villages when we've been over on holiday but Malia's where our heart and our friends are... Who knows, maybe a few years down the line we might look at moving outside Malia, but we'll never be too far away!!!
Living in Crete!!

Carolina
Site Admin
Posts: 2865
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: Chania, Crete
Contact:

Postby Carolina » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:55 pm

In 1984 I packed in my ‘proper’ job to spend a summer working in the south of France. Being young, free and single I decided to head to Greece for the winter after that and pick up some casual work fruit picking so that I could spend some time ‘travelling’.

Spent a month in Athens being a tourist and then it was time to find work. We’d (two friends and I) been told that we should head to the Peleponnese or Crete for work. We went to Nafplion first but only spent one night there as it was packed out with poor ‘working tourists’ (backpackers) and no jobs – the orange and olive harvest hadn’t quite started. So we got the bus back to Athens the next day and then down to Piraeus and hopped on the ferry to Heraklion.

I’ll always remember that first journey on the ferry. It was packed with Greek families (it was just before Christmas) and we had a Greek phrase book and were trying to have a (obviously somewhat ridiculous!) conversation with a couple of little old ladies who were sitting next to us. We soon had half the lounge in hysterics …everyone listening in to the mad xenoi tourists attempting to read phrase-book Greek. And then .. in stepped the kamakis! A couple of young fandari (soldiers doing national service) who spoke perfect English... well, perfect compared to our Greek. They told us that Chania was the best place for us to find work, a better bet at the time than the Heraklion area.

We took their word for it (being down to our last 30 quid and desperate to find work QUICK) and headed straight on to a bus to Chania. Success! We managed to find work for the next two months there, followed by a couple of months travelling and working around Crete from Kastelli to Ierapetra. But Chania was my favourite place and where I’d made the most friends so that’s where I returned to the next year. And the rest, as they say, is history.

allan
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:56 am
Location: Chania

Postby allan » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:32 pm

Since the 19,9`s we visited many Greek Islands for holidays, Corfu, Rhodes, Patras, Santorini, etc etc but we NEVER visited Crete, don`t ask me why , never seemed to be an island that interested us, maybe too large, too many tourists, not enough quaint villages, or maybe we were blinkered.

Our last Greek holiday was on the island of Zykinthos, fell in love with the people, the atmosphere, the flowers , the disorganised town and we decided that when I could take early retirement that was the island we would retire to.

After much searching on the Net we were disapointed that we could not find our ideal home on Zante.

My friend, who had been visiting Crete for over 10 years suggested we take a look at the properties, life style and peace this island offered.

As Caroline says the rest is history, we just fell in love with Crete and she offers all that I could want for a perfect space to rest, retire and find a new life.

For those who are unaware of my life story, check out, Bereavment in Crete on Carols Web site. Living in Crete.

Life has to go on and it has done.

Ray
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chania, Crete
Contact:

Postby Ray » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:10 pm

This is a really good and interesting thread.

How I fell in love with Crete a lot of years ago is a long story and I have been writing it for a while now, those of you who haven't read it yet can see it on my website - look for the right hand menu under 'pages'. The first part of the story is called Early Days, the second part is Junta Days.

Have fun:
http://crete.wordpress.com

Ray

andreass
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:33 pm

Postby andreass » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:54 pm

now im planning to open a web design and other type of design agecy, here.
cant find the team :(

OrientalE10
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 5:52 pm
Location: Waterlooville, was Tavronitis

Why Crete?

Postby OrientalE10 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:57 am

What a brilliant thread.

Brenda and I got married (2nd marriage) in 1994 and went to Agii Apostoli on honeymoon for the last 2 weeks of October. (I knew the Med very well from my days in the Navy, but had never been to Crete.) Having enjoyed ourselves so much we decided to return the following year to see what he place was like in-season. The return was better than expected and we were very surprised by the reaction of the friends we had made the previous year. Over the years we kept returning to Crete and promised each other that Crete was where we wanted to retire to. Fate does some strange things as I had a heart attack (at 58) in April 2006, but luckily returned to work full-time later that year. The stress level at work was increasing daily, as were the prices in the shops. In February 2007 we made the momumentus decision to take early reitirement, sell our house on the south coast and move to Crete permanently. We achieved all that we planned to do and moved to a rented apartment in Tavronitis on 1st October 2007. The friendliness and helpfulness of the local people has confirmed that we made the right decision last February. We have been through our first winter and now with the family coming out to visit us, we are in a position to share our enjoyment we other people. The master plan was to do this when I reached 65, but arriving here just after my 60th birthday was the best thing we have ever done.
The biggest help in achieving all this was this forum and Caroline's book, for which I thank you all.

Brenda and Nick

SatCure
Posts: 1910
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: Apokoronas

Postby SatCure » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:35 pm

andreass wrote:now im planning to open a web design and other type of design agecy, here.
cant find the team :(

Well, if you need help proofreading the English, you'll find plenty of help here. :)

( Thistikos, milo ta ellinika opos ena moro' ) :(

jeansy
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 3:02 pm
Location: Fodele

why crete

Postby jeansy » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:00 pm

I worked in france when I was retired from the fire service and I had holidays there most years and loved it, but the leader of the opposition did not like france at all, I was then offered a position in Spain but again the opposition party said NO, so it was back to the old humdrum of the UK me now working for the MOD and her working in telesales. Then out of the blue she says my friend is setting up a business in Crete some villas and appartments and thought we might be interested in the idea.
My answer was where the hell is Crete ?? answer being somewhere in Greece, oh says I lets have a chat with them then, so off we go on a 6 day visit to the island and I thought this will do for me, went home sold everything stuck the dosh in a high interest account paid a deposit and it all went pear shaped, flew back to the UK for a chat sorted it bought a run down derelict property and hey ho life is fantastic best thing we ever done.

Cashey
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Kent

Why Crete?

Postby Cashey » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:56 pm

Hello everybody, brand new to the site, but not the Greek way of life.

Have travelled to most of the Greek islands over the years and have enjoyed virtually all of them, the one thing that they all have in common is Greek people, who, as far a I am concerned are in a league of their own, I have also been to various other European places and have found Greek people to be the most pleasant around.

This year was my 1st to Crete, I know, the biggest so why didn’t I go there before? I must admit that I thought that it was going to be over the top and brash, but what a surprise, of course there are the touristy places as there are in most of the islands, but step away from that and you can find some superb places, myself and my family decided to stay in a village called Koutouloufari, what a brilliant place, and not too far from the town and all the bits you may need.

Unfortunately I only had a week in which to enjoy the island, but I think I did a pretty good job of looking at a lot of it, considering that this was my 1st holiday in 4 years and I REALLY needed the rest.
Highlight must have been snorkeling at Vai Beach, and with my son, walking the Samarai Gorge (there and back in one day!).
Without doubt this island has lots to offer and I came home feeling completely empty, this I thought was the normal holiday blues in which I normally go through, however, 4 weeks on and I still have that feeling of emptiness in my stomach.

I have a fairly well paid job in the printing industry designing brochures, but would give that up tomorrow for a fairly quite existence in Crete, I have talked to my wife constantly for the last 3 years or so about doing it, Britain is dead as far as I am concerned, the Britain I knew in the 70s while growing up in the East End of London was great, a sense of community, that is something that I desperately want back, I won’t go on about all that is Britain at the moment, but even if they did start to bring back a lot of things that they have taken away, it would take decades to get back to some sort of normality.

So the question why Crete?
I think the statement above covers it.

I look forward to flying around these pages and reading all the things that are Greek, with the thought that someday I will be typing from the island itself.
Regards
Cashey


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