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Just Now In Crete - January 2010

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:55 pm
by Clio
The temperature has finally come down from its unprecedented heights. (According to the TV News, New Year’s Eve in Athens was, at 21.6°, the warmest since record began 112 years ago. And in Heraklio the beaches were busy as the mercury hit 29.8°, highest for 60 years.) Today Chania is reading 16°, and here higher up it’s a degree less. “Monday will need caps and gloves” says a charmingly-translated forecast.

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:11 pm
by SatCure
For the record, this site is about the most accurate for Xania, but bear in mind it's for sea level. Those of us higher up can expect lower temperatures. ... ct=WEATHER

Rethymnon ... g_id=en-gb


Looks like Monday will indeed be a tad "chilly". (Gosh, how quickly we become acclimatised!)

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:51 pm
by Kilkis
For Chania I like to look at the one Martin linked and then take an average.


Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:01 pm
by Clio
I like the Greek Met Office one at

and also

because I can get very localised forecasts. If I'm going to be in Rethymno town or Chania I use accuweather or weatherunderground.

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:44 pm
by Clio
Just now in Crete we’ve been celebrating Θεοφάνεια, which is the same as Epiphany and means the same – “manifestation of God”. But whereas in the West it marks the coming of the three kings, here we don’t make so much of the Magi and January 6 mainly celebrates the baptism of the adult Jesus in the river Jordan by St John Baptist. So it’s the day for the παπάδες το bless of all bodies of water, followed by the race by lusty local lads to retrieve the Holy Cross from the harbour or wherever.

The ‘in’ place to watch it this year in Rethymno province was at Potami, where the new Amari dam is now full and was due to receive its priestly pat on the head. Food and music for the 5,000 were promised, along with a display of yachts.

Being perverse we went to the south coast as usual, and joined the 300 or so locals at the smart new harbour where the venerable prelate as always had to have several goes at tossing the cross dramatically into the deep (the first two or three times it just plops into the shallows at his feet, so No 2 Priest has to wind it back in hastily while we all talk among ourselves and the lusty lads shiver a bit.)

Long after, just as we were finishing lunch, we were astonished to notice that on this late January afternoon – a cold choppy sea, stiff chilly breeze, lowering clouds – two particularly lusty lads were having a lovely time with their own kind of ceremony of the waters – surfing merrily for an hour in Plakias Bay as if it were July.

Theoretically it’s back to work tomorrow except that Jan 7 is of course the Baptist’s own name day, so we’ll be forced to party a bit with all those Iannises. Χρόνια πολλά!

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:44 pm
by filippos
Took a few pictures, today at Kalyves' relatively small and unspectacular event at the harbour.

Rather them than me - the breeze was a bit chilly even if the water wasn't too cold.

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:28 pm
by Clio
Hoorah for the lass in pink, I say. Iconoclastic or what?

Great pics Filippos.

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:46 pm
by Ray
Yes, great pictures certainly. We spent the day in Kissamos for a change.

Kyrstyn took some pictures here:


Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:29 pm
by xirosternifellow
filippos, thank u for great pictures, well done

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:22 pm
by filippos
Thanks, folks. [Little secret: a camera capable of taking up to 18 pics at a rate of 5 per second helps cature the action].

Shame the light wasn't brighter.

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:34 pm
by SatCure

If you are sharp you can see the cross hitting the water in the first frame.

(I don't know what my camera frame rate is but it seems fast enough.)

The guy who stops swimming is the one who got the cross. He kisses it and passes it on. I don't know why the others carried on swimming right past him.

Posted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:29 pm
by Hudson

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:08 pm
by Clio
Just now in Crete, the κούμαρα are ripening in the mountains. The κουμαριά on which they grow is the lovely arbutus unedo, or strawberry tree, which is found all over the Mediterranean and also in the west of Ireland but not, in the wild, in England. It’s a very handsome shrub which produces masses of beautiful white flowers in November and December. Since the fruit takes 12 months to ripen, the tree carries both mature fruit and flowers at the same time. I didn’t have the camera with me to snap them in situ, but here is a picture, and here another, of the fruits I picked today. They are the size of a cherry, with a rough skin, and are fully ripe when they turn a deep scarlet. In Portugal they make liqueur from them, and my friend Eleni also uses them for one of the many fruit-flavoured rakis which she sells in her shop. In some countries they also make jam, but the raw fruit can be toxic in large quantities.


PS I am still wrestling with the technicalities of posting a link rather than the picture!

this is Paul editing Clio's original to see what I can show re the image ... G_7443.jpg

this above is just a copy of the url which leads off to the location of the picture.

How Clio posted ( with [img]in%20front%20and[/img]after the url) still goes off to get the picture but brings it back and puts it in the message purely for the duration the message is open. I does not put the picture on our database which can be proven if Clio went off and deleted one of the pictures from photobucket and then all we would then see here is some form of "picture not found" message even though it has already has been shown here.

to show the picture via a URL text uses


this is in the format [abc=http://etc]anytextyouwant[/abc]

abc is actually the letters "url" (no quotes) but I cannot put those in because they would try work. The http:// is actually the full url as per the first one I did in this edit. The anytextyouwant will normally come up coloured as a link (usually blue) but you can colour that text as Filippos has done higher up the thread

Clear as mud? well I tried. Clio you can go to edit your post but not to change anything just to see the actual underlying codes

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:48 pm
by filippos
Like the pics and the fruits look disgustingly tempting but I'm not sure about
... the raw fruit can be toxic in large quantities.
"What's "large", by the way?

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:56 pm
by Clio
Not that large! There is an ancient belief that the “unedo” name suggests people will only want to eat one. This is certainly not true; they’re quite tasty, with a similar texture to wild strawberries, and I’ve often nibbled a couple on winter walks. But on a volta some years ago there were lots of ripe ones, and I ate a good handful, perhaps 20 or so of the berries.

It was a beautiful day, I was feeling carefree and very fit, when out of the blue came a great wave of nausea. I was terribly sick, went home and was sick some more, and then fell into a very deep sleep. Woke next day quite ok. At the time I found just one reference, on an Irish website, to the toxic effects of the fruit, but there’s now quite a bit more info available. Dogs seem to be very prone to suffer the emetic and narcoleptic effects, so should maybe not be let off the lead in the vicinity.

Paul: I know you tried. So did Filippos. I’ll get there in the end.