About Crete

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Clio
Posts: 1530
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 pm

About Crete

Postby Clio » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:06 pm

Today was one of those days when you are glad not to be Richard Branson because then you would have to holiday in Mustique, and who in their right mind would want to holiday in Mustique when they could, like us, live in Crete?

Starting – very early, before the crowds - at Moires market, to fill up with a small football of a mini karpouzi, with blossomy courgettes the size of my finger, the first plums, and a small home-made anthotiro from Mountain Man. The tab for the coffee break is picked up by a friend of my companion, who is related to half the Messara. “That’s Sophocles. Some kind of a cousin”….

Then on to do a bit of business in an unfamiliar village in the back of beyond, thinking about a second coffee and hoping there’d be somewhere with a loo, so delighted to find a nice cafetereia where an espresso freddo and a Galliko with fresh milk, both made from the best coffee and accompanied by home-made cake, cost three euros. Toilettas exemplary, too..

Ten minutes down the road to Kalamaki, favourite resort a world away from vulgar neighbour Matala. But the forecast 3 Bofor turns out to be a fierce 5 gusting to 6, so the kimata precludes a swim and we only manage an hour’s sunbathe in a sheltered spot before the sand-blasting becomes annoying.

Where next, when the day is still young and we have all of it to play with? North to the mountains,where a summer wind is exhilarating rather than exfoliating. So up, up and up to the flank of Psiloreitis, On to the lovely contour-line road that girdles the mountain from Zaros to Kamares, where we pick it up, and on to the Amari via ancient hill villages, backs to the cliff wall, garlanded with the bougainvillea which seems to grow happily at great heights in Crete.

Between each settlement, the kind of cultivation that doesn’t require watering, or tilling or any kind of regular human presence. Lots of unpruned vines and half-hearted bits of garden. Mid-afternoon, hardly a sign of life but a lit candle in every chapel.

Many stops on that road, just to enjoy the wild buffeting of that warm wind, to look down at glimpses of sea, thousands of feet below, and, I confess, to scrump. My companion who knows these things says you are allowed to take anything that hangs over a fence, anything you can hold in your hands – so a plastic bag would be considered unsporting if not downright illegal.

But the trees which are clearly wild, the vineyards long overgrown, are fair game, and there is nothing in the way of an audience apart from the odd goat, so we fill ourselves and a furtive bag with overhanging trusses of grapes and with figs – fat green ones, small golden ones, and the the smallest purple figettes,

Down to the Amari floor and, the figgy first course having failed to satisfy a healthy mountain appetite, on to what used to be the Best Secret Taverna in Crete but has had sadly to be renamed because it’s no longer a secret, thanks to flaming foreign tourists and social media.

Fame hasn’t changed it a bit – it’s still the prettiest and most inviting of places, with some of the best food. They’re old friends there so there’s a fair bit of hugging and and news-swopping and juicy gossiping before we have what has now become a teatime feast – moussaka for me, yemista for Companion who is observing Little Lent but not counting the half share in a large Mythos and a large dollop of ice cream. All that, with the home-made bread, olives from the trees out back and nibbles of cheese from Yiayia, costs 15 euros.

On the last lap home, great thickets of faskomilia demand that we stop, get out the pruning knives and fill first the ever-present plastic bags and second, the car with the scent, so powerful that every journey for days to come will be herb-scented.

Home now, the face is wind-burned, the kolokithakia have been steamed ready for tomorrow's salad, and the fridge is groaning with fruit. I can hear them tuning up for a long summer night's music-making down in the village centre but tomorrow's a working day and they'll have to dance without me. I'm off to bed, smiling.

Kilkis
Posts: 9799
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: About Crete

Postby Kilkis » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:10 am

Sounds like a perfect day out, Clio, but how you manage to do it in July/August I have no idea. As far as I am concerned outdoor Crete is unfit for human habitation in high summer.

Warwick

TweetTweet
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:35 am

Re: About Crete

Postby TweetTweet » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:13 am

What a lovely day :) I expect you'll be smiling for many days to come :)

Jean
Posts: 927
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:39 pm
Location: West Crete
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Re: About Crete

Postby Jean » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:07 pm

As far as I am concerned outdoor Crete is unfit for human habitation in high summer.

This summer hasn't been very hot. And Amari is quite high up so probably a fair bit cooler than the coast, especially with a meltemi (finally!) blowing.

Kilkis
Posts: 9799
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: About Crete

Postby Kilkis » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:13 pm

I've not seen any evidence of the Meltemi where I am to the south west of Chania. Just an onshore breeze every afternoon, i.e. from the north on the north coast, peaking about 14:00 due to the land heating faster than the sea. It combines with a relatively low steady wind from the west causing a peak wind from north west to south east. Minimum about 5 kph in the early morning and peak about 20 to 25 kph in the afternoon.

I agree not particularly hotter than normal for this time of year. As far as I am concerned in peak summer normal is too hot.

Warwick

Jean
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:39 pm
Location: West Crete
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Re: About Crete

Postby Jean » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:29 pm

I had assumed (maybe wrongly) that we had finally started to have meltemi in the last couple of days. https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/w ... 31.52,3000

Kilkis
Posts: 9799
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: About Crete

Postby Kilkis » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:57 pm

You might be correct, Jean but it doesn't feel like it where I am. Given that the coast here runs pretty much from east to west, the Meltemi can exhibit the same sort of daily variation that an onshore wind, caused by more rapid heating of the land than the sea, so they are not easy to distinguish. Perhaps it is my location, sheltered by many orange groves, that is weakening it. I am guessing you have probably been spending more time at higher altitude where you would feel it undiminished. I actually ventured out for lunch at a taverna today and could just about feel the breeze for a short time around 14:00.

Warwick

Clio
Posts: 1530
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 pm

Re: About Crete

Postby Clio » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:36 pm

Warwick has "not seen any evidence of the Meltemi where I am to the south west of Chania".

Jean believes "we had finally started to have meltemi in the last couple of days".

Here, up highish and towards the south coast, we’ve been battered by strong northerly and nor’ westerlies since May. Almost daily, so that a Force 5 seems normal. I seem to be spending the summer chasing things down the road, and nearly all beach sessions have had to be spent on the calmer north coast because it’s been just too gusty round here, with very heavy seas.

Three views, from posters in different areas/altitudes, and I'm sure we're all reporting accurately – for our area. I don’t know whether it’s due to the geographical location, the topography of the island or shifting weather patterns, but Crete does have an astonishing variety of micro climates.


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