About Me

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Crete, Greece
Married to the lovely Geoffrey, my soulmate. I have two fantastic big kids,both married, whom I love and miss every day I'm not with them, but I know they're living and loving their lives and we make up for time when we get together.I now have three granddaughters too...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Busman's Holiday

Hoorah! Geoff finished work on Thursday. He's driven 1224 guests on a Jeep Safari since May, with hardly a day off.

So what do we do over the weekend? Of course, we set off on practically the same route in search of some Autumn colours for my blog....

Above is Kritsa, the largest village in Crete, if you squint, you may see why it's called 'To Scorpios'

At 800 metres above sea level we leave the olive groves and wind our way up into the mountains with the Mirabella Bay in a heat haze.

We try to find the ubiquitous goat up a tree but only spy some on a rock.

They don't have too much to eat up here so spend most of their time making interesting shapes of the Holly Oaks.

There are some stunning colours as we climb further up into the country.

including remnants of fires that ravaged many parts of the island and Greece most summers.

The sight of colourful bee hives is common in the mountains when the flowers and plant life are plentiful.
They are small and portable and are moved down to lower ground when there are sufficient flowers growing.

The honey here is prized and is scented with the wild herbs, thyme, sage, dittany and pine.

The pine forests are wonderful and we can now see the mistletoe growing high in the branches, which Geoff will climb closer to Christmas, so I can use it for decoration.

As we wind our way higher and higher the silence is stunning and there's a surprise waiting around every corner......

Below us are small holdings, people growing grapes and a few vegetables.

And we still get a glimpse of the sea from time to time

A tiny church, as close to God as they can get..

Then we start seeing what we have come up here for, deciduous trees in all their glory!

Apple, pear, chestnut, walnuts

We have climbed up to Katharo, which is a plateau 1150 metres (3700ft) above sea level.

Life here is very basic and the shepherds live here with their flocks........

which are lambing now.

Also much of the fruit is grown up here.

Ripe for renovation!!!!!

Because of the barren land and lack of humans this is a marvelous place to come and look for wild flowers, there were hundreds of these crocii. Soon there will be orchids and many others popping up.

In the deep winter months there will be 2 - 3 metres on the plateau and 4 - 5 on the higher peaks

This is looking at Katharo plateau with Lazarus (2085 metres) behind.

Crete has a troubled history and has had many invaders who have left their mark on the island.

The church above has a small reminder of the German occupation during the last war, if you look carefully, you will notice the right hand bell is the nose cone of an unexploded bomb! There are 4 other churches which have bombs for bells...

p.s Katharo means 'clean' or 'pure'


Chris Daly said...

Jude, Your photos are beautiful! What a wonderful way to start the day with a trip to Crete. Thanks! Chris

soulbrush said...

whew these are truly breathtaking, so simple yet so 'whew'. specially the trees, they always take my breath away. interesting too how the autumn colours- although similar - all have such different hues around the world.(obviously the richness of their soil and rainfall)

bindu said...

Thanks for that tour of Crete! Beautiful countryside. Can almost imagine life slowing down and taking its time here. :) Very interesting bomb-bells!

Anonymous said...

No autumnal colours here, so looking at those was lovely.
I think you meant to say there will be snow 4-5 feet deep ;-)

Jackie said...

Oh Thank you so much for that wonderful tour.
I really enjoyed that.
Its so fascinating to get a glimpse of the Island 'interior.'

Lynn Cohen said...

What a job he has...does it make enough to live on? I think if I would tell my DH he'd fly over there tomorrow to sign up. Teaching is so stressfu. He loves to drive. Hummmmmmmmm.

Lovely lovely photos...love the dry flowers, the squat tree and the sheep.