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Plakias / Holiday Report May 2011
« on: May 18, 2011, 10:20:39 AM »
Plakias Report
We have been going to Plakias for twenty years, either May or September, and staying at Elgini Studios for the last ten. Ironically, we moved out of Plakias because it was getting too busy and noisy. The visit this year was a bit weird; partly because the weather was so poor, and partly because Plakias was so quiet, there was little incentive to spend an evening in Plakias, thus acerbating the situation.  It can be debated whether it was quiet because of the weather or because of the financial situation. On Saturday 14 May, which was a nice sunny day, Souda Bay which, like Plakias bay, had no sun umbrellas or sun beds set out, had only about 25 people spread along the whole length whereas, in previous years, the beach and sun beds had been fairly well populated with many cars lining the road side.  

Because the winter has been so wet, the wettest for 40 or 50 years depending or who you speak to, instead of lying on the beach and swimming, we did lots of walking among the profusions of wild flowers. At least it looks like a bumper olive harvest in the autumn though we heard one complaint that this means the price paid for olives will be very low.  

I have posted some pictures on the Internet: http://edelsten.org.uk/PhotoAlbums/Crete-2011/

Being inside most nights, I decided to keep a diary. First couple of days below:

Sun May 1

The journey from Heraklion airport to Plakias took 1 hour and 40 minutes,  inlcuding a stop to fill up with petrol and where I could, though not always where I should,  maintaining a steady 100kmph. It is always quite a joyful experience, on the Spili road, on the downward slope, turning off to Koxare, going through the gorge,  Osomatos, Legkoyia  and, finally, with windows wound down letting the herby aromas,  we are rolling down the main road into Plakias where the sun, bouncing off the waves, is dazzling in its brightness.  We stopped at the supermarket before the Alianthos, partly because parking is easy but also because the vegetable shop there has the best choice; non EU-compliant cucumbers which taste of cucumbers and big red squishy tomatoes which, when topped with local feta and olives, complete the perfect Greek salad. Then onward to Elgini, up the impossibly steep drive way, unload and up the steps to room No. 5, beer on the balcony and flop. It is a long journey from the north east of Scotland.

Monday 2 May
It was a long winter in Crete, some say the wettest for 50 years, with quite a bit of snow still lingering on the hills and (hopefully) the last of the winter rains only the week before. It had been a bit weird watching the weather from home where temperatures in April were sometimes warmer than Crete, while in SE England temperatures reached 27 over the Easter weekend. However, we were going to  benefit from all water because the fields and verges were a profusion of flowers and the air heady with the aromas of herbs.

Almost the first thing we noticed when we arrived in Crete was how green it was, much greener than last year, in May 2010, which was after a particularly dry winter. Where last year there had been dry brown dusty tracks these were now tracks with verges of green mixed with a wide variety of flowers. And up the slopes and on the hills, greens of various hues predominated.
On our first full day we did our orientation walk; up through the tracks and terraces of olives at the back of Elgini, up to Sellia for coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice (sunshine in a glass) then back via a different route through the tracks above Souda, stopping frequently to look at the plant life, stuff we would struggle to propagate at home, here nonchalantly growing at the edge of the path. There were also lots of what looked like wild oats and barley and other tall grasses amongst all the flowers. The olive trees were well on the way to a bumper harvest, though many had infestations on mites which produce white fluff on the stems.

In the evening we headed into Plakias to top up with food items missed the day before - the brain is always a bit fuzzy when we first arrive, had an orange juice at the beach bar (which, at E3 each, will probably not be repeated and, while the sound system is impressive, the choice of music less so- but it is good sunset photo taking point), souvliki on the sea front then beer at Ostracos. For a local May Day holiday, Plakias was rather quiet, no sun beds out on the beach yet, a few places not yet open and the cafes and tavernas with only a few customers. It was just us and two others in Ostracos. Signs of the times perhaps or is it still a bit early in the season?

Bruce Edelsten

PlakChat / ATM in Plakias
« on: December 30, 2009, 09:00:27 PM »

Next year, for the first time since 198? something, we are going to Plakias for two weeks. Since I will (or should) not be taking loads of cash, I will need to use the ATM machine at the town hall. What cards does it take. Or more specifically, does it take Mastercard debit cards.

Thanks for the photos taken in December - it is so green.

Regards to all Plakias regulars


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