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Topics - Stuart & Hilary

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Holiday Companies / Easyjet
« on: September 10, 2015, 08:15:59 AM »
Easyjet spring flights released today.


Gossip / Cheaper Holidays?
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:24:21 AM »
It looks as though Crete holidays should work out considerably cheaper this year with the exchange rate as it is. Just back from the Canary Islands and our credit card statement is showing one euro at 74p. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the euro was almost £1.


Gossip / The Cretan Lyre
« on: December 21, 2014, 08:59:51 AM »
Just a short video (5.20) which beautifully captures that special Cretan atmosphere.


Published on Dec 18, 2014
A cinematographic "work in progress" about "Holy Wood", the Cretan lyre and its legendary performer Vasilis Skoulas by Corinne Falagaris and Bengt Danneborn
Take a look at their facebooksite, www.facebook.com/VasilisSkoulasHolyWood?¬ref=hl
And "like" it.

Gossip / Patrick Leigh Fermor
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:48:32 AM »
Dolores Payas was talking on the BBC radio 4 Midweek programme yesterday about her time with Patrick Leigh Fermor during his final years. Her book “Drink Time”

A few quotes from reviewers whilst I await my copy.
“Dolores Payás has written a delightful and moving account of colourful adventurer, Patrick Leigh Fermor, a snapshot account of his final years surrounded by his drinks, his guests, and above all, his books. This short book conveys a portrait of a man who became indomitable, proud and charming in old age, while retaining his other attributes. An original and witty study in nostalgia, mixed with personal fortitude, right up until the end”.
“I really enjoyed this memoir by Dolores Payás about her time spent with Paddy Fermor during the last two years of his life while translating some of his books into Spanish. She spent considerable time with him as a guest at his house in Kardamili, in southern Greece while they worked on points of translation and a close friendship developed. Yet it was over the dinner table and during the strict schedule of `drink time' (hence the title) that Payás gained some stunning insights into the workings of Fermor's inimitable mind, and his glorious and unique private world in Greece”.

Where to go / Food For Thought
« on: November 11, 2014, 11:17:49 AM »
Extracts from Yesterday's Daily Telegraph. By Oliver Smith

Are traditional Greek holidays under threat?
Greece plans to attract an additional 9 million tourists annually by 2021 - but what does that mean for the unspoiled island life that lures so many Britons?

The tourist board claimed too that early signs indicate 2015 could be another record year

A record 15.3 million holidaymakers visited Greece in the first eight months of the year, with arrivals from Britain rising 16 per cent, according to the country’s tourist board.
This was a 22 per cent increase on 2013, a year in which Greece had already improved significantly on the losses felt in 2012 following the Arab Spring, receiving a total of 17.9 million arrivals.
The tourist board claimed too that early signs indicate 2015 could be another record year.
And there’s no evidence that the country is resting on its laurels. The Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises recently said it expects at least 27 million to take a holiday in Greece each year by 2021, up from around 18 million in 2013.
Olga Kefalogianni, the Greek minister for tourism, suggested the country’s continuing popularity is down to the value for money it offers to both budget and high-end holidaymakers.

Licenses awarded for new accommodation have risen by up to 150 per cent, with an emphasis on luxury properties. There are also plans to increase the frequency of flights to smaller islands, and even - overambitious, perhaps - talk of a “gastro-taverna” culinary revolution.
Such plans are likely to raise fears that the unspoiled island life that attracts so many Britons to Greece is under threat. For many, it is rustic accommodation and simple cuisine that make the country so alluring.
These worries are unfounded, according to Ms Kefalogianni.
“This is a major consideration for us – our strategy is towards sustainability,” she said. “The natural environment and the culture should be maintained and preserved. This is what brings tourists to Greece.”
Instead, she wants to encourage holidaymakers to visit lesser-known parts of the country, and for Greece to be considered more of a year-round destination.
“We want to expand our offering to new parts of Greece, such as the mountainous area in the north – it’s not just about sea and sun,” she added. “There’s also the recent discovery of ancient artefacts at Amfipolis, which will attract new visitors to that region.”
Thessaloniki is being touted as an alternative city break destination (“a history spanning 2,300 years, a burgeoning food scene and a vibrant nightlife”), and base for exploring Amfipolis, the Halkidiki peninsula and Lake Kerkini, a haven for birdwatching and outdoor activities such as canoeing and riding.
The “beautiful, well preserved” region of Epirus, meanwhile, has also been earmarked. It is “one of the most exciting destinations for adventurous walkers and hikers,” says Ms Kefalogianni, and is bisected by the world’s deepest gorge.
And for those in search of a more recumbent holiday, the Pelion – between Athens and Thessaloniki; the Peloponnese – the southernmost part of mainland Greece; and the Small Cyclades – a sub-group of the Cyclades (which include Santorini and Mykonos), all of which are known for their beaches, are being targeted for growth.
Interest in Greece’s cultural attractions remains strong. Visits to museums leapt 20 per cent between January and June, compared with the same period last year, according to the tourist board. That included a 20 per cent rise in visits to the Acropolis Museum; 14 per cent to the National Archaeological Museum; and 95 per cent to Heraklion Archeological Museum. To further entice classical enthusiasts, there are plans to extend opening hours at dozens of museums and archaeological sites and develop smartphone apps to provide information to visitors.

Holiday Companies / Ryanair
« on: October 19, 2014, 06:26:58 PM »
Ryanair flights are out for summer 2015. Able to book yesterday for September/October 2015. Two of us return for £251.
Have just got back from this year's holiday (Bristol/ Chania) with Ryanair and no problems.


Where to go / The final organised evacuation from Crete 1943
« on: October 04, 2014, 08:43:01 AM »
A booklet for under 5 euros commemorating the Tripiti evaluation in May 1943.
Large numbers of soldiers moved to the West of Crete in the summer of 1941 with the objective of finding a boat that would take them to North Africa.
Many schemes ended in failure and some soldiers left the area but a considerable number stayed and were taken in by Cretan families at considerable risk. A loosely connected underground community slowly formed and resulted in the Tripiti evacuation in May 1943 which was the last of the specially organised rescue operations.
The booklet lists many of the families that helped the mainly Australian and New Zealand soldiers and lists those soldiers involved.
In 2013 a plaque to commemorate the evacuation was erected  at Tripiti Cove. Tipiti can be reached by water taxi from Sougia.

PlakChat / Cabin Baggage
« on: May 17, 2014, 10:03:11 PM »
Having travelled for some 15 years with cabin only luggage we have recently found on Amazon two rucksacks designed especially for the cabin. We purchased two “Cabin Max Backpack Flight Approved Carry On Bags Massive 44 litre Travel Hand Luggage 55x40x20 cm” and found they worked brilliantly with easy jet. No more weighing or measuring and they fitted perfectly into the Easy Jet Baggage Gauge.


Holiday Companies / EasyJet & Ryanair
« on: December 19, 2013, 08:54:49 AM »
For anyone interested Easyjet have just realeased their flights to Crete from mid September 2014. Normally we fly Bristol to  Iraklion which is showing £322 return for 2 but this year we are trying Bristol to Chania with Ryanair which is at £252 for 2.


Gossip / Easyjet
« on: September 04, 2013, 01:06:40 PM »
EasyJet have released their spring flights today. Some nice cheap deals.


Where to go / North Coast
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:50:19 AM »
Although we will be in Plakias in October for a week we do like to visit somewhere different each year. Can anyone recommend somewhere near the coast between Iraklion and Chania. Not too overrun with people. We have tried Georgioupolis.


Holiday Companies / Ryanair
« on: December 22, 2012, 10:15:49 AM »
I read that Ryanair is to open a base in Chania & that Bristol is one of the UK airports to be used. That seems good news for those of us in the West Country who can now for the first time fly into Chania  without going to Gatwick. However  too late for 2013 because we have already booked with easyjet.  Ryanair seem to receive more customer complaints than most other airlines but I wonder if we  should just forget that for the convenience of arriving in Chania by air. Also I believe that the Chania airport experience is a lot better than Heraklion.
A  very  happy Christmas to all Plakians & great holidays in 2013

Holiday Companies / Bristol - easyJet
« on: December 06, 2012, 07:00:54 PM »
For anyone in the West Country; easyJet have just relased their flights to Heraklion from 11.9.2013 to 2.10.2013.


PlakChat / Strikes
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:25:43 PM »
I understand that there is another Greek general strike on September 26th. Last year our flight left Crete early to avoid being delayed.


Where to eat...or not! / Fix
« on: September 21, 2012, 07:32:55 PM »
Not sure if Fix has been mentioned before but I am sure the hardened drinkers in the forum will know all about it. It is a Greek 5% Premium Lager Beer introduced in 1864 but this is the first year we have noticed it. Here in Sougia & earlier in Paleochora. Like Mythos it goes down well after a hot day on the beach. I believe it went out of production many years ago but is now making a come back.

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