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Messages - happyashellas

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Where to go / Re: Triopetra beach
« on: July 22, 2016, 12:02:18 AM »
We drove there going on the road past Ag Fotini. In the end we didn't stop at Triopetra as it seemed like just a large beach with the three rocks at the end. We drove on to Ag Pavlos and stopped there for something to eat and it was very pleasant, but returned to Ag Fotini many times - it's beautifully quiet and frequented by people who appreciate a bit of calm, plus the taverna is very good.

Plakias / Re: Parking for disabled
« on: June 10, 2016, 12:43:33 PM »
The front at Plakias is flat, with the beach on one side of the road and many tavernas, bars etc on the other, so you wont have to walk very far at all. If you are travelling with someone else you can always let them drop you off at the restaurant door and then use  the nearby car park. No restaurant owners would bother about this in the slightest, think of it as pretty much opposite to some of the attitudes you come across in the UK.

Where to stay / Costas Chrysoulas - across the road
« on: November 06, 2015, 01:43:19 AM »
Sadly this year we couldn't get booked up for Plakias, so instead had to settle for Hersonissos on the North coast ( I know, I know). However, we had booked into Plakias at Costa's for a couple of nights and were offered the rooms across the road - that is, if you come out of Costa's past the Apollo place (the back door) it is the apartment above the beige coloured building directly in front of you. These apartments are huge and wonderfully set out. The balcony is roughly the size of  Belgium and could comfortably seat around 25. I never knew this place existed and now have the trauma of deciding if I should ever stay in the main building again should Olympic ever get it's act together again for people from North of the border. I mean, I always thought that room 38 was a great one to get with the balcony at the back and therefore the nice quiet place to imbibe oneself with copious amounts of ouzo of an evening, but now I find myself in a quandry. Main building, or staggering violently across the road for breakfast in the morning? Come on people, I need answers here, which are the best rooms at Costa's?

Where to eat...or not! / Re: To Exepoito
« on: September 28, 2015, 11:10:32 AM »
The souvlaki hut is To Obelisterio (spelling?)

Obelistirio comes from Οβελ (Ovel) meaning a spit and is a normal name for gyros places. Ξεχωριστο means separate, which seems a bit strange for a restaurant name though. Either way, I'll be visiting in the next two weeks, so can't wait.

Gossip / Re: Traditional Greek dance
« on: August 03, 2015, 08:38:31 AM »
On the subject of wrong details, it is one of the downsides of trying to learn Greek. Many sites such as google translate get grammar horrifically wrong at times, but in general can be a useful tool. It tells us that βημα in Greek means step, but that ζάλος means zalos. I have tried several different sites to learn Greek and they mostly come up short in some respect. Livemocha was good for beginners, but has no intermediate lessons. At present I'm using Greekpod101 which seems quite good just now for what I need. Of course the Cretan dialect is sometimes different again, but I can't wait till October when I'll be back in Crete, trying out my latest linguistic talents on the unsuspecting locals.

Gossip / Re: Traditional Greek dance
« on: August 02, 2015, 12:36:50 AM »
My limited Greek isn't too good, but does pentozali mean five steps? If I'm wrong then λιπαμη!
To answer your original question I find it brilliant that the traditional dancing is still carried on today by local people. Tourism can spoil many of these events and pretty soon you can be left with a false heritage that has blossomed only for some tourism merchandising. The over exaggerated plate smashing on islands like Symi for example, where hundreds of plates are smashed for tourist videos has little or nothing to do with traditional Greek culture. Why would it be the local custom to smash plates after a meal?
When you do find yourself "caught up" in a genuine happening, then it doesn't just add to your holiday, it positively makes it. Because I attempted to speak a bit Greek in Agios Palagios, my family were invited to a local taverna where the owner, all his customers and my wife and daughter ended up dancing round a table drinking far more tsikoudia than is good for ones general sense of well being. We also sampled the traditional meal of goats testicles because we tried to engage with some locals. If you ever get offered this dish then I implore you to try it as they are absolutely delicious. Apologies for going on a bit and slightly off track, but when it is genuinely local, unorganised, unplanned and you just happen to stagger upon it because the ancient Gods are smiling on you that day then yes - that is brilliant. Ειναι Ελλαδα, ιτσι δεν ειναι

Where to go / Re: Chora Sfakion
« on: July 31, 2015, 11:49:38 PM »
If you stop before the Y junction at Aradena you will see a rough path on your right hand side. Follow this path for some stunning views of the gorge and bridge. If you feel like a nice hike, turn right in the gorge and there is a winding zig zag path up to the old village itself. Either way, a visit to the village is well worth it. I heard that two boys had a falling out because of a goat which led to family fights and ultimately the villagers deserting the place. Whilst on one hand it is good to see that some of the old homes are being renovated, it does somewhat detract from the feeling of desolation that was so beautiful in the past. Still somewhere I would gladly visit though.

Plakias / Re: Beware there are thieves about !
« on: July 20, 2015, 11:39:27 PM »
The general models of cars on hire are alarmingly simple to break into. I spent many years in the breakdown/recovery service and you get a lot of calls to "lock outs", where people have locked themselves out of their own cars. apart from very modern expensive imports, most cars are quite easy to get into. If it is a top range BMW or similar, breaking the glass with a half brick takes a thief about a milisecond to get in. The general rule is never leave anything of value in a car, no matter if it's only for a minute or so. Someone else having a spare key is a bit dubious as well - do they follow you wherever you go on the off chance you'll park up and leave money in the car - seems pretty unlikely. Sorry for your loss, and I hope you still had a lovely time and won't let it stop you returning.

Where to stay / Re: Alianthos Beach hotel
« on: June 05, 2015, 01:03:08 AM »
My sister in law stayed there 2 years ago and it all seemed very nice, and mostly frequented at the time by Germans although she did say the meals weren't anything to write home about. Should you visit some of the local bars and imbibe somewhat over indulgently in the tsikoudia (raki) I would advise against goose stepping through the foyer whilst giving nazi salutes and saying mein gott in a loud voice whilst being propelled towards your room  by your relatives. Ah, the good times!

Where to go / Re: Food For Thought
« on: November 19, 2014, 10:27:58 AM »
If you wanted proof of this then have a look at Lindos, in Rhodes. All the new hotels are at the top of the hill, and whilst the residents there use the beaches during the day, they tend to spend little in the restaurants and tavernas as their meals are already paid for. We were in Agia Pelagia on the north coast a couple of years ago and the restaurants were very quiet at night because of the same thing. These new complexes claim that they create much needed jobs, which indeed they do, but at what cost to the local economy? Once these big hotels start getting a foothold, then the local apartments suffer. Try getting an apartment in Lindos through the big operators nowadays and it's frightening. The last time we stayed there we were the only people on the coach who had rooms in the village itself, and we had to show our rep where they were. On the island of Symi the day trippers arrive with their pack lunches supplied by their hotels. God I sound depressing! I'm actually rather upbeat and will continue to enjoy the beauty of southern Crete no matter what they bloody build. Γεια σας

Where to eat...or not! / Re: Where to Drink!
« on: November 17, 2014, 10:03:41 AM »
Has anyone tried the new bar along the far end? I think it's called "The Rich and Famous", which ensures that I'll never set foot in the place. Looks very modern with nice landscaped garden at the front, and was empty every time we passed it by.

Where to go / Re: Food For Thought
« on: November 16, 2014, 11:17:51 AM »
Just noticed that they might give the go ahead for the Kavo Sidero plan on the north east of the island. This involves five hotels and a golf course in a previously unspoiled area of the island. Unless the Sitia airport is actually dealt with then it will involve a three hour transfer. They also might have to build new power stations in the area as well. The times they are a changing.....

Where to go / Re: Food For Thought
« on: November 16, 2014, 11:03:49 AM »
Got the times wrong as it's more like one and three quarters of an hour, but this is still well below the three hour journeys many people have in Turkey for instance. Plakias will change, that much is inevitable - I think it was the 1961 census that had five people living there? Hapimag seems quite successful, so it's certainly been done before, but I hope that the rise in tourist numbers would possibly be achieved by turning Greece into a year round destination using the facilities already there. I live in hope.

Where to go / Re: Food For Thought
« on: November 13, 2014, 09:01:22 AM »
I think there might be a bit of wishful thinking going on, to some extent. The large vacant plot with the old signs for a "new" development at the far end would seem to say that some developer already owns the land and permission was granted at some point. A quick look at the Greek islands on google earth shows how many of these obnoxious open prisons (all inclusive eyesores) there are. People like Madonna are investing in these projects. She visited an island and loved the place so much she is contributing in it's destruction by building a place she wouldn't be seen dead in, but she'll make a few quid out of it so all is well. Plakias is only a one hour trip from Heraklion, not far by any stretch of the imagination and therefore ripe for the picking as these places go. We love Plakias for what it is, but the change will come, it only remains to see how soon.

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