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Messages - Richard

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Where to eat...or not! / Re: Fresh Kalamari
« on: November 03, 2018, 03:35:19 PM »
I don't know for sure, but I'll bet that Gio Ma and Siroco do, as well as Tasomanolis.

I can't recommend Tasomanolis, however, as the standard of service, in my experience, has been appalling. I've sat down, waited, and walked back out a couple of times, not sure the staff even noticed my existence.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2019
« on: November 01, 2018, 07:24:44 PM »
I had a look at the Olympic site earlier this year (I think) and the charge for a taxi transfer was easily 50% more than the rate charged by the local firms in Plakias.

Also, even the cost of the 'basic' accommodation seemed to have multiplied.
In response to a previous poster, I like the idea of taking the bus a lot, and making it a part of the holiday, but I'm a little awkward on my feet at the moment, so that's not for everyone.

The last few years we've used BA scheduled flights to Heraklion, but that does get expensive. Luckily I had some airmiles to use, but that won't be the case next year.

I really hope that we can still all get to Plakias. Sorry to be melodramatic, but it would break my heart otherwise.

Plakias / Re: first timers
« on: June 16, 2018, 09:41:25 PM »
Karen, you are more than welcome - I love the place. I suppose this website supports the view that many others also do!

Plakias / Re: first timers
« on: May 30, 2018, 09:41:45 PM »
Thank you Yvonne, you are kind - although I could ramble on for the rest of the week about Plakias, in text or verbally! So many good walks as well as the beaches,

Maybe some of us could consider updating things? With Plakias having gone down from four travel agents to one, for people travelling from the UK, I'd hate to see it forgotten. Not presuming to fill Lance's shoes, but perhaps something for more recent visitors?

Anyhow, just a thought, don't mean to be intrusive.


Plakias / Re: first timers
« on: May 28, 2018, 10:37:03 AM »
I've just arrived home from my 20th trip to Plakias, so I'm a bit of a 'newbie' compared to some people on here. I was taken to Plakias by mistake in 1994, a mistake which turned out to be one of the happiest of my life. I did a quick calculation on the way home and it seems that I've spent almost 8 months in Plakias on hols.

I think you will love the place. For your OH, one or two hour-ish walks include :

- Souda Bay (follow the coast road to the west)
- the old mill and then on to Myrthios, a lovely village with an old outdoor laundry and great views across the bay
- Sellia, lovely village to the NW of Plakias 

Longer walks include :

- the old monastery above Souda Bay, whose renovation has come in fits and starts for about ten years but now being renovated fully, as far as I could see (although spoils the character a bit, to my mind at least)

- the chapel on the peak of the hill to the east of Plakias, above the village gf Lefkogeia; two ways there, either the road, which is not all that pleasant, or following the irrigation channel, which you can pick-up on the road to Myrthios (head east out of Plakias and turn left at the junction as you leave), the road back, or a longer coastal route.

Lance Chilton (sadly no longer with us) wrote an excellent pamphlet with a number of local walks - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walks-Plakias-Southern-Crete-Chilton/dp/1905333080

Not sure that it's still available, but I've found it really helpful. Bought my copy at the supermarket on the seafront, next to 'Morpheas' apartments. I'd make a copy for you but I suspect that copyright means that I can't.

Imbros and Samaria gorges are stunning but these are full day activities. Kourtaliotiko Gorge is much closer - you will likely drive through it fifteen-twenty minutes before arriving in Plakias - and is very impressive. Despite having travelled through it dozens of times, I only actually stopped a couple of years ago and walked to the bottom, from the parking space by the road. I was able to see Lammergeirs, umpteen sorts of raptors and a whole load of pigeons that wisely stayed put in the trees at the base! I have seen a Golden Eagle in this gorge, truly magnificent.

If archaeology is your thing, then Agia Triada, Gortina and Festos are relatively close-by and well worth a visit.

And if you just fancy a quick snorkel then don't overlook the small beach beneath the Creta Mare hotel, a surprising variety of fish can be found around the three rocks at the western end, about fifty-hundred yards out.

As far as food goes, it's pretty good everywhere. I have my favourites, which you can find in my other posts. The only thing that I dislike, and a relatively recent thing, is the staff from two of the tavernas on the beach side of the seafront road that hassle you as you walk past in an attempt to draw you in. From experience of at least one of them, once you are in you almost cease to exist as far as customer service goes. I won't name them, but they are very close indeed to Gorgona, which is excellent, gives me and my wife a warm welcome each year we return, and doesn't need to try and drag customers in.  Only caveat her is beware of Gorgona's portion sizes! Some starters can easily pass as a main meal.

Anyway, ramble over, sorry for being so long-winded, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Plakias.

Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: February 18, 2018, 03:37:06 PM »
Thank you, Mike, for your reply.

The thing that really upset me was seeing very elderly people (I'm no spring chicken, but...) 'discharged', like cattle, at Gatwick at 00:30-ish, rather than mid-afternoon, and just told to get on with it. Many of them couldn't walk easily. No trains running at that time of night, no assistance from Olympic staff, what do you do? We're lucky enough to live relatively close to Gatwick, although it did incur an extra day's parking charge.

I wonder what happened to the rest? Olympic had had their money so I don't suppose that they didn't give a you know what.

I travel a lot with work, and when I had a dicky foot at Indianapolis, and then Chicago, airports, the security people couldn't have been kinder. I was trying to use my bag as a crutch - didn't want to make a fuss - but they wouldn't have any of it. They put me in an electric car and sped me through security, and ensured that BA did the same at Heathrow. What a difference from Olympic.

I know that life isn't fair, but deliberate, pre-meditated, unfairness makes my blood boil.


Holiday Companies / Re: Olympic 2018
« on: February 16, 2018, 09:02:21 PM »
I had a look at Olympic a few weeks ago, can't remember which airline was on offer but the transfer was a taxi, costing, from memory, GBP150, each way, with no alternative. I booked a BA flight in the end.

I've made my own arrangements in recent years, having been completely hacked off by Olympic's couldn't give a sh#t attitude. It's possible to book a taxi for around 30% less than that - I've used Zak in Plakias and he'll do the trip for EUR105

Are Olympic laying on the 'magical mystery tour' coach transfer again? I don't trust them one little inch either way. Guides who get lost at three in the morning, flights cancelled or delayed at absurdly short notice, etc. I know that it's business and they have the market pretty much cornered, but I don't have to like it.

Rant over.

I suppose that I should try enjoy Plakias, without worrying about these people.

Cheers, Richard

Plakias / Re: Christmas Wishes
« on: December 28, 2017, 10:03:57 PM »
I'm a wee bit late but same sentiment - happy 2018 everyone.

Each morning I look at the BBC news and think about how we could make things a little better between ourselves despite the worst efforst of the usual nutcases...

Plakias / Re: Olive oil on tables
« on: December 21, 2017, 09:43:32 PM »
Hmmmmmm. I am sure that the new rule will be universally respected..... Sounds like a load of rubbish to me, I haven't ever been dissatisfied with the oil on offer in Plakias, although maybe that's not the case everywhere?

PlakChat / Re: Company?
« on: December 05, 2017, 11:29:26 PM »
Thank you Arnaki, I hadn't thought about that, possibly a bit naive of me.


PlakChat / Company?
« on: December 03, 2017, 10:16:08 PM »
Here's an unusual request, and I hope that it won't be misconstrued...

I have just separated from my wife, after nearly twenty years, and can't face going back to Plakias on my own. We have visited every year, sometimes twice, since 2002, after my first holiday there in 1995.

I would very much like to visit in 2018, but don't wish to do so alone.

I like walking in the hills, along the coast, and nice meals in tavernas, more so than lying on the beach all day, although a couple of hours on the beach and some snorkelling is good fun. Particularly will miss Souda.

Would anyone care to join me and share a holiday in 2018? I don't mind sitting in a bar on my own with a book, but sitting in a taverna, for example, just wouldn't work for me. Tried it this Spring. I'd rather share a holiday with someone that loves Plakias than another soulless experience some other way.

I am in my early 50s and a confirmed Grecophile. I don't bite. I am just looking for company, nothing more. Please PM me if interested. I left my phone number and email address in a previous posting but was advised to remove it to avoid spamming.


Plakias / Re: Rain?
« on: June 01, 2017, 08:16:37 PM »
We stayed May 19th - Jun 1st, and had more rain than all other visits over 15 years combined. It was torrential on a couple of days, although not for too long, particularly over the last weekend.

That said, it was 'sort of' quite nice to just sit and relax rather than deciding what to do, and except for Sunday the rain wasn't continuous and we had some sun. Leaving this morning, it was getting too hot for us, heading towards 30C.

We also took advantage of the BA chaos last weekend to obtain a refund and stay 2 days longer than we'd planned - our apartment at Skinos was, by chance, available, and we had two lovely sunny days this week, which were not too hot, and a pleasant breeze to boot.


Plakias / Re: Taxis and return to Plakias
« on: May 12, 2017, 07:45:03 PM »

Had pleasant and interesting conversation with Zak from Heraklion - Plakias and return. Nice chap. Bang on time and would recommend on that basis. Do our own thing these days and better than the 'interesting' Olympic magical mystery tour

Plakias / Re: The Beach
« on: April 27, 2017, 08:33:10 PM »
Sunday for seven days on my own and then back out May 19-30th... Double-fix this year :)


Plakias / Re: Gavdos
« on: April 15, 2017, 11:25:40 PM »
I arrive 30 Apr and would be happy to make up one of the fifteen over the following week if needed - I've always wanted to visit Gavdos.


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