Sunday, 30 October 2011

Seven days in Greece - part 1

Yassou! Mr JK and I returned yesterday from a fabulous week in Greece. Despite being there right at the end of the tourist season, the weather was wonderful, with  sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20's almost the entire week. Just look at that blue sky - not bad for the end of October, is it?!
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Mr JK and I are very much creatures of habit, and always go back to the same place in Greece. It's a small fishing village on the north coast of the island of Kos, called Mastihari. It's a traditional fishing village, and life for the villagers continues as normal around the visitors. There are no night clubs, British style pubs or all night drinking bars. Instead, the tavernas and bars are frequented by the locals. We have been going there for so long, we are welcomed back as friends. It's a lovely feeling! Despite the obvious difficulties with the Greek economy, Kos hasn't been affected particularly by strikes. Prices are higher and wages lower, but the local people carry on resiliently. I really hope that the situation improves for them soon.
As soon as we had unpacked, we headed down to the harbour. Some of the fishing boats were in, which inevitably meant the harbour cats were hanging around, hopeful of a bit of fish!
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The fishermen take their boats out every day, so fresh fish is readily available at the local tavernas. Mr JK had sardines one day which he said were delicious. I took his word for it. I am a complete baby when it comes to eating fish, as I HATE bones!!
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Red mullet and swordfish are other regulars on the menu, as well as kalamari. If you like fish, you're definitely spoilt for choice! But I didn't exactly starve either, as you'll see later this week!  
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We experienced our first sunset of the holiday that evening - just perfect!
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The next day, it was time to revisit some of our favourite spots. The church is typically Greek with its blue and white decoration. The priest always greets us with a wave!
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This is the walk we take down to the beach - I just love it when I get the first glimpse of the sea. In the distance you can see the neighbouring island of Kalymnos.
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We stopped off at a new beach bar for a drink - and drank in the spectacular views too!
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The beach is a lovely long stretch of golden sand. It never gets crowded, even in the height of the summer. There can be quite a strong wind blowing at times, and occasionally seaweed gets washed in by the tides, but it is fabulous! Most of the sunloungers had already been packed away for the winter!
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You can get a better idea of just how big the beach is from the next photo - it really is a huge bay, most of it completely undeveloped.
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The hibiscus was still in full bloom, stunning bright red flowers in evidence all around the village.
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As well as the hibiscus, the bougainvillea was flowering madly. I just love this plant, it really reminds me of Greece. We have one at home, but it doesn't flower like this!
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This pretty flower is lantana. Its pink and yellow flowers remind me of rhubarb and custard sweets! I used to love those when I was little!
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The trees in the olive groves were laden with their bounty. The olive harvest starts around the end of October. It's all hands on deck, as it's a very labour intensive activity. A large sheet is spread under the trees, and the branches are beaten with a heavy stick to make the olives drop off. No wonder olive oil is so expensive!
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Poseidon looks out over the harbour to make sure that all is well.
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We spent some of our time down at the beach, just chilling out! We weren't alone either. This little ginger cat kept us company one day.....
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.... and her friend came to say 'kalimera' every day. She wanted to snuggle down on the sunbed with me! So she did!
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Days on the beach were spent knitting, reading and playing Scrabble! Our set is well travelled! Mr JK got the competition going by getting a scrabble (all 7 letters used in one go) on two consecutive turns!! We are pretty evenly matched, and spent many hours playing.
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I'll share more of my holiday knitting with you another time. For the moment I'll say goodbye and leave you with a photo of some kittens. This little pair were some of the many cats living among the rocks down at the harbour. I'll introduce you to some more of the family another time! See you soon! xxxx  

ETA  Thanks to Northern Monkey who spotted my mix up between the Roman and Greek gods. Duh! Too much ouzo!!
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GirlAnachronismE said...

That looks like a beautfiul holiday, and those kitties are so cute!

Jo said...

It looks absolutely wonderful, and wow, that sunset. Those cats and kittens are so cute, they look surprisingly healthy too, I've often seen poor bedraggled looking cats when I've been on holiday abroad.

Kathy said...

Oh how lovely to see blue sky .... I've just had a rainy week in Scotland!!! Your photographs are lovely .... so bright and colourful. The kittens are so cute! We always seem to attract animals wherever we go too. A campsite cat moved in with us for two weeks one year in France! Have a good week .... only seven mad weeks till Christmas!

snoopydog said...

Glad you had a lovely time. Those little cats are just so, so adorable. Hope you have an okay week back at school. I'm refusing to even suggest that it might be a GOOD week ;-) Ros xx

faith76 said...

Really lovely photo's. I have such a soft spot for greece I love returning there when I can. I remember staying in Krimasti in Rhodes once which sounds like the place you visited. Different island of course.

Leah x

busybusybeejay said...

Glad i am not the only one that knits and plays scrabble on holiday!We do boggle as well.

Lyn said...

what a lovely holiday post and with cute cats and kittens too!

Northern Monkey said...

Surely in Greece it's Poseidon and not Neptune? It looks fabulous, I love Greece but I'm not sure when I'll next get a chance to go, I'll put that place on my list though, looks just the sort of holiday spot I like :-)

Kim said...

Oh wow Helen! What great pictures!!! Their plants remind me a lot of San Diego plants - we have bougainvillea and olive trees and lantana for ground cover right here at my house! Too bad I don't' have a million kitties running around though! That would be WAY too much fun!!! Can't wait for your next posts!

Kat Jorgensen said...

Incredible pictures! I love them all. What a fantastic get-away. And I want those kitties - all of them. I could easily be one of *those* women with lots of cats.

Stadtwaldvogel said...

Hey Helen,

wow! What beautiful pictures! I am glad you had such gorgeous weather in October. I especially like the picture of the boats on the sea with the sky turning red.
Have a good week!
Yours, Julia

Michele in Maine said...

Oh, I kept reading and each picture was sweeter than the last! What a wonderful trip you had, JK! To be visited by such pretty kitties, and be surrounded by flowers and sea all around - heavenly!

I'm glad to see you using all your project bags, lol.

Thanks for sharing your trip!

Socktopus said...

What a gorgeous place. Looks like you had a beautiful holiday. And those kittens! I see what you mean. They are just adorable.

Scrabble on holiday is the best! I love playing it especially somewhere sunny and warm (preferably with a beach). :D

Anonymous said...

amazing gorgeous photos! thank you so much for taking us along on your fabulous trip!
it looks like you had a wonderful time - the idea of knitting and scrabble on the beach sounds so lovely... then you throw in random snuggle-cats and it puts it over the moon!