1339- : Becoming Local

1339: Georgioupolis & Lake Kournas

Monday 4th November 2019

Off again in the Panda … coffee stop target was Georgioupolis, named after one of the kings.  Nothing regal here, a fairly smart beach resort with a square set back from said beach.  Here we found our coffee, a pastry for J and cake for me!  Then we set forth for Lake Kournas.  This is the only fresh water lake in Crete.  Fairly shallow and surrounded by hills on nearly 3 sides.  In summer you can, supposedly, walk around dit on a mixture of paths and the low shoreline.  Not today.  We had to turn back after about 1.5km, and consoled ourselves with a drink (and ice cream for me!).


Georgioupolis has a river flowing through it.  Lots of tour and fishing boats.


Seen a lot of chapels at the mouths of harbours.  


Lake Kournas:  a popular summer time day trip.  Fortunately quiet today and we could actually see the lake as none of the pedalos were afloat.  They were all being cleaned and removed.


In the afternoon I did some stealth laundry … the twin tub sits in the doorway of the van.  Whilst thus engaged, I was engaged in conversation with a local Brit who declared she was just being nosey.  Later on when J was being a water wallah, another British lady, Anne, with a Kokoni dog (Corrie is part Kokoni).  She was able to tell us that a band was playing in one of the Kalyves restaurants on Friday, but to book a table as it will get booked up, if we were interested.  Whilst chatting to Anne, another Brit of 25 years residency stopped to use the toilet in front of us and admired the van.  He is apparently an ex Cambridge don but now a pony tailed musician and part time small holding farmer.  He told us about an Open Mike night in Almyrida …  

After supper we headed off in the Panda, to the neighbouring village where we’d stayed with the Aged P’s.  Not many attended … only 4 musician compared to 12 last week, but all very high quality.  Impressed.


1340: Agia Reservoir & a Closed Church

Tuesday 5th November

Agia Reservoir was inaugurated in 1928 and had the first hydro electricity station in Crete.  It only stopped functioning in 2008 and the hydro plant is now an educational museum … lots of school coaches about, but fortunately the kids were all contained in a large restaurant.  We had coffee at zen restaurant … plants, flowing water and zen music.  We were able to circumnavigate this lake, although much of it was on road.  Lunch was another picnic overlooking the hills.


The reservoir is the equivalent of an SSSI and hosts many rare and endangered species.  Though I think these geese were pretty ordinary.


These terrapins are on the endangered lists. 


We chuckled as one attempted to climb up on tho his mates, only to back flip back into the water and swim nonchalantly away!

After our picnic, we drove a few miles through Alikianos to a C14 church built on the site of 2 previous churches.  Sadly it was closed, so we didn’t get to see these frescoes either.


 Ayios Zoodohos Piyi

Well, we are definitely here until Saturday.  We’ve booked a table at Simon’s Italian restaurant as there’s a live (certainly not dead) band.  And I took our bedding into the service laundry this morning … won’t be back till Friday.  And looking at the guide book, there’s still more we can explore locally using the car.  I think we’re pretty settled!

1341: The White Mountains & Omalos

Wednesday 6th November

James was tour guide today … we headed into the white mountains to the Omalos plateau.  It was an interesting drive up … the narrow road had obviously suffered land slides and mud from rains.  

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At Omalos, we stopped for our usual coffee in one of the huge but deserted restaurants.   I managed to throw the coffee all over myself … clever that!  Omalos is packed in the summer with coaches of walkers about to start the Samaria Gorge walk.  According to the guide book, the town is virtually uninhabited in the winter … snow and remote.  Think Heidi’s Uncle Peter, who took his sheep down the mountain come winter. We saw lots of goats and sheep.  Actually the local men and the goats had a lot in common … lean, rugged, weather beaten and bearded.  James had identified a walk up to a refuge, but we suspected we wouldn’t make it all the way and we didn’t.  There was a fair amount of loose stone, which is not the best navigated with dogs on leads who want to go in a different direction!  However, we got a fair way up and had some wonderful views.  Picnic and then a careful descent.  

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