Friday, December 7, 2018

November 2018

The last part of our trip always flies past. Usually it is spent doing all of those things we were supposed to deal with earlier. I have become quite smart over the instead of writing a clothing inventory I just tidy up the drawers and take pictures of what we are leaving behind. We are down to two small carry ons and this time we did not bring honey as we had no room. Today we ran out of Greek honey from the mountains and I guess we will now have to wait until May of next year to enjoy it again.


We pack away the kitchen, everything fits in the lower cupboards which saves dusting next year and all clothing and towels etc. are placed into plastic storage boxes or draped in plastic preventing moth larvae from feasting on our stuff while we are gone! 

We arrived home on the 16th. and within a few days both came down with lousy colds from which we are just recovering. Lesley had a fall on a walk first week home, damn sidewalk cracks and damaged her shoulder, physio starts this week. Otherwise we are settling into our winter home and looking forward to nice mild Ontario winter (we hope) and Christmas.

A few more pictures of our trip, loved that staircase up to our landlady's apartment in Faliraki, Rhodes. A new table from you know where, with lemons from our tree, this batch was ripening the last week we were in Chavari, so we gave them to Nick's sister as we aren't allowed to bring them home. 

The old olive tree in Lindos fortifications and the temple which was supposed to go in a past post.


The bay view on the way up the mountain in Lindos to the top of the fortifications

The ancient temple at the top of the Lindos fortifications

and finally a view through the crenellations of the fort down of the town of Lindos, it was in another post I know but I had more to say. Lindos is fascinating you feel like you have gone back in time inside the winding up and down cobblestone streets. What stood out was how cool it was in the town, a lot of the streets are covered and we discovered a lovely little restaurant at a crossroads, had a delightful lunch before heading for the bus.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Welcome to Winter

We headed for the bus station on the 14th. November on the first leg of of our long trip home. Air Canada only flies direct from Athens to Toronto in high season. Return trips are a trek....this time via Munich with Lufthansa. Our nephew kindly got us to Amaliada and we had about a twenty minute wait for the 6.20pm bus. We call this bus the milk run, it stops at a number of villages and towns before Patra to pick up parcels and people and then continues on to Athens. The trip ends up being about 4 plus hours,  we then transfer to the airporter at the bus station, then another forty five minutes to the airport. The picture below the gorgeous sunset from the bedroom balcony the evening before we left. Sunsets in the fall are quite spectacular with big fluffy silver edged clouds.

The loungers at Munich Airport

Our plane to Munich left at 6:00 am. We decided to find a quiet spot after going through security and see if we could nap. The new Athens airport is enormous, a legacy from the Olympics and incredibly quiet through the long night, no announcements, just the whir of floor cleaners and and food kiosks cleaning up and preparing for Thursday morning. We did not nap but dozed on and off and about 5 am people started arriving, first employees then people heading to to various gates. The picture below is of the Christmas decorations on the ground floor of the airport, I was fascinated, who would have thought you could make an elegant snowflake with airplanes. Wow. 

Munich is a very much like Athens airport, I think they all use the same general layout, great European design in public areas and washrooms. Elegant. We had a good walk around and discovered the loungers, the 2 and a half hour wait sped by. We boarded on time, left on time, managed to recharge our tablets for the flight. I slept for quite awhile on the plane and I think Nick even had a few zzzz’s. The flight seemed to take forever, finally we were through Pearson International customs and headed for the taxi was snowing very heavily, it was rush hour, the highways were parking lots, we were 😩 exhausted. We have never been in a cab for soooo long, thank the lord for flat rate from the airport. Thirty plus hours and finally we reached home. Tea, followed by a rekkie in the fridge, we had left frozen dinner spaghetti sauce in the freezer marked dinner November 15.....Nick had the energy to zip across the street for mixed greens while I unpacked. We are are still fairly jet lagged, waking too early and hoping we are not coming down with colds. The snow has just about melted and the temperature is rising in the near future but not to the balmy 21 degrees we left behind.  It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here, confirmed by the decorations and Christmas cookies at the supermarket today. A great trip and we look forward to next year but will leave Greece earlier!!!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Productive Friday

Holy Trinity is more or less finished....still assessing the shadowed sides of the church I need courage to go darker.  Tomorrow. I think a purply grey will work.

We pass the abandoned house below on our daily walks. At the end of summer the datura climbs all over the front of the house winding its way to this shuttered window. In each side the oleander rambles on the aging, used to be white-washed walls. The blue shutters are a wonderful chalk blue....created by the sun and age. A challenge to mix paint to match.

I have had a very productive day even managed to wash the shower curtains. We will not have too many more of these sunny 20 degree days which are perfect for drying laundry. When we get back to our apartment I must tell the dryer I really missed it’s service.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Holy Trinity Painting

The church in the village is called Holy Trinity and is perched on the highest point in Chavari. The setting is wonderful, the mountain behind the church is covered with a thick canopy of mulberry trees, cypress, ash and evergreens and other varieties which I cannot recognize. We have a marvellous view of the church from the windows on the east side of our apartment. Sunday mornings we are awakened by the bells which I miss when we go back to Canada. I took the picture from the end of our balcony as it is almost impossible to get a picture anywhere else in the village, too many house clustered around.  I am down to the fine details and still working on the lights and darks and simplifying the busy architectural elements to fit my brushes.  There will be the rubber tree with its spectacular white blossoms in the left corner. Below finished painting and placed on the dining room wall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Autumnal Musings

The mornings and evenings are cooler as our trip is drawing to a close. We can’t believe that it is darkening by 6:30 and is still dark at 7:15 in the morning. The persimmons are all but gone, a sure sign of fall. I noticed the gypsies are selling all varieties of local apples from their truck last night on our walk. The kids went back to school a few weeks ago.....and are happily adjusted to discipline again. 

October 28th OXI day holiday is coming up, go to Google for further explanation. I was alerted the other afternoon by the primary school teacher yelling as she was marching the kids up and down with the Greek flag. They were probably kindergarten age and she was getting so frustrated as they were completely out of step, gazing around and not stretching the flat flag evenly. I was in my studio when I heard them, so was unseen on the first floor in my window. By day three of practise I think they got, very funny, unfortunately we will not be able watch the parade down Main Street and see how they do as we are heading away for the weekend.

We have had an anxious last few weeks and our nephew starts chemo tomorrow. Nick can relate and he has offered to be his driver to Patras for treatments. We are heading off to Patras this weekend for a visit with our younger niece and her family.  Walking And strengthening my hip with daily exercises seems to help but still an achy hip. Nick is enjoying the last of  visiting with his sister during this stressful time. I am painting like crazy and have several gessoed  boards to go, all the subjects picked am going for it. 

We read the world news with trepidation these days, a worrying time. We will be happy to get home to Oakville.

Friday, October 12, 2018

At Home in Havari

I have been lazy since we returned to Havari and now two blog postings in a row 😄. I am working on a painting this week intermittently. We have  workmen in and out doing some remedial work,  first on the front door, making it stronger so no-one can kick it in, an issue here. I inspected it before lunch, Fort Knox now.  Many people would rather steal than work. Our hall windows had big gaps on the sliders so we had many guest spiders and other critters wanting to share our space, today we will be insect-proofed,  apparently stops on the tracks of the window was not installed originally, it is now blocked. One of our living room windows has a leaking seal so that needs to be replaced or fixed. We want to update our balcony railings, currently iron with paint and many spots of rust appearing. Remember my rant about painting the Damn thing a few years ago, I swore never again!!!! We are pricing a stainless steel one to replace it, no maintenance...I will just have to dust it lol!

Our Kitamura furnace was installed last's wonderful....warmth on cool mornings! We are waiting for the oil tank to be filled, the heating oil hasn't arrived in the area yet.  Nick and I cleaned the garage this week and moved the brother in laws JUNK back into his side of the garage. Our side is pristine and the car is being serviced and washed today. 

We have enough room for our nephew to park behind us when we are not here. The least we can do,  as in the past he has always been generous sharing his cars. He has had a miserable last few weeks, having had a kidney removed and then his back went out. Knowing back pain well, I feel for him. We have been chauffering him to various appointments until he is cleared for driving. He is looking a little more cheerful the last couple of days.

A smattering of the BIL detrious remains.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Rhodes 2

We had three tours recommended by our cousins;  Lindos castle, the old town at Rhodos Town and the Butterfly Valley. All available by bus.....the Butterfly Valley was a tour bus, the two others the local bus which is very cheap.

Lindos castle a crusader fortification on top of a hill with a wonderful temple inside on the high point. The view from the battlements to the village below spectacular. Lesley leaning out through a crenallation..... to get that great shot.

The third tour was the old town which we had briefly gone through the Sunday we arrived. We decided a day wandering around the beach, the town , lunching then resting was a better option.

The Butterfly Valley tour runs from 9 until 1 pm. We chose the last seasonal tour on the day we were departing, Friday.  Once the bus dropped us at the parking area we were free to hike up the valley and spot butterflies. The feature attraction is the arrow shaped moth with orange under wings. The ticket taker advised as we were heading in that they had mostly migrated the day before. Not a problem it was a great hike up the valley to the monastery and we saw at least 4 other species of butterflies after all it was the end of September. The gnarly tree is an olive a very, very old olive tree 200 to 300 years we guessed. At the top of the mountain a new taste sensation. A couple of ladies were selling iced mountain tea with honey and lemon, delicious  but expensive at 4 euro a cup.

Back at Nianthi apartments, we changed,  grabbed our bag, then a local bus to the airport and hour later we found our car at Athens airport after a brief search. It was dusky as we headed onto a blustery highway. Not too much traffic and we had dinner along the way. Lovely island, lovely people we would recommend Rhodes as a great destination.

The "moths" @ Butterfly Valley

Nianthi Apartments
The town of Lindos....find the tour buses up on the highway 😎