28 December 2013

Greek partytime

Camping Koutsounari was inviting us to have a Greek evening at their restaurant and wasnt that an evening! It was a fundraising evening to support young people to do sport. Thank you for the whole family at the campsite, you made a nice evening for us!

22 December 2013

Days in Koutsounari

Beach photo, top of the mountain covered by snow!

Colder weather has arrived in Crete too! We stayed some fabulous days in Camping Koutsounari, weather was not the best, but other things were perfect. Could see how they work with olives, had good moments and party time with three other couples (Germany and Austria) and a Greek party with livemusic and of course the dance ;) (this photos I will add in the next update)..

20 December 2013

Frangokastello to Chora Sfakion

Frangokastello castle was built by the Venetians in 1371-74 to deter pirates and to protect Venetian nobles and their properties. Official name was originally Castle of St. Nikitas, but since the local never accepted the Catholic foreigners they called the castle Frangokastello, meaning "Franks = the Catholic foreigners". The name eventually stuck and was adopted by the Venetians as well and today it still carry the same name. The castle is located next to see and could be a nice spot to stay in a sunny day, but I was not lucky with the weather so the road continued to Chora Sfakion - village nearby...

12 December 2013

Tsikoudia - Raki, Jamas for my mother!

No it´s not water - It´s Raki

Cretan Tsikoudia, locally known as Raki is a strong alcohol beverage made out of grapes and seems that everyone in here drinks it and produced it at home. Alcohol % changes quite some, it can be from 30%-60% alcohol by volume! Everyone who has been in Crete surely has come across to Raki.

So once again I got some, this time offered by the campsite....Yesterday evening all electricity went down and got back again this morning after 9 am which means I had pretty fresh night. 8 am 8 degrees and the lady of the campsite came to knock my door and was giving a bottle! She said - we are sorry about the electricity, here is a bottle of Raki for you, it keeps you warm ;) - Once again, Greek hospitality, thank you!

So I want to make a toast for my dear mother today on her birthday - Cheers Mom, Kippis Äiti - Jamas!

8 December 2013

From Bali to Rethymnon

Bali (!).....well not the one in Indonesia, just here on Crete ;). The name Bali has nothing to do with the Indonesian Island, someone told that it comes from word "vali" and vali means prince. The Cretan Bali is a tiny village and pretty much there is no live at all in off season. Its located between Rethymnon and Heraklion and surely looks a lot different in summer...

4 December 2013

Elounda - the little fishing village (only in winter)

Port of Elounda

Elounda is located just 10 km north from Agios Nikolaos, northern Crete and in winter it turns for a quiet fishing village after the hectic tourist season. From the port you see also Spinalonga- island, the leper island which I was writing earlier  ( Spinalonga ). Hotels, most taverns and shops are closed by now, it must be very opposite from summer! Again one more time im happy to be here off season without the crowd...

29 November 2013

Vai - Palm Beach, beeing like in Hawaii

The palm beach of Vai is one of the biggest tourist attraction in Crete, a place where I definetely would NOT go in the season - so to come here out of season is perfect. Occassionally some tourists were still coming for a swim. I spent here one week (until the food was finished!) and few other campers visited the place during my stay in here.

Vai features the largest natural palm forest in Europe  made up of Cretan palm. Palms starts on a valley and ends to the beach, 20 hectars of palms. Wonderful place in this time of year!

27 November 2013

Paikan nimiä..

These names would only work in Finnish, but to give you an idea about what are we talking about, I have found villages called, "Place for perverts", "My balls", "Ugly", "Secret Toilet" and so on...

Joillakin kylillä on vain sitten erikoiset nimet...

 Salakapakkaa etsiessä...

24 November 2013

Kato Zakros

Kato Zakros is known from its Minoan palace and gets quite some day tourists there everyday. Very tiny village with few tavernas and some rooms to rent. The only reason that it has remained a small place, without much of a touristic infrastructure, is because the Minoan palace of Zakros which was discovered in 1961 is still not fully excavated. As nobody knows the full extent of the palace the government imposed a blanket ban on building in the area.

I wanted to do the walk through 'Valley of the Dead' which is a gorge leading from Zakros to the sea at Kato Zakros and got its name from the numerous caves in which the Minoans buried their dead.

The day I was there was just too many mosquitos, so I want to get back there still later on! In Kato Zakros there is a very sympatic tavern (open all year around) called "Glaros", means gull, lovely couple running this place with a big hospitality, Thank you Jorgos and Christina!

roads road roads!

20 November 2013

Animals in Crete

Doggy walk with car

As I have been long interested in animal care, this issue always touch my heart. In Greece there are many animal cares, I think you find one in almost every island and they are usually taken care by foreign people and based on volunteer work. Development has been big, but there is always plenty of work to do. Im happy to see some process too. Before I basicly never saw local people having a walk with their dogs, but now you come across to this often. Bigger sized dogs gets also walks, not that they are only attached in a short leash outside whole day to be a guardian. This is good news and this is what I wish to see more!

I saw this man getting his dog out with his car twice a day, okay, kinda different way that we give walks for our dogs, but still, this dog got his regular walks! Ive seen this same in Spain and Portugal, so its not just a Greek thing...maybe more like Southern European thing!

One more stray...look at her eyes!!
hahaha, im like David Bowie ;)

18 November 2013

Time Traveller

These were left in my door one early morning in the port of Elounda....

Clearly it was from my friend, Time Traveller ;)

I talked with him several times while he was staying with his car front of my van. He was calling himself Time Traveller – I come from everywhere and I stay everywhere, yes, this thought I can share with him!

He loves nature, knew a lot from plants – he likes to collect herbs from the mountains and makes also tea from them. I loved his little gift, made from a special Cretan plant, no idea from what! Nice part is that I can use these pieces as beads, not that he even knew that I do make jewelries. He also left me a note behind, list from nice places to stay and camp, very thoughtful!

I noticed him cleaning the beach and taking the garbage to through it in a proper pin, gave me big pleasure to see this being done. 

Time Traveller has a beautiful soul with a great spirit – Thank You, ευχαριστώ – you made my day!

17 November 2013

Bathing in the lake, previosly happened 4

Ystävälläni on tapana toisinaan kylpeä järvessä ja hän heittäytyi rohkeasti jälleen yhteen järveen Portugalissa, jossa oli kylpenyt aiemminkin. Onneksi tänä päivänä oli pilvinen viileä päivä, kun paikalle saapui useita autoja. Sikäli kummallista, koska yleensä autoja oli vain harvakseltaan. Katselin asuntoautoni ikkunasta autojen tuloa ja kun he olivat saaneet autonsa pysäköityä, tuli autoista väkeä tummiin pukeutuneina. He kävelivät hartaan hitaasti järven rantaan, erästä vanhahkoa naista talutti kaksi nuorta miestä. Kaikki seisoivat vakavana järven rannalla ja he kaivoivat uurnan esille ja sirottelivat tuhkan puolittain rannalle, puolittain järveen, koska tuuli tuppasi tuhkaa riepotella sinne tänne...

16 November 2013

Ierapetra, southest city of Europe

Ierapetra is located southeast of Crete and its the most southern city of Europe and above all it has 3101 hours of sunshine per year and is Greece's sunniest city! So I guess I will spend more days in this coming winter in the neighbourhood of Ierapetra!

Tourist season is really over now in here, so there is room in every place you go in this time of year. Good thing is that you can basicly park every where, in places that in summer would be impossible. Bad side is if you want night life - there is none, but you can still find good local taverns which are open all year - thank goodness!!

Parking at the port of Ierapetra

15 November 2013

Olives in Crete

It is soon the time to collect the olives here in Crete, well only those which survived...

They had not luck this year for olives in here and olive trees makes olives only every second year. In may they had two weeks very hot weather and it looked promising when the trees were all in blossom…but.. They got a reddish sandstorm from Sahara and this was killing big parts of the flowers which means no flowers, no olives.  This is very bad news for the Cretan people who already struggles big time with the economical crisis. Since last year were no olives, this year it got ruined and next year will also not be olives, you can imagine what an impact this have for the locals. Many of the local people work with the olives next to their other job. I don’t know how often I have heard during the past years that when I ask from locals – what will you do when the tourist season is over? Often the answer is – I go of course pick up the olives!

Sadly not, this year they won’t. I do wish no more sandstorm for the next time when olive trees are in flower again in 2015!

9 November 2013

Peace and love in Matala

In the 1960´s the hippies were coming in this small fishing village and they were living in Matala´s Beach caves.The town is today a tourist attraction but you can still see everywhere this Peace and Love- atmosphere. Off season it was calm, but im sure in summer its still a lively little place for old and young hippies amongst the families and couples who comes for a week or two holiday in Crete.

Great woodwork!

5 November 2013

Crete, Spinalonga and some roads

Spinalonga..I wanted to see this place after I read the book from Victoria Hislop, The Island.
Spinalonga was a leper colony from 1903 until 1957 and Hislop is descriping well the life on Crete before/during and after the second world war. So definetely I wanted to have a breath of the fishing village Plaka (opposite Spinalonga) and Elounda. Spinalonga is locatated about 10 km north from Agios Nikolaos, eastern part of Crete. If you like Greece and love Crete, read the book of Hislop! 

Luettuani Victoria Hislopin kirjan, Saari inspiroi se minua näkemään Spinalongan ja Plakan kylän. Kirjaa kertoo elämästä Spinalongan leprasaarella ennen ja jälkeen toisen maailmansodan. Plakan kylää kirjassa on romantisoitu (Kirjassa saareen pääsee kalastajaveneen mukana, todellisuudessa paikka on turistipyydys ja sinne myydään kiertokäyntejä). Muutama yö meni Plakan rannalla parkissa, Spinalongan vastarannalla.

Spinalonga Island

27 October 2013

One story from Jan of Sweden

This happen to one of the fellow traveller who I met recently, lets call him Jan of Sweden..
Jan is living permanently in his motorhome and has been travelling now around some years and he spent more than a year in Turkey with his camper and im sure he got across many interesting stories but this is one of his stories...

24 October 2013

The Great Meteora monasteries

Meteora monasteries are literally monasteries "suspended in the air" and they are protected by UNESCO. These six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars and indeed this place is impressive to see.

23 October 2013

On the road 2013

Winter 2013 I spent in Portugal mainly and in summer I went to Finland too see family and friends and of course represent the new doggy. We had good time there but like always, the road was calling me again. Where to go again? Well, Greece was too tempting too pass, so currently I am in Crete! I made a long road with doggy to come and leave again from Finland - ferry takes always almost 30 hours and travelling with dog gives its own challenge in a ferry..How to teach to pee in a box and walking in a slippery deck..But we managed well ;).

 To get her in this box, required that I step in first and "show model", after this she was accepting to do her duties
Steeling my bed in the cabin!!

18 October 2013

Previosly happened 3

The hospitality in Morocco is something you dont come accross in many European countries, they have warm heart and an easy laughter. So many times I had long discutions with the local people and got invitation to eat with them. People who have nothing were willing to share the little they could give for you. This family was living in a cave and was a good reminder for me how much easier the life is in the western countries. Its different when you see it yourself than you just read about it from the newspapers..

17 October 2013

Previosly happened 2

Greek Funeral / Kreikkalaiset (erilaiset) hautajaiset

Bone House

Ystäväni joutui matkallamme Kreikassa erikoiseen tilanteeseen, nimittäin arkunkantajaksi hautajaisiin. Ei sinänsä ole ihmeellistä olla arkunkantaja, mutta näissä olosuhteissa tilanne oli vähintäänkin koominen. Olet lomalla, tapaat ihmisen seurueessa, vaihdatte muutaman sanan ja muutaman päivän kuluttua kannatkin sitten hänen arkkua...

16 October 2013

Previosly happened

I must tell you as a start that I do feel very lucky and privileged to have this way of living and it gives me the great chance to see, learn, feel and meet beautiful places and unbelieveble people. If I could write all what I have experienced or share the stories Ive heard, Im sure there could be a book written about it, or even better, a series of books.

Until October 2013 I have traversed with camper (many of these countries several times): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxemburg, Monaco, Morocco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. By plane I have been few times in US (east and west), Mexico, Thailand and some other European countries not listed above. Travelling is my passion :)

I can not tell which country has been the nicest or prettiest, I could only tell from many beautiful places, people and feelings. For sure the most exotic place so far has been Morocco. Three months and 6000 kilometers in this country was an experience indeed and I wish to return there too one day (Insallah ;) ! )

To give the feeling from the past years in the camper I want to share some random photos until I willl get to the day where I am now.

Artic Circle