Friday, 3 June 2016


was our next stop,

after breakfast we arrived at the port of Elounda,

which was a small fishing village,

but has become popular as a tourist stopping off point,

a panorama of the harbor,

and across the square,

there were not many pleasure craft here,



and large fishing boats,

a flock of seagulls, well two of them,

the church in the main square,

Diana strikes the pose,

I just could not stop taking pictures,

the whole dockside area,

looked so picturesque,

we had some time here to have a look around,

before our next port of call,

the quayside was dotted with cafes,

I spotted this beauty,

a BMW R26/7 in need of some TLC, a lot of it!

the water here was so clear,

well it has been everywhere we have stopped,

I am not sure what this one is,

we passed more cafes,

finally reaching the end of the street we retraced our steps,

if you have ever wondered how octopus are dried, I guess this is how it is done,

we then walked to the High Street,

looking at some of the handicrafts on display,

the empty High Street,

then 4 cars appeared out of nowhere,

we were told that there has been a huge influx of Russian tourist, many buy locally produced furs to take back to Russia, it appears the furs area lot cheaper here,

back to the main square,

for a normal coffee for Diana,

and a Greek coffee for myself,

hardly a soul about,

now back to the harbor,

for our next boat trip,

to the fortress island of Spinalonga,

another group of tourists makes the return trip,

relaxing in the sun,

the island has been a fort for 300 years or more,

as it guards the area from attack from the sea,

incredible to think that this walled fortress was built by hand,

it took 25 years to complete,

we made our way inside,

and were told of the history of the fort,

it appears that it was one of only three places that held out against the Turkish invasion,

eventually peace was declared,

and the Turkish authorities took peaceful control of the island,

so what to do?

how could the Greek authorities peacefully make the Turkish leave the island?

easy, declare the island a leper colony!

and it worked in 1903 with the first landing of lepers the Turkish relinquished the island,

the colony prospered, these are the shops that were used to sell and trade goods within the community,

the colony was eventually closed in I believe 1957 making it the last leper colony to close in Europe,

during restoration this hospital door was cleaned,

and this inscription from the last person to leave was found,

one of the passion flower that now inhabits the ex-colony,

it is still incredible to think most,

of what we are seeing was built so long ago,

without any modern mechanical equipment,

one of two churches,

this one the living church,

the lepers over the years paid for and had built this church,

at one time over 2,000 lived here,

I mentioned this is the living church,

the other is the dying church we shall visit later,

one of the candle holders hanging from the ceiling,

and a detail of one of the Saints,

we continued our walk uphill,

as we neared the defenses,

that looked seaward,

where the threat 300 or 400 hundred years ago,

would have come from,

now time for a few poses,

from Diana,

and myself,

a reminder of how much later generations have grown, room enough for Diana in this doorway, but no headroom for myself,

looking seaward from the battlements,

and down as we moved further up the path,

this is the dead church, services are conducted here only for the dead,

we were approaching another cannon emplacement,

although difficult to see  between the first and second emplacement, there is a lion,

and depending whether the book that he has is opened or closed it will tell you at the time the building was built whether there was war or peace,

the graveyard marker,

the graves have now been emptied of remains for reburial elsewhere,

back to the boat,

for the crossing back to Spinalonga,

so another nice little boat trip,

as we leave the island behind us,

Diana as usual all smiles,

as we made our way along the coast,

there were so many obviously new buildings,

with the influx of tourists I guess,

many are making their homes here,

also as Athens is not too far away,

some could be second or holiday homes,

also so many hotels,

when we arrived back at the Ventura we lined the deck port side,

the cities band had set up a shaded area and serenaded us as we departed,

after a few numbers the conductor gave thanks to the band and we moved away from the dock,

on board the farewell celebrations were only just getting started,

as members of the entertainment crew,

gave a demonstration of how to dance the steps known as Zorba's dance,

and naturally passengers joined in as well, 

Diana felt a bit peckish, so a stop at the pizza kitchen was in order, then a walk around the pool and lounge decks,

it was soon time for our evening meal, cream of chicken, mushroom and white wine soup for myself,

for Diana,

dry cured bacon on toasted sourdough bread with mature Cheddar cheese and a poached egg,

for Diana's main course a sirloin steak with button mushroom, cheery tomatoes, green beans and a Bearnaise sauce,

for myself pan-fried trout with buttered brown shrimps, flaked almonds and capers, marquis potatoes and vegetables,

we were both so full we declined dessert and walk to one of the bars to watch a show,

where one of the singers was giving a great performance,

but this was not the main show of the evening,

we watched from the bar,

 until it was time for the main show in the theater,

the comedian known as Tucker,

he was introduced by the resident master of ceremonies, 

and here he was,

we had watched him before, no smut, no unnecessary language, just laugh after laugh, such great fun, all too soon the show was over,

so we retired to the bar for a nightcap,

then we were off to bed.

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