23 November 2008



Ahhh, Naxos! This was my favourite place in Greece. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend visiting.

It is such a beautiful, laid-back island with lovely shops and restaurants, gorgeous scenery and beaches, lovely old towns to explore and heaps of back country to hoon around on the quad bike. It isn’t quite as touristy and polished as the rest of Greece and the people were lovely. We ate some fantastic meals here and found a little old shop with sacks of herbs, bags of olives, prunes, plastic bottles of home-made wine and big rounds of local cheese which we shopped in for dinner at the Pension a couple of times. We found the best beaches here, some sandy and some pebbled. We hired a quad bike again and spent most of our time driving out around the fantastic countryside, visiting little towns, checking out all the amazing scenery and visiting the beaches.


Beautiful view of Naxos town in the evening.


Ben sun baking


We spent a lot of time swimming and sun baking at the gorgeous beaches. Ben snorkeled around the rocks and the pebbles were lovely to sun bake on.


The very different scenery in the back country, looking out over the hills that we drove around. We would drive up over the mountain ranges and come across gorgeous views to the ocean and then down into valleys with lush green farms. The smell of goat was quite powerful when we drove past them. The goats were everywhere when we drove around: up trees, on rocks, hiding under the road overhang...


Our luxury model quad bike: note the lock box on the back. This was 150cc (rather than the 50 we had in Santorini) which means it went much faster. We would get whacked in the face by big bugs- which actually hurt quite a bit- while we were driving along.


The ’portas’ or temple entrance to the town of Naxos. We spent our evenings up here with some beers or a bottle of wine admiring the sunsets and people watching before we had dinner.


Dinner of meat balls (they have the best tinned meat balls), dolmades, white beans in tomato sauce, olives and fetta (from the owner of our Pension-see below) and bread from a local bakery.


The excellent Pension Sofie where we stayed. It was owned/managed by a father and daughter. They were so friendly and invited us in to their kitchen where they gave us fetta, tomatoes and wine that the Dad had grown and made himself on his farm outside of town. It was really well priced and a great place to stay.

Sunday in Guildford

Sunday evening in our flat in Guildford, Surrey....


My lovely huzzy Ben cooking our Sunday pot roast.


Very tasty lamb pot roast and veges. Note the Jacob’s Creek wine...we only drink Aussie wine over here because it’s so good (and cheap!)


View out the back of our flat over the terraced housing of Guildford....It’s been a lovely Sunday evening!

5 November 2008


After Chania in Crete we traveled by early morning speed ferry (not good after a night of Ouzo...lets just say I spent a bit of time admiring the toilet on the ferry) to the stunning Santorini.

This Island is probably one of the most photographed places in Greece and has the classic white-washed walls and blue-domed roofs that you see in the Greek travel guides. We stayed in Fira (or Thira) and were a walk away from the winding streets of the town. It really is very stunning and looks amazing from pretty much any angle. It is built on top of a caldera (basically the large ocean-filled hole that remained after a volcanic eruption formed Santorini into a group of islands rather than just the one large island) so that views out over the ocean and to the volcanic islands looks all the more spectacular. Fira had many excellent restaurants and lovely shops full of jewellery, sponges, art work, ceramics and clothing. It was great getting dressed up in the evening and wandering around the streets.

In Fira we went on a ferry trip over to Nea Kameni the volcano island and climbed it to see the craters and steam-vents. The landscape on the island was bizarre and the trek was very hot. We also went swimming in the hot springs (really just a muddy bog hole!) of Paleia Kameni. From the port where we caught the ferry you can take a donkey to the top of the caldera. They were whipped by millions of donkey keepers and seemed to go very slowly. I loved all the donkeys in Greece and can’t wait to have my own. They wear beaded headbands and necklaces and there were heaps of them.

We hired a quad-bike in Santorini which allowed us to hoon around the island and we visited every corner we could get to. In the north of the main island is Oia (’ee-ah’). It is known for its fantastic sunrises. Ben and I loved it here and would have preferred to stay up here than in Fira. It was so cute and picturesque...the maiu problem being fighting our way through hordes of cruise-ship passengers who all seem to turn up at the same time and are all generally fairly annoying (old people clinging to each other and stumbling up and down stairs while buying everything that they can lay their hands on and yelling out loudly about the stairs/food/views....etc!). We also went swimming at beaches on the west, south and north.


View out over Fira with the caldera wall on the right


On a wall in Oia, looking out over the gorgeous blue ocean. I’m holding a helmet for our quad bike


Ben in Oia


Oia with some classic windmills in the background.




Donkeys on the walk from the harbour up the caldera to Fira.


View from the volcano island (Nea Kameni) across to Fira on top of the Caldera. You can see one of the many cruise-ships that stopped at Santorini in the middle.


Ben on the quad bike...lots of fun!!


3 November 2008

The Peak District with Emma and Danny

Just a quick break from our Greek holiday....

On the weekend we traveled (in our new Peugeot) to the Peak District to see Emma and Danny. We spent a lovely, very cold and very drunk weekend in their excellent company.

We have long been fans of the Peak District and it didn’t disappoint this time either. We stayed in the beautiful town of Buxton and spent our Saturday afternoon and evening in every pub we could find, sampling the local delights. The weather wasn’t on our side (it was bloody freezing!) but the scenery and brews hit the spot nicely. On Sunday we went to the very awesome Chatsworth House and spent a lovely day wandering around the house which was decorated for Christmas with lovely Christmas trees, nativity scenes and lights throughout the grand house. The grounds would have been absolutely wonderful except that it was very, very cold so we ended up seeing it as quickly as possible.

We then left Emma and Danny and headed off to Guildford in Surrey where we will be spending the next 3 months.


The lovely streets of Buxton


Ben in the park in Buxton


Emma, Danny and Ben in front of the coach house at Chatsworth House


Chatsworth House with some ’modern’ sculptures in the foreground


The beautiful entrance hall in Chatsworth House


A very cool deer chandelier....I would like something similar in our house one day...


A folly and fountain. The sign suggested that if you chose to go swimming you should be careful and if there was a problem you should summon a man of staff.


The squirting willow tree....apparently a natural phenomenon in the Peak District


Jeremy Paxton’s rock garden, part of the beautiful grounds of Chatsworth