Minotaur Island

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That’s Crete, of course, and one of my favourite ever places. (Alright, yes, there’s Rhodes and Skiathos and various areas in France and the Peak District in the UK and…..) Anyway, one of my favourites, as I said. Although, coming from the murk of the north of England, it’s the sunshine that attracts in the first place, the island itself has a real magic. It’s quite big, in comparison to the other Greek islands and there’s a wide range of scenery, from cliffs and mountains to beaches and bays; from vineyards and farms to night clubs and busy modern cities.

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The loved one and friend with the pool all to themselves. Bliss.

We were there from May 2nd with my cousin and her husband plus a couple of friends we met there two years ago. It’s one of those things, when you recommend a place, you hope and pray that it’s as good as you remembered and that the others will like it too. And it’s the same way with friends – we knew WE would get on fine with Ann and Kev (Cousin and hubby) and ditto Gareth and Sonia (Friends from previous holiday) but would they get on with each other?  Well, we needn’t have worried. We spent the whole week laughing, teasing and generally enjoying each others’ company.

Looking down to the sea.
Looking down to the sea.

And Crete itself? We stayed in a smallish place called Agia Marina, near Chania on the north coast of the island, in the Dias Apartments. The apartments are family run and they are very friendly and welcoming. you can just see our balcony at the top far left of the building, so we had views over the olive groves and down to the sea.

We loved it. The beach is pleasant and close with lovely views over to the little island across the bay. It’s uninhabited except for the tiny church of Saint Theodoroi. It looks glorious at sunset.

However, on rough days, the water comes up and over the sunbeds, so it doesn't pay to doze off.
However, on rough days, the water comes up and over the sunbeds, so it doesn’t pay to doze off.

I have to admit, the sea was a bit cold for swimming, although we did go in a couple of days but we tended to go for walks or take the bus into the nearest big town, Chania, and then come home in the afternoon for a dip in the pool.

Agia Marina itself is a mixture of old village and holiday resort , with plenty of tavernas and bars, most of them rather attractive, although not all traditional. Lots of places to choose from for our evening meals.

Walking round the back of the church.
Walking round the back of the church.
We had a beer or two here but never braved the walk back up in the evening for a meal. It's a bit steep in places.
We had a beer or two here but never braved the walk back up in the evening for a meal. It’s a bit steep in places.

The old village is pretty, with a typical white painted church smack in the middle and cats everywhere.

We walked up one day but the heat almost overcame us and we had to adjourn to a bar for a cold drink. Or two.

 

 

 

 

you can see why we liked it, can't you?
You can see why we liked it, can’t you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Chania was so beautiful, we went twice, using the local buses, of course. The first time, we just toddled round admiring everything and taking photos. Oh, and having lunch, of course. There were glorious shops selling silver jewellery, shoes, handbags and, of course, tourist gee-jaws.  But we didn’t buy any. So we had to go back a couple of days later to shop. We sent the men off into the harbour while we three thoroughly enjoyed a little self indulgence. OK, a little MORE self indulgence.

There I am, admiring some opal ear rings. Did I buy them? Well what do you think?
There I am, admiring some opal ear rings. Did I buy them? Well what do you think?
Aladdin's cave?
Aladdin’s cave?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found several lovely tavernas for lunch but eventually settled for this one in the back streets of the old town. I can’t remember the name but it was just lovely, very old fashioned and traditional but you could see into the stainless steel clad kitchen, where all was modern and spotless – the best of both worlds.

We had lunch here, although we sat outside in the sun.
We had lunch here, although we sat outside in the sun.
An interesting selection of pictures, I thought.
An interesting selection of pictures, I thought.

 

Looking out from the taverna window.
Looking out from the taverna window.

Down on the harbour they were mending the old city walls, just as they did way back in the 13th century. Amazing.

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They still mend the 13th century walls the same way they did back then.
They still mend the 13th century walls the same way they did back then.

The seafront is a riot of colour, with very old buildings still used, although some of them looked a little unsteady to me. Ann pointed out one where the ground floor was a lovely restaurant but the upstairs was just a little scary. Would you want to stay there?

See, nice at ground level.
See, nice at ground level.

 

But would you want to sleep upstairs?
But would you want to sleep upstairs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while we were away, I did quite a bit of drawing, including finishing off some I started before we went.

So here are a couple of before and after pictures of ones that are now complete.

I like this stencil and am going to do a pair next, like bookends.
And after.  I like this stencil and am going to do a pair next, like bookends.
I like the cat even better as a ginger tom.
Before…

 

Finally finished colouring this in the blues and purples.
And after… Finally finished colouring this in the blues and purples.
Mandala WIP
As a work in progress.

 

I also did another round one. I suppose it’s a Zendala but it’s just that I’ve been enjoying circles lately.  I thoroughly enjoyed doingthis one and I think it shows.

Did this one sitting in the sun by the pool. All those claws look a bit threatening but it's just how it growed.
Did this one sitting in the sun by the pool. All those claws look a bit threatening but it’s just how it growed.

 

 

 

So I did another one but with just a bit of colour.

This is much bigger than my usual stuff, about 20cm/8 inches in diameter. For some reason, it just grew, like Topsy and, the more I did, the more I liked it. Doesn't usually work that way.
This is much bigger than my usual stuff, about 20cm/8 inches in diameter. For some reason, it just grew, like Topsy and, the more I did, the more I liked it. Doesn’t usually work that way.

I’ve seen other people use just a bit of red and it seems to really add drama, so that’s what I tried with this one.

So now I’m waiting for the next Diva Challenge and I’ll add it at the bottom here.

See you soon, world, have fun.

 

And funnily enough this week the Diva Challenge is to use white ink on a black  background. And only yesterday I bought this black heart shaped slate tile to use as a coaster. So here’s my response to the Diva Challenge. This week I’m going to paint it with clear vanish and rest my tea cup on it. 20150517_181446

 

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Minotaur Island

  1. ooooo and awe ! Yes, I can definitely see why you like this place Maggie! Gorgeous scenery and lots of sunshine. Your tangles are glorious too! Thanks for sharing the pix of Crete… and that dex and bunzo was inspiring!

  2. aww! I love that kitty cat. She looks like my sweet little calico, Becky. What a lovely account of your travels. Isn’t that part of the world just heartbreakingly beautiful? I’ve never seen a bluer blue than the Aegean Sea. I love your round pieces, and am inspired because a friend gave me a selection of several card stock circles and I’m hankering to do something with them.
    Very nice slate tile you have there. It fits both elements of the challenge: White on black, and a found object. It’s pretty and the heart shape makes it very special.

  3. Thank you for sharing your travel experiences so we can all armchair travel out here in cyberspace. The island looks so incredibly beautiful! Your Zendalas are really gorgeous! You are a master of color. How fun that you were ahead of the game for the Diva Challenge! Your coaster will be a lovely reminder of your response to a challenge – you met it and then some.

  4. I do believe you travel more than any other Zentangler I know, myself included. You just need to get yourself faced west, instead of east, one of these days, so you can visit us here in the US of A. Your production still impresses me every week. I can’t say I’ve been inclined to voluntarily reach for a black tile, so I’m kind of impressed that you had one ready to go.

  5. After looking at your pictures and reading your story, I’m packing my bags (in my mind only, but it’s a start). How lovely! Your zendalas are wonderful. Where did you get that cat stencil? It’s marvelous! I have a story that I have to pass on to you since I thought of you when it happened…I’ve been making a series of bookmarks to be given out to people who leave a donation to our library. It’s very old and underfunded (I went to check out Pride and Prejudice and it was in 2 volumes from 1902…sigh). Anyway, I thought I’d do a few bookmarks with quotes and grabbed my quote book and ran into this one and I thought “Maggibee would love this” – and then also realized that 90% of the people in my little rural town wouldn’t have the vaguest idea why this was funny. It’s not going on a bookmark, but I thought you might enjoy it…from The Web of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde “… ‘Oh bother’, he said in the manner of someone who had just referred to George Eliot as ‘he’ in a room full of English professors”. Hope it brings you a giggle…happy tangling!

  6. So busy, yet so prolific… and always so beautiful! How do you do it? I don’t think I could possibly put out that much work every week and if I tried it wouldn’t be a tenth as wonderful as yours! You are a true inspiration!

  7. What a wonderful holiday you must have had! It all sounds absolutely delightful, especially to one who has only seen an ocean a couple of times in her life. I’ve been in the high desert mountains of Utah most of my life, but would love to be able to travel. But I absolutely love reading about yours and Suzanne’s travels and feel as though I am traveling alongside you in my armchair here as they are so beautifully written. Thank you for the beautiful pictures that you showed us. Your tangles are beautifully done and I love the kitty stencil. I may have to borrow the idea and try to draw one….would you mind? I do tend to be a crazy cat lady and think it would be fun to try something like this to honor my three boy kitties. Your zendalas look wonderful too. I love the blue and purple one and the one where you added the touch of red gave it just the right pop. Your slate heart is adorable and looks wonderful. Your tea cup will feel honored to be able to rest on this. Nicely done work!

  8. A real joy to visit your blog today, Maggie! You captured some glorious photos on holiday – really fantastic views and atmosphere. And I love the little cat and your beautiful zendalas. For me, though, your tangled slate heart is a real winner. I would love one of those!
    Axxx

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