TIME TO SIT OUT IN THE SUNSHINE
March 2020 - Newsletter
What a fabulous start to the month. Blue skies and bright, hot sunshine. Already the days are bright from early in the morning till sundown which is now much later than even one month ago. Spring is definitely in the air, spring flowers are all around and the hills are turning green as there is an amazing recovery of plants covering the hills.
March is when spring arrives and spring cleaning is done. It is best to get the jobs done this month as next month we will be getting ready for Easter, the major celebration of the year in Greece and of course the start of the summer season.
At the moment everywhere in this village there is the sound of work being done. It seems like overnight, extensions are added on, shops are being re-fitted and everywhere buildings are being freshened up for the coming season. Easter is when all hotels re-open and ready for business. As we are fortunate to live in the most southern part of Greece we enjoy the warmest weather from early in the spring season.
It is Lent, which in Greece, is a time of abstinence rather than fasting. The devout will eat no animal products for the 50 days before Easter, but nowadays, in cities and large towns it is more generally only the Holy week before Easter. The smaller villages follow the rules more strictly. At the moment the supermarkets and vegetable shops are filled with items one may not normally see. There are plastic bags with what looks like large yellow buttons, but are in fact lupin seeds. They are pickled in brine and they are an acquired taste, but don’t miss giving them a try at least once. They are eaten cold as a nibble with drinks.
Gardening is a pleasure this month as the weather is perfect for working outdoors and there is so much to look out for. The almond trees are in blossom but by the end of the month many other trees will be in full blossom too. The wild pears are especially spectacular with their white blossom. The Judas tree with its striking blossoms are also something to look forward to towards the end of this month. It is also the start of the orchid season. Crete especially has a large variety of these small treasures which are an absolute joy when you spot them. The noted flower count for this month is close to 150 and the greater majority of which are natives of Greece.
The new road from Heraklion to the south, makes the trip an easy drive. We have waited so long for this road to be finished, but when one sees the number of tunnels and other construction work that has been done to make the road possible, it is certainly impressive.
Looking ahead, it has been announced that the new Crete International airport will be the second larget in Greece. It is being built in Kastelli . It is an extremely large project with an estimated budget of 850 million euros and expected to create 2000 jobs during the construction period. The aim is to transform Crete into a tourism destination and hub all year round. All of this means that property values will be going up but flight connections or other parts of the world will become easier.