NOVEMBER- LUNCH IN THE AUTUMN SUNSHINE
Once again it is that time of year; the tourist season has drawn to a close, the shops are beginning to pack up, the hire cars whisked away and the familiar winter barriers are in front of taverna doors; there to protect property should we have any extreme winter weather. So far, here on the south side of the island we have managed a fabulous October filled with sunshine and blue sky... long may this continue!
With the autumn-winter months about to stretch out ahead of us why not invest some of your time in exploring the island. Crete, as we know has lots to offer all year round, so why not take some time out, hop in a car or on the bus and explore. Many of the attractions in the cities such as the museums remain open throughout the winter months but can be enjoyed at a much calmer pace, or grab a table and seat at a taverna and enjoy a leisurely lunch, it is still very mild so perfect for outdoor dining. Many of the beaches are quiet… in some places you might even have the whole place to yourself! Now seems to be the time about relaxing and recharging your batteries.
Closer to home, in Agia Galini, take a stroll around the quietened village and enjoy the slower pace. Sit in a kafenion and chat with the locals or pop into a local taverna, there is usually somewhere open. Maybe you might prefer to sit in the harbour and watch the boats being taken out of the water. This annual event sees the fishing and tourist boats pulled out from the sea and placed upon wooden plinths, where they sit and dry out ready for a new coat of paint in the spring.
We can expect the first rains during this month after which there are small grass shoots poking through the earth and almost overnight there are patches of vibrant green dotted around the landscape. On the trees there are crops of black, purple and green olives hanging ready for the picking and these will eventually be pressed into delicious golden olive oil. Many fruits are now ready for harvest including lemons, quince, walnuts and (my favourite) the pomegranate, which have trees heavy with delicious and nutritious fruits, so beautiful when you open the fruit to find the sweet red gems inside!
As the hustle and bustle eases allow your senses to be stimulated by the aroumas and sounds of autumn in Crete; enjoy the smell of fresh mountain herbs, hearty home cooked foods, salty sea spray and raki being distilled in the local villages. Listen to the whirring of the olive picking machines knocking the fruits from the branches, the lapping of the waves on the quietened beaches or at the kafenion the gentle clickety- click of the worry beads as the locals finally take an opportunity to sit back… and relax.
Whatever you do and wherever you are I hope you get to enjoy a great month.