Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

Chania – Crete

It is that time of year where we are starting to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin and the summer holidays don’t seem so far away. Some people may have a holiday already booked and others are researching where to go so I thought I would share our family trip to Crete last year.

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Crete is one of those holiday destinations that everybody travels to at some point in their lives and who can blame them? Glorious weather, scenic mountain views and beautiful beaches it does seem to have it all.

Over the summer we travelled to Chania (pronounced Hania) on the western side of the island for a week, staying at the Sirios village resort.

The first thing I noticed on our trip from the airport was the very dry landscape, but this is understandable with the long, hot summers and mild winters. Another thing was the amount of buildings that seemed to be abandoned. There were houses that had either gone into ruin and left or had started to be built and then left unfinished. This seemed such a shame but the financial crisis in Greece over recent years has probably been a factor.

The Sirios hotel was a large complex with three pools, an outdoor bar and a play park for children. The large dining area had a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner but hot food was also available at other times throughout the day so nobody was ever hungry! There was a large selection of food (and a never ending supply of drinks) to suit all tastes and I’m sure I came back home a couple of pounds heavier!

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The hotel had everything we needed for a relaxing week away, great food, and clean pools but whats the fun in that? We wanted to get out and explore what Crete had to offer.

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We travelled with  Thompson and we had a travel rep that gave us a presentation about all the excursions available through them. We found being in a group of six that the cost of these would be way too much for our budget. The cheapest trip out was a boat ride in the harbour for €28 each. We took a short stroll from the hotel, caught a bus for €1.50 into town and found the harbour ourselves, taking a boat ride for €10 an adult and €5 a child making it at least half the price and we were able to explore the town without any time constrictions.

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I loved exploring the old town with amazing looking buildings and people riding around in a horse and cart. The shopping area was really busy but that led onto the harbour area which was more tranquil and I could have sat watching the world go by for hours, unfortunately I was with a bunch of teenagers who find that sort of thing boring (They’ll appreciate it one day)

One place that the kids didn’t mind visiting was the local beach. It was about a ten minute walk from the hotel and I don’t think t was the main beach of the area because it wasn’t very full but we liked it that way!

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The views on the beach were so beautiful, we had to go down there a few nights just to see the sun setting. With my children getting older and doing their own thing it is not very often that we all spend time together so it was great to find such a lovely city that we could spend some quality family time together. I cant wait for our next adventure!

Have you been to Crete? Where is your next holiday destination?

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Arts and crafts at The Paxton Centre

The Paxton centre based in Crystal Palace is a community hub, gallery and shop that supports local artists, designers and makers.

The centre is run by Beth who is very friendly and welcoming. I came across a post on the Facebook page that was asking for volunteers to help in the afternoons and I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what is happening in the art world and network with other creative types.

Each month there is new artists showing their work which means there are new pieces to see and purchase. As you can see from above February is very busy with workshops, jazz performances and a fun quiz night.

These are just a few of the items on sale so if you are on the lookout for a quirky gift or want to brighten up a dull area then you can definitely find something suitable,  or you can always make your own at one of the workshops on offer!

Pop in for a coffee or something to eat (they now have a café menu that features lunch meals, salads and cakes) and if you come in this Monday you get the added bonus of seeing me!

Do you have an interesting creative space near you?