tiistai 30. kesäkuuta 2015

Visiting two Sofias, Crete June 2015

June 2015 was really chilly in Finland, so it was a good choice to head for Agios Nicolaos in Crete for a week. The main purpose was to celebrate my spouse’s 60th birthday but the timing matched also in climatic point of view.

We had a quite small hotel run by lady named Sofia. She also had an employee named Sofia who appeared to have Greek father and mother from Rovaniemi and therefore she spoke Finnish fluently with Northern accent.

We liked to see much more than just beaches so we made some organized bus trips. We visited the Spinalonga Island, the main place for the TV series “To Nisi”, based on the best-selling English novel The Island by Victoria Hislop. It tells about the leper patients living on the isolated island and how they decided to start living instead of just being dying patients. The buildings on the island are almost ruined so the film was made in the Upper Village of Elounda – which we also visited.

                                         Pics from Spinalonga

View from upper Elounda village

                                      The night pics after the Spinalonga trip

The next day we travelled to Lassithi Plateau in the center of the island. It is 800 meters above the sea level and our bus had to climb even higher to reach the plateau between the mountains. It is s so high even olive trees seen everywhere else in Crete cannot grow there. So the main articles are potatoes, apples and wine. Our main target there was the huge stalagmite cave which is said to be the hiding place of baby Zeus. At least the bees and goats that are said to feed Zeus were there.

                                             On our way to the Lassithi Plateau     

                                          The Lassithi Plateau

Our last organized trip was to Herakleion and Knossos, the best places to learn about the Minoan culture.  There was a certain division: The actual objects were at the Archeological Museum and the actual places situated in Knossos, now with copies of the original buildings, amphorae and frescos.

                              Artefacts at the Heraklion Archeological Museum


For the rest of our time we organized our own schedule, including going to beach, doing some shopping and still one trip to the nearby village Chritsa. 

Actually I bought only a set of jewelry of olive tree. I also needed the simple dress which would be easy to take off and put on at the beach but my spouse wanted to buy a bit better one….

                                    Celebrating the birthday of my spouse in my new dress

I found it quite easy to live there as Anukatariina. The wig was a problem on the other hand when it was really hot and when I went to swim. In both cases I used a silken scarf. 

                                             Getting my bikini tan lines

There was a certain difference when we were welcomed to taverns as a man and a woman and as two ladies. In some cases flirt we got at first faded a bit after the situation became clear to the waiter. 

                                When it's hot you must drink enough, this time a really chilly beer.

We were rather discrete while going out or coming in at the hotel. However in the last evening the older Sofia shouted loudly when we were passing the hotel restaurant and wanted to hug me very tight.

                                       Our nighties pleated by the cleaning lady

                                      The last supper....I gained 3 kilos !!!

My spouse bought a new sun hat and wanted to have the older one, too. So I had to wear the new one on our trip back home. When our bus back to Herakleion airport came to fetch us I saw the tourist guide looking at us, then the passenger list and then the both twice again – When she opened the bus door she had finally figured out what was going on…

This trip was the first one I’ve used my new id card with my female picture. The officials didn’t pay any attention on it - I didn’t see any reaction.    

                                                      Back to Helsinki!

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