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Thread: The 2012 Caradimas Family vacations

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  1. #1
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    The 2012 Caradimas Family vacations

    The 2012 Caradimas Family vacations

    Just like every other year, here is a short (or not so short) visual description of the Caradimas Family summer vacations.

    This year, we decided to accept Spyros invitation, to visit Crete and stay at his rental apartments for a few days. Just like last year, the family consisted of me, Lena, the twins, our eldest son Sergios and Julia, his fiancee. So on August 17th, we started out from the port of Pireaus for an 8-hour trip to Chania, one of Crete ports.

    Pireaus at about 8am.



    The side of the port where all ships for Crete are docked.



    Our ship was named after a former Prime Minister of Greece, who was from Crete, Eleftherios Venizelos. This ship is huge, by the Greek standards, all ships going to Crete are nowadays like that. Eleven decks in all!



    We are leaving Pireaus behind us.



    Sailing towards Crete.



    The twins (and especially Alex) had a blast on the ship.



    Of course, I had to take Alex to the bridge, where unfortunately, he was not allowed to go in. So we took the opportunity to walk around the upper deck.



    Our path crossed that of several other ships.





    We arrived at Chania, a bit earlier than scheduled, at about 6pm. Here is an almost complete family picture (as it always happens, I am behind the camera, while Jim was playing somewhere with some other kids).



    The sunset, as we entered Chania port, was magnificent. Unfortunately, I couldn't take advantage of it (to take pictures), because I had to go down to the garage, to be ready for disembarking the ship.



    From Chania, we had to drive about one to one and a half hour to reach Sfakia, which is where Spyros apartments are located. You can see more about Spyros apartments here: http://www.monachus-monachus.gr/ . The drive was uneventful, albeit a bit tiresome, as the road is very twisty. It climbs up a mountain and goes down to the southern side of Crete. If we were to do it during day-time, I am sure I would have some very nice pictures, but this wasn't the case.

    We arrived at Fragokastello (the name of the village where Spyros apartments are) at about 9pm, to be greeted by some pretty strong winds. And when I say strong, the force of the wind during our first days at Sfakia reached 10 at the Beaufort scale! The wind lasted for three days, and in the picture below, you can see Lena (all 46 kgs of her) trying to walk against the wind.

    So next morning, we tried to find a beach which was not affected by the strong winds, which affect that part of the island. We decided to visit a beach called Illigas (read ellegas). On our way there, we passed from Chora Sfakion, which is the capital of the province of Sfakia.





    This is a small village, quite beautiful, but too much tourist-oriented.

    As we approached Illigas, we became friends with some local ... wildlife, which was to keep us company for the rest of the days at that area (see below).



    This is Illigas beach.



    There are some caves at that beach, and we were lucky to secure one of them. We put our things there, and I settled my beach chair in it. Here is my view from the cave.





    The kids, including those who can no longer be considered "kids", like the 25-year old Sergios, practiced their favorite beach pass-time.





    And then, as I removed my eye from the camera eye piece, I saw a visitor.



    These guys are used to the beach visitors and they know that they'll be fed, if they approach them (something I didn't know at that time). So she went for her walk around the beach. Some of the swimmers were delighted to see them ....



    while some others were scared to death.



    I know people are using iPads for a lot of things these days, but taking pictures like that is .... not very ... stylish!!

    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  2. #2
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    On our return, we stopped at "Babis & Popi" restaurant (Spyros relatives).

    Babis and Popi are the grandparents of the family, while George and his daughter Lena are now working the restaurant. We had some of the best food we've ever eaten there, including some snails (cooked in a pan), fried feta cheese, and lamp chops with fries. The food as well as the service was excellent and George was kind enough to offer us some free, frozen raki (raki is a locally made drink, much like ouzo or tsipouro) made from the grapes. Thanks George and Lena!

    Next day, we decided to stay close to home, so we went to the Fragokastello beach, which was about 300m from our apartment.



    "Kastello" in (I think) Italian, means "castle", and here is the reason for naming the village Frangokastello.



    There are actually two beaches at the same area, the one being a small lagoon.



    A couple more pictures from that beach.





    And here is a dead fish (or is it a snake?) that Lena found in the sea.



    It soon became the attraction of the beach.



    Oh, and here is another attraction, Alex.



    Next day, while driving around, we met this fellow.



    We went again to Illigas, but this time we were prepared for the visitors.









    The kids found a pair of horns somewhere, so Alex had to ... try them on.



    One thing I forgot to mention is that Lena, Sergios and Julia were ... seriously involved in fishing. Well, the right term should be "fish feeding" because their abilities in catching fish was (to put it politely) not the best. They did catch some though.

    Here is Julia showing off one of her catch.



    And here is the ... fearsome mouth of another one.



    Our evenings were usually spend with Spyros by his pool. This is the area where we usually gathered to share some "mezedes" and some wine or champagne.



    And this is the rest of the pool area with no lights.



    And with lights on.

    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org
    Last edited by John; 1st September 2012 at 12:15.


  3. #3
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    We of course visited several other beaches like this one, called Lakki.



    Or this one, called Orthi Ammos (which means Standing Sand).



    In general, all beaches were great!



    The last few days, our wish to tour the area was seriously diminished, so we spend them mostly on Frangokastello beach. The youngsters were going there from noon while I joined them around 4 pm.

    Here is my ... hiding place.



    The round thing on the rock next to my chair is my beloved iPhone speaker. With it, I can enjoy the music I love, everywhere.

    We usually stayed at the beach until sun down, and twice we even had some BBQ on the beach.

    Here is Sergios cooking the steaks.



    A couple of friends, Vassili and Natalie from Chania, visited us on one of these BBQ days. They are both from Ukraine.



    Vassili is a great fisherman, we do not remember how many fish he got that day. Here, Natalie is showing one of his catches.



    While Julia is still ... feeding the fish.





    Have you ever danced on the wet sand, on a beautiful sundown? Here is Lena and Julia dancing on Frangokastello beach.





    Of course, the kids enjoyed the evening at the beach too.



    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org
    Last edited by John; 1st September 2012 at 12:06.


  4. #4
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    Some more pictures of Lena at the beach.







    One other evening, Spyros took us to a lovely tavern, nearby. The owner is also a gun owner and that, combined with excellent local food and some beer and then some raki, helped us have a great evening.







    And here is Spyros shooting Julia's Canon (buh!)



    And if you are wondering why these pictures are darker in the lower left corner, than the rest of the frame, it is because the morons who designed Fujifilm X-100 lens hood made it so that it gets in the way of the build-in flash. You have to remember to remove it, or else, this is what you get.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately, like most beautiful things in life, our short vacations time was soon over. So last Tuesday afternoon, we kissed Spyros and his parents (Helen, Nikos, Spyros, we sincerely appreciate your hospitality), waved goodbye to the beautiful Monachus-Monachus apartments and left.



    Our friends, we thank you!

    So we drove back to Chania, from where we would get the boat to Pireaus.

    Here is a picture from the old port in Chania.



    And as you see, we arrived to Crete with wind, and we departed with wind.



    Here are the final pictures I took from the boat, before it departed from Chania.







    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
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  6. #6
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    As a recap of our visit to Crete, I have to say that we had a marvellous time, thanks mainly to Spyros and his family. Unfortunately, his wife Evi, was not there, Evi, we missed you.

    Crete is a beautiful place, with beautiful people. We really enjoyed it.

    Thanks Spyros, thanks Crete, thanks Cretans!
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
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  7. #7
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    Nice photo and beautiful family but the problem is that you visited Creta but we dont see you in a Creta shooting area!!!!xaxaxaxaxa
    Last edited by labroslog; 1st September 2012 at 13:29.


  8. #8
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    You're very welcome John, it was a real pleasure to have you all over. It's a shame the wind gave you such a bad first impression of the place!

    But I have to make one point... I don't look particularly good at the best of times, but either I look a lot worse than I thought, or that shot of mine is... quite bad!

    (I need to shave more often, don't I?)

    It's a shame I didn't take a picture of you fondling my your Commander, though... but thanks for leaving without it!

    Oh and nice pictures, too! I didn't know you'd take shots from the boat, or I would have told you to keep an eye out for the NATO base in Souda harbor, for the occasional US frigate, nuclear submarine or (if you're lucky) aircraft carrier...
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Last edited by Spyros; 1st September 2012 at 13:47.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by labroslog
    Nice photo and beautiful family but the problem is that you visited Creta but we dont see you in a Creta shooting area!!!!xaxaxaxaxa
    Well, Lambro, when you are with the family on vacations, you can't just leave them and go shooting, no matter how much you would like to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros
    But I have to make one point... I don't look particularly good at the best of times, but either I look a lot worse than I thought, or that shot of mine is... quite bad!
    Spyro, it was not your fault, you got affected by the camera you were holding. If it was a ... Nikon, I am sure you would be looking much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros
    It's a shame I didn't take a picture of you fondling my your Commander, though... but thanks for leaving without it!
    I was tempted, be sure that I was tempted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros
    Oh and nice pictures, too! I didn't know you'd take shots from the boat, or I would have told you to keep an eye out for the NATO base in Souda harbor, for the occasional US frigate, nuclear submarine or (if you're lucky) aircraft carrier...
    I do not know if I would shoot a picture even if there was one of these vessels there, but I did look and all I saw was some old Greek ships, decoys probably.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org
    Last edited by John; 1st September 2012 at 14:47.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I do not know if I would shoot a picture even if there was one of these vessels there, but I did look and all I saw was some old Greek ships, decoys probably.
    No I didn't mean the boats next to your ferry, that's the Greek Navy's base. The NATO one is further out, on the opposite side of the harbour, and at night it's lit like a Christmas tree.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

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