When things have reached the stage that the 'baby' of your family is due turn fifty, you may need a holiday to recover from the dawning realisation of how all of your ages are moving up. Funnily enough, my 'wee' sister Rachel suggested a trip to celebrate her milestone, so Helen and I joined Rachel and her family for a two weeker in Crete, which I had last visited 24 years previously.
One event which made the holiday was the hotel deciding to upgrade us to an apartment with our own private pool, right beside the beach. This made for a relaxed and luxurious experience, where we were able to keep to ourselves but mingle with other locations and events according to our desire.
As well as having an excellent situation at the hotel, with fabulous food and temperatures between 22 and 29 every day, a number of other trips were undertaken. We hired a car and visited Knossos Minoan Palace which was built between 1700 and 1400 BC. I have annotated the photos extensively so will not repeat the details here. After taking a drive to the north east of the island we had lunch in Elounda and then visited the island of Spinalonga, which has a Venetian fortress and was a leper colony from 1903 up until 1957. On another day I also undertook at 16k hike through the Samaria Gorge which I had not managed to do during my last trip in 1987 and had always regretted missing out at that time.
Managed to get a couple of days scuba diving in, during which my nephew Dave passed his Padi Advanced Diver qualification. Highlight of the diving had to be the wreck of a German Messerschmitt Bf 109, the first plane I have dived on. There were two big groupers living under the wings and various other smaller fish such as Anthias. Thanks to my Austrian friend Urban for supplying the photos he took during the dive.
The main event of course was Rachel's birthday, of which you can see plenty pictures, which hopefully tell the story of what was a great day out for the family.
I hope to get some other photos of the plane wreck from a local man who looks after the site and will add these in due course.
A great experience. The memories will linger...
Hope you enjoy the photos.