Tuesday 17 January 2012

The Start of a Journey

As I approached retirement I started to explore  what options this new status would offer apart from the obligatory free bus pass! I undertook a number of self exploratory exercises that I had used a few times in my working career and discovered that fresh air, sunshine, blue skies, wide open spaces, quiet relaxed informal environments, eco issues, enabling change and a need to "make a difference" were important to me.

Dawn in Sougia
During this research I was reminded of my experience of  a few years earlier when I had renewed my acquaintance with Greece and discovered that the South of Crete still retained the relaxed pace of life and friendliness that I had experienced many years ago. This was epitomised on the bus journey across the island from Chania to the sleepy village of Sougia. As the bus climbed up through the mountains bread, newspapers, post and even live chickens were taken on board for delivery to outlying villages where they were just left at the side of the road for later collection with all and sundry on the bus having a view on such events and with the collective involvement of friends and strangers alike.
Sougia Beach

Given the dark cold winters of my adopted home in Northumberland the idea of a "southern" alternative, at least part time, was sown and becoming increasingly attractive. I therefore spent many of those long winter nights researching areas around southern Crete with a view to visiting in the Spring of 2009 to search for a plot of land upon which to build a house.