Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Phoenix: One Thing Leads to Another

In our lectionary readings for today, St. Paul talks about a bay in Crete, facing northwest and southwest, at the west end of Crete, called Phoenix Bay. I’m a bit of a geography nerd, but with the miracle of Google Maps, and the Internet, I found the bay, and even better, I found a hotel I would love to stay in.

It’s not a fancy hotel, and it’s not expensive. It appears simple and clean. But look at the location! Alone! You can’t even get to it by driving, you either drive to a village and take a ferry boat to the hotel, or you hike overland about half and hour to get there. It is ISOLATED! (I love isolated hotels!)

The hotel is calls itself the Old Phoenix Look at its setting:

What is so special about us?

The Old Phoenix can only be reached on foot or by boat. There is no sound of traffic and everything moves at a slow and laid-back pace.

The guests come here looking for peace so they are unlikely to be noisy themselves.

All our rooms have large balconies overlooking the Libyan sea.
Our food is simple, traditional Cretan fare, cooked daily from fresh local ingredients by the family.

Despite the quietness there is a whole range of things to do including lazing on the beach, snorkeling in some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, easy walks to serious hiking, canoeing and excursions by boat to the neighbouring villages.

Watching the two sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that have chosen to live in our bay since 2010 is also a nice addition to the quiet entertainment that I can be had during the day.

We have stayed in the general area before, and loved it. We were in our early 50’s, and we heard of a hike that was beautiful and challenging and unforgettable, and we knew we had to do it or we never would – 20 km, starting out hiking downhill, which sounds easy but after a couple kilometers you discover muscles and weaknesses you never knew you had. The only way we completed the hike was that there was no alternative. You had to keep going because there was only one way in and one way out.

At the end, we were almost dead from exhaustion, and the next day we could barely move. It’s one of the BEST things we have ever done. 🙂 The Old Phoenix is not far from this 20 kilometer gorge.

I would really love to find this hotel and stay there four or five days, it looks special. You don’t find a lot of hotels like this one, remote, family owned, small, quiet – and every room with a gorgeous view of the sea.

August 24, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Exercise, ExPat Life, Travel | , | 6 Comments

Cretan Olive Oil

This response is to a post I wrote October 25th on The Olive Oil scandal, that even when you buy a brand you have thought is reliable, you may not be getting what you paid for. For me, it was particularly horrifying to discover they were adulterating the olive oil with hazlenut oil – I don’t have a severe allergy to hazlenuts, but they make the insides of my ears itch. I avoid hazlenuts!

I keep getting such good responses to the post – and I have a partiality (disclaimer!) to small producers of anything, from olive oil to soap to pecans . . . I love buying from the entrepreneur.

Which is why I have taken this response from the comments page and made it an entry. Thank you, Mr. Sassone, for your thoughtful addition to this subject:

It is indeed a shame that the majority of the olive oil on the American and world market has been adulterated by unscrupulous sellers looking for enormous profits.

That is why I started growing olives on the island of Crete, making extra virgin olive oil-EVOO, and importing it to the US. I personally observe all steps in the process from the time the olive flowers bud on the tree until the EVOO goes in the can. I know it is the cleanest, freshest, highest quality, and most healthful EVOO you can buy at any price.

I also offer all customers copies of test reports from independent laboratories that show the exact quality. Acidity is 0.17%. Total polyphenols are 165ppm. Peroxide value is 6. Nothing can compare at any price.

When people buy EVOOs that are labeled as a mix of oil from several countries, they must take this into account: How clean was process to gather the olives? How clean was the factory that processed the oil? How clean were the trucks that transported the oil to the ship? How clean was the ship that transported the oil? You can see where this is going. At any one or more of dozens of steps in the process, contamination can occur. Some of the olive producing countries do not have food the safety standards like the European Union or US Food and Drug Administration.

My curiosity got the best of me. Recently, I sent samples of 13 EVOOs sold in the US for lab testing to find out just how good or bad they are. I dont have a web site just yet, but will publish the results as a comparison to my oil. So long as I keep complete control of the entire process, I can improve the quality of my oil each year.

My EVOO is now available in the US. It is the finest quality and most healthful EVOO you can buy at any price. Send me and email if interested. Thanks. Tony

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cooking, Entrepreneur, Health Issues, Hygiene, Shopping, Social Issues, Technical Issue | , , , , | 7 Comments