Thursday, 29 June 2017

Eating our way around Thessaloniki

The city of Thessaloniki is set on the coast, and the centre of town is a marina (rather than a beach), which means there is a lovely boardwalk to wander along in the sunshine, eating ice cream or delicious Greek pastries.

The city is an old walled city, but most of the remnants of the walls have disappeared.  Sadly, a lot of the history of the city seems to be ignored, or locked up.  There are various churches built 2000 years ago which are locked to visitors.  There are archaeological sites that are completely unprotected – with graffiti on ancient ruins.   

We really enjoyed wandering around the edges of the city, coming across the remnants of ancient Greece, but I wish that there was more money in Greece to take care of the ‘old stuff’.

We did exert ourselves somewhat to make our way up the White Tower – like the Round Tower in Copenhagen, the White Tower is an internal ramp, rather than stairs.  At the top the view over sunny Thessaloniki was lovely. 

The city is full of delicious food.  In addition to the Greek pastries, we ate cheeses, olives, fish and salads.  

There were so many tempting things to try, that it became difficult to find enough to see and do in between each meal or snack (I know, a terrible problem to have).  Probably the most delicious meal was our final dinner, where I had a delicious pasta with fresh tuna.

Thessaloniki is a lovely city, pretty perfect for a weekend, or a couple of days, where you want to do a little sight seeing, and eat a lot of delicious food.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

My Caravan Tote

I made the Caravan Tote, a pattern by Noodlehead, and I am impressed – so much so that I stopped my knit night and made them pay attention to the bag!

Most impressive is the front zip pocket.  The instructions were made up on many steps – each one simple – but as someone who struggles to visualise things I was completely surprised that it worked out so neatly.  It really is clever – the seams are entirely finished and the pocket itself is quite useful. 

There are lots of little steps that end up improving the bag – like the stitch line toward the bottom of the bag which helps the bag sit nicely.

The only thing that wasn’t clear was how far to insert the straps and next time I would leave more of the strap in the body of the bag (between the layers of various fabric) – this would probably require longer straps than the pattern calls for. 

Overall it’s a very well written pattern. 

It's made up of many short steps – the vast majority of which are well described and easy to follow.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Lazy days in Larnaca

Geoff and I headed off on a Hellenic tour – a few days in Cyprus, then a few more in Greece.  Firstly, Larnaca in the southern (Greek) part of Cyprus. 

A mostly flat, sun-bleached town on the beach, Larnaca was a perfect place to spend a weekend in lovely weather, sunshine, sea and eating seafood.

After an early start in London, we arrived just before sunset in Larnaca, with just a short cab ride from the airport to our hotel.  

Naturally we headed straight to the beach, and wandered along the sand and dipped our toes in the water before the first of multiple dinners of calamari!

We did some exploration of the town – we went to the church where St Lazarus was buried (the second time, of course).  It was so different to the cathedrals and churches that we had visited across the UK and Europe – from the Bristol Cathedral to local churches in Krakow, Poland, we had become used to a certain look.  The St Lazarus church was entirely different – absolutely dripping in gilt and iconography, very little floor space and very small.  Underneath the church is the tomb of St Lazarus where people come to drink the water, or anoint themselves (and their children) for good fortune.

Larnaca is full of tiny streets, none of which are straight, and we wandered along them – stopping in at little shops selling ceramics, honey, nuts and religious icons (and bought none).

Mostly we soaked up the sunshine, and bathed in the ocean.  It was low tide during the day, so we had to wade a fair way out to get to deep enough water, which was easy enough as the beach is a bay with pretty calm water.

More seafood followed, with more beach wandering.