Saturday, September 27

donkeys, dolmades and dancing...

It is our last full day on Santorini and Sunday sees us packing up and heading to Heraklion on Crete for one night and then to Chania and the Anastasis apartment waiting for us.

Yesterday saw us on an old sailing vessel and touring the islands, complete with volcano island....molten lava rocks in jet black, very cool....hotsprings that we got to by jumping from boat ladder and swimming through the Aegean sea to the cove holding the hotsprings, ...well....warm springs..., a village of 250 people on another island Thirissa, and finally ending at the port of Oia once more ( we were there for sunset on Tuesday by car) on Santorini, a donkey up, up, up ( yes I rode a donkey and they were quite friendly :)...and an evening of good food, fantastic views and Dolmades once more. mmmmmmmm....dinner was, dolmades as afore mentioned, greek salad, saganaki, and pork souvlaki along with the Santorini wine we have come to love.

I am looking forward to European influences that Crete has to offer although sad to leave the white stucco and blue domed architceture of Santorini.

Our hosts at Stelios Place pensions have been amazing and we felt so at home there.

This island is a mystery of old world, mixed with new world tourism, sunsets, views and friendly gregarious people.

Off we set to new adventures and hopefully I can upload some pics on Crete....


Wednesday, September 24


Whew...hello...I am here in Santorni and iternet is challenging, and I am just now atching up to share the latest.
Greece is freaing amazing. We all arrived safe on the aftermath of a storm but it has been sunny and beatiful ever since and today saw us at Ancient Thira...a HUGE ruin from 6th C onwards, that survived the volcano ....Akri Tiri and umm ...the reason I came to this island ,is ummmmm.... CLOSED...UGH! hOWEVER, Ancient Thira delivered and then some.

We have been pool dippin and beach walking, sun worshipping and gods and goddeses seaking, and this afternoon was filled in a local taverna off the beaten path with a group of wine soaked men who insisted on buying us ouzo, wine and dancing for us, complete with bottle dancing ( on their head upside down) and glass smashing..." a good day! The beer drinking burro may be my fave though!

It becomes increasingly more difficult to get online and I can not use my computer here so alas, no pics...but believe me, thy are magnificent.

Spain was beautiful and I was sorry to leave my friend K and her family, but alas, the volcano called and I answered.

This island is a mystery of back alleys, walkways and ruins.....the mountain goats would once again take their hat off to me for the summits I hae climbed...OI

I will write more once settled somewhere on my own computer....meawhile..ADEEOS...from the beautiful island of Santorini with wonderful faces and smell and I may never eat anything but dolmades again :)

Windmills, sand, water. cliffs, ruins and sky...that is Santorini...more from the road and Crete to come!

Monday, September 15


I arrived in Asturias after S fabulously made my life easier, by driving me to Stansted and with plane only mildly delayed,( 30 minutes) it saw me in Asturius by mid day.
What an incredible area. Lush and hot and green. K and family are even more wonderful in their own setting tan in Canada, and what a setting.
I am so honoured to be staying in such fantastic homes so far.
K's home has been constructed by she and her hubby's hands from the ground up. Sitting high above the town of Gijon and the ocean, the view is extraordinary. Truly breathtaking!!!!!!

Cuddled in with the girls and did some faery crafts :) then had a quiet evening and good sleep.

Today was the day for the town of Ovieddo.....whew.....will post more but wanted to update things and add some pics.

We hiked up a loooong steep trail to San Maria del Nicaranco, a 4th century, preroman ruin and was it worth the hike....wowowowowowowowowo!

I spent a lot of time running my fingers over the hand tooled chiseled stones and am amazed at how well preserved it all is.

We also went to San Miguel de Nicaranco as well.....similar but not quite as grand. The lacework stone was stunning however.

There was also much food, and beverage....did you know that here, 12:00pm is Vermouth time>?
Yup, casks of vermouth that are mixed with a variety of other yummy things, wione, fruit etc.....are kept and the base drink has existed for years as they just keep topping it up. That and Tortilla are a good way to kick off lunch :)

More to come...must sleep for tomorrow's adventures.....

Friday, September 12

Chile...ala, "Vegan-A-Go-Go

I have my friend Sarah Kramer's fabulous new cookbook with me as I am travelling..."Vegan a-Go-Go".

Today I got to use the recipe for at tesco, I was able to easilly find everything needed and even though the cottage offers some antiquated appliances and small pot cooking, I split nto two pots and created sheer deliciousness for a gathering of friends tomorrow. Sarah Kramer rocks once more.....Of course I couldn't have done it without my helper "Murphy" reading the recipe for me...

Headless Horsemen and Treasure......hmmmmm

I am staying in a part of Norfolk that is steeped with history, mythology and ghost stories...the following is copied from a local tale about the treasure and the key,
( the door handle is on the rectory right across from us here at Reading Room Cottage, behind the beautiful red brick wall covered in Ivy. I am in the thick of it as they say...)

"Callow Pit- source, notes and queries, John Glydem, "The Norfolk Garland"

On the boundary of moulton River and Cantley parishes, there was a cavernous hollow known as the Callow ( or caller ) Pit
( some say it's the pond on the west side of the southwood road crossroads at TG394058), which in olden days was used as a hiding place for smugglers and outlaws. By night the ghost of a headless horseman rides around it before galloping off to Callow Spong a mile away and vanishing.

Although the water was very dark, locals often talked about dragging the iron chest of money they could see just below the surface. One night two men from Southwood tried, and managed to hook the iron ring on the end of the chest. After hours of struggling with its weight, it broke the surface, and one of them cried out " We've got it now, and not even the Devil himself shall have it!" At that a cloud of sulphurous vapour enveloped the pool, a long black arm erupted from the water, grabbing the chest with claw-like fingers, and a fierce tug of war ensued.

The Devil proved too strong, and the chst sank into the water, never to be seen again, and the men were left with the iron ring from the chest. They took it home and fixed it as a handle onto the door of St. Edmund's church at Southwood, where it could be still seen as recently as 1890, but is now the door handle at impenhoe Church."- end quote

Spooky hey :)

Thursday, September 11

ol' Man River....

...truly just keeps rolling along!

S and I spent the day in Wroxam, a lovely community on the Broads partaking in some tourist fair of: chips with the swans...mmmm chips and malt vinegar, gifty stores and then aboard a river boat ride for two hours is the twinkling sunshine.

We started our day though with a walk through "top field" with Angus. You step out of Reading Room Cottage and are immediately amongst fields of hay, barley and mud, but also ancient barns and the ol' rectory directly across from S's cottage. Me and my new "wellies" enjoyed it, visited some horses and giggled at Angus gallumphing through the fields hoping for a hare to pop out.

A quick brekky and we were off for our day in Wroxam and the Broads.

The Broads are a huge water way of shallow rivers and wetlands, that go on for miles and provide much of the reeding used for the thatched cottage roofs locally.
A wetland full of birds, fish and folk who come to appreciate a slower pace and old fashioned living.
Some of the most beautiful old estates, windmills and old dodgers sitting astride their ancient three leg chairs with a fishing pole are only visible by boat along the reeds.

Our boat, an old paddler from the 30's took us along a sunkissed day and to a place where the modern requirements of living are left behind. was just lovely. We had a hilarious announcer that had a Norfolk accent and a lisp and sounded like the priest in "the Princess Bride" There are a lot of s's in the world,....*giggles*

Upon landing once more on terra firma, we made our way to Wroam barns, just in time for closing but a little place much like Matticks Farm and did a bit of a shop...I came home fudge :)

A peaceful night is to and furries and friends......

Tuesday, September 9

Castles, Cathedrals and Dungeons....oh my!

Twas Monday and it saw S and I on a park and ride bus into Norwich town and in search of ancient things.

Turns out we were in the right place :)
We first ventured into Norwich Castle....sitting high on a hill, looking forebodingly over the people and town, the castle dates back to 1121.

(PIctures are to come, still working out internet access at S's house and am on her pooter at present)

The sheer immensity of "the keep" or main area of the castle, was overwhelming...the feel of the cold, rough hewn stone work, the freakin' high celing and beamwork...the tiny slivers of windows letting in a bare minimum of was easy to see the lords and ladies in their tapestries, velvet and chainmail wandering about with glasses of mead and meat on tables everywhere.

My favourite bit was walking along the upper catwalk and looking at the armour and tapestries. Beautiful.Breathtaking really. Hard to imagine living there though, not very cozy! S and I had many giggles including riding a chariot and scaring each other with the wax heads in th cages. It was set up to show the life of the prisoners inside the main floor of "the keep"r...not a pleasant life that's for sue.

We took a guided tour of the dungeon, stunk really bad... led by a colourful and enthusiastic young man with a flair for the really nasty dungeon and torture stories.

As this castle was used as a prison from 1300's onwards, the energy was more than a little oppressive.

Pitch black but for a few lights, torture devices with wax people in them and complete with the sound of moaning.
Yes, I really did hear some god awful thing moaning down a tunnel. One other member of the tour heard it but no one else, we shared a grimace but could not utter the words outloud of "ghostly noises" raised every hair on my body and almost sent me running..i toughed it out was an intense adrenaline rush and offered everything a good dungon should.
What a place to house people......ugh!

We then wandered the town, and sat amongst all the old flint buildings having a bevvie, and cornish pasty watching all the people...walked through Norwich market and bought the biggest bouquet of sunflowers ever in the history of the world, and made our way into the cathedral....wowowowowowowowwoowwoowwo....

The cathedral was built around the same time as the castle and has housed nuns, a school and many lives and characters passed through its beautifully carved environment.

The cloisters were lovely,...imagining the penguined habits of the nuns appearing and disappearing behind the ornate arched openings..a serene and beautiful place to end our day.
Norwich itself has a pace much like Victoria, laid back and touristy, but no too much.

Next stop....river boat cruise along the broads......a paddle boat is in the offing.......I will be singing Ol' Man River you can be sure.

Sunday, September 7


I sit here listening to the fall of English rain, inside a red brick cottage dating back to the 1700's .

I slept very well in my upstairs bedroom looking over the garden and conservatory. I awoke to the call of songbirds and have that cheesy morning, break of dawn, classical music piece now stuck in my head......will find the title...

Across from us is a a one lane road and an ancient red brick wall strewn with ivy and overgrowth that wraps around the lane and hides a lovely old rectory.

I am staying in the wetlands know as the `Norwfolk broads. Rivers and farmlands abound.
It is a little like going back in hear the echoes of hoofprints and the swishing of petticoats in the air.
You also hear the doves outside cooing on the clothing line ( wow they are huge) and the call of roosters announcing the new day.

Truly a perfect first stopover in a journey about reaching into our past.

My friend S who is hosting me while in England couldn't be more wonderful.
An ease of manner and down to earthness that is so relaxing to be around, we are in the process of plotting further journeys around Norwich this week. She and this cottage are a match made in paradise, the woolies, and boots, the leather hat for dog walking and the easy swept blonde hair add to the picture, as do the black lab " Angus" and black and white kitty "Murphy.

The cottage itself has a character that speaks to its past, a threshold across the kitchen to the living room, worn down to a valley in the middle with years of footseps going about their daily business, the twisty stairs t the bedrooms upstairs and the double doors, that allow you to open the top half, strapped in wrought iron.

Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibilty come to mind, the ladies would have been happy to have their new circumstances in a cottage like this.

My leg from Amsterdam to Norwich was a bit delyaed and after travelling for almost 24 hours, it was fantastic to see a friendly face waiting for here, even though we were an hour late arriving.

I can tell Norwich is going to be a favourite place already. We are off to a drive and a pub and then to a dinner with friends this evening.

The place where I am is called Limpenhoe and even the name conjurs horsedrawn carriages movng along the lanes.

Pictures to come..ofcourse, the converter `I borrowed is a two prong and my computer plug is 3 pronged (oops) so am on S's pooter in the meantime....stay tuned.....:)

Saturday, September 6

On the road......with Kimmee

Well here I am...whew.

After a loooooooong flight in cramped quarters, I am here at the airport in Amsterdam waiting for my last connection to take me into Norwich.

It was a very calm, very easy, smooth and exciting trip so far.
A friend came and met me for bevvies in Vancouver at the airport and was a welcome distraction from the 4 hour wait. Also nice to have a friendly face see me off there as well as Mumzie and T in Victoria.

I know it is early days and things can muck up, But i found all the gates, lined up to check in appropriately and even managed an aisle seat on a sold out plane :) No issues at the security counters...hmmmm I think it may be all D's fault.

Met some older travellers who wanted to have me visit their home in France.....and another couple who are enroute to Italy.
What is it with me and nice senior folk trying to adopt me? it is really funny...everywhere I go, some nice older couple has a story to share and wants to hear mine....hmmm does that mean I am old ??????? Not willing to bet on that ,, I am thinking I have a friendly face and seemed to know the answers to their airport questions.

A couple of crazy vacationing in Ibiza girls ( in picture) joined my row and drank the flight away...lots of chat and even a little sleep. Well a very little for me...darn I just get so excited.

I am now a little punchy and tired but happy to be here and feeling peaceful about the whole undertaking.

Okay Europe, I am here and am ready to take you on....:) My confidence build with every gate I walk through :)

more to come.....

Friday, September 5

Farewell Canada

and all things Canadian for two months.

I am ready, bags are packed......furries have had a good loving up and speaking to so they know I am coming home, D has be sent off to work with squishy hugs and friends have been smooched.

I am now officially embarking on the journey to theatre's past that I have been dreaming about since 1992 and planning for 3 years.

I am aflutter, nervous, excited, worried I have forgotten something but also thinking "oh well".

Take care of this beautiful countryside til I return!


next post on the road!

Tuesday, September 2

It comes...

in 3 more sleeps and I am aflutter with butterflies in my tummy, foreign phrases on my tongue and a lot of laundry , packing and sorting to do.

If I could just stop vibrating with excitment long enough to focus on the packing task at hand.....this would all be a little easier :)