Where are we?

Moussaka! Homemade!!

More about that later;)

Today (Thurs) is a wet and rainy day - started early this morning and has not let up. We usually seem to get a few hours of rain and then it clears up to be a great day - but today I guess I have time to catch up with my blog  :)  Cant believe that we've been here for a month already! And we're still lovin' it!  Even though it does get a little cool at night being an old stone house with no central heating. The days can be warm but still cools down at night and being at a higher altitude then Chania it gets cooler.  We do have a portable electric heater but don't use it to much because it takes a lot of electricity and have no idea yet what the electricity will be costing us.  Should know by next week. Then we'll see if we run the heater more or just put on our sweater and cover up with a blankey when we watch TV LOL!! Think I'll make some soup today to warm us up.

Last Saturday we took the bus into Chania to fill our new cart full of fresh veggies, olives and whatever we find :)  We catch the 10:30 bus along with other locals heading to the market with their carts LOL!! We were speaking with one couple about where we are from, where are we staying etc. It seems everyone has a relative somewhere in Canada.

We get to the centre of Chania and first go to the bank since we are down to about 5 euros in cash! Luckily everyone, even the little stores in Tsikalaria take credit cards :)  We then head towards the market.  We first go thru the "dry goods" section - the same ones we saw that day on another side street during the week.  Lots of good deals here if you're looking for winter clothes! I need some short sleeved t-shirts for Honduras but cant find any here :(  The ones I brought with me from Canada all seem to have stains on them that I cant get out!! Tick me off - have to remember to wear the apron that is in the house when I'm cooking to save my tops!

We find nothing we need in the dry goods so head towards the veg market.  So much to choose from and so many vendors!  We pick up a 2kg package of grape tomatoes for only 2E! Also need to buy some eggplants because want to try and make moussaka. I've bought it twice before, but the first one froze in the fridge, the second one I left on top of the oven by mistake when it was on, so it got mushy. Will take care of these ones.  We end up buying a bag full of vegs and 2 types of olives for probably 18-20E - which is a good price compared to the stores but at Canadian prices $24-30 it may be high. Cant remember anymore. We also have a kabab on a stick that was grilled on a wood fired outdoor grill.  Love street food :)  It was very tasty. Think sometimes it is made with minced lamb but I forgot to ask.  Next time I guess.  Each stick was only 1.50E and it was the size of a smokey :)  My hands were full so forgot to take a picture LOL!

Once we were thru the market we head towards the walkway along the bay. Its a nice sunny day and great for sitting on a bench, watch the waves, eat tomatoes and reorganize the cart. Get the heavy stuff at the bottom.  Then decided since there are so many cafes along the seawall walk we should stop and have a latte and hot chocolate.  From there we head back towards the centre square.  There is one area that has nothing but souvenir stores. I asked at one store the price of a simple looking green necklace and was told it was 100E - its turquoise. WHAT! Is there cruise ship in port today?? Seemed a bit much! So on we keep walking. Fairly busy today being a Saturday.  Also found a second hand store.  Thought I would go see what they had for t-shirts - but only had sweaters and long sleeved shirts. Also thought I might find a stovetop expresso maker - but no luck there either. BUT did find a backgammon game. There was one in a wooden box for 6E and another one which was just a fold-up board in a box for 3E. Figured since I'm not sure I'll get Dwayne to play I better just spend 3E.  I don't know how to play the game but there are instructions in the box :)  Always see the greek men playing it while having coffee or a beer in the local cafes.  Plus if it starts to rain for days and we cant get out we better have something to do since no games are in the house.

Since we had eaten a bunch of grape tomatoes while sitting on the seawall we weren't really hungry for lunch and it was close to 1:30,  time to head back to where we have to catch our bus at 2.  We get to the bus stop and I run across to the grocery store to check and see if they have any ice cream for us to take home. We haven't been able to buy any since we rented the car because the local stores in Tsikalaria don't carry any during the winter I guess.  But when I checked the store, they also don't have any ice cream! WHAT?? There is another store half a block away so I run there and check - also nothing!  This was one time we could buy ice cream and get it home on the bus before it melted - but no luck today!  I know the Lidl store carries ice cream but its to far away to walk to and get back.  Anyways, when I get back Dwayne runs to a bakery to buy one of his favourite BIG donuts and once he comes back he watches the cart while I run across the street to pick up a spanakopita for my treat :)  Then shortly after that the bus arrives.  The same people who travelled into town with us now also have their carts full of groceries and heading back home. Once we got off the bus and headed up the hill there is a section we walk that has stairs, well the cart hit one of the stairs and a piece of plastic broke off the wheel and it started wobbling!! Dwayne carefully pulls the crippled cart the rest of the way. Not sure if he can fix it :( Bummer!! Only one trip out with my sporty bag!

Our loot from the outdoor market

These are the grape tomatoes for only 2E

Our view as we rest on a bench

Lots of cafes under the awnings

coffee and hot chocolate with a view

As we are walking around we pass the back of the Venetian boat repair buildings from the 15th century
Sunday we just spent at home. Dwayne worked on the grocery cart and MacGyver found some wire and wired the wheel hub tight - hopefully that will work :)  It was a nice sunny day to sit outside and do some reading and knitting. As I'm knitting the socks for Dwayne I see that the colours are different! Even though I checked when buying the 2 skeins of wool that the lot and colours numbers were the same on both packagings, and they were.  I didnt see any difference when in the store. Now as I knit one sock is going to have more blue in it then the other! WTH! I even unwind  I've taken pics of both the skein wrappers and the wool and once I get the socks done will send the pics and email to Patons - need to do some bitchin' ;)

Knitting with kitty :) Max enjoys sitting with us when we're on the lounge chairs

same labels but different colours!!
Monday needed a few things so decide to walk to Souda with the repaired cart. Also want to check for ice cream there - we are up for the challenge to get some ice cream back to the house LOL!! And YES! the store has ice cream. But before we buy any we go have a coffee first and thought we would walk further towards the port but it was late when we left home, so decided to just get the groceries and head home.  Once the shopping was down we rush to get home before the ice cream melts. As it turned out it only took us 30 mins to walk the 3kms! So no time for it to melt :)  Now we are good for a week and the cart made the trip home!

found an avocado tree on our way to Souda. I picked one but it is hard as rock - not sure it will ever get soft

picking oranges 

found some bamboo - maybe that can be used for something :) 

one of the tunnels we go through under the main highway

from the other end

Dwayne lickin' his sugar lips after a bite of his favourite HUGE donut
Tuesday we stay at home so I decide this is the day I'll make moussaka! I've had it a long time ago and not sure it is all that great but I want to make something with eggplant LOL!! Besides just grilling it and serving it as a veg - again not one of Dwayne's favourites.  So I start the meat sauce just after lunch and let it simmer away. The recipe asked for 1/2c of red wine and I usually don't like that in my meat sauces but thought I would try it this time.  After simmering for an hour I wasn't crazy about the taste so got a lemon I had just picked from the tree outside and started squeezing a little at a time. And before I knew it the sauce tasted much better :)  Then it was time to slice up the eggplant because I have to sprinkle the slices with salt and let them "sweat" for an hour before grilling.  I also peeled and cooked a couple of potatoes because the recipe I'm using has sliced potatoes on the bottom - this will make Dwayne happy :)  Once the eggplant slices have sweated I rinse them off and dry them. Then I grill them on the electric grill. This takes awhile since the grill is small. So I stack up the cooked ones on a plate as I continue to grill the other slices.  Decide then to start the layering. I bought a foil lasagna pan for this recipe so placed the potato slices down first. Then the eggplant slices.  Covered that with the meat sauce. Then another layer of eggplant slices.  Now comes the tricky part - béchamel sauce including egg yolks! Never made it before so need to be careful not to make scrambled eggs! And it worked - the sauce was great, not lumps and no cooked egg yolk :)  This is then poured over the top of eggplant. I had to turn up the sides of the foil pan to keep the sauce from flowing out!  Into the oven for 55 mins.  When I checked once it was still pretty light coloured so left it longer and next time it was a little to dark on top! Not quite sure about this electric oven (almost like an easy bake oven LOL)  So leave it out to sit for 30 mins and then sliced it.  Not to bad.... but I think the sauce may have needed a little more time.  Anyways we both thought it wasn't to bad - different taste thats for sure. Don't think I'll spend another whole afternoon making it though LOL!!  We do have another 3 meals of it in the freezer! Maybe second time round it will taste yummy :)

beautiful bird of paradise plant

Huge pan of moussaka - to bad it got a little dark on top 

Moussaka and awesome greek salad with lots of olives :) 
Wednesday is time to get out and walk again. I say we should walk to the Lidl store 6km away! We can then walk to 2km into Chania centre and take a bus back here :)  We don't leave until after lunch at 1.  maps.me showed it would take us 1 hr and 25 mins but we did it in just over an hour- which is what it should have taken since we walk about 6kms/hr.   We had to detour a bit because of very large water puddle so that added to our time LOL!! We first go for a coffee because it looks like we are in for a little rain. Just as we got in it did start to rain. So we had a nice break with coffee and a sweet tart. We did the shopping then walked downtown. After the rain the sun came out so it was a wonderful afternoon for a walk.  We do a little more walking around since the bus to take us all the way back to Tsikalaria doesnt arrive until 5:30.  So we end up sitting for the last half hour on the bench by the bus stop and people watch.  We get back to the house at 6 and had another great day of walking around - total for the day  11.4km 👌

YES!! We made it!!!

Got inside just in time for Freddo Cappuccino and sweet dessert - always need a reason to walk a long ways!!

But the rain didnt last that long

Cute little restaurant in Chania

Streets are quiet today
As I finish writing this blog - which ends up being longer then I thought 😁 it is still raining out, so wonder if I can convince Dwayne into a game of backgammon?? LOL!!!!