Greece: Kardamili, Stoupa, Agios Nikolaos and Trachila

Continuing my account of my holiday in Greece.


Welcome to the next post in my somewhat spread out series about my holiday in Greece. This post follows on from my post about Nestor’s Palace, in which you can find links to all my previous posts about this holiday. Unlike my previous posts in this series this one covers events from two different days, the Monday and the Thursday. 


There were a few things to be done in Kardamili, including finding some sandals for me, and we decided havuing finished there to make the journey to Trachila, which is at the end of one of the roads beyond the resort town of Stoupa (the other, the main road, goes up into the mountains to Areopoli and then on into the inner Mani and down to very southern tip of mainland Greece). This was a pretty journey, and Trachila itself is very pleasant. 

This map is part of the decoration of the shop from which my sandals came.

Discvover the spirit of the ManiSouvenir shop displayPharmacy postercertificate at the pharmacyThe seaFish in the seaFish in the sea - close upSeaside settlement

The path to the edge of the sea
This is how I was able to get so close to the sea.

Near the seawall fragments

The sea at Stoupa
The sea at Stoupa
lights, Akrouali
On our way back we stopped at Akrouali’s in Stoupa for lunch – these lights were close to our table.


On Thursday morning my mother was going to Stoupa for a “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” session at Patriko’s, while I made use of their internet connection. Then we were going to walk along the sea-front to the village of Agios Nikolaos, have a light lunch at an establishment there that my parents knew, and then walk back to Stoupa before heading back to Tseria. This was deliberately a day on which we did not go on any major journeys as major excursions were happening on Wednesday and Friday.

sparrow, Patriko'sgrasshopper on the path to Agios NikolaosGuided walks Agios Nikolaos

Natural Window
A natural window in the rocks, between Stoupa and Agios Nikolaos
Painted stone, Greg's, Agios Nikolaos
A painted stone used as a table decoration at the place where we had lunch.

placemap, Greg'sPlacemap, Greg's II

House Martin nests, Ag Nikolaos
Two shots of house martin nests in Agios Nikolaos

House Martin nests, Ag Nikolaos II

House Martin visits the nests
A shot of a house martin visiting the nest to deliver food to chicks concealed within.
Hill with Frankish fortifications
Not much remains of the 13th century Frankish castle which stood on this flat topped hill.

Hill with Frankish fortifications II

The Gaywood River

An account of an educational event about the Gaywood River that took place in the Scout Hut on Beulah Street on Sunday.


I have had a very busy few days, which is why there have been no new posts here since Saturday. I will mention my activities since Monday in later posts, but this post is solely concerned with the activity that dominated (in a good way) my Sunday. At the end of this post I will be including a variety of links related in various ways to its content. Here is a map showing the course of the Gaywood River:


I got an email from my aunt a few days before the event was due to happen explaining her role in it and asking if I wished to meet her there and go back to hers for sausage and chips or if I would prefer a saturday supper. I decided that the event could be quite interesting, so I opted for the former course of action.


Since the event was taking place at the Scout Hut on Beulah Street, which is on the bank of the Gaywood (Beulah Street ends in a bridge that crosses the Gaywood into the car park that serves the Scout Hut) I was going to walking, and since it was a bright, sunny morning I decided on an extended route. Leaving my flat I headed across Baker Lane Car Park to the bridge over the upper Purfleet, heading across King Street to the north bank of the lower Purfleet. Here are some photos from that early part of the walk:

Moorhensigull with spread wings

From there I followed the line of the Great Ouse as far as my favourite cormorant observation point…

BoatCormorantiCormorantiiCormorantiiibirds 'n' churchcormorantiv

…before heading round by way of All Saint’s Church to the Library and entering the parkland area, following the Broadwalk until the path through the Vancouver Garden splits off from it, when I followed that and then the path out of the Vancouver Garden that joins the Tennyson Road end of St John’s Walk, at which point I was back on what would be the officially recommended walking route to Gaywood. There were squirrels about (in King’s Lynn only the grey ‘bushy-tailed rat’ variety as opposed to the red ‘Squirrel Nutkin” variety), though it is not always easy to get good photos of them…


Moorhen Chick
This picture and the next feature the heavily sculpted segment of the Gaywood River that passes through the parkland.

Moorhen parent and child

Apart from photograph opportunities the other plus side to being held up a by a train at the Tennyson Road level crossing is that you can cross the road itself in perfect safety as the cars are all stationary.


From Tennysod Road I followed the footpath the runs between the King Edward VII Academy and the Lynn Academy to Gaywood Road, which I crossed, then crossing the Gaywood on a pedestrian bridge before following its bank all the way to the Scout Hut. 

Although darker than their usual colouring I think from the markings that this is a peacock butterfly.
Gaywood river
A section of the Gaywood River


Immediately outside the Scout Hut the Gaywood Valley Conservation Group had a gazebo and display boards (it was there that I took the photo that appears in the introduction). 

GazeboDisplay boardGaywood Valley 1LeafletsDisplay BoardGaywood Valley 2Gaywood Hidden HeritageGaywood Valley 3Display Board

Inside the hut was the Civic Society Stall, a cake stall, and various river related learning activities (colouring in pictures of river creatures for the artistically minded, an A-Z quiz of which more later). Although it was not the first thing I looked at, because it was my aunt’s reason for being there I start with…


They were looking for people who knew about the history of the Gaywood river, because information boards will be going up at various points along it. They already had some good stuff, but wanted more.

Civic Soc display boardCS1CS2CS3CS4183818101960Wall DisplayMKBUrban Trees

Now we turn out attention to…


The cake stand looked awesome but discipline prevailed, and I did not sample any of the products. Although it was not really aimed at people my age I did the quiz, and predictably got all the answers in short order. The colouring proved popular, and many of the coloured creatures were then stuck on to a large picture of a river on the wall of the hut.

I will reveal the answers (just in case anyone did not get them all) in a later post.

Colouring sheetsWall riverCakescolouring table

That is the inside stuff finished, but there was also plenty going on…


There were two major centres of activity in the back garden, and I make my first port of call there, as I did on the day, at…


The Norfolk Wildlife Trust were showing children how to make portable ‘bug hotels’, and they also had a natural history display including a folder full of photographs of animals, and a stash of leaflets, to which I may return in a later post. 


We now come to what was for me the best of all the exhibits, courtesy of…


There were two parts to this exhibit. The minor part was display showing graphically how different treatment of land in the winter affects the soil:

Winter demo 1
These three models were side by side demonstrating what happens to soil when there is nothing there at all – gets washed straight into the river)…
Farm demo 2
When there are dead leaves covering it – still lots of it ends up in the river…
Farm demo 3
…and what happens when something suitable is planted – note the much clearer water at the end – most of this soil remains in place.

The second part of this display was a living exhibit from the river – two large buckets of river water with creatures that naturally live in it there to be seen (the amount of dissolved sediment in the water, the small size of these creatures and the fact that some of them live on the bottom of the river means that this the only way to make them visible). There was also a small sample dish which the person running the exhibit used to show as very small curiosities…

Caddis House
This is one of nature’s smallest houses – within it is a caddis fly larva, and at some point the adult fly will emerge.
The next three shots are of small sticklebacks.

Stickleback 2Stickleback 3

Gudgeon 1
This was described as a gudgeon, but looks different to the other gudgeons we will see later. The silvery sheen to its scales suggests a dace to my eyes.

Water shot

Stickleback 4
I am not sure what this piebald fish is, though it could be a stickleback.

Water shot 2

Sample dish
This shot of the sample dish showing the thumbnail of the dxemonstrator reveals just how tiny that Caddis fly home actually is – it was in this same dish that I saw it.

Water shot 3Water shot 4Water shot 5SaladsPond animals

Two gudgeons in the second bucket – note that as would be the case in the river they are at the bottom.

Gudgeons 2Water shot 6two sticklebacksWater shot 7Water shot 8Water shot 9

There was also a story teller outside…



To start this section we look at organisations who were actually involved in some way or other with this event:

Now we have a few science and nature websites:

  • Wildlife & Planet – interesting stuff about wildlife from all over the world.
  • WEIT – the website that grew out of Jerry Coyne’s classic book Why Evolution is True. 
  • Science Whys – the blog of Brandeis biology professor James Morris.
  • Rationalising the Universe – sets about accomplishing the big task laid out in its title and does a good job of it.
  • Faraday’s Candle – a science website that will really illuminate your life.

I conclude this section by mentioning a couple of bloggers who regularly feature nature in their work:

  • Cindy Knoke – keen photographer and nature lover. Below is the feature image from (and link to) her most recent post:
  • Anna – her posts about fighting to save nature in her part of the world are always inspiring, and her two recent series of posts “Paradise on Earth” and “Butterflies in Trosa” are both stunning. Below is the feature image from (and link to) her most recent butterfly post.


This was an excellent event and I learned a good deal about the history and nature of the Gaywood River. I have one kvetch which is that the event was poorly publicised – I only found out about it through my aunt and then only a few days before it was happening, meaning that anyone else I might have alerted would almost certainly have had other plans. If half of you have enjoyed this post even half as much as I enjoyed the event I have done a good job. I finish by urging you to take the time to follow up those links.



The Croft-Yates Wedding

A personal account of the wedding party for Rob and Olivia Yates, with lots of quality pics. Also, some important links at the end.


I will start with a word of warning: this is going to be a very long post, as there is a lot to talk about and I have some fabulous pictures to share with you. Olivia Croft (now Yates) is a cousin of mine, which is why I was there.


Needing to arrive at Kegworth early enough for those who would be at the ceremony itself to travel on to Loughborough and arrive by 12 meant an early start. I was not at the ceremony and was assigned another task along with my nephew Zachary, which I have already written about in a previous post. After a schemozzle over room bookings, which worked out to my benefit since I ended up with a room to myself (they had messed up, so we got the extra room we needed at no further cost) it was time to deposit our bags in the rooms and make the short walk to the house where the party was taking place, next door to the Kegworth museum.


Arriving at the venue the first arresting sight was a 1950s vintage Morris…

The Morris in all its glory
The Morris in all its glory
A very old style AA badge - this close up shot was gained much later than the shot of the car.
A very old style AA badge – this close up shot was gained much later than the shot of the car.

This is the time, before going on to the party itself to introduce my feature image, a montage of some of the many pictures I took through the day…

FB Montage

There was a Pimm’s table for those whose tastes run in that direction, although I ignored that and was then delighted to located cask beer (four kegs, each different). I went for something called Blue Monkey Infinity and it was delicious. There was a barbecue lunch which was excellent. It is now time for a brief diversion to…


The fish pond was quite simply magnificent, with a stunning variety of fish and an excellent rock garden…

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At 4PM there was a Punch and Judy puppet show. I watched it all and got some good pictures. It seemed to appeal to its target audience, the children, but I was unimpressed to say the least…

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Early on in the day there was some live music outside in the sun, and helped to be the volume not being too ridiculously amped up it was actually quite pleasant from a distance…

DSCN9818 DSCN9825


The speeches took place in the same area as the Punch and Judy, and with the exception of the opening salvo from Andy, the bride’s stepfather, none were particularly impressive…

The groom, who was also MC for the speeches.
The groom, who was also MC for the speeches.

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Andy, giving the first speech.
Andy, giving the first speech.

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The bride's sister, flanked by Evie (blonde) and Libby (darker)
The bride’s sister, flanked by Evie (blonde) and Libby (darker)

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The groom's father making his speech.
The groom’s father making his speech.


The groom's brother at the mic.
The groom’s brother at the mic.


The bride making her speech.
The bride making her speech.

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Before going on to mention the supper and my own departure from the event here are some pictures taken at various times through the day that don’t fit neatly into a particular section…

DSCN9819 DSCN9820 DSCN9821 DSCN9822

Each table in the marquee had floral displays on them, one of which featured this sunflower.
Each table in the marquee had floral displays on them, one of which featured this sunflower.

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A full floral display.
A full floral display.
My cousin Richard and his fiancee Ida - they will soon be off to her native Sweden.
My cousin Richard and his fiancee Ida – they will soon be off to her native Sweden.


Ida and Rachel, girlfriend of another of my cousins, Edward
Ida and Rachel, girlfriend of another of my cousins, Edward


Me and Richard
Me and Richard

DSCN9933 DSCN9936

Serious rain in the early evening.
Serious rain in the early evening.


Supper was fish (or sausage in my case) and chips, and it was delicious (give what my uncle had apparently paid for the hire of the chip van for the evening so it jolly well ought to have been). While I was eating it in the shelter of the marquee, the evening’s entertainment were warming up, and that was sufficient to persuade me that as it was no longer suitable weather for being outside it was time to return, since there was no way I could cope with that kind of music at that volume and accompanied by strobe lighting at close quarters.

The cake, which I did not get to see being cut.
The cake, which I did not get to see being cut.
These last two pics are of the evening's entertainment making their preparations.
These last two pics are of the evening’s entertainment making their preparations.


I had a fabulous day, and by departing early was able to keep the good memories untarnished. This concludes the main part of this post, but I also have some…


My first set of links concerns…


Lots of stuff about this case…


I start this section by reminding readers of the petition calling for a better gender balance in Parliament. Another reminder of a petition that I have been pushing for some time, Fiona Paddon’s via calling for the NHS to provide tests for group B strep to prevent needless deaths of newborns. My next two are related, a call on BA to stop selling trips to seaworld and one from uk.whales calling on ABTA to enforce its own very tight guidelines. Still on the Cetacean theme, have this plea on behalf of the Vaquita. Next and penultimate, another reminder, this time of the Sweets Way Campaign. Finally, I end this subsection by inviting all my readers to take part in a thunderclap on behalf of the Hen Harrier.


I have several very interesting science pieces for you:

  1. A light start courtesy of Faraday’s Candle, whose latest offering is this one.
  2. Cosmos Up have this on red arcs on one of Saturn’s moons, Tethys.
  3. From Niume comes this on “Methane the Destroyer
  4. Finally, accompanied by some graphics to whet your appetite comes this magnificent youtube video on the evidence for evolution.
    Cetaceans skull Whales


The first link to appear in this section comes courtesy of a new find for me, suburbanprincessteacher who has produced this wonderful piece about school dress codes entitled “Newsflash: Girls Are Not Distractions“. Tax Research UK, often a source of good material have produced this on human rights versus trade deals. My next piece comes from unisonactive and is their take on the Trade Union Bill. My final link is to a quite wonderful response by a paramedic to news that New York fast food workers have won a minimum wage of $15 per hour.


I hope that you have all enjoyed this post and will be encouraged to share it. A final message for all who have made it to the end…