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Tours England
  • "...thank you for such a splendid day in the Cotswolds"
    A.F. - Utah
  • "Thank you for a fabulous tour - you are a brilliant guide - we love you !"
    B & N - Tennessee
  • "... a thousand thanks for showing us around in your wonderful and beautiful country!"
    JL - Flanders, Belgium
  • "... the Cotswold villages and the vistas were spectacular. The pub lunch was delicious and the atmosphere one of a kind"
    N & B A - California
  • "WOW!!! What a way for a Yank to see France!!! Having one of our old Allies the Brits showing the way!!!"
    WC & PC - Alabama
  • "... thank you for the wonderful tour I had with my father to Normandy and Paris!"
    JC - Florida
  • "We say more than we bargained for and then some..."
    C &C - Georgia
  • "... a rather seredipitous click on Google that let me to you and I will forever be grateful for that. What a font of knowledge you are! "
    SM - Philipines
  • "We just want to thank you again for making our vacation so special. We had a great time. Absolutely wonderful! Happy memories!"
    Mike & Jane McCool, Front Royal, VA
  • "You did a fabulous and caring job, making sure our trip was perfect."
    J & A - New York
  • "You put so much heart into what you do..."
    BE, China

Rob Little’s Blog – musings of an English / British Tour Guide where I not only vent about things that “get my goat” but, also, publish lovely photos and eccentric stories about “this Sceptered Isle”!

The amazing mountain road from Episkopi in the north to Fragokastello Beach in the south via Kallikratis…..!
Tuesday, 26th September 2017

Crete is a quite extraordinary island and the topography in some ways reminds us of South Africa which is ironic having taken our last vacation there. Many of the rock formations and the red colour of the soil are very similar. And it’s amazing to be at 2000 feet and to see sedimentary rock – rock that was once compressed by an ancient sea, being forced up though the unimaginable pressure of continents colliding!

So on Monday, having had the laziest of vacations, we decided to cross the mountains from the north, to the south coast of Crete – not the easy way, of course but across the amazing mountain road from Episkopi in the north to Fragokastello Beach in the south via Kallikratis! If I remember I will add a route on google maps when I get home!

This route is not for the faint hearted or nervous wives because the roads are narrow and incredibly steep, often with massive potholes and huge rocks that either have dropped all over the road or look as if they are about to with the next little earth tremor! With multiple “hairpin” bends at each side of the drive, it was quite a feat but, then, I suppose at least we were not hiking !

We had lunch in an isolated little taverna (Taverna T’armi Tou Kallikrati – not on tripadvisor but excellent) in the middle of the mountains near Kallikratis which itself is no more than a few houses……and then the onslaught, following the Kallikratiano Canyon, until we had sight of the sea…..and no kidding we had 30+ hairpin bends to descend to the flat fertile bottom. It was like negotiating a small intestine……nay…..a small intestine of a baby…..if you’ll pardon the graphics!!! Eventually we drove out to the sea and had a drink next to the ocean, adjacent to the 13th century Venetian fortress.

Then we had to drive back!

Can you believe, the GPS said we were only 16 miles from our Villa but the drive back would take us 90 minutes and 40 miles – such was the winding and steep road!

Wonderful day and fantastic experience !!

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England and Crete !

Ascending from Episcopi

Ascending from Episcopi

Ascending from Episcopi

Goats !!

On the way up!

Lunch at the top in a Taverna

Through the canyon

Omg the sea we’ve traversed the island !

Ahhh I don’t think so…..

A way to go yet…..

Unbelievable !

Finally on the side of the Ocean at Fragokastello

The Venetian Fortress 800 years old !

The view of the mountains we must ascend to return !

If you look carefully above the village you can see the zig-zag of the hairpin bends going back up the mountain!

We finally made it – the moon shining over Xirosterni – our nearest village, last night !

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?

…..it seems a few more people need to be incarcerated along with Hillary Clinton for allegedly using private emails on government And business:

Ivanka Trump – “LOCK HER UP

Jared Kushner – “LOCK HIM UP

Steve Bannon – “LOCK HIM UP” (Please!!)

Reince Priebus – “LOCK HIM UP

Rob Little
The whole thing is a fiasco, it seems…..
Let’s Tour England !

On the subject of singing the National Anthem at sports games….
Monday, 25th September 2017

Here in the UK we would not dream of spoiling a good game of football (soccer) with a rendition of our “God Save the Queen”!! It would force an unacceptable hiatus in the preparation of players’ psyche which could prejudice the game – whatever next?

In fact the only time the National Anthem is rolled out this side of the pond, is at an “International” game when, then, we sing the anthem with enthusiastic gusto. In our game of football we do have “internationals” where our national side plays the national side of another country….not sure that happens with the NFL brand of football??

And in a game where, shall we say, England plays Wales at Rugby, the English sing “God Save the Queen” and the Welsh sing “Land of my Fathers” or “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” and they sing it in Welsh!! Some see that as disrespectful and revolutionary at the very least!

Fortunately I am not obliged to sing the US National Anthem as were I to do so, from what I have read, I could be guilty of a treasonable offence based on all the nice friendly words sung about us Brits. Mind you, weren’t we utter bastards in the past? 😉

Rob Little
Not obsessed with the British flag or anthem…..
Let’s Tour England !

PS – Funny Story !

One of my very good Customers, a good friend, was on vacation with me in the UK some years ago, on the day England was due to play the USA in the World Cup (Soccer). He did not want to watch the game in the hotel, lacking in atmosphere, so I had found a pub and he and his wife agreed to join me for the evening. I warned him the pub was a bit rough, there would be bad language and abusive comments to US players, the Ref and our own players and recommended he sit quietly and unobtrusively in the corner, low profile where nobody knew he was American. All seemed fine until the National Anthems……the British one was sung and people carried on chatting, buying beer and eating chips which is pretty well par for the course for a sports game here. But I was not counting on the imminent and no doubt programmed reaction of my friend when it was time for The Star Spangled Banner. He shot out of his seat, arm across heart…. The whole pub did a double take and at the end gave him a cheer. The evening proceeded in a convivial fashion – I don’t remember the final score!

The square in Vamos, Sunday night !

After our gargantuan lunch, followed by a siesta, we went to the local pub of “Kafeneon” in Vamos for a drink before “close of play” and bed!

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England and Crete !

All I asked for was an Ouzo and a glass of wine. They brought “extras”…..an extra shot of ouzo, raki, potato chips, crouton bread and cheese! All for 3.50 euro!

Turn up the sound and listen to the Cicadas and Sheep bells from outside our Villa last night…..

Are we allowed to be indulgent and lazy on vacation?

[That should have got your attention!! Kostas’ dog welcoming a motorcycling guest to the taverna!!]

So yesterday, we returned to the tiny Dris” mountain Taverna owned by the very kind, larger than life, Kostas in the tiny village of Maza – actually not too far from Vamos where we are staying but it would be unlikely to be the kind of place you would just “happen across” without a recommendation and direction. We arrived about 1.30pm and were greeted by Kostas – his family was also gathering to eat lunch!

It was absolutely wonderful to sit there in the sun, under the bougainvillea enjoying a beer to start and soaking up the atmosphere of this tiny village before the feast began; with the light scent of wood-smoke from the kitchen. Heaven!!

First came a fantastic salad – tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion and a particularly gooey feta cheese…..

Then came the little cheese pies…..the pastry is sort of flat and crisp….they were warm and yummy!

Then the Beef souvlaki (kebab)……my wife was already feeling full just in time for the…..

Horta” – wild greens, often dandelion leaves…..strong tasting…..bit of a metallic taste to them….. I’m sure they are supremely good for you but an acquired taste…..managed to get most of them down but I struggled!

The beautiful fried potatoes helped prepare me for the pièce de résistance….the mountain Goat…..creatively butchered chunks of the most tender and tasty meat you can imagine…..mmmmmm

Finally this was followed by the traditional little dessert – this time chocolate gateaux, and Raki “on the house” as they say but as we all know “there is no such thing as a free lunch“!

But then, maybe there is, because this feast cost us just 33 Euro (I gave him 40).

Then, as we were walking out he ran after us with a bottle of local wine…..

We finally left the place at at 3.50pm – 2.5 hours of bliss!

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England and Crete !

A naughty guest feeding the cats!

The dog appears from under the table…..

The Dris Taverna in Maza

The square in Maza with the Dris Taverna under the bougainvillea

Love this old door!

They do this in India…..
Sunday, 24th September 2017

…..but their trains don’t do 70mph…..😜

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England !

Sons of Bitches…..

…..nice way to describe the “Black Lives Matter” brigade?

We certainly know how to poke a stick in a nest of wasps don’t we…..?

But, then, why would anyone want to diffuse the situation when it’s far more fun adding a little gasoline to the fire…..?

Rob Little
***t stirer…..
Let’s Tour England !

PS – Twenty-seven players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens took a knee during the singing of the US national anthem in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in England on Sunday as feelings intensified after The President’s demands. It was the most ever in a single NFL game. The Guardian newspaper counted around 12 players from the Jaguars and 14 from the Ravens. There did not appear to be any white players taking a knee. However many players, coaches and even the Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan linked arms instead as they stood, showing unity for their black team-mates. The Ravens’ players and coaching staff were also supported by their owner Steve Bisciotti, who said: “We respect their demonstration and support them 100%.”

You’re FIRED !!

Griffon Vultures…..
Saturday, 23rd September 2017

Griffon Vultures in the skies above Chania, Crete…..thanks to my great friend Jean Denis Meric for identifying these – very large birds living in colonies of up to 20 on Crete – soaring to find carrion !

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England and Crete !

The Covered Market in Chania…..

The Covered Market in Chania, Crete – nice place !

But check the photo of the cheese counter, below !

Rob Little
Tour Guide
Let’s Tour England and Crete !

The Covered Market in Chania, Crete

Check this photo carefully for more evidence of “the law being a challenge” on Crete !!

“Dotard”?? do ·tard (dōdərd) noun: A word you didn’t previously know existed, but googled today and said, “Damn, that’s pretty accurate.” !!

do ·tard (dōdərd) noun
A word you didn’t previously know existed, but googled today and thought:
Damn, that’s pretty accurate.”!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a dotard as:
an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile“.
It’s a 14th century word !!

The word has made guest appearances in literature over the years but rarely with kind intent:

Recent example of usage:
I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged dotard with fire.”

The North Koreans are known for the high quality of their English classes !

Rob Little
We Brits are accomplished at turning tragedy into humour…..
Let’s Tour England !

PS we all know that it is Kim Jong un that is the fool, but nevertheless his attempts to make the US leadership look impotent, with humour, have been quite successful 😂