Greek A to Ω – Λ (Lambada) is for Λιβάδι or Livadi, Serifos

Whilst these string of Cycladic islands are all the same they are all completely different at the same time and Livadi had a unique quality that set it aside from other places we have visited.

Serifos is not a popular holiday destination for overseas visitors and a bit like Amorgos (in my opinion) a place that the Greek people have sensibly kept back for themselves because close to Athens it is convenient to reach and it doesn’t suffer from the excesses of, say, Santorini or Mykonos.

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Greek A to Ω – K (Kappa) is for Κουφονήσια or Koufonisia

Every time we travel to Greece for the annual island hopping holiday we have to make room in the itinerary for a day or two of beaches and in 2011 we chose Koufosinia and we travelled there from nearby Amorgos on a six o’clock ferry.

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Festival Days – March 1st

 

March 1st  is often regarded as the first day of Spring and to celebrate this it has some interesting (Mad March) festival days.

In Wales it is St David’s Day and mostly everyone wanders around with a daffodil in their lapel. Apparently it used to be a leek and in Henry V, Shakespeare had his Welsh soldier Fluellen wearing one in his cap to celebrate the day.  I suspect the daffodil has replaced the leek because it is a lot more attractive and smells a whole lot better too!

In the USA March 1st is National Pig Day. I’ll say it again in case you don’t believe me – National Pig Day.

“The purpose of National Pig Day is allegedly “to accord the pig a rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals”.  The question of whether the holiday is a time to honour pigs by ‘giving them a break’ or to appreciate their offerings (spare ribs, bacon and ham) is an open question.” (Wiki)

I can’t help thinking that this is a bit insensitive towards the feelings of 3.3 million Muslims who live in the U.S.A.

“And the pig, because it has a split hoof, but does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You shall neither eat of their flesh nor touch their carcass.” Deuteronomy 14:8*

My favourite 1st March Festival Day however just has to be National Beer Day in Iceland…

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Won’t Be Doing That Again (1)

In June 2012 we travelled to Russia for a two centre holiday in St Petersburg and Moscow.  Given the state of east/west relationships this is not something that I expect ever to do again.

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Greek A to Ω – I (Iota) is for Iος or Ios

The little beach at Valmas is delightful where a shabby taverna with a shaded terrace overlooks the shore and the little bay and it is run by an old lady who probably should have retired years ago and who has a limited but interesting menu with the sort of prices that suit my budget.

Going to the beach and the taverna is part of the Ios routine and every day we do the same things as the day before, walk along the same path, go for a swim, then to the taverna and sit at the same table and stare out to sea.

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Greek A to Ω – Θ (Theta) is for Θάσος or Thassos

Thassos is the most northerly of the Greek islands, rwelve miles from the mainland and the city of Kavala, in that part of Greece known as Macedonia, which is where we flew into before transferring to a ferry boat for the short crossing over Kavala Bay and arriving in Liménas, the main town on the island.

It is a medium sized island and we were staying at Liménaria which was just about as far away from the port as it was possible to be on the island so we had to stay on the transfer coach for another hour before we reached our destination.

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Greek A to Ω – H (Eta) is for Hρακλῆς or Heracles

While we were there we had to visit the Acropolis.  We had waited until Sunday because sometimes museums and archaeological sites are free on the Sabbath so we thought it was worth the wait until the last day in Lindos.  When the time came to tackle the steps I was disappointed to find that you do have to pay on a Sunday after all.

The walk and the climb to the entrance to the site actually turned out to be the easy bit because once inside there was an energy sapping ascent up a steep stone staircase with a sheer drop on each side to the entrance to the medieval fortress which was built by the Knights of Saint John in the fourteenth century to defend the island against the Ottoman Turks.

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Greek A to Ω – Z (Zeta) is for Ζορμπά or Zorba

A couple of weeks away in Greece are just not complete without going to a traditional Greek food and entertainment night and this really must include participative Greek dancing.  A real enthusiast will prepare for such an evening by purchasing a CD of Greek music to practice beforehand but this is not strictly necessary and all you really need to be able to do is to recognise the opening chords of ‘Zorba’.

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Greek A to Ω – E (Epsilon) is for Ελλάδα (Hellas) or Greece

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A Virtual Ancient City

On the boat ride back from Delos to Mykonos  I thought it would be fun to recall all of the other ancient sites that I have visited and assemble a near perfect virtual ancient city.

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