Sunday, March 13, 2011


  The contest winner this week is Sarah Geary, in Barcelona Spain.  She answered the question correctly;

General Theodoros Kolokotronis! 
Standing in front of the Old Parliment House (now National Historical Museum) but pointing the opposite way toward the stables where saying because of their subservience to the King,(during Greek Revolution) the stables were their rightful place.

  Sarah wins her choice of jewelry up to $20 from my Aegean Dreams Etsy shop, or the choice of putting that amount toward a more expensive piece;  Aegean Dreams Artistic Jewelry


Friday, March 11, 2011

Athens Again and New Contest for Followers!

  The weather got slightly warmer yesterday, so I decided to brave the cold and head into Athens to stock up on the Sterling Silver wire which I was in need of for my Aegean Dreams Jewelry.  I remembered to take my camera along just in case I saw something to share with you.

For those of you who always picture Greece as sun and is a photo which I took from inside my car, while waiting for the Ferry to Port of Piraeus...Snow covered mountains, across the bay on the mainland!  That is why I was waiting inside the car!  Still really cold!

  Here is a shot of the docks where I leave "Haroula" ("Little Joy", my car), and catch the boat to go to Piraeus, a ride of about 40 minutes.
  On the way, just as we were breaking out into open sea, I spotted this HUGE container ship, so I climbed up to the top deck, (Oh! What I do in the interest of my Followers!!  LOL! It was REALLY cold up there!)

  I tried to count how many across each row and then how many rows...not very accurate, but surely, there are more then 400 Semi Containers on this one ship.  Don't you just wonder where they are all
destined for?

  I arrived in Athens with a group of four American women whom I met on the train.  They had arrived on an NCL cruise ship and had just that day to see Athens.  We got to talking, and one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I was leading them thru Plaka, showing them my fav' eating and coffee stops, a shop-owner acquaintance of mine, who designs and weaves the most wonderful wall hangings, and saves homeless cats and dogs in her spare time, and on thru and up to the picturesque back route to the Acropolis.  I left them on their own, just above the Greek Agora, and I took my "short cut" back down to Monastarki and on to my own business.  They appreciated a tour by a local, and I enjoyed their company.

  Here we are on "Ermou", the most popular shopping street in Athens, which is pedestrians only.  The second photo shows our omnipresent, visibly well armed police on patrol.
  I wasn't aware of it till I arrived at Syntagma (Constitution) Square, but there was a huge demonstration planned for later, so I didn't dither, not wanting to be caught in something that had any possibility of turning never know what can happen.

  This is the approach to the Parliament building, at the top of Syntagma Square.(Platia, in Greek)

  And this is the emotionally beautiful monument to the Unknown Soldier, at the steps of Parliament.  I spotted riot troops gathering on either side of parliament, and policemen and women cordoning off the traffic, so I went and asked one of the troopers what was up...and he told me of the eminent demonstrations, and advised me, just to be safe, to leave the area.  I gladly complied.  These things aren't usually violent, but just to make sure.....

      Meet the "Evzones".  They are part of an elite mountain infantry who played a large role in the war against the Turks, and now hold the ceremonial position of Guards at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of Parliament.  The guard is changed every hour, and is really interesting to watch.

  Now, on to the new contest!

  What is this man pointing at...and why?


  The first "Follower" to post here, on the blog, the correct answer, will win their choice of piece of jewelry valued at $20 or less, or may apply that amount toward any piece of their choice from my Etsy Shop;    Aegean Dreams Artistic Jewelry

   GOOD LUCK!,  and remember, you must post your answer here, in the comment box on the Blog!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Snow! Oh No!

   Now here is a sight one doesn't see every day! (Thank the Gods!)
   Attica was hit with a ferociously windy and bone chilling winter storm yesterday, complete with Snow!  It is normal for Northern Greece to see snow (lots of it, in fact) in the winter, and even the higher elevations here in Attica, but to see snow as low an elevation as the Acropolis, is indeed rare...not to mention here on Salamina!

  Yesterday had to have been one of the most miserable days I have spent here in Greece.  The wind was roaring in from the north and soon brought with it big fat snow flakes.  No amount of heat could make my house warm...these houses are built to stay cool, not to say warm!  We even shut all of the outside shutters in an attempt to warm up the place, but that did little except make it really gloomy and depressing inside.
  I woke up this morning to a thin covering of snow all over the garden and was worried that I would loose the many flowers which were already blooming....but before I could drink my coffee and get my clothes on in order to get out there and take a was gone.  So, no photos of my place with snow, but here are some photos I found of Athens in snow;

Monday, March 7, 2011

Go Fly a Kite!

 Today is "Kathera Deftera", or, "Clean Monday".  Clean Monday is the beginning of the Greek Lenten period.  Most Greeks try to get out into the countryside, a picnic or a vacation house on some island.  We, fortunately, (or not in some ways...crowds, noise and traffic), live in the countryside on one of the Greek Islands, so we don't have to go anywhere at all!  We are already here.

  The food eaten on Clean Monday is very traditional, and the general rule of thumb is not to eat anything with a vertebrae...which leaves great vegetable dishes and shell fish, and squid and octopus.  Salads like "Taramasalata" (fish egg salad), lettuce and cabbage salad.

  In the "Kelaidis" house, we will be eating  mussel pilaf and boiled shrimp tossed with lemon and oil, taramasalata  and whipped potatoes and some white wine to wash it all down.  Oh, and I nearly forgot, I am making, Foccacia, which is as close as I get to the traditional Greek bread for the occasion; Lagana Bread, which to me, has no taste at all.  (mine is so much better;-))

  The tradition of the day is to fly "Aeteo" (eagles) which is the Greek term for Kites.  The sky will be filled with kites today and I will try to get a photo from our roof, although the really cold and miserable weather may not be too conducive to that.

                                          So, all of you out there...Go Fly A Kite!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Finishing, "A Walk In Athens"

  We took a break from our walk for the excitement of the Church Contest, so now let's finish our Walk In Athens.  
  Heading up Athinas Street to Platiea Omonia (Omonia is the gathering of the working men and women, the blue collar population of Athens, and now, also the gathering of the many eastern foreigners and refugees who have come to Athens for hopes of a better life.), we come upon this statue of the Greek hero and statesman, Perikles,  arguably the most important and well known figure in Athens ancient history.  Read on and learn a bit about Perikles;

(Stewart, Michael. "People, Places & Things: Perikles (1)", Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant.

Even though the city of Athens was a democracy, the so called Age of Perikles was in fact a period in which one man ruled the government with king-like powers; although he wielded his authority with the consent of the Athenian citizens, he was both admired and criticized for his almost tyrannical domination of the armies and proprietary use of the wealth of the ever expanding Athenian empire; he was a man of great personal charisma and had a reputation for being honest and above corruption or favoritism.

Perikles was determined to spend the wealth of Athens on the Athenian citizens and its colonies; able-bodied men were assigned to paid positions in the army and navy, whereas other citizens were employed in all manner of public works projects which were brilliantly coordinated and resulted in the construction of some of the most enduring and artistically profound structures ever to grace the Greek landscape; all manner of skills, crafts and arts were required for the construction of such masterpieces as: the Parthenon, the Odeum, the Propylaea and the protective Long Wall (which went from Athens to the nearby port of Piraeus); these civic projects employed vast numbers of workers and gave opportunities to otherwise underemployed Athenians.

   Where have all the leaders like Perikles gone?  We certainly could use someone like him in these trying times.
  How could a walk in any major city of the world be complete without it's very own "Starbucks"?

  Next we come upon the most important "Periptero" (Kiosk) in Athens.  It is the most important because for as long as anyone can remember, this is where the working men gather to see the daily newspapers, hanging on wires all around the Periptero, and to "debate" (code word for scream, curse, and gesticulate with one another over politics and the economy)

  From the Platia Omonia, (square, which it isn't!  It is more like an English roundabout with 6 main roads coming together), we bear to the right and take the first main road, Stadiou, up toward Platia Syntagma.  (Syntagma is the Greek work for Constituion, so this is Constitution Square, and Parliament sits at the top of this Platia)  On the way, I see what is the Greek equivalent of the Boy-Girl Scouts, on an outing to the old Parliament building which is now a library.

  It is getting late now, and if we want to catch the 3pm boat back to Salamina, we had better leave Athens now.  So, on back down to Monastaraki and the train.

Monostaraki (LIttle Monostary)
The Electrico (Train)

  A 20 minute train ride brings us back to Piraeus and then a short 6 block walk brings us to the port and our Karavaki. (Little Boat)

  After 40 minutes, our boat brings arrives at the pretty little port of Kamantero, where I have left Haroula, and there she is, waiting for me.  

  I hope that everyone enjoyed the Walk In Athens trip.  The next trip will be on to Syntagma Square and nearby environs with my Granddaughter Debbie, on Friday.  See you then!