Thursday, May 30, 2013


for the 3rd time since we've been here, the winds of hell came and stayed... this time starting about 10pm and increasing steadily to raging, incessent, unrelenting and howling all night long. it comes from storms in the deserts of north Africa and brings heat and fine sand so the mountains aren't visible and there's a sticky haze in the air. when it comes in the fall it brings torrents of rain and we have rivers of water running down the streets. evidently, climate change brings this more and more frequently. not a happy situation, for sure. i expected to see trees and power lines lying all over the place... but not.

tonight we went with Chris and Alex to Almyrida for dinner at Aeraki.. our friend Giorgios' taverna. were happy to see an old friend, Nikos, now working there... we knew him from first years here when he worked at Bloumosifi. worthy of photo capture was Alex's salmon pudding appetizer.. some kind of soft stuff wrapped in strips of smoked salmon. tasted pretty good. also, Chris' paella looked interesting.. and my pork souvlaki. enjoyable evening. hope to see Geogios, Nikos and Nikos again while we are here.

also got a photo of the grapes growing on the overhead trellis at Ano Kato. looks like a good crop on the way.

Monday, May 27, 2013

another relaxing day...

today turned out to be "going for a long hike" day for Kate, Chris, Jim and Alex, following one of the hikes from "Discover Vamos on foot", written by our friends Berend and Toine. so Zylie and i are soaking up the joy of their villa in Douliana... especially the Wifi..
i even watched a presentation by Neil deGrasse Tyson on science and creationism and some Jon Stewart bits from his show (which i miss a lot). in fact, i miss being at home in my queendom very much. to keep me happy here all i had to do was look at the weather reports for Banks... eeeek. so sorry you are so wet there. i will continue to enjoy the sun and heat and try not to be homesick.

there is a new hangout in Vamos, very close to where we live. it is called Ano Kato and it's a cafe/bar owned by our friend, computer George and new friend, Dimitri. they have done a really nice job with renovating the space and decorating it. even has a small outdoor seating space with grape vines growing on overhead trellis. so far they seem to be appealing to a lot of locals and few tourists. prices are really reasonable.... an order of 2 ouzo came with a nice plate of mezze and cost 4euro (about $5.25). both the owners are very welcoming and we like going there. just one drawback... a young and partying crowd did a late night thing on saturday nite... church bell was ringing 3 when the party broke up. but i wasn't sleeping well anyway with a mosquito trying to find a meal, Jim snoring and our bedroom in the loft being hot and stuffy.

tried to find a more efficient way of uploading photos to flickr.. but the only way seems to be one at a time and i just don't have a lot of patience for that.
so, hope nothing happens to all the photos i have on my iPad and some still on my camera.

Friday, May 24, 2013

more random

back in Arachova... our very good friend Frosso, following. a wonderful meal that she prepared for us, included is a photo of her husband Giorgios who died 2 months ago. sad times!

and there is Bruno... a legend in his own time.. has been a fixture here for years.

and for Pam..our most fave any time of the day...beautiful, tasty, juicy tomatoes on fresh bread with mayo. oh yes!

and there is a photo of our very dear friends Elena and Toine and their daughter Iris.

and my only fiber purchase (so far) from Garn Gallerie in Denmark.

no more stupid tappy thing for today

and a p s.... just looked up the elevation of Arachova.  it is 3089feet, which explains the serious breathing problem i was having there.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

happily in Vamos Crete

arrived here last night and had a delicious dinner with CKAandZ at Bloumosifi taverna. in Greece we have been ordering a variety of dishes and sharing them, which works out great! saw a lot of friends, got lots of hugs, did some catching up on life. Elena, Toine and Iris stopped by taverna while we were there and i got a couple of pics. Chris and fam are staying about a mile from here in Douliana where they could have a place with pool and wifi. will meet them for dinner again at taverna and will try to get food photos tonight. spent day today getting myself grounded , unpacked, clothes washed, ( good ole sink laundry) and hung on balcony... dried in record time. it is hotter than the hinges at high noon in hell. and will be for couple more days but that's ok cause i'm here and oh so happy. will use wifi at taverna when we go for dinner (none in our house)

there's photos below of Delphi near where we stayed in Arachova (north of Athens) and from hotel balcony in Haldiki...last night before Crete. was happy to see Ben andJerry are everywhere!! saw the dogs early morning stretched sleeping on sidewalk like it had been a 3 dog night, minus one!

lots of catch up blogging to do... later.

Monday, May 20, 2013

in Halkidi,Greece

Crete tomorrow. the 2 days in Arachova were special..spending time with Frosso and her grands Efrossini and Dimitri. met her on first trip to Greece and have kept in touch since. she is one of those very special beautiful generous rare souls who one connects with occasionally and is a treasure forever. also we spent a day in Delphi which i will write about later. Chris did a magnificent job driving the van thru impossibly narrow steep and winding places...and seems to have kept his sanity and sense of humor..

tonight we are in a 4star hotel with AC and WiFi and i hope Chris is getting well deserved rest and a cold Mythos beer. tomorrow 5pm we fly from Athens to Hania Crete and taxi to Vamos for 3 weeks to rest up from our vacation. nothing planned for ancient sites, museums, miles of walking, etc. just chill out, see friends, and enjoy a bit of raki. bravo

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mavrodaphne Winery

One of Jim's goals here in the Pelopponese was to visit this winery. the wine he loves is dark red and sweet and not easy to get at home... costs a lot more there when he can find it. the first wine was produced here by a Bavarian, Achaia Clauss. he established a village here where people lived and worked on the vineyards and winery. this is an immense estate, with gigantic barrels around all over the place. we had a wine tasting and then short tour, which included a building containing more than i could count barrels of fermenting wine. the ends of some of the barrels were engraved in honor of various important people who had visited. there is even a barrel of the first wine produced in 1873! well, that's hard to believe... but that's what our tour guide told us... They also make a wonderful Moscato... be still my heart... also a sweet after dinner wine. so.. back in the tasting room, purchases were made and both Jim and Chris left carrying several bottle of both Mavrodaphne and Moscato. wondering how much of that will actually make it back to US with us. the story/myth goes that Mr. Clauss was madly in love with a young beauty named Daphne who had beguiling black hair, so named the wine and winery Mavro- (Greek for "black") and Daphne for his lover. sweet story. i'd have loved to have seen this establishment in its prime... must have really been amazing. they do still grow the grapes here and make the wine, but only 1 family lives here now. i wish there were a way that Jim could get a start of some of these vines... but besides them being "protected" for this area, it would be impossible to get them thru customs.

p.s. we've almost finished a bottle of each.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

in and around Patras, Greece

some photos here of the Odeon, in an archeological museum (prob. the best i've seen thus far).... ancient spindles and spindle whorls, mosaic of Bacchus stomping grapes, lots of wonderful mosaics from floors of rich folks homes in the Patras area, gold jewelry. seeing all the mosaics just made my knees weak! they still retain so much color and detail after being buried all these many many years. someday, i'll try doing something in mosaic. actually, some would make great knitting patterns. if you'd like explanation of any of the photos, just ask.
spindle whorl (#10}

i got all excited becuase i thought these were ancient spindles.... but, no... they were ornamental pins to hold robes closed.  humph.
gold jewelry from some of the grave sites
mosaic of Bacchus getting ready for a party!!
Odeon in Patras
the mosaics in this museum in Patras were beyond beautiful!  amazes me that they are so clear and colorful after so many many years!  and mosaics really fascinate me!

Monday, May 13, 2013

left out of the last post

here's the photo the Zylie commented on "a LOT of detail, gramma"

Greece - Pelopponese

today we went to ancient Olympia and it was awe-inspiring. i fantasize what it would be like to be at an archeological dig and actually find something... even as small as a spindle whorl or bracelet or ring or surgical tool... all of which we have seen in museums. and then to uncover something like a column of Hera's temple!

anyway, had fun with the kids and grands, took tons of photos and just wish i could find a way to caption them. when i get back home, there's a trip to the apple store and possibly a purchase. i just know there has to be a better way than this. i hate this frustration feeling!! aaargh...

so, below there is a mother's day phot of my wonderful son and me. also, a photo close-up of a big building block which shows that they used shells and such to make those big stones. i could even see the skeleton of a crab! how cool is that? and there is one of a statue in a museum that my grandgirl confided to me "there's a LOT of detail there, gramma" which she repeated several times. when we got to the area where the races were held, Alex ran the 220 meter distance... and i got the olive branch crown (or whatever it's called). he did get to wear it, too.

also, a pic of the bridge we see from our balcony, Medusa, mosaics (and it amazes me that the color is still so good). i can see lots of patterns for knitting in the museum pottery and the mosaics.

and tonight.... exhausted... walked miles today and yesterday and just about every day since we left portland..., but airports don't count as anything but torture. after airports there have been miles of interesting sights and sites.