Archive for lesvos
Greece has many lovely and unique Christmas traditions, and the holiday here is not yet quite as commercialized as you will see elsewhere. During the day on Christmas Eve, children go from house to house singing kalanda (Greek carols) and playing the trigono (triangle), for which they are rewarded with sweets and pocket money.
Families are known to keep a fire burning in the hearth to keep away the Kilikantzari, our very mischievous Christmas elves/goblins that enter houses during this season through unlit fireplaces and play tricks upon the family.
Although many Greek families now celebrate with a Christmas tree, the tradition still remains to decorate a boat with lights, as St. Nicholas is the saint of sailors and fishermen.
Most families have a lunch of roast pig and christopsomo (Christ bread), a sweet bread decorated with a cross. Christmas gifts are exchanged after midnight on the 31st of December, once St. Basil (Father Christmas) has entered your house and broken a pomegranate with a stone.
In our Molyvos home, Christmas is a time for celebration, family time and enjoyment of the off-season quiet that wraps the village like a blanket. These are the weeks when we restore ourselves, reunite with friends and begin to look forward to what the New Year will bring.
In 2017, we encourage you to spend your holidays in the breathtaking village of Molyvos, Lesvos, and enjoy for yourselves our famous traditions. Our lovely, thoughtfully appointed properties offer comfort and luxury, catering to friends and visitors in all seasons—though summer is most special when everything is blooming, the water beckons and the The Captain’s Table offers the best tastes of the island
Do visit www.lesvosaccommodation.com and come see us soon!
Christos Anisis (Merry Christmas in Greek)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
with gratitude from
Melinda and Theo
Born in 1946 and raised in a traditional Greek household on Lesvos in the small village of Molyvos. In his early years, Giorgos was significantly influenced by his Communist uncle (Gianni), who operated within the Greek resistance movement. Uncle Gianni was a lovely and extremely forward thinking man who fought strongly for his ideology. Unfortunately, his strong beliefs led uncle Gianni to get arrested and be confined to a tiny cell for many years. The amount of torture he endured and the pour conditions he was left to live in, meant that upon his release he was no longer able to stand and confined to a wheelchair. Subsequently at the end of the civil war, he was exiled to Russia.
This influence meant that Giorgo did not conform to the normal village way of thinking. In 1968 Giorgos met Jenifer, our mother. A single woman from Australia, with two children from a previous marriage, 9 years his senior and who did not speak a word of Greek. Recounting the way our mother tells the story, it goes something like this:
Whilst on holiday in the small fishing village visiting my aunt and uncle, Norma and Percy who had relocated there from Australia, I went out to a “taverna” one night. In those days it was custom to have live music playing with bouzoukia and people would always get up and dance. At one point I looked over and I saw this man dancing “zeimbekiko”. I hadn’t spoken to him or seen him before but that was it for me. I fell in love with him the second I saw him dance. He was an amazing dancer”.
Another night, with neither of them speaking each other’s language, our mother pulled Giorgos from the tavern to show him her two sleeping children. Later, he took her to a room above the old gold shop in the village, and on his old wind up gramophone he played her a Harry Nilsson record. And so the romance began. Speaking to them about this time in their lives, neither of them at this stage thought that they would end up getting married, having three children and living the rest of their lives together!
When Jenifer returned to London, Giorgos set about teaching himself English, from a dictionary. Jenifer made several return trips to Molivos where Giorgos would take her and her two children out on a small rowing boat and would sing to them. He loved signing and had a beautiful, gentle voice and he would sing to us all the time. During sleepless nights you would often hear him singing and humming to himself
Giorgos made the easy decision to follow her to London one winter. One cold rainy morning, whilst Jenifer was waiting for the train to get to work, her legs turning to ice, she made the huge decision to leave everything behind and to move to Greece to live with our father. She packed up her things and with two daughters, her mother and father in toe, Jenifer moved to Greece.
Giorgos and Jenifer married in 1972. The fact that he chose to marry a foreigner in those days with two children who was older than he is a testament to the way my father was. He did not care that his parents disapproved of his choice; their marriage took place in Athens with their first born (Anastasia) by their side. It took over five years before his family started to speak with Jenifer.
Giorgos worked as a fisherman since he was a boy. His father, as his father before that, owned fishing boats and he was taken out fishing with them from as early as he could remember. According to our aunt, Giorgos use to try and hide from his father in order to get out of going fishing, but they always found him and dragged him along. He adamantly denied ever being sea-sick, despite our aunts insistence that this was the main reason, but he would always have a cheeky grin on his face whenever we teased him about it.
Later on in life the family boat was handed down to him, which he captained for years. It was always remarked on by the local fishermen about what an amazing fisherman he was as he found fishing spots that people still want to get their hands on.
In 1982 Giorgos was approached by the United Nations. He moved to Zanzibar in Africa to teach the Mediterranean fishing practice to the local people. He spent two years there. Obviously the whole family went with him, taking everything including the kitchen sink (in fact, this is no joke; we still have photographs of the aforementioned sink that we took with us)
Returning to Molyvos, Giorgos continued his life as a fisherman until retirement.
Sadly Giorgos fell ill on the 12th December 2014, and was taken to the intensive care dept of Mytilene hospital. He was suffering with problems with his lungs, and after five weeks of fighting passed away on the 18th January 2015.
It is hard to write about our father and be able to convey in a few paragraphs about his life, his character, which was what made him the amazing person he was. He was an extremely intelligent, funny, generous, wonderful man with a cheeky smile that we will miss forever.
His unique character is evident in his last wishes; to be cremated, without fuss, and for his ashes to be scattered from a boat, into the waters of the Aegean, whilst ABBA’s classis tunes play loudly across the water!
Giorgos will be missed from all our lives, forever.
Lesbos and Chios teem with natural delights, from picturesque waterfalls and sultry hot springs to forests fossilised by volcanic ash 20 million years ago. Pack your shorts for a warm spring holiday away from the tourist hordes on these two Greek islands that lie near Turkey in the north-east Aegean Sea. Wing it to Lesbos, known as Mytilíni by locals, which is a favourite spring.
All data based on Lesbos a Data from Hellenic National Meteorological Service b Data based on Molyvos resting spot on the avian migration route. In particular, Lake Metochi, the Tsiknias River and the Kalloni saltpans attract the likes of bee-eaters, olive-tree warblers, black-headed buntings and black storks. Don’t forget your boots: hundreds of miles of walking trails criss-cross Lesbos, one of Greece’s largest islands. A hike may lead through pine forests and meadows of wild orchids. Soothe your aching legs with a soak at one of the island’s hot springs – those at Eftalou in the north are on the beach. Stay at the nearby medieval town of Molyvos where red-stone houses cascade below a 14th-century castle down to a harbour and pebbly beach. Take a ferry from Lesbos to Chios to see a spectacular firework rocket war between two churches. This centuries-old battle takes place on the Saturday of Greek Orthodox Easter – a week after our own Easter – at the town of Vrontados. Stay at nearby Chios Town and don’t miss the superb Byzantine mosaics at the Unesco World Heritage site of Nea Moni, an 11th-century monastery.
Need to know
Ferries link Lesbos with other islands,
such as Chios and Limnos, but
services may be twice-weekly in April.
How to do it
The only non-stop flights in April are with Thomas Cook from Gatwick to Lesbos on Saturdays (from 18 April). A week’s package in the resort of Skala Kallonis – near the Kalloni saltpans – costs from around £400pp. Limosa, a specialist in birding holidays, has an eight-day tour of Lesbos in late April 2015 for £1,695pp, including flights.
More info: Rough Guide to the Greek islands.
Feeling excited as it was an excursion which we rarely do. Something we always plan but too busy in the summer and somehow too busy/lazy in the winter. Arranged by the committee of restaurants for the second time to cut the pita (the pie for the New Year). This is a tradition that is done all over Greece where a pie/pita (sweet) is cut with a coin inside and whoever gets the piece with the coin is lucky for the rest of the year.
A bus trip to visit olive oil factory in Yera , Ouzo factory in Plomari and lunch.
An amazing assortment of people turned up. All from restaurants in Molyvos and Scala Sikamia. People we never hang out with so it makes this excursion all the more interesting.
We passed through Kalloni with all the incredible birds in the salt flats, a working olive factory with lots of smoke pouring out of its chimney in Dipi, a flock of birds resting on electric wires, the flat as ice sea in the gulf of Yera and wonderful views through the bus windows.
Arriving in Yera village that has olive trees growing close to the water edge, there is the sign that directs you to the Olive press museum which is in the centre of the village, one of the first steam –powered factories on Lesvos. Olive oil is the second biggest income to the island after tourism.
A fantastic project. A decayed building which took 3 years to be restored. Photos of the before and after are hanging in every area of the building. It was very impressive. Personal hand held speakers in both Greek and English to direct/explain the tour of the museum. Well worth the visit!
Off to Plomari where we stopped first at the Museum of Barbayannis (one of the oldest ouzo factories) just before the main town.
Ouzo is made from pure alcohol made from sugar beet, grapes and sugar cane in factories that are over seen by the government. It must be very pure and clean alcohol so the taste is not affected. The alcohol is distilled and 35 different herbs and spices are introduced of which the main one is aniseed, that is grown for them in Lisvori and then dunked in salt water to keep the aroma of the herb longer. Once the ouzo is distilled it must be kept for 45 to 60 days in large vats which make it become sweeter and be able to be drunk.
There are 15 distilleries on Lesvos that make ouzo.
Lesvos produces over half of the total amount of ouzo produced in Greece
Ouzo is exported to over 35 countries.
Our next stop was the village Plomari. One of the largest villages of Lesvos. Once with over 12,000 inhabitants now with just under 3000 including the foreigners (we were told) . Impressed as compared to Molyvos it looked massive. Banks, supermarkets galore but many buildings in ruin. We noticed a lot of buildings built by a special green stone that created a lovely and different design.
Our final destination was lunch at a restaurant called Mouria, just outside the village of Plomari, which served us very fast and had great food.