Molyvos Life

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Archive for Melinda

OUR FATHER, GIORGOS…….

A unique individual with a kind soul who was much loved by many.Georgios

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.

In those days

In those days

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:

Photos in the harbour house

Photos in the harbour house

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”.

Dancing at Theo's 50th birthday party

Dancing at Theo’s 50th birthday party

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!

Dancing together on Jenifers 70th birthday party. He even sang to her.

Dancing together on Jenifers 70th birthday party. He even sang to her on that night in front of us all

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.

He loved to mushroom and after gathered them  they would cooking them. something they enjoyed

He loved to mushroom and after gathering them they would cooking them. Something they enjoyed

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.

Always with his cheeky grin

Always with his cheeky grin

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.

Cheeky grin with his friend Angelos

Cheeky grin with his friend Angelos

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.

Lunch

Lunch

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)

On one of his trips which he loved to do with Anastasia

On one of his trips which he loved to do with Anastasia

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.

who has the most cheeky grin

who has the most cheeky grin

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.

with Nadia enjoying a lovely meal

with Nadia enjoying a lovely meal

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!

His favourite cat , bully

His favourite cat , bully

Giorgos will be missed from all our lives, forever.

Sitting in Avlaki having his  tsipouro

Sitting in Avlaki having his tsipouro

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Ship wreck in Molyvos

 

ship wreck 1

ship wreck 1

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Late December a fishing boat when off course and hit rocks on the second bay of Molyvos before the harbour.

 

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Nobody was hurt and the boat was completely destroyed. The captain and crew swam to shore.
The crew lost all their belonging 2014-12-28 15.24.56

Greek Traditions For New Years On Lesvos

Father Christmas in Greece, known as Agios Vassilis (Saint Basil/ Basillis/ Bill), comes with  the arrival of the New Year, bearing gifts.

It is tradition for the first visitor who comes to your home after the clock chimes 12.00  to knock on your door and when you open the door to him he will have a big stone with him, a jug of water and a pomegranate. He places the stone on the floor, pours the water over it and then breaks the pomegranate. This ritual is one to bring good luck to your home for the year ahead. Whilst he is performing the ritual he is also chanting words similar to these: “As heavy as this stone is, may your pockets be from abundance of money….As this water pours, may the happiness and laughter pour into your home….. As the same way the pomegranate seeds spread across your floor may the joy and heath spread across your home.

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wishes for 2015

 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING COURSE IN MOLYVOS

Molyvos tourist association

 http://www.theotheraegean.com organised a seminar called Social Media Marketing.  Of which they also contributed to the cost.

social media marketing

It was a two day course of which over 50 people with different businesses from Lesvos took.

We were captivated

We were captivated

It was a very enjoyable experience. We all learnt many things which should be a great help in our being able to introduce Molyvos and Lesvos to the world.

Our speaker was Panos Kazanelis, who kept our interest and made the event fun. With lot of humour and laughter helped keep our attention for the many hours that was needed to complete this course.

http://www.about.me/panoskazanelis

 

The seminar was held in the Delfinia hotel and Andonis and crew looked after us very well serving us with coffee and delicious biscuits when we needed a break

THE TRIP

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.

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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.

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Some where worth going

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!

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Off to Plomari where we stopped first at the Museum of Barbayannis (one of the oldest ouzo factories) just before the main town.

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The entrance to the factory of Oyzo Barbayanni

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.

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This is only one of the distillers

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.

bottling oyzo at the factory of Barbayanni

bottling oyzo at the factory of Barbayanni

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.

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I have not seen such a large Platanos tree in Greece

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.

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The Captain’s Table, Theo and Melinda

Island Hopping and with a connection to Lesvos

There is an airline that travels between our Greek  islands and one of the islands is Mytilene. So yes another way to get to Lesvos island.Image

Hurray !!!

I have known of some flights between us and other islands but not so regularly.  I really wanted to share this with everyone.

http://www.skyexpress.gr/en-us/home.aspx

MOVING IN MOLYVOS FESTIVAL 7-9th OF JUNE 2012

The Moving in Molyvos festival is part of a new creative approach to the promotion of the island’s well-known health-giving properties such as the natural hot spring spas. These are already enjoyed by both holiday-makers and participants in the many health and well-being seminars held on the island every year.
Now the local tourist association is bringing together the many teachers and workshop leaders working on Lesvos to celebrate their work in this unique three-day event.

The festival offers the chance to take part in a fascinating series of workshops, open to men and women, at the special festival price of 5 euro per class in:

• Yoga  (three different forms)
• Nia,
• Tai Chi
• Chi Gong,
• Healing Dances and songs
• Aqua therapy. 
• Greek dancing
• Eastern Belly dancing
• Nature walks

 All participants are invited to a series of complimentary Greek lessons and special free evening events:

 • Welcome drinks to introduce the festival and the teachers

• Sunset at Molyvos castle with ouzo and traditional Greek music

• A chance to dance! Enjoy a short performance of Greek dances  

    before getting up and joining in – encouraged by some Greek wine   

    and snacks.

 During the festival, there will be an exhibition of classic and contemporary work by local artists at the Trifon building on the harbour every evening, with free entrance for everyone.

All the festival events are designed to complement each other and to foster well-being, strengthen the mind and body, and energize the individual.

You can look at the festival programme and create your own, personal  timetable of classes, leaving time to experience the special energy and vibrance of Greece’s third largest island.

On our part, we look forward to welcoming you and providing a unique experience that maximises every aspect of Molyvos- our very special Aegean village.

A significant proportion of the festival income goes to local charities.

For more information check out our website. http://www.movinginmolyvos.com