Monday, February 28, 2011


Gloria Ross, of Grand Rapids, Michigan has just given the correct name of the Contest Church!
  It is the Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea, in Athens, right in the middle of the busiest shopping street, Ermou.

    Here is the prize which Gloria has selected:

Gold Playful Pearl Earrings

  It just so happens that Gloria and I went to Nordonia High School together, waaaaaayyyy back when, so it is great for her to have a pair of my earrings.  Congratulations Gloria!

  Stay tuned, as I will be having more contests and prizes.  By the way, Vasili's granddaughter, Debbie, who is an English teacher in the northern suburbs of Athens, has made a coffee date with my for Friday, and she and I plan to do another section of the city then.  Bye for now!

Contest Clues

What is the name of this church?

                           The first correct answer of name and location wins a selection of their choice, $20 or less, from my Etsy shop, Aegean Dreams.    Will you be the winner?
   Some selections from my shop which are $20 or less;

  These are just a few of the selections in my shop which could be yours if you can name the church and it's location.  I hope I will be sending a package to YOU, soon!  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Contest For all Folowers!

Hello and Welcome!  I am hosting a contest today, and you are invited to play.  To be eligible, you must be a "Follower" on my "Turn Left at Athens" Blog.

  The prize will be Your choice of any piece of jewelry in my Aegean Dreams shop, valued at $20 or less.  Or, you may use your prize as partial payment for any other piece.

 Here is the competition;
  I will post a series of photos of a church, in Athens, of which there are many, and you win by being the first to correctly identify the church and it's location.  Simple as that!

Of course, there is a catch, you knew there would be, didn't you?

I will only show you these two photos today.  If you are a really good detective, you MAY be able to identify the church from this....but if not, I will put up two more photos tomorrow.   Bye!!

A Walk in Athens, continued.........

The band marched off to another venue, and right on it's heels, came this fellow.  Isn't he hilarious?  You never know what you are going to come across when you are in Athens!

I decided that I was hungry and went in search of a bite to eat.  How about Souvlaki Gyro?  Here is my favorite place.  You just walk up and order it, watch and wait as the cook uses an electric razor type tool to cut off succulent thin slices of Pork, stuff them into a Pita, add all the trimmings, top it off with Tzatziki, and wrap it tightly in a deli-paper.  Now you find yourself a spot to sit and enjoy your Souvlaki -Gyro.    

  Now that I was properly stuffed,I felt that I was in need of some exercise, so I headed up Athinas Street, toward Omonia Platia, and arrived at one of my favorite streets in Athens; Evripidou!

Evripidou is a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells, but mostly, smells!  At the top of the street, from Athinas, the little shops are either selling seeds, bulbs, and other garden supplies, or herbs, cures, spices and things I am still not able to identify!  Further down the street, about midway, will begin shops selling bottles, corks, ropes and twine and on further, cheap household kitchen items.

Here, an innovative shopkeeper utilizes his truck  to display his plants and flowers.

Peppers! Mothballs!  Olive Oil Soap!  Sausages!  Giant Cinnamon Sticks!  The colors, the smells, it is so wonderful!

By far, this was the most amazing shop that I saw all day.  I have never been in here before, I can't imagine how I have missed it all these years.

It was dim inside, lending a kind of magical mysterious air to everything.  The dark aged wooden cases, displaying the spices and herbs were begging to be stroked, I could only think how Vasili would love to see this shop.
  There was so much to see, to read, to smell, to wonder at.  It will require another day into the city to properly explore this shop of wonders!  

 This ends our Walk in Athens tour for today.  I hope you enjoyed yourself, and I hope that it won't be your last tour with me.

I will be posting another Blog today...this one will be with all the details of the;
TURN LEFT AT ATHNES stay tuned;-)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Walk in Athens

Karavaki from Kammantero
    Neither wind, nor clouds, nor cold, (11'C high!), could keep me from my appointed task of making the trip into Athens today, to bring you the promised photos of the Ancient City. I went. It is about a 10 minute drive from my house to this pretty little port where I can catch the "Karavaki" (small boat) for the 45minute ride to Piraeus, which is the port city to Athens.

A Pilot boat overtaking us.
Salamina disappearing in our wake.

  The port is pretty empty today, only a few of the Island Ferry boats, not many cruise ships.  We arrive, disembark,  and I set out for the train station, a walk of about 10 minutes.  It is REALLY cold, and I am wishing I had worn my boots and leggings instead of stockings and flats.  By the time I reach the train-staion, I am seriously considering turning around and taking the next boat back to Salamina...but I know I will feel badly if I don't have the photos posted for you over the I carry on.  At least it will be warm inside the train.

Our Karavaki, the Boufouras, passengers disembarking.

A Car Ferry loading up to go to Aegina Island, just
south of Salamina

View from the pedestrian
bridge over the main road
in Pireasu, on my way
to the train.

After a 20 minute
ride, the train arrives at Thessio Station, where I decide to get off and make the  short
Cafe's with outside heaters
(and of course, the resident Dog!)

walk up to Monasteraki.  (Small Monastery)  Monasteraki is the main Platia (Square) of Plaka, and Plaka is the picturesque area which has grown up over centuries around the foot of the Acropolis.  There are cafes for sitting outside and enjoying a hot or cold drink, restaurants, and all types of shops and artisans.  The area is always full of locals along with the ubiquitous tourists, all enjoying the sites and each other.  This place feels so alive, and I feel good just being here.

The Rock of The Acropoli of Athens!
Tourist Choo choo!

Street Antiques in Theissio

I had a focused mission for this trip, and that was to take a photo of a certain church for a contest I am hosting here on "Turn Left At Athens", and after drinking in a bit of the flavor of the area, the cold and wind made me decide to make a Bee Line straight for that church.  I was so intent on reaching it, that I passed up some pretty good sales, too...but I was determined! (and COLD!)
  Then, I heard music.  Not street music, but real band music.  I followed the sound and was amazed to find a good sized Municipal Band, all decked out in red and black, formed up right in front of the very church which was my goal!  More surprising was the fact that they were playing; "Rock Around the Clock!"  
  As if it were not incongruous enough to hear a Greek band playing a 50' rock tune on the streets of Athens, in front of this venerable ancient church...there, in front of them, looking out of place and time was one of the only two Laterna's left in Athens!  I arrived just in time to get this photo;

Rock Around The Clock In Athens!!
   Don't you just Love it!?  
   Well, this is the end of our travels for today, but we can meet up here tomorrow for the second half of the trip, and the announcement of the contest I am hosting.  Stay tuned, as the Prize will be a selection from my Aegean Dreams Artistic Jewelry Store on Etsy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


     Tzatziki is the multi-purpose Greek Yoghurt and cucumber dip.  It is used as a dip, as a spread, as a condiment and an appetizer, and mostly known to foreigners as the sauce which goes on your Gyro.  (FYI...the word is pronounced; "Year-o".  No hard "G", Please!)

Tzatziki is made as many different ways as there are preparers, but the basic ingredients are;

 Greek Yoghurt (nothing like the pale thin stuff we buy in the States!)
Grated and drained cucumber
Garlic...Lots of Garlic!
Olive Oil...just a bit
lemon...again, just a bit

Alternative additions are:
grated carrots (not too much)

If making this from any yoghurt other then Greek, you will need to first drain the yoghurt using a coffee filter inside a sieve for several hours...this will make it thick enough.  Also, I don't suggest low fat, just not the same.

Tzatziki compliments all meats beautifully, is great as a dip with pitta pieces or chips, and is yummy on it's own, scooped up with hunks of bread.


  The best way to enjoy your Tzatziki ladened Gyro is with a glass or two of Retsina, but beware, it smells and tastes a bit like turpentine...and for your safety, should be drank SItting Down!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little More Salamina

   I am off to Athens this morning, on a mission to buy Jewlery supplies.  I plan to take photos on the way, and thru the week, show you how I get into Athens from the island, and bits of the city.
   This morning, I will leave you with a few more photos of Salamina.

Octopus air drying at a Taverna

Lunch Anyone?

St. Nikolas Monastary

This monastery is high in the mountains and is practically deserted.  It is said there are only 2 or 3 "KaloGrias" (Good Grey Women, the Greek term for Nuns)

Epidivros Amphitheater 

Our Amphitheater...our house is directly across the bay from the theater, about halfway up the mountain. Every summer, the theater hosts everything from Classical Greek plays, to rock concerts.  There is a fantastic view from up there, plus a very picturesque "Mama Mia" style church, where everyone vies for a reservation for their wedding.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Palace of Ajax on Salamina

Did you know that the ruines ancient Palace of Ajax was discovered here, on Salamina, some years ago?
The Greek Hero, "Ajax"

Tyler Mane, the actor who portrayed Ajax in the film; "Troy"
  I had read about the discovery on MSNBC, but couldn't find any one locally who knew anything about it.  I went back to the article, and with a lot of detective work thru descriptions and photos, I guessed where it must be.  Vasili and I went off with a picnic lunch to find it.
  No one seemed to know a thing about it, till we came across two old fishermen, and one of them had rented his donkeys to the team who were doing the excavations.  We forged on.  Vasili winced as I drove "Haourla"(Little Joy", in Greek), who is our Nissan Note and was new at the time, along the deeply rutted and partially washed out dirt roads.
  After finding a place to safely park "Haroula", we continued on on foot.  We were walking up and up a tree covered mountain path, but weren't finding anything that looked like a dig.  Then I saw a small symbol on a tree which showed that we were actually on a mountain bike path.
  Sadly, we agreed to give up and turn around and go back.  When we did, we saw on the slope opposite us, the site of the Palace of Ajax!  It was a wonderful moment for both of us.
The ruins of the Palace of Ajax
   We scrambled down one slope and climbed back up the other, so excited.  It was amazing!  The dig was really relatively new, so it had not been fenced off yet.  Really, what need was there if no one knew where it was?                                                                                                                                    

  We spent a good amount of time exploring everything there, it was obvious that there was so much more to be uncovered.  After a while, we sat there, inside the Palace of Ajax, and ate our picnic lunch.  Nothing like having lunch with a Hero!

When you come to visit me here in Salamina, I will take you, too, for a picnic lunch, though sadly, it cannot be inside the Palace, as it is now fenced off, as more people then me and Vasili have found it.      But I can promise you a great view of the Palace and the sea, looking down towards Crete, as we sip our champagne, (oh, yes, I always bring champagne on my picnics!)                    

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Lunch

    Both Vasili and I are in need of dropping some of the hibernation fat we accumulated over the winter, and the Harcombe Diet, using proper food combinations is our strategy of here we go again.
    Today's dish is a crustless Quiche....the trick is to not combine carbs and fats...hence the "crustless". The filling is of fresh cooked spinach, sautéed onions and Swiss cheese and egg, with a dash of nutmeg and a bit of milk.  If you would like the recipe...ask me in a comment and I will post it for you. This is a link to Zoe Harcombe's site, if you are interested.

Karuski: For A Good Cause: EuropeForCharity


For A Good Cause: EuropeForCharity  

 Karuski: For A Good Cause: EuropeForCharity

  The wonderful artisans of the European Street Team on Etsy donate their art to this cause.  Please go and take a look.  


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aegean Dreams Artistic Jewley

Very Bohemian Wire Wrapped Bangle
Starring large Carnelian
Komboloi Beads
     My main passion in life these days, is my Jewelry.  I began making Wire Wrapped Jewelry some  years ago.  Because of my location, I was forced to learn things the hard way...trial and error and the Internet.  Thank God for You Tube, and all of the very generous Artists out there who feel compelled to share.  May their Karma be doubly blessed!

  Here are a few examples of my work, and a link to my Etsy shop.  I would be pleased to hear your impressions.

Sterling Silver N Royal Blue Japanese
Seed Beads.  Sold
But available in 14k GF.

Organic Copper Swirl Motif Necklace

Saturday in Salmina

For now, the sun is shining, but I'm not sure how long it will last.  I should be outside enjoying it, but instead I am here at my Mac in the studio, learning about this blogging stuff.

  I thought that today I would put up a few photos from around the island.  Well, thinking it was easier then doing it...but I think I have it mastered now.  I will give it a try...let me know what you think;-)
Sarah at a church
in Salamina.
Nerissa, at Beghni's
The BEST bakery in Greece!
Me with Vero, a visitor
from Spain at the fishing