Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Little cafe on the side

 


Normally when we travel to another country for holidays, we make sure to eat in a local restaurant or local cafe. We avoid tourist spots because they are artificially expensive, but most of the time these dishes are mass produced and have no taste whatsoever. We dined in a nice local restaurant which our hotel owner recommended  while holidaying in Venice, Italy. It was an amazing culinary experience.

Well, we found a similar place in Crete. It's called Rhinoceros in Greek. It’s Greek to me why they chose that name though. They pronounce it Rhinokeros. Our hosts were George Clooni lookalike (that's what he says) Georgios Zervakis and his kind and always happy mother Fifika. Georgios reminded me Alexis Zorba - the main character of ksazanzakis novella- , in his opinions and general outlook on life.










Ines and I were just going for a stroll and we thought to check the menu. It was already late and they were about to close. Georgios offered to do a simple meal just on the spot and I agreed. I ate risotto with mushrooms and Greek pasta. It was an excellent dish. He also gave us some home made wine too. 

The following day, we took our daughter Shakyra as well. The four days we were in Crete we always went there to eat in the evening. 

Fifika is always happy and smiling. She was making our tables and food ready while Georgios was cooking. We had nice Greek folk songs in the background. The Cafe is a small one, not grandiose. But food is amazing. He is very good at doing grilled meat. But there is a good selection of vegetarian food.  HGeorgios would cook anything, even if it is not on the menu. Well, I asked him to do some spaghetty bolognese. It was amazing too.  

I gobbled down my food with homemade excellent raki, and Ouzo.

If you really want not very higly expensive but quality cooking, then this is the place for you. 

Ajith Dharmakeerhi 


Monday, 5 September 2022

Trip to Stavros Church by mules and see the sunset


The name Santorini is said to be derived from the name of the Italian Saint Irene. Its original Greek name was Strogili, in the 16th-17th century BC (3600 years ago) a great earthquake called the Minoan explosion and the subsequent 600-foot tsunami completely destroyed the island and its settlements and Five islands named Santorini, Nia Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi and Christiana have been created.

Due to the magnitude of the earthquake, a crater with a diameter of 20-40 km was formed and it was filled with sea water. That's what it looks like in the picture. This huge crater full of water is called caldera. Volcanic eruptions in this area started about two million years ago. There is still a dormant volcano on the island in the middle of the crater.
Also, the Minoans, who originally built settlements here, have completely perished because of this earthquake. We visited the settlements of Akrotiri and Knossos, the past glory of the Minoans and their palaces.
The destroyed city of Atlantis is also believed to belong to the Minoans.

Then the Phoenicians who settled here named it Kalisti. The Dorians of Sparta, who conquered it in the 9th century (2920 BC), named it after their general Theras, and a part of the island is still called Thera. It is said that the Christian soldiers who captured it during the fourth century crusade called it Santa Irini because there was a church of that name in Perissa.
The following pictures shows the ship we traveled reaching Santorini. The above named islands are also in the background.

After arriving in Santorini, we rented a car. The taxi driver who took us said that it was difficult for us to go to many places as there were very few buses. We learned later, it to be true. He had taken us half way but turned back and came and helped us to rent a car. He took us about halfway up the hill from the pier in the picture above. He refunded us the taxi fare. He could have exploited tourists like us, but he didn't.

The first thing we did was to go to the hotel and leave the stuff and go to Stavros Church. The caldera below can be seen well from its top. The church is in OIA, which is about 30 minutes away from Fira where we stayed. When we stopped the vehicle there, we saw that we can go up the mountain by donkeys. It is indeed a difficult climb. We were tired and asked the person there about it. He said that they were not donkeys but mules and he took us up for some money. From the fifties to the seventies, tourists travelled on donkeys and mules. Before starting the journey, he called his wife to offer us some homemade wine liqueur by himself to drink and she also gave us a jam she made from dried grapes.


 







Although the donkeys travel very easily, we realized that it is not an easy journey because if mule were to slip while walking on the edge of the cliff, we will end up in the sea. But the view with the crater below is absolutely beautiful

Many people climb this mountain not only because of the beautiful view of the caldera below. Because the charm of the setting sun can be seen very spectacularly. The sight of a ship sailing toward the sun seemed to me like going to an oblivion.
We came down the hill not on mules but on foot. Although it took more than half an hour, we could see better views of the crater. Also,  the lava fragments and basalt rocks are still there after 3500 years. The wall I am holding is made of such basalt rocks.




On the way, we also met the parish priest. He stopped and chatted with us and he did not forget to bless our holiday.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Sea side


No matter what age you are
On a sunny day
The beach and the blue sea
Will bring out the child in you

Playing with stones
‘Jumping frogs’
Or just idling
Enjoying the beach
In these tumulus times 
- Ajith D.

We were at Deal today the 1st of June 2022.

I was enjoying the sea view while watching my daughter who is soon to be 20 playing wih her cousin who is 10 years old. Then I joined them with their 78 year old grandfather to throw stones at sea.


















Monday, 7 March 2022

My love!

 


My love!


I don’t know

Whether

I will see you again

My lover

My husband

My friend

You are going to the front

For me

For our life

For our memories

For our freedom

For us

I may not see you again

I may not feel you again 

a pain is going through

my heart but,

it will not break it 

because I am

thinking of you 

******************************

My Love!

I don’t know

Whether

I will see you again

My lover

My wife

My friend

I am going to the front

For you

For our life

For our memories

For our freedom

For us

I may not see you again

I may not feel you again 

a bullet may go through

my heart but,

it will not break it 

because I am

thinking of you 


---Ajith Dharma -Written for this Ukranian couple and all the couples seperated in this war