We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.....

Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

12 May 2021
Jane Paulson
The Greek Government had made the decision that Easter (the most important event in the Greek calendar and celebrated here at the end of April) was not going to happen. No processions,  no church services,  no music, dancing or eating in the town and village squares. However,  all cafes and tavernas could open on the day after Easter Monday. The conditions being only for outside dining. Fortunately summer has arrived and eating outside is very do-able. In fact, it is almost like someone has thrown a switch from chilly, wet and windy to clear skies and hot sunshine.  So for the past week there has been much activity with tavernas getting ready, cleaning and  re-arranging furniture to the required 2m distance.

Chris and Maria had invited us to join them, their friends and family for spit roasted lamb on Easter Sunday at the hotel in Therma run by Marias sister Koula. We walked from Stiletto along the coastal track, the sea was absolutely flat calm as there has been no wind at all for the past week. From a sailing point of view, that's not good, but frankly it comes as a much needed respite from the howling southerlies we have experienced of late.  But of  course, we can't sail anywhere anyway and no wind means the sun feels incredibly hot!!!!

Lamb or goat is the traditional Easter meat, usually BBQ'd or very slowly roasted in the oven.  Chris was spit roasting a whole lamb, beneath which was "  kokoretsi"  - this is a very neatly tied roll of heart, kidneys, liver and lungs which is served with the lamb. An acquired taste.

A long table had been set up in the shade of the garden and 15 of us enjoyed good conversation and excellent food. As well as the roasted meat there were various salads, feta and bread -  all washed down with a fine Rosè and beer.  The purest, best Greek yoghurt I have EVER tasted was served with fruit for dessert,  made by Toulas mother from the milk of their goats. Epic!!!

It was rather like sitting around a table of the United Nations. French, German, English and Greek chatting and laughing together enjoying the hospitality of Marias sister Koula and their mother Evdokia.  It was here we met Ilias, a Greek gentleman who spoke the most amazing English and who to our astonishment in his previous life had been a chef, was invited to cook at Buckingham Palace and then ran the Nags Head pub in Belgravia!!!!  This was at the time of the Kray Twins and Ronnie Biggs (of the Great Train Robbery fame). We had a fabulous afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed being able to socialise and talk to people other than each other!!! Something we have greatly missed during lockdown.

People have been moving around the islands in preparation for Easter. Whilst the "panigyri" (festival) is forbidden,  families are meeting up to  celebrate in their homes. A lot of people have arrived from Athens.  Two teachers arrived and brought Covid with them and very quickly have infected 29 people here. Up until now, there has been no Covid here at all as everyone has adhered to the rules but now, after all our hard work and a lockdown of 6 months it has arrived and has made a lot of people very angry. Us included.  People travelling internally do not need to be tested and we cannot understand the thinking  behind this. Athens has a high number of cases so surely,  if you want to move around the islands a test should be mandatory.  After all, if you are coming from another country you cannot enter Greece unless you have had a test which proves negative . It's just crazy. And we have been told that should the infection rate reach 30 there will be lockdown here again.    When will this madness end?

Muse for this post: funny how drinking 8  cups of water a day seems impossible, but 8 beers and 7 ouzos in 2 hours go down like a fat kid on a see-saw!!!!

 

 

 

 

Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

12 May 2021
Jane Paulson
Flowers just appear almost overnight. Wild garlic , lupins and many others that I don't recognise or know their names .

Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

12 May 2021
Jane Paulson
Todays wrapping paper.

Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

12 May 2021
Jane Paulson
During the few days before Easter there was a flurry of great activity. Tavernas were dusting off all their furniture as they could officially open the day after Easter Sunday, and all kerbs and steps were freshly painted.

Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

12 May 2021
Jane Paulson
Agios Kirikos prepares for a lamb fest. This was one of our local butchers and these sheep had only just been slaughtered.

Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

12 May 2021
Jane Paulson
I can tell you, because I am learning to speak, read and write Greek, that this says "Good Easter."
Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 15 years and have owned Stiletto for 13 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]
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Stiletto's Photos -