Παρασκευή 31 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Greece’s weirdest superstitions!

Many of the superstitions that were passed on to modern Greeks by the previous generations became part of the country’s folklor...
Superstitions are a fascinating part of a country’s culture, as they reveal many things about its past and the experiences of its people.
The belief in supernatural causality has a long history in Greece. Greek polytheists in antiquity, who modeled their relations with the gods on political and social terms, scorned those men who constantly trembled with fear at the thought of the gods, as the slaves fear their master.
However, in recent years, many of the superstitions that were passed on to modern Greeks by the previous generations became part of the country’s folklore and it is not uncommon to find superstitious Greeks even among the most educated parts of the population.
This is a list of the weirdest – for foreigners that is – Greek superstitions that you may find interesting.
Evil Eye
Known as “mati” in Greek, the evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, given to a person when they are unaware. Belief in the evil eye dates back to Classical antiquity.
evil eye
Strangely enough, some Greeks value their spittle as a charm against all evil. So if someone spits on you in Greece don’t be offended! Good luck is ensured!
The itchy hand
This superstition is common in a number of cultures. In Greece, if your right hand is itchy it indicates that you will receive money. If you’re left hand is itchy it indicates that you will give money.

The itchy nose
Another superstition about an itchy body part. Some Greeks believe that if you have an itchy nose, there’s a good chance you’ll get beaten.
The gift of perfume
In Greece it is customary that when you give someone a perfume as a gift, they must give you a coin in return. If they don’t do that your relationship may be at risk.
If you are invited to dinner by Greeks, never hand someone a knife. Set it down at the table and let them pick it up, or else you will get into a fight with that person.
Orthodox priests are revered in Greece. However, some people believe it a bad omen to see one walking in the street.
The Greeks have a secret weapon for getting rid of unwanted guests in their homes. They just sprinkle salt behind them and, a few minutes later, they are gone.

Τετάρτη 29 Οκτωβρίου 2014

“Visiting Crete in autumn can turn into a special holiday experience”

“Crete in autumn offers many other opportunities as well, not just at its beaches and sights, but also inland, at the forests and mountains. And that’s because the weather might be nice, but there’s definitely no heat wave, which means that it is easier to explore its exquisite nature, to hike, for example, at Psiloritis or the Samaria Gorge. Autumn in Crete does not fall short in comparison to summer. So, don’t hesitate to visit the island even this time of year!” - Visit Greece

Visit Greece, the official tourism web site for Greece, informs travelers through its #fallforcrete campaign.

Amphipolis Burial Site Excavation Video Released

Footage from the excavation of the large burial mound in Amphipolis, northern Greece, which until now has unearthed Caryatid statues, sphinxes and an impressive mosaic floor, has been released online.Amphipolis_Persefoni_l_15199
The short video, released by the Greek Culture Ministry, specifically shows the moment the mosaic floor was revealed in its entirety, showing a depiction of the Abduction of Persephone by Pluto.
Other recent finds from the excavation include fragments of the wings of the Sphinxes, part of the neck of the second Sphinx and pieces that match the missing section of the mosaic floor.
In addition, the culture ministry released the following photos of the fragments of the wings of the Sphinxes.
Amphipolis_l_15261According to an announcement, the fragments of the wings allow full restoration. The culture ministry has released the following drawing of proposed restoration by architect, M. Lefantzis.
amphipolis_l_15263(source: gtp)

Crete, Greece, Signs Tourism Cooperation Protocol With Hainan Province, China

A cooperation protocol to develop tourism, trade and culture between Crete in Greece and China’s Hainan province was recently signed between the island’s regional governor, Stavros Arnaoutakis, and the chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Hainan Provincial Committee, Yu Xun. Crete_China_DSC02774_1The signing took place within the framework of Mr. Xun’s official visit to the Region with a five-member delegation. Hainan Province is located southeast of China and has nine million inhabitants.
During the signing that took place at the regional governor’s office, Mr. Arnaoutakis referred to the comparative advantages of Crete in the sectors of culture and quality tourism. He spoke highly of the Cretan diet and noted that partnerships can be developed to export quality products from Crete to China and also strengthen tourist arrivals from China to the Greek island.
On his part, Mr. Yu Xun said he was impressed by the Greek-Cretan hospitality. “We are confident that we will pass the message that will strengthen tourist arrivals from Hainan to Crete,” he said.
(source: gtp)

Photo of the day!!

Crete: The island lies in the subtropical part of the Mediterranean and it offers mild winters with specially along the coast line many sunny days with pleasant temperatures. On the south coast you may find your self maybe a day on the beach and swimming in the cleanest seas of Europe.

Πέμπτη 23 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Autumn in Crete

Plakias is a small fishing village on the Southwest of Crete when the summer going on until late October!!
Travel Greece, Visit Crete...

Greece: Visitor Arrivals Reach Record High In August

The number of foreign tourist arrivals to Greece in August this year reached 4.88 million people, rising by 25 percent compared to the same month in 2013, Bank of Greece data revealed on 22 October.Photo: Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature
According to the data, the number of tourists visiting Greece from January to August 2014 surpassed 15.3 million people, an increase of 22.1 percent.
Of these visitors, some nine million tourists came from European Union countries (14.6 percent increase), while the remaining are arrivals from countries outside the EU-28 (33.1 percent increase).
During the first eight months of the year, Greece saw a major increase in arrivals from the United States (24.8 percent), France (20.7 percent) and the United Kingdom (15.6 percent).
The increase in tourist arrivals had beneficial effects on revenues, which grew by 11.1 percent compared to the same period of 2013 and amounted to 9.37 billion euros.
(source: Bank of Greece, GTP )

Τετάρτη 22 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Lost treasures reclaimed from 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck

After spending the last month at the historic wreck site, the <a href='http://www.whoi.edu/news-release/antikythera-finds' target='_blank'>Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute</a> (WHOI) announced that an international team of archaeologists had recovered new items from the Antikythera wreck. Pictured, Greek technical diver Alexandros Sotiriou discovers an intact "lagynos" ceramic table jug and a bronze rigging ring. The new items have indicated the wreck site is much bigger than previously believed, scattered across 300 meters of seafloor.
World's first computer found at wreck
In 1900, sponge divers from the Greek island of Symi anchored along the eastern coastline of the island while waiting for a ferocious storm to pass. What they would stumble upon would stun the world.
Underneath the crystalline waters, lay the incredible wreck undiscovered for thousands of years. And as the site was explored over the next year, they would uncover life-size bronze statues and remarkable artifacts. But it was the 1902 recovery of a clump of calcified stone with mysterious inscriptions that would push the wreck into archaeological lore.
The heavily corroded bronze fragments would turn out to be what has been described as the world's earliest known "computer," designed in the first century BC -- the Antikythera Mechanism. Built to track the astronomical calendar and lunar movements, later radiographic image analysis of the mechanism revealed 30 intricate gear wheels.WHOI diving safety officer Edward O'Brien "spacewalks" in the next-gen atmospheric "Exosuit," during the 2014 Return to Antikythera project, which ran from September 15 to October 7. The divers are planning to return to the Antikythera next year to continue excavating the site following a successful first season.
"We hate to speak of treasure but in this case, it's actually a treasure ship and there are just no two ways about it.
Brendan Foley, archaeologist from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau visited the site in 1976 to film a documentary and returned from below the surface with treasures galore. Since then, the site had remained dormant under the aegis of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture for almost 40 years.
"The Antikythera shipwreck is maybe the most important, most famous shipwreck from antiquity," Brendan Foley, an archaeologist from WHOI and co-director of the expedition told CNN before the dive began in September. "We are hardcore scientists and archaeologists. We hate to speak of treasure but in this case, it's actually a treasure ship and there are just no two ways about it."
(continue here:cnn)

Lighthouses of Greece.

The Greek lighthouses network is considered the largest and densest.
The spread of Greek coast has a length of 15,000 km. and is equivalent to 6/10 the coast of Africa!!!

Greece Talks About Developing Special Interest Tourism On Crete...

“Tourism in Crete is a key area of wealth,” Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said while speaking at a conference in Heraklion, Crete.
The conference took place on 17 October and explored possibilities of developing special interest tourism types (agritourism, wine tourism and pilgrimage/religious tourism) to create a development strategy for South and inland Crete.Photo source: incrediblecrete.gr
“The biggest challenge is to balance development between the southern part of the island and the inland… But Crete can utilize the many unique elements and proceed towards a balanced development,” Mrs. Kefalogianni said.
The tourism minister underlined that all stakeholders must join forces to support tourism on Crete.
More into her speech, she spoke in regards to the initiatives of the Tourism Ministry for the further development of special interest tourism.
wine_northern GreeceMore specifically, Mrs. Kefalogianni highlighted amendments made to a bill for tourism that set the standards for the development of agritourism and wine tourism in Greece. The amendments defined agritourism-related activities and the types of businesses and accommodation units that can practice the alternative form of tourism and receive the special agritourism seal or wine tourism seal. “For the first time, minimum requirements for the activity of agritourism and wine tourism businesses were set,” she said.
On pilgrimage/religious tourism, she highlighted the cooperation protocols signed between the ministry and the Church of Greece that see to the promotion of Greece’s unique religious monuments to visitors.
Mrs. Kefalogianni added that the implementation of the national plan for tourism resulted to the industry developing into a “catalyst” for economic growth. In 2014, revenues and arrivals increased by 13.4 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively, according to data from the Bank of Greece.
Source: gtp

Sifis, the elusive Cretan Croc, resurfaces in new video.

Watch the new video that was released yesterday, showing the famous croc basking in the sunshine on the edge of the lake.

 Sifis, the elusive crocodile that has become something of an attraction since he was first spotted in July at the area of the Rivers’ Dam near Rethimno, Crete, continues to roam the Cretan countryside, successfully avoiding every single trap set to capture him.
Not even Olivier Behra, one of the world’s finest erpetologists, could capture Crete’s famous crocodile when he visited the Greek island in August, although he intends to return to Crete for a second attempt next week, as was revealed yesterday by local media.
However, despite his amazing talent in eluding his captors, Sifis didn’t manage to escape the scourge of all celebrities, the paparazzis with their cameras!
This is the new video that was released yesterday, showing the famous croc basking in the sunshine on the edge of the lake.

Mediterranean cooking: Yemista!!

Tomatoes and peppers stuffed with a mixture of rice, ground beef, herbs and chopped vegetables for extra flavor.

Serves: 6 Preparation time: 30m Baking time: 1h 50m Ready in: 2h 20m
Tomatoes and peppers stuffed with a mixture of rice, ground beef, herbs and chopped vegetables for extra flavor.
6 ripe tomatoes, medium
6 green peppers suitable for stuffing
2 onions, chopped
1 horn pepper, cubed
1 small zucchini, grated
250g. ground beef
1 carrot, grated
1½ cup long grain white rice
1 cup chopped parsley
4 tablespoons chopped mint
3 large potatoes, peeled, quartered
1 cup olive oil
5-6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Preparation method
Step 1
Preheat oven to 180 ° C. Wash the tomatoes and slice the tops off, setting them aside. Using a spoon, scoop out the tomato flesh. Dice half the quantity and process the rest in a food processor until you have a chucky liquid.
Step 2
Cut the tops off the peppers and set aside. Carefully remove and discard the seeds. Place the peppers for 2 minutes in boiling water to soften them and drain well.
Step 3
Heat half the oil in a large deep skillet and sauté the onions along with the carrot, the pepper and the zucchini. Add the ground beef and, after mixing with the rest of the ingredients add the rice, the parsley, the mint, the salt and the pepper. Add the diced tomatoes, a little extra sugar and some more salt and pepper. Allow the stuffing to reach a boil and remove the skillet from heat.
Step 4
Place the tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish and sprinkle the inside with a little salt and a little sugar. Fill them with the stuffing you just prepared about 3/4 full and replace their “caps”.
Step 5
Salt and pepper the potatoes and place them between the tomatoes and peppers. Mix the pureed tomatoes with the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and pour over the stuffed vegetables. Add water as necessary so that the fluid level reaches the two centimeters.
Step 6
Sprinkle the yemista with breadcrumbs, cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hour, until the rice is cooked.
The uncover the dish and bake for a little longer, until the top is crisp.
Source: Olive magazine
Chef: Ioanna Stamoulou

Revenues for the Greek tourism to amount to 14 billion euros, SETE head says!!

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Tourism contribution to the Greek GDP has increased as a result of the performance of the tourism sector this year, the head of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) Andreas Andreadis said in his address at 13th SETE conference.
According to Mr. Andreadis, the direct and indirect contribution of tourism to the real economy stands at 20.5% of GDP or 37.6 billion euros, based on a 2.2 multiplier that IOBE research institute estimated in 2012.
Andreadis stressed that in 2014 direct and indirect revenues for the Greek tourism, including revenues from air and maritime transport and internal tourism, will amount to 14 billion euros and to 17 billion euros.
He stressed that if the multipliers of KEPE institute on the allocation of tourism spending are adopted, then the relevant contribution rises to 45.3 billion euros or 24.7% of GDP.
However, he mentioned that tourism sector has still a long way to go adding that “we should establish international standards of skills and services, highlight and show off our cultural wealth, help SMEs and invest supporting the prospects of the sector,”.
Source: protothema

The Acropolis Museum is among the best museums in the world.

The rankings are based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers
TripAdvisor has released a list with the best 25 museums in the world.
So, if you are packing your things for your autumn holiday or your want to plan your next summer vacation, make sure to check this list before you take off.
The Acropolis Museum located in Athens, Greece is ranked 8th in the world attracting many tourists every year.
It covers a total area of 25,000 square meters and its exhibition space exceeds 14,000 square meters. The museum hosts houses finds from the sanctuaries that were established on the slopes of the Acropolis, as well as objects that Athenians used in everyday life from all historic periods.
Visitors have also the chance to admire magnificent sculptures that used to grace the first temples on the Acropolis, as well as relief sculptures of the Parthenon frieze depicting the Panathenaic procession.
The rankings are based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide, whereas award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.
See the best 10 museums in the world
1. Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
2. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)
Mexico City, Mexico
3. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace
St. Petersburg, Russia
4.The Getty Center
Los Angeles, California
5. Galleria dell’Accademia/Statue of David
Florence, Italy
6. Musee d’Orsay
Paris, France
7.The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, New York
8.The Acropolis Museum
Athens, Greece
9. Prado Museum
Madrid, Spain
10. Yad Vashem Holocaust Memoria
Jerusalem, Israel

source: protothema

Τρίτη 21 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Pancratium maritimum - Sea daffodil -Το κρινάκι της θάλασσας!!!

The Sea Daffodil is a stunning flower and is one of the most beautiful of the wild Cretan flowers which appears on beaches in late summer and can be found on a few of the Southwest beaches of Rethymno...

A little further from Plakias, you can come in front of Plakiassuites at the Plakias Suites Beachand there are many hundreds of flowering Pancratium plants. Really a beautiful sight!!!


The pancratium maritimum, many times, has been subject 
for study forbotanists and archaeologists.
The Pancratium features in lists of documented prehistoric plants of the Mediterranean and appears in wall paintings in Knossos. It has medicinal uses described by Dioscorides and Theophrastos. (1896). 

It is sadly becoming endangered - one of the victims of beach tourism and construction, pollution and galloping erosion due to rising temperatures and sea level… not to mention enthusiasts who carry them off to plant in their gardens and promptly kill them by planting in rich soil....

Crete: Incredible Beaches

Photo of the day: We waiting you, autumn in Crete!!!

Crete: The Island Inside You.

Σάββατο 11 Οκτωβρίου 2014

See the Caryatids of Amphipolis tomb!!

They stand on marble pedestals of 1.33m length and 0.68m width

The Caryatids have now been revealed. They are 2,27m tall and they are wearing a long chiton and buskins, which are decorated with red and yellow color.
They stand on marble pedestals of 1.33m length and 0.68m width. The distance between the two pedestals is 1.68m.
Part of the hands of Caryatids was also revealed when removing the soil near them.