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A walk in Loutraki park and coffee at the "Kolonaki"

 
Loutraki park
Loutraki park
 
 
Finally after five days of rain: sunshine!
So come with me for a walk around Loutraki park and join me for coffee at the "Kolonaki"
 
The town of Loutraki, a spa town, is about a twenty minute walk from our house.
 From the end of October, after spending all summer on the beach, until late spring I usually head into Loutraki for a daily walk around the park.
 
It's a lovely little park, bordered on the West by the sea and the harbour and on the East by the main road of Loutraki.
 
It's situated in the older part of Loutraki and is filled with magnificent eucalyptus, pine, palm, oleander and jacaranda trees.
 
 
Palm and eucalyptus trees
Palm and eucalyptus trees
 
 
 
A walkway bordered with palm and eucalyptus trees.
 
 
 
A shady walkway
A shady walkway
 
 
Tall and proud: Eucalyptus and palm trees.
 
 
 
A sea view
A sea view
 
 
In summer when the oleander and jacaranda are in bloom it is a riot of the deep pink and white of the oleander and the vivid blue-purple of the jacaranda.
 
 
Benches are placed all along the walkways, it's lovely and cool to sit in the shade of the trees in summer and gaze at the sea and the harbour.
 
 
 
Pigeons
Pigeons
 
 
Sometimes my Granddaughter Melina accompanies me, she loves to feed the pigeons or have fun on the swings and slides.
 
Towards the North end of the park is a tap dispensing spa water, people fill bottles to take home, hoping to cure or prevent ailments.
 
 
 
Spa water
Spa water
 
 
 
In the centre of the park is a small square, here is a statue of a Mother and child by the sculptor Nikolas Paulopoulos 1909-1990
Wreaths are laid at the foot of this statues on twenty fifth of March:
Greek independence day.
 



Mother and child
Mother and child
 
 
 
Another sculpture is the bust of General Dimitris Koliopoulos Plapoutas who fought in the Greek war of independence.
For some reason my Grandaughter loves this one.
We always have to go and see him.
She stands very solemnly in front of him and says:
"Good morning Mr Plapoutas"
 
 
 
General Dimitris Koliopoulos Plapoutas
 
 
 
Here's another sculpture , a goat by Irine Pramondioiti 1918-
 
 
Goat sculpture
Goat sculpture
 
 
 
A short way further on is a monument in memory of the Loutraki soldiers of the Greek resistance killed in WWII.
 
 
 
Greek resistance monument
Greek resistance monument
 
 
All their names are engraved on the plinth.
 
This monument depicts three statues by the sculptor Leontis Eustathios 1953-
 
The statue atop the plinth is "Peace"
The two statues either side of the plinth are "Justice" and "Democracy"
 
 
 
Peace
"Peace"
 
 
 
Justice
"Justice"
 
 
 
Democracy
"Democracy"
 
 
I changed the pictures of the three statues into black and white as the details show up much better.
 




Homer quote
Homer
 
 
On the front of the plinth is an inscription, a quote from Homer:
 
εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος, ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης
 
Translated to English this says:
 
There is only one omen
To fight for one's country.
 
The East side of the park is bordered by the main road of Loutraki.
Here are the coffee shops, very popular in summer because of the shade provided by the tall, leafy trees.
 
I love to stroll past the tables of Greek men playing backgammon under the trees.
Always men! I have never seen a woman player!
 



Backgammon
Backgammon
 
 
 
Across the road from the park is the "Kolonaki" coffee shop, a very "In" trendy place, very popular with the "younger" crowd, both during the day and well into the night.
 
Petros Kokiopoulos, the owner, is very proud to have his bar "Kolonaki" featured in one of the best Greek architectural magazines:
 Greek Architecture GR. SEE HERE
 


 
Petros Kokiopoulos
Petros Kokiopoulos.Owner of "Kolonaki"






Kolonaki bar Loutraki




 

 
 
 
 
Here are a few pictures of "Kolonaki"
How Chic!
 
Pictures by Takis Nikolopoulos
 
 
Kolonaki Loutraki

Kolonaki Loutraki

Kolonaki Loutraki

Kolonaki Loutraki

Kolonaki Loutraki
 
 
So after a stroll in the park, stop in at the "Kolonaki" for a coffee!
 
 
 
 
 

Mobile 'phone etiquette

 
 
Mobile manners
Mobile manners
 
 
People, lots of people , need to take mobile 'phone etiquette lessons.
When it comes to mobile 'phones; good manners and good old decent courtesy seem to go out the window.
 
I'm not going to start on about how face to face social skills have gone downhill, or what people are missing out on when walking around with their head down while texting, or about how this causes round shoulders.
This is their problem, they are missing out on life, they are going to become round-shouldered, not me.
 
 


life by text
Life by text
 
Mobile 'phones are here to stay, they will always be used, so use them with consideration for others!
 
Are smart 'phone owners so busy? Are they workaholics? Can they not turn off their 'phone or at least switch it to silent for an hour while socialising with friends?
In that hour is the world going to collapse around their ears?
They always have a lame excuse for why they just have to answer that one call.
 
 
Turn to silent
Turn to silent

 
Wherever we go, the supermarket, a walk in the park, on a bus, on a train; all we hear is the buzz buzz , dring dring of mobile 'phones and people bellowing down them at the top of their voice.
 
 
Don't you just sometimes want to do this?
 
 
By far the worst for me is when you have met up with friends, especially friends that you don't see often and the are forever checking their 'phone or answering it or worst of all actually making a call.
 
You have made arrangements to meet up, you know that on so and so day for an hour or two you are seeing your friends.
Turn your 'phone off!
Have you no manners?
 
There is actually now a word for this rudeness, it's called "Phubbing": 'phone snubbing.
It means people constantly checking E mails, text messages and replying to messages while ignoring the friend right in front of them.
Essentially they are saying to you: "This is more important to me right now than you are"
 
I have lost count of the times I have nearly got up and walked away when this has happened in front of me.
If I am meeting a friend, my 'phone goes on silent.
 
My Daughter is terrible for doing this , when out with her I have threatened so many times that I am going  to go home because of her constant 'phone checking.
At home I have had to ban 'phones from the table at meal times.
I'm sure she has an addiction to her 'phone and I'm not joking.
People become controlled by them, they take them to bed, they take them to the loo!
Prisoner's of the mobile 'phone!
 
 
I noticed that Debrett has a new edition out of their age old book: "Etiquette and Modern Manners"
In it there is a chapter on "Mobile  Manners"
A sign of the times!
 



Debrett's A-Z of Modern Manners
Debrett's A-Z of Modern Manners


I was very pleased to hear that a lot of restaurants, all over the World, are now asking people not to use mobile 'phones, they are asked not to have them on the table.
Good! If you have to use it; go outside!
To all the people who don't like this policy and threaten not to go in that restaurant again, well good because they and the clientele probably don't want you there if all you want to do is chatter on the phone.
 
As for people using 'phones in cinemas, theatres etc, don't get me started!
 
 
No 'phones allowed
No 'phones allowed
 
 
A great game I heard about to stop this use of 'phones in bars and restaurants is:
 
Everyone puts their 'phone in the centre of the table at the beginning of the evening, the first one to check or answer their 'phone pays the bill!
Brilliant!
 
 
Phone stacking
'Phone stacking
 
I've noticed that a lot of  friends that I have had the conversation with about 'phone etiquette, agree with me but then do the exact same thing that they said they hated!
Do we lose all reason where mobile phones are concerned?
 
Just when I thought that I had seen it all concerning mobile 'phones, I read this:
 
 
 
Phone lanes China.
'Phone lanes.China
I have nothing to say about this, I'm speechless!
 
 
Before I finish here I want to tell you about my good friend H.
H has a mobile 'phone and uses it often
I have never seen H use it in front of me or while out in company but the thing I really love about H is:
 Say today, Wednesday, we arrange to meet at eleven am next Wednesday, barring an earth-moving incident or illness, H will not ring me again about our arrangements, not even the night before to check on details,.
I know 100% that H will be there.
This is how things were done before we were all slaves to the mobile 'phone, we arranged things, we were organised.
 
In another conversation I had with someone who was trying to convince me on the absolute need for mobile 'phones, they said to me:
"yes, but if you are meeting someone and you are going to be late, you can ring them to tell them"
 
Well my answer to that is:
 
"If you didn't have a mobile 'phone, you would make sure that you weren't late"
 
And that is a whole other "etiquette" thing, punctuality!
Do people not think it rude to be unpunctual?
 
 
 


Life in Greece as an Expat

Loutraki beach Greece
Loutraki beach Greece

A question I am frequently asked, by both Greeks and foreigners, is

 "Do I like living in Greece?"

My answer is always the same, in one word "Yes!"

It's been so long now, since I left England, nearly forty years,  I forget that I'm an "Expat"!

So, when I was asked by "expatsblog"  about my life in Greece, I really had to think of my

 life as an expat and not as a Greek!


"expatsblog" is such a useful site for anyone relocating, or thinking of relocating, to another country, tips, forums and a mine of information.


A network allowing you to meet up and get to know other expats in countries all over the world.

A real help, especially in the early days of being in any new country.


You can read my interview with "Expats blog" below.


I love Greece: the people, the climate, oh the Mediterranean climate, it makes life so much easier!

For about eight months of the year we more or less live outside in our garden.


Garden Loutraki Greece
Our garden Loutraki


Most days, from April/May and onward, up until about the October, our meals are eaten

"Al Fresco"


Sunrise
Sunrise over Loutraki


I'm so lucky to see amazing sunrises each  morning, never the same, always something to gaze at in wonder, summer or winter.


Trusty bicycle
My trusty bicycle and me


My old, but trusty bicycle, gets me out and about, otherwise I walk, the town of Loutraki is only about fifteen minutes away.

 Mondays and Saturdays, I look at what gorgeous fresh produce our local street market has to offer.



Loutraki street market
Loutraki street market
  

Maybe I'll buy some thing extra nice for MGG's (My Greek God) lunch.

Lunch is our main meal of the day, as is the norm in Greece, sometimes it's just MGG and I,

 other times the whole family, with my little Granddaughter, Melina, being the star of the show!


Family lunch
Family lunch


When it becomes too chilly to be on the beach, which I love with a passion by the way,

 I'll take a stroll to the picturesque tiny harbour, watch the fishing boats returning with their

 day's haul. 


 Of course Greece has bad weather, but, those days are few and far between, usually it's 

sun and blue skies.


Loutraki harbour
Loutraki harbour



We might drop in at our favourite "ouzeri", for ouzo and meze, those delightful little plates of

 of sea food.




Have some grilled octopus
Have some grilled octopus !


I love my Greek life, I feel Greek!

 When people ask me where I am from, it surprises me. (without hearing me speak, because, of course I have a foreign accent).

 I forget I'm not a true local!

 "Do I look foreign?" 

 I don't feel it at all !



Loutraki bay taken from Edem taverna
Loutraki bay taken from Edem taverna



Just look at this view of Loutraki bay I took from the Edem taverna!


Isn't Greece a beautiful place to live?




My Greek God(MGG)
My Greek God (MGG)

I'm so glad I met My Greek God!

“A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants.” 
Lawrence Durrell
Justine




Celebrating the life of a different Dimitris.

Kefalonia
Kefalonia


Today, October twenty sixth, Greece celebrates the name day of Saint Dimitrios, the Patron Saint of Thessaloniki.

I am celebrating the life of another Dimitris.

Let me tell you first about Saint Dimitrios.

The church of Saint Dimitrios dates from when Thessaloniki was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire, the largest and the Capital city being Constantinople.

Church of Saint Dimitrios
Church of Saint Dimitrios.Thessaloniki.

It is part of the site; "Palaeochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki" on the list of World Heritage sites by Unesco.

During excavations, Roman baths were discovered where Saint Dimitrios is said to have been imprisoned and later executed.

The church has been destroyed by fire many times and was rebuilt in 629-634.
Six mosaic panels show Saint Dimitrios with the officials responsible for the rebuilding of the church.
Many other amazing mosaics were lost or destroyed during the four hundred years that it was used as a Mosque.
Others were lost in "The Great Fire Of Thessaloniki" in 1917.

Have a look at LONDINOUPOLIS a very interesting blog and learn all about the church of Saint Dimitrios.

Saint Dimitrios was appointed commander of the Roman forces for Greece by Galerius.
For all  his military expertise, Saint Dimitrios never stopped preaching the word of God and despite the persecution of Christians by the Emperor, managed to bring many pagans to the
faith.

Saint Dimitrios
Saint Dimitrios

His success caused jealousy amongst the pagans, they reported him to Emperor Maximian who had him imprisoned for using his official position to spread Christianity.

During one of the Gladiator combats in the amphitheatre, Nestor, a young Christian, challenged Lyaios, a man of unbelievable strength.
With this act Nestor wanted to show the Romans that the real power belongs to Christ.

Nestor
Nestor

Before going into battle,
Nestor visited Dimitrios in his prison cell and asked him to pray for him.

Entering the amphitheatre Nestor cried out:

"God of Dimitrios, help me"

Nestor slayed Lyaios and the Emperor ordered his arrest and beheading outside the city.
He had heard Nestor call out for help from Dimitrios whom he thought had used some kind of witchcraft.

Dimitrios was put to death without trial.
His body was taken away and buried by Christians.

Burying Saint Dimitrios of Thessaloniki
Taking Saint Dimitrios to be buried

A beautiful scent, myrrh, with healing properties is said to flow from his body and all who take it and have faith are cured from all their ailments.

His full name is :
 " Great Martyr Saint Dimitrios The Myrrh Streamer"
He has watched over and protected Thessaloniki for sixteen hundred years.

So while all of Greece celebrate the life of Saint Dimitrios of Thessaloniki, I am celebrating the life of our very dear friend, Dimitri.



Dimitris
Dimitris

Dimitri is one of our oldest Greek friends.
I met him the first year that I was here in Greece, 1977.
We met because we had the same car, a khaki green Mini!
The only two in Korinth!



Friend Dimitris
Dimitris

After training as an architect in Belgium Dimitri returned to Athens,then worked a while in Korinth where we lived in the same block of flats.
What laughs we had, Dimitri had no television so every Sunday evening we would watch "Fame" together, remember "Fame"?



Dimitris
Dimitris


Dimitris and his beloved Audi!

He lived on the top floor, we were on the fourth, he would shout down to us through the air shaft, he had the whole place in an uproar.
A lunatic but such a lovable lunatic, don't they say that the best people are crazy?
With Dimitris, it's true.




Dimitris loving life.
Dimitris loving life.

It was a treat to watch him hanging out his washing, instead of wringing things out, he just whacked them on the railings before pegging them on the line.

  Then he discovered the magical Island of Kefalonia, one of the Ionian Islands.

Dimitris and his Zodiac
Dimitris and his Zodiac.

There was no stopping him, he upped sticks, left everything, built a house and made his life in Kefalonia.

Dimitris and me.Kefalonia
Dimitri and me in Kefalonia

He did come back from time to time and designed a beautiful house for us in Loutraki.



Kefalonia
With Dimitri in Kefalonia

What a life in Kefalonia, paradise!
Dimitris has shown us the best beaches, the best tavernas, the best coffee shops and made his home ours when we were there. Such hospitality.


Me with Dimitri
My birthday.Kefalonia
Celebrating my birthday with Dimitris in Kefalonia.

Kefalonia Greece avithos beach
Tassos and Dimitris, Avithos beach Kefalonia,.



Dimitri loved Kefalonia, he was never going to leave, it was in his soul


Dimitris and me.Kefalonia,above Myrtos beach.
Dimitri and me above Myrtos beach,Kefalonia.



We saw Dimitri at the end of last winter.

Dimitri died in the spring

He died in his beloved Kefalonia and that is where he is.
Dimitri got his wish, he never did leave Kefalonia.

Happy name day Dimitri, fly high!
xxx

Not alone, he's right behind me.
Not alone...he's right behind me!!!

There he is, behind me.
 Can you see him?
There he goes, flying high.

Read about more Saints of The Greek Orthodox Church below:







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