Greek honey

In Greece, especially on the islands, an impressive life in harmony with nature. There is no heavy industry here, and huge expanses of virgin forests, visible immediately after leaving the city, testify how the locals live. The sun shines 300 days a year, the fruit has a unique taste and aroma, a huge number of herbs grow here. All this favors bees in their work. Continuous and extensive controls standardize honey and confirm its quality.

 

Thyme honey is the most common. It is also worth knowing that it should be stored at a temperature below 25o, but never in the fridge. Apparently, a good way for honey not to crystallize is to freeze the portion, which when thawed at room temperature, will retain all properties but also a liquid consistency, which is nice when consumed.

Feta cheese or manouri

There is no Greek salad without the addition of cheese, necessarily feta. However, I recommend trying manouri cheese. Each contains 70% sheep's milk and 30% goat's milk. Manouri cheese is made of cream, which is why it is delicate and soft. Unfortunately, it is also caloric.

It tastes great with the addition of tomatoes or any fruit, e.g. grapes. In contrast, feta cheese works well in salads, called not only Greek.

Greek herbs and Greek tea

The importance of Greek spices, not only because of their taste, but also health, everyone knows. I recommend buying not in places easily accessible to tourists, but in fact from a good source. It is no accident that there are no crowds in one place and long queues in another.

 

I recommend the little-known diktamo or dictamnus tea (also called). This is especially appreciated by the Cretans and can not be found anywhere. This herb was already known in ancient times as a medicine for abdominal pain and all diseases of the digestive and nervous systems, but also for headaches and disinfection of wounds.

Greek Olive oil

Apparently, it's unmatched worldwide. Even Greek mythology tells this story in a legend about how the rapidly developing human settlement at the foot of the Acropolis gained protection thanks to the goddess of wisdom and martial arts. Well, the legendary king Kekrops organized a duel for the two gods of Olympus. Poseidon hit the rock with a trident, causing water to flow out. In those days it was the source of life. Still, Kekrops gave the city of Athena. Because the goddess made the olive tree grow.

 

She promised that she would never run out of olive oil. Greeks say that nowhere in the world is there such good quality extra virgin olive oil. Its acidity is below 0.8%, which puts it first among the beneficial properties for our body. For olive oil to be called extra virgin, the olives must be of good quality and ripe. Because they ferment quickly, they must be processed for a maximum of 24 hours after harvest.

 

I admit that until recently I underestimated the properties of olive oil. I thought that I had to limit its amount very much (which of course I did very meticulously, because I really limited it to zero) because I did not want to gain weight. I changed my attitude when, being in Crete recently, I read a book about the importance of olive oil for the Greeks, and especially the Cretans. The average consumption is 3 liters / person / month! They claim that thanks to this they have no health problems and live to old age. I admit that they convinced me. And what? Although it is caloric, I think it significantly improves intestinal motility, and proper bowel movement is the foundation of a healthy and slim body.

 

I recommend buying olive oil in a plastic bottle or can, making it lighter. Preferably in a dark container, because then you do not lose valuable vitamins.

Returning to the duel of Athena and Poseidon ... The god of the sea lost the duel for Athens, and yet the Acropolis hill still abounds in drinking water. It is worth remembering during your visit, because you can drink tap water here. It is very good quality. Water bought in the bottle is poured from the tap.

My souvenir is marked with number 1407.

After returning from vacation, I found a description of an archaeological find.

It comes from Piraeus, from the first half of the 4th century BC

It depicts Asclepius standing at the altar with the attribute of a serpent.

The bas-relief depicts the moment when a slave brings a sacrificial lamb.

Behind him is a man with wife and child.

My souvenir is marked with number 1407. After returning from vacation, I found a description of an archaeological find. It comes from Piraeus, from the first half of the 4th century BC. It depicts Asclepius standing at the altar with the attribute of a serpent. The bas-relief depicts the moment when a slave brings a sacrificial lamb. Behind him is a man with wife and child.

Greek wine

Greek youth abuse alcohol. When driving a rented car or at least walking around the city, you can find miniature flowers and candles. There is always a picture there - 99% young people. All this, because in stores there is practically no age limit, minors can easily buy any alcohol. Police rarely control drivers' sobriety. Unfortunately, all this causes that accidents end in someone's death.

 

And yet, according to Greek tradition, you don't drink alcohol. You won't meet a drunken Greek on the street. They prefer wine, preferably dry, white or red and only with a meal. Michał Głombiowski writes about it in "Traveling spell". This is even confirmed by the fact that you can often pour yourself wine in the cafeteria for lunch and dinner. Facilitates digestion of food. Greeks know what is healthy (about this below, when discussing greek oil) and what helps to live to old age.

 

The climate here is favorable for growing grapes. Their plantations occupy vast areas. Wine can be bought in the vineyard or in any store.

I recently visited Crete for the third time. I found an interesting travel agency offer; which is a nice hotel in an equally interesting place.

 

When I was looking for places that I haven't seen yet and which are worth visiting, it turned out that there are so many that I still can't see everything. But about it sometime ...

 

Visiting the third largest city on the island, Rethimno - I found myself (quite by accident) in front of a store with ... authentic fakes. I know that sounds at least funny.

I will add, however, that anyone who has been to any Greek archaeological museum has certainly noticed that there is a shop museum there. Replicas offered for sale have certificates with the exhibition number. All figurines or bas-reliefs are numbered. Their descriptions can be found on the Internet because they are written and published publicly. Everyone who buys this replica receives confirmation of authenticity. which is important for two reasons:

  1. At the airport, this is proof that the souvenir has not been stolen. When I returned from my last vacation, it was this bill with the stamp of the museum that saved me from perhaps great customs problems.

  2. Knowing the number of authentic exhibits, you can easily find a description at home, i.e. where it comes from, from what period and what is the genesis of its creation.

 

My souvenir is not from Crete. I bought it because I wanted to have a souvenir with the above mentioned certificate. At the same time, I knew how much I could spend on a figurine ...

 

Today I know one thing ... With each subsequent trip, and actually when planning the costs, I will reserve coins for souvenir from the shop museum.

The disadvantage of the figurines is that they must be cleaned of dust. It also turns out that you often have to work hard to find a nice figure. In addition, you need some knowledge to buy a valuable souvenir. Here are two examples:

 

The disadvantage of the figurines is that they must be cleaned of dust. It also turns out that you often have to work hard to find a nice figure. In addition, you need some knowledge to buy a valuable souvenir. Here are two examples:

My first family trip to Crete took place in 2010. I was looking for a souvenir for a long time, which I liked. I bought a nice vase at Knossos - shiny and of an unusual shape.

Three years later I returned to Crete. I visited a small town on the island - Margaritas. This place is famous for beautiful ceramics. There I learned that three years ago the pitcher I bought did not have much to do with real souvenirs from ancient Greece.

 

Why?

 

A few centuries BC, water sources were far away  from the village. The task of young girls was to provide the family with good water. Young brides put a pitcher of water on their shoulders and hold it by the ear so that the water does not spill. The dish must have a round bottom shape so as not to cut the skin.

 

What's more, the jugs we see on the stalls are shiny. Why? Because they are fired in electric furnaces. In ancient times, pitchers had a very matte and even smoky surface texture. They were burnt in clay, wood-fired furnaces gathered in a nearby forest.

Souvenir from Greece

The above picture was taken in Crete. I bought a souvenir in a small town - Margeritas. I am happy to leave the store. In my hand I hold a souvenir that for many years will remind me of a wonderful holiday on a wonderful Greek island.

 

first things first...

 

Pictures are always the best souvenir. But...

 

In addition to the huge number of photos I always come back with a souvenir I bought. In my living room there are shelves on which holiday souvenirs are placed. I love statues, which is why the souvenir is usually a figurine of a god who is the guardian of a Greek island. Always before going on vacation I find out which of the ancient Greek gods is the guardian of the island or place. Sometimes it's easy:

Athens - Athena, goddess of wisdom and martial arts,

Cyprus - Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty,

Crete - Zeus, ruler of heaven and earth,

Rhodes - Apollo, god of light and music,

Samos - Hera, goddess of motherhood and marriage,

Kos - Asklepios, god of medical art.

Sometimes guessing the divine guard is not so easy.

 

27 May 2020

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