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Mediterranean Diet > the Greek way August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece.
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The word “diet”, borrowed from Ancient Greek by other languages, primarily means “way of life” – in other words, cultural behaviour.

For the Mediterraneans, especially Greeks, food as an expression of cultural behaviour is still a point of reference for every social activity, be it personal or communal, daily or festive. Above all, it is a creative endeavour, aimed at promoting pleasure, entertainment and well-being.

Traditional Cretan cuisine, in particular, as well as culinary methods from the rest of Greece and southern Italy, have become the focus of international studies dating as far back as the 1960’s. These studies speak of the healthiest diet on the planet and offer impressive statistical evidence of its effect on common maladies such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. In 1994 the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, the World Health Organisation and Harvard’s School of Public Health jointly published the Mediterranean Food Pyramid , showing that an ‘experiment’ carried out over thousands of years has met with official scientific approval.

From times immemorial, nature in the Mediterranean region has always made its rich produce available – olive oil, wine, honey, milk, cereals, fruit, vegetables, pulses, herbs and seafood. The great variety of culinary materials and the imagination of the people combine to create some extraordinary gastronomical achievements. Good food can be found all over Greece, from hospitable homes to quaint tavernas, from charming snack bars (mezedopolia) to the most expensive restaurants.

Greek cuisine – tradition, health, pleasure, creativity, the secret of longevity and a lesson in culture, all in one!

Links for Mediterranean Diet:


Unique Greek Tastes August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Food Culture, Wine And Spirits.
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Ouzo is being produced traditionally and exclusively in Greece.

It belongs to the “anise” category and has an aniseed flavour, aniseed is what gives ouzo its trademark milky countenance when water is added. The indigenous mastic, masticha of Chios island, ginger, cinnamon and other aromatic seeds, plants and fruits are all part of the distillation process, and give ouzo its distinctive taste. Its main distinction from other similar drinks lies with the traditional method of its flavouring.

The 1959 edition of “The Times of Thessaly” provides an interesting anecdote of how ouzo got by its name. “During a visit to Thessaly in 1896, the late professor Alexander Filadelfefs delivered to us valuable information on the origins of the word “ouzo”, which has come to replace the word “tsipouro”. According to the professor, tsipouro gradually became ouzo after the following event: Thessaly exported fine cocoons to Marseilles during the 19th century, and in order to distinguish the product, outgoing crates would be stamped with the words “uso Massalia”, Italian for ‘to be used by Marseilles’. One day, the Turkish consulate physician, named Anastas Bey, happened to be visiting the town of Tyrnavos and was asked to sample the local tsipouro. Upon tasting the drink, the physician immediately exclaimed: ‘This is uso Massalia, my friends’,  refering to its high quality. The term subsequently spread by word of mouth, until tsipouro gradually became known as ouzo.”

On the other hand, as a rule tsipouro is the product of pure grape distillation without added flavouring. It is colourless and has a high alcohol content. Thus, it is often diluted and almost always accompanied by mezedes, which are consumed in the following traditional order: a light salad to begin with, pickled and salted snacks, such as herring or anchovies, and then fish, prawns, shrimps, sahanaki, melted fried cheese, etc.

Also known as tsikoudia or raki in Crete, zivania in Cyprus and souma in the Cycladic islands, tsipouro is an integral part of Greek social life.

Ouzo and tsipouro are more than a mere imprint on a T-shirt advertising the land of the gods of Olympus. They are part of everyday life in Greece, part of the Greek way of entertainment and hospitality.

Sea activities in Greece August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece.
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Both the Federation of Underwater Professionals and Scuba Diving Tourism
(on +30 210 4131919) and local training centres provide information on scuba diving in Greece.

Scuba diving is allowed at several locations which are determined by the Department of Marine Antiquities.

The following web sites provide information on scuba diving:

The following web site provides information on the marinas of Greece:



The following web sites provide information on sailing:


The following web sites provide information on windsurfing:


Mountain activities in Greece August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece.
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Visit the following web sites to find out more about mountaineering, climbing, trekking, speleology and ski activities taking place in Greece.

•  www.ixnilates.gr
•  www.oreivatein.com
•  www.poa.gr
•  www.robinson.gr
•  www.multimedia-sa.gr/outdoor
•  www.adrenaline.gr
•  www.canyoning.gr
•  www.paragliding.gr
•  www.golesvos.com 

Your call is being diverted to…..space! August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Science.
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Around 150 children attending ESA’s Space Camp 2006, in Patras, Greece, used amateur radio to talk to ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter on the International Space Station (ISS) last Saturday.

The so-called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) event marked ‘Astronaut Day’ at the Space Camp and was attended by Marietta Giannakou, Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs. Head of the European Astronaut Centre and ESA astronaut Michel Tognini and ESA astronaut Reinhold Ewald were also present in Patras.

“NA1SS… do you copy? Over”

Using the Station’s call sign NA1SS, the radio contact with ISS Expedition 13 crewmember Thomas Reiter was established with the help of a telebridge in Honolulu, Hawaii at exactly 15:27 CEST (12:27 UT).

Minister Giannakou was first to send her greetings to the Expedition 13 crew on board the Station. Reiter returned the greeting, explaining how the crew had enjoyed a beautiful pass over Greece and the Greek islands earlier that day.

“It’s a great job”

Reiter went on to answer questions from the children. In response to a question from Christina he explained the importance of studying hard to become an astronaut. “You first have to study a scientific subject, physics, biology, or medicine,” he said. “You need some professional experience working in a certain field. It depends a little bit on the health how long you can execute this career. It’s a great job to work in.”

In reply to a question from Zisis about when humans will settle on other planets, Reiter answered that he hopes that this will happen in the next 20 to 25 years so that he can still witness it.

Source: Space Ref (Press Release)

Grand Bay Beach Resort in Crete August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece.
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Twenty kilometres from the city of Chania, on the beautiful beach of Kolybari, Grand Bay Beach Resort (a four star hotel) is founded. The centre of Kolybari is at a distance of 60 metres. A hotel group that connects traditional with modern design and provides all the services that modern way of life requires.

The Grand Bay has been built for families, but also for those professionals that wish a pleasant and comfortable place to stay during their business in Chania.  Take off for adventures in the beautiful landscapes of Crete. Such places are the beach in Falassarna, lots of traditional Cretan villages and Samaria’s Gorge. At the same time you can enjoy the nightlife entertainment. The hotel has 70 rooms, 17 standard rooms, 38 Junior Suites that host to 4 individuals and 14 apartments, to 6 individuals. The room has satellite television, internet connection ADSL 1024, minibar, safe box, two or three telephones, air conditioning and a hair dryer. The junior suites and the appartments have kitchenette.

At the swimming-pool bar and a Main bar where someone can enjoy a drink, a coffee or refreshments. In the restaurant or in the snack bar you may enjoy the splendid flavours, cooked by our Chef.

Built your body in the fitness club or relax in the Jacuzzi. The children may enjoy themselves in the children’s club and in the playground

The Municipality of Kolymbari was founded in 1997 ad originated from the uification of 17 communities, which include 49 villages and settlements.It’s total population, as recorded in the census of 2001, amounts to 5.114 residents and it spreads over an area of 149.707 square meters.

It’s geografic position is polimorphic with approximately equal tracks of flat, half-mountainous and mountanious areas. The sea washesthe bigest part of them. As each village comes after the other the landscape changes: The sea, the mountains, the plains, the canyons, the big rocks… Alternating images, which together with the unbounded blue sky and the sun, catch the eye of the visitor.

In most villages people are farmers and stockbreeders. They cultivate olive and citrus trees, grapevines and vegetables. They produce the most delicius olive oil, honey, wine and also very tasty meat and dairy products. In the littoral villages the locals are engaged in fishery. ourism has flourished over the last few years as well.

For additional information visit > http://www.grandbay.gr/default.asp?id=1&lang=en

Santa Marina Plaza Hotel in Chania, Crete August 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece.
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Santa Marina Plaza Hotel (a five star hotel) is built at the sun-blessed beach of St. Marina, at a mere 8 kilometers from the city of Chania. It’s looking forward to offering to every visitor of the island, an unforgettable stay in one of its 49 luxurious rooms and 2 suites.

Aghia Marina is located at a mere 8 km west from the city of Chania towards Kissamos. It was named after a small church dedicated to St. Marina. The abundance of trees combined with the sun-blessed beaches that stretch over 2.5km on the north coast have turned Aghia Marina into one of the most popular holiday destinations of Crete. The fine golden sand blended with the trees along the shoreline make for truly exotic surroundings.

To the north of the beach and at a distance of only 400m one can admire the small island of St. Theodor. According to the ancient legends, the island was in fact a terrible monster on its way to attack the village. Thankfully, the mighty god of the sea, Poseidon, turned it into rock, thus saving the village. The legend also claims that the area owes its golden sand to the flames coming out from the monster’s mouth, which is still visible in the form of a massive cave at the south end of the island. In the year 1574 while Crete was under Venetian rule, it was decided that St. Theodor would be fortified in order to deter the Turkish military from landing to Platanias. To this end two fortresses were build. Today only the foundations of these buildings are visible along with the ruins of a church. The entire island is a protected area since it is used as breeding area for the unique Kri-Kri. The later is a wild mountain goat found only on the island of Crete.

The picturesque village of Pano Aghia Marina is only a short stroll from the beach. Here one has the chance to admire wonderful houses, built in accordance with the traditional Cretan architecture. Traditional Cretan cuisine is also at hand, through one of the many taverns available in the area. For the more adventurous visitors, there is the cave of Aghia Marina. The later has unknown depth and has been the subject of study by archeologists and spileologists on more than one occasion.

Despite its development, the area of Aghia Marina has maintained those characteristics that allowed it to become such a popular destination in the first place. It has all the necessary modern infrastructure along with a wide spectrum of activities that range from shopping and night life to water sports and excursions. Surely it is no coincidence that every year Aghia Marina welcomes thousands of visitors, many of which not for the first time. 

For additional information visit >  http://www.santamarina-plaza.gr/Default.asp?lang=en