When you’re in Crete at the beginning of May you see this kind of tree with it’s yellow fruit everywhere. It has a yellow fruit that has a sweet taste when it’s ripe.
It’s one of the few fruit trees that cary ripe fruit at that time of the year and it is very easy to eat. You should peel the fruit and eat its flesh, it has some dark brown seeds inside that you should not eat.
The video below shows you more about these loquats.
Last year I met a Yogini on one of my excursions and during some free time on Spinalonga we started talking about how yoga can change ones life.
I started practicing yoga about a year ago and I still am, the sunny days in Crete are great to practice or to learn more about yoga.
To Beyer, the Yogini I met on Spinalonga is giving a Yoga Retreat in Stalis Crete from 29 of September until the 4,the of October on the beach of the Alexander Beach Hotel. Daily from 8.30 into 12.30 am
Maximum group 10 persons
Ths retreat is open to beginners and advanced yoginis and Yogi’s. You will work on a smooth body in harmony, breathing techniques, flowing exercises and meditation.
For questions and reservations: please contact Roswitha Beyer.
+4915788066516 or Roswithafirstname.lastname@example.org Whats App:+491703344149
Also on Good Thursday, Megali Pemptie preparations for Easter go on. This is the day that the eggs are colored, the traditional color is red that stands for the blood of Jesus Christ, but nowadays also other colors are used. Me I still only use the red color because I like to hold on to tradition.
Good Thursday is also the day that the women go to church with flowers, they will use these flowers to decorate the Epithafio. The Epithafio symbolizes the tomb of Christ and will be used during the Procession on Good Friday. Here in Fodele the Epithafio is decorated with orange blossoms end this smell will stay for a few days in the church now. All women of the village love to participate in this but some will not be allowed because the women who have there monthly period are not allowed to enter the church.
Megali Tetarti or Good Wednesday is also a very important day in the Greek Orthodox religion, as it is then that the priests during the evening service bless the oil. Oil that is used to bless people and protect them against sickness of body and mind. To bless the oil the priest will read 7 gospels and announce 7 wishes. After he blessed the oil he will put with the oil a cross on the believers forehead, cheek and hands.
In several places in Greece also eggs, flower and salt is taken, covered in a basket, to church where it will be blessed by the priest by crossing it with the wooden holy Cross. The eggs will then be colored on Good Thursday and the flower and salt will be used to make the dough for the ‘prozimi’ or yeast that will be used to make the Easter bread, as also in the bread that will be made in the following year.
It’s Catholic Easter today and Palm Sunday for the Orthodox church. It’s cold in Crete (14° C) for the time of the year, but I decide anyhow to go for a walk to the monastery of Agios Panteleimonas, a distance of a bit more than 3km from where I live in Fodele. The path goes up and after a while I start having stunning views, over the village, the orange groves, the mountains, the olive trees, I see the flowers of the Cistrus Creticus everywhere, so I really enjoy my walk up.
After half an hour I reach the Monastery and my good mood is swept away when I see this
There is an entrance fee to pay! I am so disapointed….., I don’t understand, this is a small monastery, with a great history , yes, that you can read inside, but there is no museum or anything else that you should pay for. This is a religieus place, a place for prayer. I visited the Notre Dame in Paris last winter and there was no entrance fee to pay.
I went inside, sat down for a while to listen to the psalms, I took some crosses specially made for Palm Sunday and I left.
Yesterday I went on a trip up on the Psiloritis mountain to have lunch with sheppard Andreas. He lives in the village Livadia in the Idi mountains and he has been a sheppard for his whole life. He loves being out there in the nature high up in the mountains
with his sheep and goats. Together with his brothers they have around 3000 animals to take care of. Today 200 of them are already up on the mountain where Andreas milks all 200 of them twice a day and they give him each time around 100 liter of good quality milk. The other animals are still on the land they have further down the mountain and they will be brought up until the end of April.
Andreas will be milking the animals twice a day until the end of May and then for about one more month he will milk them once a day. From the month of July on the animals will mate, so they won’t give any milk until they give birth about 5 months later.
During the months that the animals don’t give milk Andreas still goes up to give them extra food and water but also because he loves being up there.
His family also built a chapel there, a saint George chapel.
Close to the chapel there stands a very large Stone Oak tree where you can enjoy the real sheppard’s lunch called antichristo. Which is lamb that is cooked next to the fire instead of on the fire. No herbs are needed during the preparation of the meat as his animals eat lots of herbs during their time in the mountains. Andreas is a very good cook and also very good company, he likes to talk about his life and work up there on the Psiloritis.
The road up to his mitato is not an easy road as it lays on a hight of 1200 meter but it really is worth the trip.
If this looks like something you would like to do during your stay in Crete than don’t hesitate to contact me.
Today 30 January 2019 we celebrate and honor in the Greek Orthodox Church the Three Hierarchs.
The celebration of the Three Hierarchs started in the 11th century when Constantine III Monomachus reorganized the Law School of Constantinople. At that time there were three Saints who were seen as the Saints of education namely Gregoreios the Theologian, Ioanis Chrysostom and Vasileios the Great. During the reorganization the reorganizers could not decide which one of the Saints to place on top and this resulted in a division of the Christians so the ones were called the Gregorites, the others the Ionanites and others the Vasilites.
Until John Mavropos, who was then the Metropolitan of Euchaite, had a vision in which he saw the three Saints. They told him that they are equal to eachother and that they can’t be seperated, that between them there is neither the first nor the second, but if you see one, the two others are next to him. So John Mavropos gave orders to stop the quarrels and stop dividing them for they cannot be seperated and so these three Saints became the Three Hierarchs, the three Saints of education and on the day of their celebration all schools are closed.
From the 11th century on you can also see them together on icons and they are honored every year on the 30th of January.
I have published earlier the story of the lepers on the island of Spinalonga, but what exactly is leprosy?
Well, it is a disease that exists already for over 2000 years and its name is as a matter of fact greek, it comes from an ancient greek word that means ‘peeling of’ or ‘peel’. The bad guy here is a bactery called Mycobacterium Leprea. This guy can live in the air for a few moments when he is breath out by someone, during sneezing, coughing, speaking or via nasal droplets. When he lands on your skin and you are not imune for him (95% of the people ARE imune) then he will settle on your skin and after a few months or even years (up to 20 years) the disease will start bothering you. Another way of getting the disease is by birth when it is given to you through your mothers placenta (that is why some of the children born on Spinalonga had the disease by birth.)
What happens when the disease comes out? Small stains appear on the skin and the bacterium destroys the nerves in the skin at these places ; your earlobes become thicker and you feel numb in your hands and feet. If the disease is found and treated early, then there will be no permanent lesions. If not, there will be paralysis and possibly also blindness.
Because the lepers had no feeling in certain parts of their body, they could not feel it if they had hurt themselves there in such a way that larger injuries were caused by infections, that were not felt and therefore not treated. As a result, it was sometimes necessary to amputate these parts of the body.
The Irish scientis Vincent Barry from Cork, played a very important role in the battle against this diseas, it was him who synthisesed a compound called Clofazimine that we find in the combination of drug treatment against Leprosy. He was leading at that time ( the 1870’s) a team of 9 scientists who were searching for a treatment for Leprosy.
According to infromation that was given to me by an official greek guide, there should exist mutated genes in the human body that adopt this bacterium, so only the people who have 1 or more of these mutated genes can have the disease. (and these would be the other 5%) This should be a theory that was given by experts in 2012. I have not been able to confirm this theory on the internet or anywhere else so I do not know if this is realy so, but as soon as I find a confirmation of it I will let you know.