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Litsa Bolontzakis

Litsa Bolontzakis

Children's book and cookbook author Litsa Bolontzakis is an expert on Greek cooking and that culture's easy, simple way of life. Her desire is to help other families learn from her culture how to appreciate the simple things in life and grow to enjoy the seasons and the gifts they bring.

Traveling-to-Rhodes-Litsa!

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

Traveling to Rhodes Litsa Bolontzakis

Traveling to Rhodes Litsa Bolontzakis

Traveling-to-Rhodes

We are setting off for traveling to Rhodes today in an extremely hot weather. A team is also onboard with us for the trip, I thought to myself, handsome young man, ALA TOSI MAGIA MY GOD PWS THA TIN ADEXOUME, THA BORESI NA TIN SIKOSI TO AEROPLANO!

The next day was amazing as we completed a week’s work in one single day. Our first stop was at Kallithea and to my surprise, this time it proved to be a pretty great sight. My last visit to this place wasn’t very pleasant since it was undergoing massive repairs, and so I wasn’t very happy to visit it this time. But now that it was restored to its original charm, I was relieved and had a comfortable time there.

Kallithea is a gorgeous beach, located at a distance of 7km from Rhodes and provides a magnificent resort for tourists and locals who want to take pleasure of a not so typical beach. It is home to some glamorous baths which were built and utilized by Italians, along with other delights such as coves and inlets that are sculptured with giant rocks, clear turquoise water and the delicious treat of mezedes, from the restaurant in the cave! Oh, what a day!Traveling to Rhodes was a marvelous idea!

I don’t understand one thing; why do people spend so much time and effort into doing something which will bore no results? I’m pointing towards the state of Greece. It is a highly dry place with barely any rain falls. Vegetation on the hills is the only one that survives, yet I see them working day and night to make the grass look good and still they fail. My point has always been that one should make use of the elements of the land so that there is less to worry about. Looking at the mountains will make you aware of the things that are going to survive the heat and the dry spell and thus, you can plan accordingly instead of putting in hard work for no good.
And this is exactly what is done in Kallithea. The gardens provide a breathtaking view, the use of local plants and herbs has filled this place with a homely aroma, the sage and rosemary and the thyme and caper plants make up a flawless combination which is no less than a sweet treat for the sight. The air finally feels refreshed and I’m happy beyond words and this is what my point was; to work with what you have instead of working for what you wished you had.

There was no fee for entering Kallithea and it was free to enter for years, but now they’ve imposed an entry fee of 3Eu. Still, no worries as I believe these were by far the best 3Eu I had ever paid for a leisure trip. As long as they keep up its beauty, I don’t mind spending a few bucks on it. My friends were stunned with the charisma of this place, where there was no artificial grass; only natural plantations were to be found.

After spending a few hours in Kallithea we headed towards Haraki which is another small piece of heaven. Here we had a mouth watering meal with Kosta. It is a small village with scenic beauty all around, located at the sea coast of the island and is at a distance of 38km from Rhodes and 20km from Lindos. The beach here is mainly coarse sand and pebbly and has a number of fish tavernas with splendid views. The medieval fortress of Feraklos is just nearby the village and provides an overwhelming sight, while the warm and shallow waters of Agathi lie at a walk of 15 minutes from the beach.

One thing that will never change with the Greeks is their generous nature and their Filotimo. They are lovely souls who only know how to give.

While driving towards Lindos, you come up to one of the most beautiful views of this planet; Lindos. A beautiful little city, a white city laying so gracefully and hugging the mountain as if the two of them are eternally in love! it’s all so magical. I closed my eyes and let myself drown in this majestic view, silently thanking my father for letting me witness Lindos for one more time.The ruins at the top of the mountain are reminders of another era and the walk is certainly one you must do, just make sure to have water with you and if at all possible not in the middle of the day, a summer day with the hot sun becomes very dangerous!

Yes you are beautiful my precious lady and the people love you and protect you as they should, because you belong to all of us no matter where we come from…you belong to the world!Walking the little streets of Lindos is good, but it is the end of the summer season, and after catering to a few million visitors the locals are getting tired, you can see the enthusiasm disappearing by the moment!It is another small village of Rhodes but unlike Haraki, Lindos’ main attraction is its tiny houses called Captains and the ruins of Acropolis. There are a number of temples and other historical buildings to wander around that present the magnificent view of ancient Greek architecture

Right after Lindos we stopped at the Cove of St. Pauls and decided to take a little swim there, and again, it was a wonderful experience. The clean and fresh water added more to our delight.

You are probably thinking that our journey ended here and we headed to our hotel but nope, it didn’t. We had one more stop.

Our next destination was Embona. It was at the other side of the island in the mountains. I was slightly dubious going there at night but nevertheless, we kept on moving. The roads were well indicated due to which we had a safe travel. However, for my friends who came from Mexico where it is not advisable to travel alone especially at night-time, it was no less than a nightmare. At one point my friend who was driving our car asked in a camouflaged terrified voice, how safe is driving like this. Needless to say, he was scared.

Although I had never been frightened before, I somehow felt weird at that moment. Still, I managed to say it was safe while thinking where to hide my ring and watch.

Suddenly I spoke in a very serious tone, “To tell you the truth, I forgot to pack my gun”, and that was when finally the ice broke in our car, a loud laughter spread all across and our ride wasn’t boring and laced with fear anymore.

We reached Embona a bit late but still, we managed in finding a place that served the most delicious lamb. You just need to tell them your requirement and they’ll take you to their butcher store where you can pick the cut of your choice. I am so happy that some things never change! You just have to be in the Know!

Embona is famous for its huge collection of folklore, amazing food, and the pleasant atmosphere. It is widely known for its grapes and raisins which could be seen soaking up the sun while lying on the courtyards during the harvest time. Our dinner was one of its kinds. Our whole day trip in Rhodes was one I will never forget. It was long, tiring and yet so perfect.

Will Ibe traveling to Rhodes again, without hesitation, YES!

Litsa with Love!

Eating Healthy- Going The Extra Mile- Litsa!

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

Eating Healthy- Going The Extra Mile

Litsa Bolontzakis Eating healthy-going the extra mile!

Litsa Bolontzakis Eating healthy-going the extra mile!

Have you ever thought about eating right?Eating healthy, going the extra mile! Getting all your greens and vegetables into your diet rather than snacking on the ever-available big Mac? I think that it’s not easy putting in all the work to prepare a healthy, fresh meal. I have snacked on junk food so often without giving the matter much thought! When you come to think of it, it is a whole separate task to decide what to cook every day- not to mention grocery shopping and the time and hassle that takes. It is simply not everyone’s cup of tea and not everyone finds it satisfying enough.

I keep thinking how junk food is readily available no matter where you live in the city, so then why would anyone be motivated to cook healthy and stock up on fresh ingredients? The hold that takeout places and fast food have on us is intoxicating, to say the least, because they are always there for you when you feel famished and they take little effort and much less money than buying all the things you would need for lunch or dinner. It is like they know our minds and how to sway them!

Even though it is not always possible to eat right; try to make a goal of squeezing in one nutrient-rich meal each day. At least this way you will be on track. Our problem is that we want to be in good shape with minimal elbow grease but that’s not always possible is it? Our bodies are worth the extra mile so don’t take shortcuts! If you want to have a longer, happier and healthier life, you need to redesign your priorities and improve your standard of eating. Your future self will thank you for it!

No one wants a time to come in their lives in which they are constantly rushing to the doctor and having all kind of ailments. Apart from avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, it is wise to evolve when it comes to deciding what to put in your body! I have in my experience heard people telling me how they don’t eat or enjoy potentially delicious vegetables like spinach, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens- not to mention their attitude towards Omega 3 oils rich fish, legumes, and probiotic-rich yogurt. I mean can you imagine the wonders these can do for your energy level and health? A tasteful salad can easily include all of these in one meal!

Eating healthy going the extra mile! 

Every now and then treat yourself to a dessert or something fried, there is no harm in it but be wary of making it your whole life. Train yourself to enjoy the things that are good for your body and also taste brilliant. Trust me there are all kinds of recipes out there that will make you forget you ever wanted French fries. So go ahead and start taking care of you by eating more wholesome food! You won’t regret it!

Eating Healthy- Going The Extra Mile, it can be done!

Litsa!

 

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion-Litsa Bolontzakis

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion-Litsa Bolontzakis

I can scarcely describe what I feel when I visit  Greece. It is a country that is staggering in its beauty, virtually every month of the year! There are so many travelers who want everything to be perfect and planned but sometimes it is the spontaneity that makes the difference. What is the point if you will tour according to a schedule and then go home? I have found the best way to just use a rented car and blend in with your surroundings as if you have always lived there. There are delights to be found in each corner of the city if you know where to look!

For true Athenians, there is no greater joy than to spend the weekend or even just a day in the spell-bounding city of Nafplio. There are twisting roads in this seaport and breath-taking scenery to take in and you can always indulge in a little shopping and an afternoon respite at the numerous roadside cafes there. If you are an enthusiast of Venetian and Turkish historical buildings, you will love roaming around and taking in the architectural fortifications as well as sculptures which have rich tales of the past to tell!

I almost felt like I was in a fairytale- what with the magnificent Palamidi Fortress that towers over a thousand steps of stairs, the Boutrzi Castle which is also known as the ‘water castle.’ Imagine that! It was made to protect the city of Nafplio from pirates and invaders. When I visited it, I could almost see the castle back in olden times it hadn’t changed all that much. Amidst all this rich culture, there is bougainvillea almost everywhere in the city with a number of colors to entice the weary traveler. Sometimes it will provide a shower of color when the wind blows and other times much needed shade under its petals.

When I was traveling from Athens to Nafplio, I had to stop in a dear little town called Loutraki. It is a vacationing spot that falls right on the Gulf of Corinth and is a mere sixty kilometers from Athens. I soon found that Loutraki had been almost entirely destroyed in the year 1928 which is why there is little apparent history here and all the architecture is fairly new and boasts of modern design. As a tired traveler, I took part in their world-famous spa-like baths and it was an invigorating experience like nothing I have ever had! After a nice hot bath, I enjoyed a gelato by the sea in a little place called Koukos Glace. A gem of a place with an amazing choice of flavors, all so new and delicious!

I had been told that the best restaurant to enjoy authentic Greek Cuisine is the Maestrali and hence I visited that next. Even a simple dish of beef pasta is enough to arouse the senses; believe me! Not to mention you get a considerable entrée size. For lovers of seafood, I recommend Giannis which has a lovely Pikilia seafood platter and shrimp saganaki- again with portions big enough to serve an army! If you find you are craving a bit of American food, the Loutraki Casino is a wonderful place for a buffet breakfast. On your way out of Loutraki, remember to snap a lot of photos in the Corinth Canal- I know I did. It’s the perfect tourist spot.

Speaking of which there is much history to be devoured in the ancient Corinth as it is known as the location of the Greeks learning about Christianity for the first time from the Apostle Paul. There is a museum made here to the effect for history enthusiasts to brush up on their facts. Next head on over to Nafplio but make sure it is before the sun sets as you want to be able to enjoy this seaport in all its glory which may be masked by the cover of

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion by Litsa!

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion By Litsa!

night. When the evening does descend, however, don’t waste an opportunity to shop a bit more! When I was there I found this small shop and thoughts I’d spend all my money even though I’m usually a careful spender- such is the magic of the place!

 

I found the perfect little souvenir shop on Amalias 4 called Takis Souvenirs and found myself striking up a conversation with the shop owner who you could tell was madly in love with the city he lived in and had a lot to say about it. What a delightful man!He made it easy for us to shop, his energy was very positive!I love to shop where I feel good, and the people have a happy disposition!I end up shopping more if am happy!And that is what we did with my friend!

In Nafplio I found the best dining experience to be provided by Kipos, at Plateia Filellinon although I wish I could have visited every restaurant in the city. As a tourist I would say keep your belongings close by and in check as a foreign country can pose any number of unique challenges- it is better to not draw too much attention to yourself. 

Do visit Nafplio at least once; I know you’ll love it!

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion!

Litsa with Love!

 

In Loving Contemplation- Litsa

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

In Loving Contemplation

In loving contemplation -Litsa

In loving contemplation -Litsa

Today I find myself thinking how blessed I am and that my children are an inexplicable gift from God. I remember a lot of little things about my enchanting daughter, which I am afraid will fade away like sand through my fingers if too much time passes. Haven’t you ever loved someone so much that every minute that has passed with them is like a wisp of smoke in the air that you can see but cannot bring back?

When she was but a little child with ringlets caught behind her ear, I would often find her reading oblivious to everything around her. She would curl up on the carpet with her knees tucked up behind her and a book open in front of her with her little fingers twiddling each page delicately as if to not disrupt the fibers. Neil Armstrong could scarcely have felt more wonder on the moon than my little girl felt through the pages of those new books!

There were times when I took her to the beach to swim and play in the sand like children her own age but she preferred to seek the shade and read her book. Her love for the written word always arose from an innate place within her and I could never seek credit for it. When I think about both of my children, they are vastly different. My son likes to create things and be in the outdoors and has no interest in reading but for the life of me, I do not want them to be the same. I am glad God sought to make them different in many wonderful ways! Believe me…I would not have it otherwise.                                                        

On this seemingly silent contemplative afternoon, I do not pretend that I can understand the complexity of God. How he can create immense capabilities for species in the small strands of DNA within us – and how from one couple of human beings or animals, countless different kinds of traits can emerge. Think about when two hummingbirds mate, they do not just create one hummingbird; they can create up to three hundred different kinds over the centuries! It does not take an artist to appreciate the beauty that lies in all these creations, all you have to do is to be looking for them.

Often I have found myself in places where I can just watch people walk by. It is hard to explain my exact purpose except that I find it so surprisingly calming. Many of those people are mixed race or of mixed ethnicities but the union of their parents has created something which can only be described as artistic. Some of them have dusky skin with bright ocean blue eyes and there is a certain synchronicity which you never imagined till you have actually seen it. The beauty is breathtaking!

Nowadays sexual intimacy has been made into something which must be discouraged or despised when it is love in its most basic sense and an act which makes such indescribable beauty possible. But it is true that it must arise from the right place within; from a place of true affection. Embrace this level of intimacy, all the while holding it in high esteem as something that you have been given but not something that belongs to you.

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The glorious taste of Greece is a gift to all who love healthy eating. Cooking with the herbs, spices, and olive oil of the Mediterranean is like inviting the sun in our lives every day. So go ahead have a sunny day!!!!!

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