Methoni-road trip!Litsa! 

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

Methoni Road Trip Litsa!

Methoni Road Trip Litsa!

Methoni road trip! Litsa!

I left Kalamata at noon and set off for Pylos which is highly famous in the Greek circles. The drive to that place was exquisite. It made me recollect the final stretch from Agios Nikolaos to Sitia in Crete. The ride seems no less than a treasure if made during the daytime.My Methoni road trip looks promising!

Pylos is an amazing little city situated by the water, such a traditional little place! Clean and fresh even though it has not seen many changes over the years. I just wandered around a bit and then left for Methoni which was about 20 minutes away.

I have to remind myself that am riding in olive oil country; because that is all you see for miles and miles, OLIVE TREES! I take such pleasure when I go on road trips, and this road trip to Methoni I will love!I only wish that on a day like today my car was convertible, so I can feel the sun and the breeze on my face!

When there I looked for my friend Sofia who visits Methoni and spends summers every year and found her within no time. This is one of the perks of a small place; everyone knows each other. So I went to her place and surprised her which made her totally shocked. After that, we went to the only hotel located by the water to find a nice room. Though it wasn’t what I am used to, the location provided an ethereal view and that was enough for me to spend time there. Besides I have a plan, you go in only when you are so tired and sleepy and you fall asleep in an instant!

Its location by the water added more to its charm. I woke up to a serene view in the morning, where there were fishing boats going out for the catch of the day, extremely peaceful and clean.

The old fort is so beautiful, it is by the water another indication that it was there to protect the city from the pirates!Fascinating!

The castle of Methoni is a medieval fortification in the port town of Methoni in Messinia!

The best thing about this place is that only locals are present here and Greek visitors who came here for vacation with their families from Athens.

The beach is sandy and the water very clean, to the point of seeing the schools of little fish dancing in your feet! I could not have enough of this amazing day!

For dinner, I decided to go to the little square just a few steps away from the hotel!

I make a mean Strapatsada.

So I decided to try and see how the local Strapatsada is! What is Strapatsada? A recipe of nice ripe grated tomatoes cooked down until all the juice of the tomatoes is gone and adding eggs and Feta cheese to make a delicious dish!A very tasty traditional Greek summer dish!

I ordered it and soon realized it was a bad choice since it was nothing like my recipe of Strapatsada. It was filled with sausage, smoked pork, tomato in huge chunks, cheese and one egg on top with loads and loads of oil. I don’t understand the need of putting an egg on top of everything when it clearly doesn’t taste good. It was so heavy!

Thank god I had ordered a Greek salad and a plate of small fish which were two very delicious items.

 I loved the small square! It was a round one though, with some traditional Greek taverns and coffee shops all around, with the scent of primrose or nihtolouloudo and jasmine covering the whole area and I have to pinch myself once again, so I can really feel the moment…

I am alone, and eating alone is not the best for a lady, feeling something peculiar, and then you look up and you see the stars and it feels that if you stretch your arm a little more your hands can touch the stars and the bright amazing August moon and you realize that nothing matters and you come to your senses and think of the magic moment, you are there and it’s mesmerizing so you might as well enjoy it and have another perfect memory for your precious little chest, the one with the perfect moments and  treasured memories!

And I come to realize that sometimes if you want to take it all in, you need to be alone, with no interactions and no-nonsense talking about sweet little nothings because that specific moment is not coming back!
Breathtaking is the sky with the stars and that August moon, that you can see so clearly….Please do not disturb me! I am having a perfect moment!

The pretty houses made of stones are the main attraction for me in this very part of Greece. People here are so skillful; they have a firm grip on building houses with the natural stones that they literally seem like pieces of art.

Close your eyes and imagine, a beautiful stone house in the midst of all the olive trees your eye can see!! I wouldn’t mind having a small but fine house of stones in Greece. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

I am so happy I had the opportunity to take the Methoni road trip! 

 It was indeed memorable!

Litsa with Love!

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 Litsa!

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 in 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 mouthwatering meal with Kosta. It is a small village with scenic beauty all around, located at the seacoast 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!Lindos is like a charming precious lady, our precious lady who is loved and protected by the locals, and loved and admired by the world! 

Yes, 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… 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. Paul 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 on 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 in 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 I

Traveling-to-Rhodes-Litsa!

Traveling-to-Rhodes-Litsa!

be 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 Litsa!

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

For true Athenians, there is no greater joy than to spend the weekend or even just a day in the spell-bounding city of Nafplion. 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 Nafplion 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 Nafplion, 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 by an earthquake, 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 Nafplion 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 night!

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

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

When the evening does descend, however, don’t waste an opportunity to walk the streets and 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 Nafplion 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 Nafplion at least once; I know you’ll love it!

A Traveler’s Tale Of Athens To Nafplion by Litsa, a great pleasure indeed!!

Litsa with Love!

 

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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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