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Cactus Pears of Greece

10.08.2017 in Gastronomy

The unique foods of Greece and their health benefits: The Cactus Pear Since ancient times, the Greeks had realized how precious the gifts of Mother Nature were. The Mediterranean climate along with the geological formations of the country created a fertile ground where an abundance of wild herbs and plants could grow. Cactus Pear, originally from Mexico, found its way to Greece and has become a favorite. Known as Fragosyka, it can be found in the rocky terrains of the country. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates Cactus Pear (Opuntia Ficus Indica) ORIGIN AND TRAITS Cactus pear or Prickly pear…

The Entrance to Phaistos

Phaistos the Minoan splendor

17.06.2017 in History

Phaistos, the Minoan splendor   The island of Crete was the birthplace of the mighty Minoan civilization. This highly developed society flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BCE. It is no wonder why Minoan influence spread beyond Crete into the broader Mediterranean and even Near Eastern cultures… The island of Crete was the birthplace of the mighty Minoan civilization, a name that references the mythological Cretan king, Minos. This highly developed society flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BCE – grand palaces, as well as structures that served as political and cultural centers of power characterized Minoan rule. Their influence spread…

Lamb Cooked in Parchment Paper (Kleftiko)

09.10.2016 in Gastronomy

Lamb Cooked in Parchment Paper (Kleftiko) The high quality of the meat is absolutely necessary, because it really forms the key component of this exceptional dish! When cooking, be patient with time required and you will be generously rewarded! We were very fortunate last week, because we had a visit from my godmother Georgia who lives in Crete. Her husband, Andreas, is a shepherd.   Andreas has 60 sheep that he takes out every morning at 6:00 am and brings back at the end of the day. He loves what he does and it shows in the way he tends and…

Cheers to Raki!

01.06.2016 in Gastronomy

Cheers to Raki!    How is it possible, you ask, that the contents of a tiny little shot glass can evoke all your senses?  When you are toasting with Raki, a spirit affectionately called “fire water”, a light is sure to be ignited within your soul and make you long for beautiful Crete and the company of its gracious residents.    Raki, sometimes referred to as Tsikoudia, is a clear liquor with a unique flavor that is derived from its ingredients and processing.  Traditionally distilled in the fall, between October and November – the wine-distilling season – it is made…

Once Upon a Long Long Time Ago…Dinosauria Park, Crete

01.06.2016 in Travel

Once Upon a Long Long Time Ago…Dinosauria Park, Crete   You’ve read the books, seen the movies, now it’s time to walk amongst these great creatures, and where better to see them than on the great island Crete!   Dinosauria Park in Heraklion, Crete is located just minutes outside the city and a must-see location when traveling with youngsters. Children of all ages can wander out about the outdoor park, explore the caves, and experience these masterful beasts in as they would have been out in nature.  The Museum also offers an exciting 5D and 7D cinema experience (at additional…

The Next Chapter in Discovering Crete: Travels in the West from Chania to Rethymno

01.06.2016 in Travel

The Next Chapter in Discovering Crete:  Travels in the West from Chania to Rethymno  There are many reasons to visit Crete – the marvelous beaches, the unique landscape and a noteworthy cultural history that can be seen and experienced in countless attractions throughout the island. Chania and Rethymno are visited by millions of tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of the nature, indulge in Cretan gastronomy and take in the rich history of these popular cities.    Chania: Venetian Architecture & Romance  Chania is situated in the furthest west part of Crete, a romantic city with Venetian buildings reminiscent of days gone…

Welcome to Crete! Welcome Home!

01.06.2016 in Travel

Welcome to Crete! Welcome Home!   After a long day’s drive through the mountain ranges of Crete, we stopped at a small village cafe to grab a coffee before we made our way to our hotel. We could never have anticipated the experience that followed… the people we met, the bonds we made.    As we made our way to a table under a large shade tree, the cafe owner greeted us with a warm smile, a handshake and pat on the back, asking where we were from after he noticed the “rental” name on our car.  Before we could…

The Museums of Rethymno Crete

01.06.2016 in Uncategorized

The Museums of Rethymno Crete   Crete is a land of unique experiences. From relaxing on sandy blue beaches and savoring culinary marvels, to being charmed by a rich unique culture and the warmhearted locals, you will find Crete is undeniably like a bit of heaven. Rethymno is one of the four pillars of Crete and may certainly claim part of the credit for this island being called a paradise. With its rich diverse history and enchanting landscapes and architecture, there is beauty everywhere you look.  So before you set out for another day at the beach, or settling in…

A Visit to CretAquarium

01.05.2016 in Travel

A Visit to CretAquarium    Biologists have explored, documented, and researched marine life more intensely than any other ecosystem. Is it the thrill of the unknown, the vastness of the oceans, or the diversity of marine species that make marine science such an appealing field of interest? Whatever the reasons, two things are certain: much of sea life is still unexplored and mysteries attract both the young and the old.     So many people are fascinated by the living creatures that exist under sea. Greece offers the chance to view the lives of more than 2,000 marine organisms and rare species…

Celebrating Easter in Greece: A look at some of the unique customs, traditions and gastronomy

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Celebrating Easter in Greece: A look at some of the unique customs, traditions and gastronomy   Easter, also known as Pascha, is one of the major religious celebrations in Greece. People from all over the country celebrate Holy Week, with the major celebrations occurring on Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Greece’s unique history, especially events driven by Christianity and the Ottomans, influenced the formation of these widely-varying customs.   Though many customs are often unique to specific regions of Greece, some traditions are celebrated similarly throughout the country, such as coloring Easter Eggs and eating traditional foods like…