Profitis Elias in Assini – Προφήτης Ηλίας της Ασίνης


Demetris and Elia

In a couple of days it will be the two years anniversary since we moved to Assini.  I’ve been seeing “Profitis Elias” rock, every day from my porch and I must have photographed it a hundred of times but it never crossed my mind that one day I would go up there.

Σε μερικές ημέρες κλείνουμε δύο χρόνια από την ημέρα που μετακομίσαμε στην Ασίνη.  Κάθε μέρα βλέπω τον Προφήτη Ηλία από τη βεράντα μας και πρέπει να τον έχω βγάλει εκατοντάδες φωτογραφίες αλλά ποτέ δεν πέρασε από το μυαλό μου ότι μια μέρα θα ανέβαινα στην κορυφή.

Collage Profitis Elias

However, when my daughter visited us last week she wanted to go up there.  I was afraid to follow but then I thought to myself “I am not getting any younger and who knows when they’ll decide to go up there again”.  I made up my mind that I would follow and the worse scenario, if I could not follow, I would sit under a tree and wait for them to return for me.

Profitis (profet) Elias takes its name from the small chapel on the top of the egg-shaped mountain.  The mountain is steep but from up there you will be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of Tolo, Drepano, Vivari, even Iria when the weather is clear and on the other side Karathona beach and of course the villages of Assini, Lefkakia, Pyrgiotika etc.

Όταν μας επισκέφτηκε η κόρη μας την περασμένη βδομάδα ήθελε να πάμε εκεί πάνω. Στην αρχή φοβήθηκα να τους ακολουθήσω αλλά μετά σκέφτηκα ότι “Ποιος ξέρει εάν θα ξαναπάνε εκεί πάνω σύντομα και σίγουρα δεν γίνομαι πιο νέα όσο περνά ο καιρός”.  Έτσι αποφάσισα να τους ακολουθήσω και στη χειρότερη περίπτωση, εάν κουραζόμουν και δεν μπορούσα να προχωρήσω, θα καθόμουν κάτω από ένα δέντρο και θα περίμενα εκεί μέχρι να γυρίσουν.

Όπως σχεδόν σε όλες τις κορφές των βουνών, εκεί πάνω υπάρχει ένα εκκλησάκι αφιερωμένο στον Προφήτη Ηλία..  Η ανάβαση είναι αρκετά απότομη αλλά η θέα από εκεί πάνω αξίζει τον κόπο.   Από εκεί φαίνεται το Τολό, το Δρέπανο, το Βιβάρι, μέχρι τα Ίρια όταν ο καιρός είναι καθαρός και από την άλλη πλευρά μέχρι την παραλία της Καραθώνα και φυσικά το χωριό μας την Ασίνη, τα Λευκάκια, τα Πυργιώτικα κλπ.

Parking place before going on foot

We headed off early in the morning as the temperature in August is quite warm. Be sure to wear a hat and have water with you and if you have trekking poles, they will help a lot.

After passing from Agia Paraskevi and turning left to the cemetary we reached a sheepfold, where that was the last point where we could park our car.

Ξεκινήσαμε νωρίς το πρωί που κάνει δροσιά γιατί δεν είναι ν’ ανεβαίνεις τον Αύγουστο μεσημεριάτικα.  Εάν αποφασίσετε ν’ ανεβείτε μην ξεχάσετε να φορέσετε καπέλο, να’ χετε νερό και ακόμη και τα ειδικά μπαστούνια για το περπάτημα, τα οποία σίγουρα θα χρειαστούν.

huge steps

At the beginning, walking up the mountain is not that bad but after a while you end up climbing huge steps.  We had to stop a few times for me to rest but we finally made it to the top!

Στην αρχή η ανάβαση δεν είναι και πολύ δύσκολη αλλά μετά από λίγο δεν είναι μόνο ανηφορική η διαδρομή αλλά ανεβαίνεις τεράστια σκαλοπάτια.  Έπρεπε να κάνουμε μερικές στάσεις ενδιάμεσα να ξεκουραστώ αλλά τελικά τα καταφέραμε!

Elia

My daughter was the first to get up there.

Η κόρη μου έφτασε πάνω πρώτη.

Inside Profitis Elias

Inside the chappel of Profitis Elias.

Το εσωτερικό του Προφήτη Ηλία.

Bell and View from Profitis Elias

But the view up there is breathtaking!

Αλλά η θέα από εκεί πάνω σου κόβει την ανάσα!
View of Koronissi

The bell and view of Tolo bay area with Romvi and Koronissi islets

 Το καμπαναριό και η θέα προς το Τολό και τα νησάκια Ρόμβη και Κορωνήσι.

 

view of villages

View of the villages of Agia Paraskevi of Assini, Lefkakia, Pyrgiotika.

Θέα των χωριών Αγία Παρασκευή Ασίνης, Λευκάκια, Πυργιώττικα.

view of Drepano, Kallithea, Vivari

View of Assini, (I can see our house), Drepano, Kallithea, Vivari.

Θέα της Ασίνης (βλέπω και το σπίτι μας), το Δρέπανο, η Καλλιθέα και το Βιβάρι.

view of Karathona beach

View of Karathona Beach.

Θεά προς την παραλία της Καραθώνα.

View of Ancient Assini and Plaka Drepanou

View of Ancient Assini, Plaka Drepanou and nearby islands.

Θέα της Αρχαίας Ασίνης, της Πλάκας Δρεπάνου και των κοντινών νησιών.

Άλλες παρόμοιες αναρτήσεις:

A tour in Nafplion and Cooking for “All the best”, with Zita Keeley / Βόλτα στο Ναύπλιο και μαγειρεύω για Αμερικάνικη εκπομπή.

Assini / Ασίνη (Ναυπλίου)

Archaeological Museum of / Nafplio / Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ναυπλίου

Nafplion, the first capital of Greece, Part 1 / Ναύπλιο, η πρώτη πρωτεύουσα της Ελλάδας  (Μέρος Α)

Nafplion, a tour in the old town, Part 2 / Ναύπλιο, περιήγηση στην παλιά πόλη (Μέρος Β)

Tolo / Τολό

You can find Greek recipes on my other blog.  My cookbooks “More Than A Greek Salad”, and “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” are both available on all Amazon stores.

Για συνταγές στο άλλο μου blog.  Τα βιβλία μου “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” και  “More Than A Greek Salad” κυκλοφορούν  στα Αγγλικά και διατίθενται σε όλα τα καταστήματα Amazon.  Μετάφραση του πρώτου μέρους του πρώτου βιβλίου με τίτλο “Κοπιάστε στην Κουζίνα μου” διατίθεται και στα Ελληνικά σε μορφή pdf από εμένα.

 

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi / Κοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη!

Drepano, Vivari, Candia, Iria


Spring is finally here and this alone makes me feel very happy.  I hate cold, gloomy weather and this year the winter in Greece was harsh and colder than ever.  Well, this is behind us now and the weather is much warmer (although lower than the normal temperatures during April), the skies are the same pure, cloudless blue and you can enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors, at least during the day and going for a walk at the beach, lying down reading a book relaxing, taking in fresh air under the limitless sky are some of the reasons why we are looking forward to living here in the future.

Unfortunately, the economic crisis is holding us back but although there are so many things which still need to be done in order to move and have ran out of cash, we hope to spend some time here during the summer, even if the house is not ready.

Last Friday we went to Assini again as we had to be there for the assembly and fitting of the closet in our bedroom.

After opening the house to the workers, they told us that they would finish in about three hours and after standing there watching them for a while, we decided that we could take advantage of this time and explore a few places we had not visited yet.

Road to Drepano

Just next to our house the road leads to Drepano, a lovely little village just 2 km from Assini.  On our right were lots of cypress trees (you can see them at the end of the road), which serve as wind barriers to their fields and further on the right an old, destroyed wind mill.  Lots of thoughts passed from my mind how people would come here, their donkeys loaded with grain, to be milled for the production of flour.

Old Wind Mill

Drepano

In the villages you can find lots rooms to let and cafes, restaurants, tavernas etc., but at this time of the year the villages are mostly desserted.

Beach in Drepano during summer.

Drepano

This is the view of Drepano from far away and in the horizon you can see the hill of Agia Paraskevi which is just outside Assini.

Beatween Vivari and Candia

Candia Beach

Anginares (Artichokes) from Argolida

I have read that 90% of production of artichokes in Greece are  produced in the region of Argolida in two villages called Iria and Candia, of  the Municipality of Assini, not far from Nafplion and I was really looking forward for the day we could see some in the fields.

Artichokes from the region of Argolida at farmers’ market in Athens

And finally, just before reaching Candia there were fields, after fields, after fields of artichokes.  They do cultivate other products as well but artichokes is the main product.

Artichokes (cynara scolymus) do not need much water, so they are cultivated in hot and dry climates and they also grow in the wild (cynara cardunculus) as they do not need any particular care.  They are rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, fibre and vitamin C.

Wild Artichokes

If you are in the region during May don’t miss the Artichoke festival with traditional dances and folk music, as well as lots of  food with artichokes as its main ingredient.

In the past this plant was considered to be an aphrodisiac but nowadays this myth has been busted but it does have a lot of other healthy properties.   It contains an acid called Cynarin, which protects the liver from anything that might affect it such as hepititis or cirrhosis.  It is diuretic, anticeptic and helps relief gastroenteric problems.  It reduces the levels of cholesterol in the blood, it also reduces the sugar levels in the blood, it strenthens the immune system and recently studies have shown that the acids caffeic and flavoinoids help fight cancer.

Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean and in Greece they appear during the last months of winter and spring.  Although during the past years we have all sorts of vegetables cultivated in green houses, we never see artichokes after the end of Spring.

According to Greek Mythology, Dias (Zeus) the King of the Gods, had easy access to the women of the world and took full advantage of it. Also, his power as a supreme god made him difficult to resist.  He fell in love with a beautiful girl called Cynara, who rejected him and refused to resist and Dias got so angry that he transformed her into a plant.   In ancient Greek the name for artichoke was Cynara (pr. Kynara) in modern Greek An(cynara) = ankinara.

If you avoid cooking artichokes because you don’t know how to clean them, it’s very easy if you follow these simple steps:

How to clean / trim artichokes

First of all when buying fresh artichokes chose those that feel heavy for their size and if you press them just above the stem, where the heart of the artichoke is, it should be firm, with tightly closed leaves and tender stalks.

As artichokes oxidize and turn brown quickly, fill a bowl with water and add the juice of 1 lemon.  Your hands might get stained so it is better to use disposable plastic gloves when cleaning them.

Cut off the stem of the artichoke, up to the base but do not discard.

Remove any leaves that are hard around the base of the artichoke.

Cut off the top 1/3 of the artichoke because the lower part is not edible.

Spoon out the hairy choke.  Place the artichoke immediately in the water.

When done with all the artichokes, now peel off the stem around the fibrous core.  This part is edible as well.

(Note:  as there are many varieties of artichokes, I am not sure if the inner part of the stalk is edible in all varieties.  Peel it and if it’s flesh is firm, then it is fine).

Other relevant recipes:

Anginares à la Polita

Artichoke and Celeriac Soup

Agginaropita (Artichoke Pie)

Artichoke Lasagna – Pastitsio

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,