House is almost ready and Koukoulopites (Galettes) or Kolokythopita (Zucchini Pie) – Κουκουλόπιτες ή Κολοκυθόπιτα


Μετάφραση της συνταγής πιο κάτω

I wish that the day comes when I will be able to tell you that I made this recipe or any others from vegetables from our garden, but at the time being I am still buying my vegetables from the farmers’ market.

The plot is small but hopefully there will be a small garden one day.

We made another short trip to Assini to finalize a few loose ends.  We left early on Wednesday morning and came back Thursday afternoon.

It’s been a long time I updated the blog but the economical crisis in Greece has changed our plans radically after seeing our pensions drop to almost half.  Under normal circumstances the house would have been ready by 100% last August and now we would be living in the countryside and relaxing.

Since last year we have been striving to finish at least the ground floor (which is about 40% of the whole structure) but there is still a lot to be done, which of course requires a lot of money.

Our family has been helping us out with loans, so on Wednesday we had an appointment for the fixing of the closet, which took about three hours.

In the afternoon we looked around for a shower cabin, washing basin and toilet, to finish the bathroom, kitchen tiles to put above the counter and doors for the bathroom and bedroom.  The kitchen tiles will be a mosaic of turquoise blue, which matches with the doors but as well as the brown counter and closets.  I am really anxious to see how it turns out,

We gave an advance payment for the electrical appliances for the kitchen, which is the oven, the stove top, which is both with gas and electricity, a ventilator and a washing machine for the clothes.  Unfortunately, we will not buy a new refrigerator as we do have a smaller one in Athens which will be used temporarily until we can afford one and will not buy a dish washing machine.

Hope now that we finally have a new Government, after the failure of the previous elections in May, that  the banks may now have cash to give us the remaining part of our loan in order to cover post-dated cheques issued and repay our debts.  The house still needs a last layer of plaster on the walls, painting  and the electrical wiring, plugs, sockets, etc., to connect electricity and water.  At a later stage we still need outdoor rails, to pave the driveway / garage, fence, central heating, a solar water heater, central heating etc., etc., not to mention furnishing the house.

On Thursday we had to be there to receive the equipment we ordered the previous day for the bathroom and then to look around for the bathroom and bedroom doors .

I chose the dark brown colour, second row, first one, which is similar to the kitchen closets and island.  These will be ready by next week.

The exterior painting will start this week and as you can see scaffolding has been set around the house.

The most difficult part was to decide what colour to paint the exterior.  The doors and windows are in a light greyish-blue colour so we wanted something to match.  We went to a store selling paints  to choose the colour.  The decision has been taken:  the majority will be a mustardy-yellow colour and frames around doors and windows navy blue. A stripe of ice-white colour will be separating the storeys.

I played around colouring the house on the computer but I don’t think the colours match to the ones we have chosen.  This is just to give you arough idea.

Update:  Here is the house after it was painted.

House painted

Finally we also went to an electrician’s store to buy sockets, plugs etc.  Next week, we will have to go again when the electrical appliances are fitted.

We had some time to go for swimming.

Although the heatwave has passed, it was still 38 degrees C in Argolida but as it was partly cloudy and windy, it was bearable.  The first day we went to Castraki, picture above, which is the closest to our house and the second day to Karathonas beach which is near Nafplion.

Koukoulopites are Greek pies, similar to galettes made with phyllo.  I filled them with grated zucchini, lots of herbs, especially peppermint and Greek cheeses. You can use any flour you like to make the phyllo but this time I opted for whole wheat flour.

The filling is inspired by two other Greek pitas called plasto and badjina, which however although both are without phyllo they have some minor differences.   Badjina is with pumpkin and cheese whereas plasto is with herbs.

I made half of the mixture into small galettes and the remaining in a baking tin which I froze and baked it another day.

You can see a video here:

Kolokythopita (Zucchini Pie), recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  1 hour

Baking time:  45 – 50 minutes

Makes:  10 galettes (or 5 galetes and 1 baking tin)

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour Horiatiko phyllo
  • 600 grams zucchini, coarsely grated
  • Salt (no more)
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely grate
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh peppermint, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 grams ladotyri
  • 150 grams halloumi
  • 150 grams feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Extra olive oil for brushing the phyllo and baking tray

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough, cover with cling film and set aside for at least half an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
  3. Grate zucchini on the large side of a box grater.
  4. Put it in a colander and sprinkle some salt.  Let it sit for half an hour and then squeeze to remove as much fluid as possible.
  5. Grate the onion or chop it in a food processor.
  6. Wash and finely chop the herbs: a handful of peppermint, 1 green onion, including green parts and zucchini blossom flowers (optional).
  7. Put the herbs and grated onion together with grated zucchini in a large bowl.
  8. Add the eggs and grated cheese.  Season with pepper (do not add salt as zucchini have already been salted and the cheese are also salty).
  9. Finally add the flour and mix well.
  10. Divide the dough in ten equal parts.  Shape them into round balls.
  11. Roll out each ball into a round phyllo around 20 cm diametre.  Brush it with 1 tbsp olive oil.
  12. Add a generous amount of filling in the middle.
  13. Fold the outer parts of the galette into the centre, forming a round galette.  Brush with olive oil.
  14. Place them in a well oiled baking tray and bake for 50 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  15. You can serve it as a main dish with a salad or as I did, with marida or maridaki the Greek equivalent of the north Atlantic whitebait, Greek fried potatoes and salad.

Κουκουλόπιτες με Κολοκύθι ή Κολοκυθόπιτα, συνταγή της Ήβης

Χρόνος προετοιμασίας:  1 ώρα

Χρόνος Ψησίματος:  45 – 50 λεπτά

Γίνονται:  10 κουκουλόπιτες ή 5 και μία σε ταψί

Υλικά:

  • Χωριάτικο Φύλλο με αλεύρι ολικής άλεσης
  • 600 γραμμάρια κολοκυθάκια, χονδροτριμμένα
  • Αλάτι
  • 1 μέτριο κόκκινο κρεμμύδι, τριμμένο
  • 1 κρεμμυδάκι φρέσκο, ψιλοκομμένο
  • Μία χούφτα μέντα, ψιλοκομμένη
  • 2 αυγά
  • 120 γραμμάρια λαδοτύρι Μυτιλήνης ή γραβιέρα
  • 150 γραμμάρια χαλλούμι
  • 150 γραμμάρια φέτα
  • 1/4 κούπας ελαιόλαδο
  • Φρεσκοτριμμένο μαύρο πιπέρι
  • 1 κούπα αλεύρι για όλες τις χρήσεις
  • Επιπρόσθετο ελαιόλαδο για άλειμμα του ταψιού και του φύλλου

Εκτέλεση:

  1. Ετοιμάζουμε τη ζύμη, τη σκεπάζουμε με μεμβράνη κουζίνας και την αφήνουμε να ξεκουραστεί για μισή ώρα.
  2. Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους 180 βαθμούς Κελσίου / 350 βαθμούς F.
  3. Τρίβουμε τα κολοκυθάκια στον τρίφτη.
  4. Το βάζουμε σε σουρωτήρι με αλάτι.  Το αφήνουμε για μισή ώρα και το στύβουμε να φύγουν τα υγρά.
  5. Τρίβουμε το κρεμμύδι στον τρίφτη ή στο μούλτι.
  6. Πλένουμε,  στραγγίζουμε και ψιλοκόβουμε τα αρωματικά χόρτα:  μια χούφτα φρέσκια μέντα, 1 κρεμμυδάκι φρέσκο με τα φύλλα και μερικά λουλούδια από τα κολοκύθια (προαιρετικά, εάν υπάρχουν).
  7. Βάζουμε τα αρωματικά χόρτα, το τριμμένο κρεμμύδι και κολοκύθι σε ένα μεγάλο μπωλ.
  8. Τρίβουμε και προσθέτουμε τα τριμμένα τυριά, τα αυγά και πιπέρι.  Προσοχή δεν βάζουμε αλάτι (γιατί ήδη έχουμε αλατίσει τα κολοκυθάκια και τα τυριά είναι αλμυρά).
  9. Τέλος προσθέτουμε το αλεύρι και ανακατεύουμε καλά.
  10. Διαιρούμε τη ζύμη σε δέκα ίσα μέρη.  Τα κάνουμε μπαλάκια.
  11. Ανοίγουμε κάθε μπαλάκι ζύμης σε ένα στρογγυλό φύλλο διαμέτρου περίπου 20 εκατοστών και το βουρτσίζουμε με 1 κουταλιά ελαιόλαδο.
  12. Προσθέτουμε αρκετή γέμιση στο κέντρο.
  13. Διπλώνουμε τις άκριες και σχηματίζουμε ένα στρογγυλό πουγκί.  Το βουρτσίζουμε με ελαιόλαδο.
  14. Τοποθετούμε σε λαδωμένο ταψί και ψήνουμε για περίπου 50 λεπτά ή μέχρι να ροδίσουν ελαφρά.
  15. Μπορείτε να τις σερβίρετε σαν κυρίως φαγητό με σαλάτα ή σαν συνοδευτικό όπως έκανα εγώ με μαριδάκι, πατάτες τηγανιτές και σαλάτα.

A few days later, I had more zucchini which I made into a Zucchini, Feta and Halloumi Tart.

Μερικές μέρες αργότερα, επειδή είχαν περισσέψει κολοκυθάκια, έφτιαξα αυτή την Κολοκυθόταρτα με Φέτα και Χαλλούμι.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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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,

Update on progress


We were supposed to be moving in the house around the end of August but unfortunately this has to be postponed for a few more months.

The roof has been fitted but there are still a lot of other things to be done.

The economic crisis in Greece has shattered our dreams as the Greek government has cut down on salaries and pensions and rising taxes and imposing new ones, day by day.  Unfortunately, like the 90% of the Greeks, we are also facing some economic problems.  I don’t know if and when we will now finish the house as we don’t want to get another loan from the bank as the amount which was supposed to pay our monthly installments has already been ripped off by the government.  Our anxiety now is whether we will be able to repay the loan we have already got from the bank, so getting another loan is out of the question.

Even If we wanted to move in during 2011 now we will have to wait for the new year, as as soon as  we have the electricity connected within this year, we will have to pay the new property tax imposed, which is around 800 Euros.  So it’s not worth hurrying up, is it?

As a first step, we’ve decided to finish the ground floor only and only add whatever is necessary to live in.  The semi-basement and the top floor, where the bedrooms are will have to wait indefinitely.

A few days ago when we visited Nafplion we finally placed the order for the kitchen furniture, as well as the doors and windows.  These will be fitted around end of November or early December.

We are now trying to reduce the cost and starting from the kitchen furniture we have gone to a cheaper solution, by adding only what is necessary.  The part which is under the window was mostly for storage, so that will have to wait.

The microwave has been removed as a fitted microwave costs a lot and as I don’t use it often (but merely to reheat food), I prefer to add an extra cabinet for storage in its place.

I’ve also decided to reverse the colours and have more beige, to make it brighter.

Original kitchen plan

New kitchen plan

 They are still working on the tiles of the shower and the floors are almost ready.

The floors may look like wooden but they are made of granite.

Living room

Bedroom

Bedroom balcony

Side verandah

Shower

Enough of whining:)   We are still having great weather here in Greece, so we are grateful for that and are enjoying the beach as much as we can.

For the time being at least this is still free!!

A roof over our head and please help me make up my mind!!


Everybody’s dream is to have a roof over their head and we have reached the stage where the roof is now being placed on our house.  Hopefully it will be ready by next week.

At this stage there are so many things we have to decide about and I am so confused!!

What colour to paint the exterior?  What colour the interior?

I think the exterior may not be so difficult, so let’s focus on the interior.

The photo above is the kitchen I have chosen from the show room and below is my kitchen space, a couple of months back.

According to the plan of our house, this is the sketch which has been prepared for us.  The colour is the same as above, as the picture below has been scanned from a low resolution print.

The colour of the floor is something like the picture below but instead of wood, it is a granite floor tiles and the walls will be something between beige and light yellow (buff).  See colours below.

A dining room table will be placed infront of the window and opposite the kitchen will be the living room, which are all in the same space.

I am not buying new living room furniture as the ones I now have, were bought a couple of years ago.  Their colour is dark chocolate brown, so I have to match them with the remaining house.


I have beige covers on the leather couches, which I may not use in the other house.

I can’t make up my mind if making the kitchen brown and beige will be too dark.  Shall I keep it like this or is it better to make it the opposite i.e. everything beige with brown counter tops, bearing in mind that the walls will be probably beige as well.

I found this colour chart, so what do you think?  Shall I paint the walls in the living room chocolate, beige and blue green?

What do you think?  Any suggestions are welcome.

 

Sandwiched Sardines / Σαρδέλλες Σάντουϊτς Ψητές

Aside


We were sitting in one of the cafeterias of Nafplion enjoying our morning coffee when a fishing boat anchored just opposite us.

In no time people started gathering around it to buy freshly caught fish.

Απολαμβάναμε τον πρωινό καφέ μας σε μια από τις καφετέριες της παραλίας του Ναυπλίου, όταν έφτασε η τράτα και άραξε ακριβώς απέναντί μας.

Σε χρόνο ντε-τέ άρχισε να μαζεύεται ο κόσμος για να αγοράσει φρέσκα ψάρια.

The catch of the day was xifias – sword fish (Xiphias gladius),  sardelles – big sardines or pilchards -(Sardina pilchardus) with only 5 Euros a kilo, barbounia – mullets, koutsomoures  (Mullus surmuletus – a kind of goat fish of the mullet family), lithrinia (pandora – Pagellus erythrinus) etc.

Η ψαριά της ημέρας ήταν ένα ξιφίας, σαρδέλλες μεγαλούτσικες με 5 Ευρώ το κιλό, κουτσομούρος, λιθρίνια κ.ά.

Unfortunately I could’t buy any and bring it back to Athens but last week I bought some sardines from the farmers’ market, which were much smaller though.

Δυστυχώς δεν μπορούσα να αγοράσω και να τα φέρω στην Αθήνα, αλλά προχθές στη λαϊκή βρήκα σαρδέλλα η οποία όμως ήταν αρκετά πιό μικρή.

Sardines are rich in Omega 3 fats which are considered to be very healthy for the heart.

Τα ωμέγα-3 λιπαρά οξέα που προέρχονται από τα λιπαρά ψάρια (σαρδέλλες, γαύρος, σκουμπρί, τσιπούρα, ρέγκα, σολομός) είναι λίπος ευεργετικό για την καρδιά

This time of the year Sardines are in abundance and are affordable and a popular choice everything being so expensive.

This dish would be perfect to grill over charcoal but for people like us living in apartments, you can also grill it.

Another way to make sardines is to marinate them the same way like gavros (anchovies).

Marinated Sardines / Μαριναρισμένες Σαρδέλλες

Αυτη την εποχή οι σαρδέλλες είναι σε αφθονία και με την οικονομική κρίση που διανύουμε ένα πολύ οικονομικό φαγητό, αλλά και ταυτόχρονα πολύ νόστιμο.

Αυτό το φαγητό θα ήταν ιδανικό να ψηθεί στα κάρβουνα, αλλά για εμάς που μένουμε σε διαμέρισμα μπορούμε να τις ψήσουμε στο γκριλ.

Ένας άλλος τρόπος να φτιάξετε τις σαρδέλλες είναι να τις μαρινάρετε ακριβώς όπως γίνεται και ο γαύρος.

Marinated Sandwiched Sardines, Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Marinating time:   1 hour

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Marinade Ingredients:

 

1/2 kilo fresh sardines

¼ cup olive oil

3 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Oregano

For filling:

4 tablespoons coriander pesto or other pesto of your choice

1 spring onion, finely chopped

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

2 tbsp dill, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Extra Lemon juIce to sprinkle on top as well as parsley.

Directions:

Scale the sardines and cut the head pulling out the guts.  Wash them and drain them.  With a filleting knife cut it in the belly and remove spine with any remaining guts.   Wash again and strain.  Place them in a bowl in one layer and add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.

Cover with cling film and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Finely cut all the vegetables and mix with the pesto.

Preheat your oven at 180oC, setting it on the grill.  Line your baking tin with parchment paper.

Open the sardines flat and press them with your fingers to become as flat as possible.  Add a tablespoon of filling and sandwich with another sardine.

Place on the baking tin and when done add the leftover marinade on the sardines.

Grill for ten minutes on one side and ten minutes on the other.

Serve as a side dish to dried legumes or as a mezes with ouzo or tsipouro.

Σαρδέλλες Σάντουϊτς Ψητές,  Συνταγή της Ήβης

Χρόνος προετοιμασίας: 30 λεπτά

Χρόνος για το μαρινάρισμα: 1 ώρα

Χρόνος ψησίματος: 20 λεπτά

Υλικά:

Για το μαρινάρισμα:

 

1/2 κιλό σαρδέλλες

¼ κούπας ελαιόλαδο

3 κουταλιές χυμό λεμονιού

Αλάτι και φρεσκοτριμμένο μαύρο πιπέρι

Ρίγανη

Για τη Γέμιση:

4 κουταλιές πέστο κόλιαντρου ή άλλο πέστο της αρεσκείας σας

1 κρεμμυδάκι φρέσκο, ψιλοκομμένο

¼  κούπας μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο

2 κουταλιές άνηθο, ψιλοκομμένο

1 σκελίδα σκόρδο, ψιλοκομμένη

Επιπλέον λεμόνι για από πάνω και μαϊντανό

Εκτέλεση:

Καθαρίζουμε τα λέπια από τις σαρδέλλες, κόβουμε το κεφάλι και μαζί φεύγουν και τα εντόσθια.    Τις πλένουμε και τις στραγγίζουμε.  Με ένα μαχαίρι φιλεταρίσματος κόβουμε την κοιλιά και αφαιρούμε τη ραχοκοκκαλιά και καθαρίζουμε από άλλα εντόσθια.  Τις ξαναπλένουμε και τις στραγγίζουμε.  Τις βάζουμε σε μία σειρά σε ένα μπωλ και ρίχνουμε το ελαιόλαδο, το λεμόνι, τη ρίγανη, το αλάτι και το πιπέρι.

Σκεπάζουμε με μεμβράνη κουζίνας και το αφήνουμε στο ψυγεία για τουλάχιστον μία ώρα να μαριναριστούν.

Ψιλοκόβουμε το μαϊντανό,το κρεμμυδάκι και το σκόρδο και τα ανακατεύουμε με το πέστο.

Προθερμαίνουμε το γκριλ του φούρνου στους  180o C.  Στρώνουμε λαδόκολλα σε ένα ταψάκι.

Παίρνουμε τις σαρδέλλες και τις πιέζουμε με τα δάκτυλα να ανοίξουν.  Προσθέτουμε μια κουταλιά γέμιση και προσθέτουμε άλλη μία από πάνω.

Τις βάζουμε πάνω στο ταψάκι και ρίχνουμε τη μαρινάδα από πάνω.

Ψήνουμε για δέκα λεπτά από τη μία μεριά και δέκα από την άλλη.

Σερβίρουμε σαν συνοδευτικό με όσπρια ή σαν μεζέ για ούζο ή για τσίπουρο.

Kοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

Back from Assini and progress of the house


We just came back from another trip to Nafplion.

The house is progressing swiftly and now all the bricks have been laid.   Next follows the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes, tubing etc.

The two chimnies are, one for the central heating and the other for the fireplace.  These will be morphed when bound together and will have some arches as well.  I forgot to mention that the arches are gothic, elements of Cypriot architecture.

This will be the kitchen / dining room.  The sink will be under the window on the right.  You can see this side of the kitchen in the next photo.

Next to the right window will be the fireplace.

The staircase leading up to the bedrooms is now ready.  Next to the staircase is the W.C.

One of the bedrooms is next to the bathroom.

Upstairs:

This is one of the bedrooms upstairs.  The closet will be on the wall next to the door and as it is not ver big, we came up with the idea of demolishing part of the bricks which are above the staircase.  The ceiling above the staircase is very high so we can take advantage of this space by replacing it by a second small storage closet.

The second bedroom and behind the wall is the W.C./Bathroom.

It was the first time I saw the view from upstairs and was secretly hoping to have even a distant view to the sea but unfortunately this is all we can get, not that I am complaining but it would be great and relaxing having a sea view 🙂Just before leaving my husband gave me a piece of orange blossoms and the smell was amazing all way back!

See “Recent Posts” for full text with pictures.

Assini: the village and the Ancient Acropolis


Assini or Asine (Ασίνη) is a village in the prefecture of Argolida, belonging to the Municipality of Assini, (which includes the villages of Assini, Tolo, Iria, Drepano and Karnazeika). It is 8 km away from the town of Nafplion and 2 km before Ancient Assini. According to the census of 2001 the municipality has 6000 inhabitants, out of which (according to the census of 2001), 1.064 inhabitants live in Assini.

This is the main road of the village, which goes to Ancient Assini and Tolo. Road to the left goes to our house.

The population is mainly rural, cultivating citrus groves (oranges and tangerines), olives, vegetables, mostly artichokes and also people have fishing as their occupation. The past years the village being not far away from the sea and the most tourist developed resort of Tolo, has also developed tourist facilities as well.

Manoussakios Library
Aghia Paraskevi

Before reaching the village, 500 metres on the foothill of Profitis Elias, is the settlement of Aghia Paraskevi, with about 200 inhabitants enjoying a wonderful view of the plain around it.

View of Assini Village from Kastraki
Ancient Assini – known as Kastraki
Kastraki

The Acropolis of ancient Assini (or Asine), today known as Kastraki is a rocky promontory by a natural harbour in the Gulf of Argolis, near the town of Tolo. The promontory is 52 m above sea level; it is 330 m long and 150 m wide. Some have linked the silhouette of the rock to a ship with full sails.

According to Homer, Assini together with other Argive poleis (city states), such as Argos, Tyrinth and Epidavros, took part in the Trojan War with a fleet that consisted of 80 ships and was led by King Diomedes.

The Walls

The earliest traces of settlement on the Acropolis are from the Neolithic period (5th millennium b.C.). The site was subsequently settled during the Early Bronze Age (2600 – 1900 b.C.), during the Middle Bronze Age (1900 – 1550), during the Late Bronze Age (1550 – 1050 b.C.) and again during the historical period to 600 A.D.

Kastraki – The Walls from the Hellenistic period

The fortification walls around the Acropolis can be dated to 300 b.C. They were most likely built by Demetrios Poliorcetes, during his time as King of Macedonia. The main entrance lies in the north, with a side entrance in the east. The Great Bastion on the eastern side of the circuit wall, as well as two smaller towers on the acropolis, was built to resist catapults and other siege machines. The fortifications were added on to at least during the Byzantine (6th – 7th century A.D.) and the second Venetian (1686 – 1715) periods. During the Italian occupation in World War Two (1941 – 1943) trenches and other defense works were constructed on the Acropolis.

Archaeological excavations were conducted by Swedish Archaeologists between 1922 and 1930 in the main settlement on the Acropolis, in the Lower Town and on the Barbouna Hill. From the 1970s onwards, excavations were resumed by the Swedish Institute at Athens and by the 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Nafplion.

A ship wreck of the late Mycenaean period 1200 b.C., carrying cargo from both Crete and Cyprus was located near Cape Iria 14 km to the southeast of Assini at a depth of 28 m. The findings of the wreck such as pots, amphorae, ceramics, a stone anchor etc., are exhibited at the Museum of Spetses.

A terracotta head of the same period, known as the “Lord of Assini”, gave its name to a poem by the Nobel laureate G. Seferis. It was found in a cult room in one of the Late Bronze Age houses in the Lower Town and can be dated to 1200 – 1100 b.C.

Assini flourished again in early historical times, in the 8th century b.C (Late Geometric period). At this time the town had contacts with Athens, as well as the Cyclades and the southern Peloponnese. According to Pausanias, Assini was destroyed by neighbouring Argos, most likely around 700 b.C., as it had taken Sparta’s side in a war between those city states. The inhabitants were forcibly moved to the Assini of Messenia (today’s Koroni).

The settlement at Assini decline for a couple of centuries but the site was never abandoned completely. An Archaic shrine to Apollo (7th – 6th century b.C.) has been located on the top of the Barbouna Hill. However, there are no extant remains.

Houses from the Hellenistic period (3rd – 1st century b.C.) have been found as well as cisterns and olive presses both on the Acropolis and in the Lower Town. Hellenistic burials have also been found in the neighbourhood. The settlement at Assini continued into Roman times. Ruins of baths from this period (5th – 7th century A.D. can be seen in the Lower Town next to the picturesque chapel of Panaghia.

Archaeological Museum of Naflio

The findings from the excavations at Assini are mainly kept in the Nafplion Archaeological Museum. Some of the findings from the excavations of the 1920s are now in Sweden in accordance with an agreement between the Assini Committee of the 1920s and the then Greek Government.

(Source: Information board on site).

View from Castraki

At the Western side of the Promontory a small bay with organized facilities and a taverna.

The town of Tolo
View of Tolo from Kastraki

At the Eastern side of the Promontory

Assini Beach during winter

Archaeological Museum of Nafplion / Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ναυπλίου


The Archaeological Museum of Nafplion is situated in Syntagma (Constitution) Square, in the centre of the old town. The three storey building was built by the Venetians in 1713 and served as barracks.

Το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ναυπλίου βρίσκεται στην Πλατεία Συντάγματος, στο κέντρο της παλιάς πόλης.  Το τριόροφο κτήριο κτίστηκε από τους Ενετούς το 1713 και χρησίμευε σαν αποθήκες του Ναυτικού.

The ground flour houses the 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquitites, Department of Archaeology of Argolida and the first and second floors houses the Museum.

Στο ισόγειο βρίσκεται ή Δ’ Εφορεία Προϊστορικών και Κλασσικών Αρχαιοτήτων, Αργολίδας και στον πρώτο και δεύτερο όροφο λειτουργεί το Μουσείο.
If you are visiting Nafplion or the region of Argolis, you should not miss a visit to the Museum.

The renovated musuem exhibits 2,000 artifacts that cover a period of 33,000 years, from the Prehistoric to the Neolithic period, Mycenaean period, Classical, Hellenistic to Roman periods from all over the prefecture of Argolid, except Argos, Lerna, Mycenae and the Sanctuary of Asklipios in Epidavros, which are exhibited in their respective local museums.

Εάν επισκεφτείτε το Νομό Αργολίδας, μην παραλείψετε να επισκεφτείτε και το Μουσείο Ναυπλίου.

Στο ανακαινισμένο μουσείο εκτίθενται 2.000 αντικείμενα που καλύπτουν μια περίοδο 33,000 χρόνων, από την προϊστορική εποχή, την παλαιολιθική, τη νεολιθική και την Εποχή του Χαλκού, την Ελληνιστική και Ρωμαϊκή περίοδο από όλο το νομό της Αργολίδος.    Δεν περιλαμβάνεται το Άργος, η Λέρνα, οι Μυκήνες και το Ασκληπιείο Επιδαύρου, τα οποία στεγάζονται σε τοπικά μουσεία.

What you will be seeing in my post is just a fragment of what you will see if you visit the Museum.

Αυτά που θα δείτε στην ανάρτησή μου είναι απλώς ένα μικρό μέρος από τα εκθέματα.

Terracotta Votive Shield (early 7th century b.C.) – Πήλινη Αναθηματική Ασπίδα (αρχές 7ου αιώνα π.Χ.)

Projection of image on one of the shields – Προβολή εικόνων που βρίσκονται στη μία Ασπίδα

Projection of image on jars – Προβολή εικόνων από τα αγγεία.

Terracotta ceremonial masks, 7th century b.C. – Πήλινα τελετουργικά προσωπεία 7ος αι π.Χ.

Paleolithic Period – Παλαιολιθική Περίοδος

Reconstruction of Grave – Αναπαράσταση Τάφου

Jewels – Κοσμήματα

Reconstruction of Houses – Αναπαράσταση Οικιών

Ορθογώνιο τμήμα δαπέδου επιστρωμένου με κονίαμα με παράσταση δελφινιών –

Τίρυνθα Ανάκτορο 13ος αι π.Χ.

Whelk shell, used as scoop – Κοχύλι Κουτάλα

Strainer (450 – 350 b.C.) – Ηθμός (σουρωτήρι) (450 – 350 π.Χ.)

Cooler – Ψυκτήρας

Fruitstand (5800 – 5300 b.C.) – Καρποδόχες (Φρουτοθήκη) (5800 – 5300 π.Χ.)

Griddle tray, tripod cooking pot, tripod griddle tray etc. (5800 – 5300 b.C.) – Μαγειρικά Σκεύη

Ladle (5800 – 5300 b.C.) – Κουτάλα (5800 – 5300 π.Χ.)

Multiple vase, 1450 – 1400 b.C. – Πολλαπλό Αγγείο 1450 – 1400 π.Χ.

Burial Jar, flask, double jug, cups – Διάφορα αγγεία: ταφικός πίθος, κλειστό αγγείο, διπλό αγγείο, κανάτα, κύπελλα

Cups, jugs, pyxis* – Κύπελλα – κανάτες – πυξίδα

*Pyxis (pl. pyxides) vessels with lids used to keep valuable objects, such as jewels etc.

Πυξίδα = δοχεία με καπάκι για να φυλάνε τα πολύτιμα αντικείμενα

Pyxis with horses on lid. Ornaments of an equilateral cross (swastika) was an ornament used in Greek Classical Antiquity. (Found at Assini 750 – 735 b.C.)

Πυξίδα με άλογα στο καπάκι

Pyxis – Πυξίδα

Pythos (2700 – 2200 b.C.) – Πίθος (2700 – 2200 π.Χ)

Alabastron (Chamber tomb 1450 – 1400 b.C.) – Αλάβαστρον (θαλαμωτός τάφος)

Bronze Helmets – Χάλικνα Κράνη

Bronze pin, fishhook, obsidian arrowhead, spoon, tongs, saw, tweezers, knife,daggers, hooks, tools, spearheads, shoulder guard and other tools

Χάλκινα εργαλεία και αντικείμενα

Bronze pyxides – Χάλκινες ΠυξίδεςBronze basin, knife, jug, bowl, mirror – Χάλκινη λεκάνη, χάλκινο ταψί κλπ

Bronze Dagger with silver rivets

Fragments of Silver Cup, painted in the metal inlay technique – Τμήμα αργυρού κυπέλλου  διακοσμημένου με την τεχνική της ζωγραφικής με μέταλλο

Bronze necklace – Χάλκινο περιδέραιο

Bronze armour – Χάλκινη Πανοπλία

The renowned Dendra Panoply (cuirass), the only one of its kind that has been found and dates back to the 15th century BC, featuring a helment made from boar tusks.

Η ξακουστή πανοπλία βρέθηκε στο Μυκηναϊκό Νεκροταφείο Δενδρών (15 αι π.Χ.) και οδοντοφρακτο κράνος και χάλκινες παραγναθίδες.