What a privilege to see Mixalis Tzouganakis and band playing near Heraklion this week!! In Paris quality music like this would be played in a ritzy concert hall with all the paupers (like me) stuck on hard seats right at the back, whilst here on Crete you can get close enough to count beads of sweat. Watching Tzouganakis painting his chromatic scale is like watching an artist creating a canvas. Passionate and inspired, you can almost see him 'thinking' the following segue whilst his marvellous musicians follow every move. And if you don't believe me, watch this video Then go catch a concert yourself. Thavma!
LIVING THE LAVENDER LIFESTYLE..Receiving a ..
Enterprising couple Derek & Gill in their olive grove near Chania - the couple also produce their own extra virgin olive oil. Copyright HFL 2010
.. heavenly scented.. parcel in the post today from Gill and Derek owners of The Lavender Way , reminded me of meeting this enterprising couple who quit the UK's fleshpots to set an unique organic lavender farm near Chania on the stunning island of Crete .. You can read more about their struggle with Greek bureaucracy in summer 2012 issue of International Living magazine, but until then, if you want to receive some of those sweet scented parcels through your letterbox, check out their online shop
PS: For frequent travellers I heartily recommend Gill's Lavandula Spica. This unbeatably priced pure organic lavender oil is a lifesaver when you're plagued with sinus problems, migraines and other miseries caused by long plane/dusty train journeys.
this festive season, why not check into Fresh hotel, Athens..?
A pair of loverbirds like you, you will love it here. It eeze - how you say? - a very sexed-up part of town,’ smiles our cab driver dropping us outside the long, glass paneled façade of Fresh hotel.
Cab drivers are known for their piercing observations. But how this one knew that we’d torn ourselves away ...More? HERE
Mixalis Tsouganakis Copyright HFL summer 2011
KKKKKKOOOL CRETAN MUSIC of course..
And this Christmas there's a bumper crop. So if you're on the megalo nisi this festive season here's the not-to- miss list (CLICK ON LINKS TO HEAR THEIR MUSIC):
Kicking off with Mr Kool himself, Nikos Zoidakis at The Apollon palace Ierapetra, DECEMBER 25TH
On the same day DECEMBER 25TH Armeni-born Giannis Katsavavakis plays LIVE at Ambeles Tavern near the Minoan Palace of Zakros, then swoops across to Sitia's Aspoperitis taverna to ring in the New Year on Dec 31st.
But even before Santa struggles down the chimney, the festive season begins with dance master Nikos Vezyrakis who's gigging at Kentro Astra, Anatoli Ierapetra on the night of 24th Dec.
And as Santa parks Rudolf, wipes the soot off his red booties , Vangelis Xoriatis and Kyriakos Karalakis will be setting light to the xmas pud with not one, but TWO nights of great music on the 24th and 25th just down the road at kentro Minore, Ierapetra
As if that wasn't enough to stuff the stocking, super Mixalis Tsouganakis plays TWO dates 28TH DECEMBER at Diyenis Palas Agios Nikolaos (tel 6947184722) and 31ST DECEMBER at the Guzel Club in Chania.
And the final icing on the cake, tho' not strictly Cretan, cute pop pin up Dionysis Makris will be crooning for his new year supper 31ST DECEMBER at Faros Live in Heraklion.
Chilling out with a clear conscience in glorious unspoilt countryside near The Spirit of Life retreat in the Mani region of Greece. Image copyright HFL2011
fat, but instead of being a silly goose and stuffing that fowl, why not have a gander at these top ten ways to Chill Out With A Clear Conscience in Greece, instead? (tweet, tweet)
Award-winning chef Ana Ross - undisputed Queen of Ljubljana's culinary castle, creating food for aristocratic palates..
Ana Ross. Copyright HFuller-love 2011
Student of international and diplomatic science, vivacious culinary artist Ana Ross found cooking through love, but now it's her love of food, enabling her to create fine culinary offerings out of Slovenia's - hearty, but oft-times heavy - cuisine that's changing the country's culinary heritage...Read more? Here
Seeing abandon children involved in drugs, made be wondering why ……and how I Could help them..»
At the beginning it was just a group of teenagers.I Suggested playing basketball......
The Ark today welcomes more than 187 children.
We will always be there for them.
Priest Antonios Papanikolaou is parish priest in the church of Saint George located in Kolonos.
Kolonos is one of the most dangerouns regions in Athens with many gangs involved in drags trade.
From the first time, he felt the need to act against this.
Thus, with the help of volunteers, the Ark of World was established . An Organisation with aim to oppose poverty and Children abandonment and offer the chance to :”stand own their own feet”.
Children must feel that exists an another world, a caring one, beyond the one that they have known.
Our motive is love he says and we count on that.
The ARK was Established in 1998 by the 26 years old Priest, In order to provide the very best care and support for each children.
The purpose of Ark is to improve their living conditions and inspire them with hope for a better Future.The Ark in Athens, GreeceKivotos (Ark) is a multi-ethnic youth centre in Kolonos, a run-down inner-city neighbourhood. It offers a safe and secure home away from home for more than 300 children (Greeks, migrants and refugees) of broken or impoverished families. The children are fed twice a day and given the opportunity for creative play and sports.
The centre is open daily from 9am to midnight for children aged four to 17. It is run by Father Antonios Papanikolaou, a young Greek Orthodox priest, who has dedicated his life to rescuing hundreds of disadvantaged Greek and refugee youngsters from the brink of social exclusion.
For more information, ring +30 210 514 1935. http://www.kivotostoukosmou.org
Mighty Mike Abrahams of Wild Oats Bristol strides like an-oat-fed youngster through glorious Mani Greece countryside, image copyright Hfuller-love 2011
Alright so we've all heard nutritionists telling us to eat better/live longer/look younger, but there's so much info out there its difficult not to know what to take with an (unhealthy!?) pinch of salt. So when I heard Mike Abrahams of healthfood store Wild Oats in Bristol talk up macrobiotics during my recent sejour at super soul sunshine yoga retreat Spirit of Life in Greece, I must admit I had a few squishy tomatoes tucked down my bodice. ... But - dang! - I never got to throw those red projectiles cos I was so impressed by the convincing case he put - even more so when trailing behind him, gasping, along a dirt trail high into the Mani mountains where Zorba the Greek once had his crazy lignite mines, to hear that he is 68 years young!! As they say: the proof of the pudding is in the eating and for a 68 year old pudding, Mike A of Wild Oats Bristol sure looks well-conserved...So guess who's started a macrobiotic diet...? Thanks Mike. Race you to the top of that mountain next year heheh...
If, like me, you're an utter obsessive fan of cool Cretan music, don't miss magical Mixalis Tzouganakis playing in Rethymnon on December 7th 2011 - only 15euros entry - drink included! Go on treat yourself - it's nearly Christmas...
Heidi Fuller-love Travel/food/lifestyle writer/photographer, contributor to more than 70 travel publications worldwide.