TLC for Kosmos and Lots of Greek Foods

After a leisurely breakfast and some more time spent looking at photos, we said our goodbyes and drove back to Agios Nikolaos. We made a stop for lunch, and were back at the boat by 1400 (2:00 pm)

It was finally time to pay attention to our poor, neglected boat. Between the beating she took in all the rough seas over the last few months, the constant hard running, the extra salty Red Sea, and the combination of extreme dust and no rain throughout the Middle East, Kosmos was in desperate need of some TLC in every single area. This is the ideal place to do it. Right now, the climate is temperate, making it easy to work outside and in the engine room (no, no air conditioning in the engine room. Actually, it gets hotter in the engine room when the air conditioning is on due to the generator). Bugs also aren’t much of a problem. The boat is securely tied and the water in the marina is flat, so we can do all the things you can’t do when it is rolly. There is a sufficiently stocked boat store literally at the edge of the marina, so it is easy to run and get that one little thing you need to finish a job. There is internet here, so we can look up on-line resources to help make the job easier. There is an oil drop off station here in the marina. We have our own hose connection with great water pressure. There is staff around to offer you pointers in the right direction for help and supplies. It just doesn’t get much better than where we are right now.

Once we got back, we Continue reading TLC for Kosmos and Lots of Greek Foods

Lunch with Koralia’s Family

Koralia’s parents invited us all over for lunch today. They live in a small village called Perama, about a 15 minute drive inland from Bali. The drive over was along a back road, thin and winding, that passed through a couple small villages and some herds of animals, but for the most part the landscape was about the same as it is on the main highway.

When we arrived, we were shocked at the spread on the table awaiting us. And even more shocked to find out there was more food that wouldn’t fit on the table! After quick introductions to Koralia’s parents, sister and uncle, we were ushered to the table and told to start eating.

There was a salad made of lettuce and cucumber in a red wine vinaigrette. You actually don’t see much lettuce in Greece. Traditional Greek salads consist of tomato, cucumber, bell pepper (capsicum) and onion topped with a block of feta cheese, oregano, olive oil and olives. Of course, a traditional salad was on the table. There were also dolmades, which are a traditional appetizer of stuffed grape leaves. Usually the leaves are stuffed with seasoned rice. They were quite yummy.

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They also served escargot. Christi had never had escargot before, and Continue reading Lunch with Koralia’s Family

Monastery of Atali

In the History of Greece post, we gave general information. Here is some more specific information that is significant to today’s post. Crete was one of the areas that the Venetians won when they conquered Constantinople in 1204, and the Venetians ruled until 1669, when the Ottoman Turks wrested control of Crete from them. In 1821, Crete joined in the Greek war for independence, but Crete remained under the control of the Ottomans until 1898. During the 1800’s, there were numerous rebellions by the Greeks. Many Christian churches and monasteries hid the rebels, and in the mid 1800’s, the Ottomans began destroying these religious institutions in an effort to squash the rebellions. They also killed many clergymen, believing them to be ringleaders of the rebels.

This morning Costas took John and us to visit the Monastery of Atali, devoted to John the Baptist, on the hills above the town of Bali. The Greek word “monasterion” means “place for doing something alone”. In the Greek Orthodox religion, monastaries are a community of either men or women who devote themselves to serving God and choose to live apart from the secular community. They are the original commune, where everyone lives and works together in service to God. They are generally built in out of the way places.

The exact date the Monastery of Atali was established is unknown, but it was during the Byzantine period. The monastery was renovated in 1635, under the Venetians. In the mid 1800’s, it was partially destroyed by the Turks and all of the monks were murdered. The monastery continued to exist quietly in its partially destroyed condition until 1941, when the last of the monks died. It sat vacant for 40 years, where it was looted and the forces of nature continued to erode the buildings. In 1983, Father Anthimos and the Department of Byzantine Antiquities began restoring it.

As we pulled up to the monastery, we were impressed by the beautiful, lush gardens. A few low, stone buildings were barely visible behind the array of trees and bushes.

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The garden completely covers the grounds. It is quiet and serene, and with all the foliage surrounding you, and as you walk around, you definitely feels as if Continue reading Monastery of Atali

Welcome to Bali, Crete, Greece

We were in bed early and slept soundly. We are always so darn tired after a passage. When we did finally get up, we got right to work scrubbing down the exterior of the boat. The salt was really caked on and we had a hard time getting it off. It took some serious scrubbing. We now have a renewed appreciation for the South Pacific, where it usually rained hard for an hour every day, washing away all the salt and dirt. We rarely washed the boat there — nature kept it clean for us. And when we did wash it, very little scrubbing was needed. We miss that.

When we were finally done, we got Kosmos situated so we could be gone a couple of days and we headed to Bali (not to be confused with Bali, Indonesia) along the main highway. The drive is beautiful. About a third of the road is inland, the other two thirds along the water. The highway is well maintained, with good signs. Crete is mountainous, with very little flat land anywhere that we could see. The road winds up and down the mountains, so you get incredible vistas from mountain peaks and close ups of the foliage in the troughs.

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The vast majority of cars on the road are Continue reading Welcome to Bali, Crete, Greece

Kosmos in Sea Magazine July 2008 and Site Updates

On page 21 of the July 2008 Sea Magazine you will find a Nordhavn advertisement with a picture of a Nordhavn 43. It is Kosmos! The ad is about us. It even links to the blog, so hello to any new readers out there. They interviewed us for the ad when we were in Thailand. That picture of Kosmos was taken at Ko Muk. The ad mentions we are “working our way from Australia through Southeast Asia”. Well, print media can be a bit behind the times. That was many thousands of miles ago! See the new map on top of the Travel Summary page for an overview of our route so far. Also, we added a few more stories to the Highlights page, and some pictures.