X is for…

XXanthi’s house

Kosta’s aunt Froso has a good friend named Xanthi, and bless her that her name starts with an X! When we were staying with Froso in Nafplio we spent an afternoon at Xanthi’s house having lunch. She used to own a restaurant with her husband and is an amazing cook. Although I have yet to meet a Greek woman who wasn’t an amazing cook. We had roasted lamb, potatoes and greens in an avgolemino sauce. When my husband took his first bite he burst into tears because it reminded him of his mother’s cooking. That of course, endeared him to them even more. He was pronounced a “good boy.”

A "good boy."

A “good boy.”

Xanthi was so sweet. Even though she didn’t speak a word of English and we only had a handful of Greek words, we had a wonderful time at her house. She each gave us gifts too– a set of komboloi (Greek worry beads) even though she doesn’t have a great deal of money. What a lovely, lovely, woman.

Froso on the left, Xanthi on the right.

Froso on the left, Xanthi on the right.

Roasted lamb and greens in avgolemino sauce.

Roasted lamb and greens in avgolemino sauce.

K is for…

KKarnezaika

My husband is 100% Greek extraction. His mother’s maiden name is Karnegis, and there is actually a town on the Peloponnese named for that family. His aunt Froso (see Irea post from April 11) has a house there and we got to stay for a few days 2011. There are perhaps 10-12 houses, but they have their own church and it is painted beautifully inside over every surface with icons of saints and angels. It really took my breath away and I wish I could show you but it is not polite to take pictures inside churches in Greece.

Karnezaika--the road in town.

Karnezaika–the road in town.

The town has one shop, used to have a gas station, and just about everyone is related. ┬áThe cemetery that clings to the side of the church at the top of the hill is filled with my husband’s relatives and ancestors. The house where Froso grew up now houses her niece and family. In fact, the Germans occupied that very house during World War II. Karnezaika is quiet, dusty, hot, and completely wonderful.

Kosta and Froso.

Kosta and Froso.

The cemetery next to the church--full of Kosta's ancestors.

The cemetery next to the church–full of Kosta’s ancestors.

Beauty everywhere you look.

Beauty everywhere you look.

A is for…

AAgios Nikolaus

There are many towns in Greece named Agios Nikolaus. He was the patron saint of fishermen so many coastal villages bear his name. This particular village is just south of Kardimyli on the Peloponnese in Greece. In 2014 we stayed there overnight with our friends at a lovely place called the Pension Anna. It was so wonderful I wish we could have stayed several nights instead of just one. The rooms were new and clean and each one had a small terrace with a table and chairs to sit and enjoy the gardens that surrounded the pension house.

Pension Anna

Pension Anna

But the village itself was the most breathtaking. In the warm light of the morning sun we breakfasted right on the water. How could one be anything but blissful in surroundings such as this with a cappuccino as big as your head? Lovely, beautiful, Agios Nikolaus. I long to spend a month or two writing, eating seafood, and watching the water.

Our view at breakfast.

Our view at breakfast.

Challenge on Photography Day 6

Nature Photograpy Challenge Day 6Olive tree

One of our favorite places in the world to go is Greece. Kosta and I have been twice as a couple and are looking forward to our next trip. This close up of a cluster of olives is indicative of how I remember the place: bright, hot, and beautiful. There is a quality to the light there like I have never experienced anywhere else in the world.  This particular tree is in the tiny town of Kardimyli on the Aegean of the Peloponnese. Looking at this photo I can feel the hot sun, smell the wild rosemary growing at my feet and hear the rustle of the breeze through the silvery leaves.