Monday, 28 January 2008

Tourists/Residents: a new trend

In recent years, many tourists who visit Kerkyra (Corfu for the non Greek) island end up in buying some kind of property on the area. Some of them become permanent residents, while others use their new home as a basis for their family holidays, once or twice a year. But why choose this kind of tourism?

Nick, an Englishman, was one of the first to built a small cottage in Korakiana Village, on Kerkyra island. He first visited Kerkyra many years ago with his family, but it was much later when he found out that he could actually get a permanent place on the island he loved.

“At first I thought that I would need a fortune to buy a decent house in a village,” he says. “But a friend of mine, who had already bought a ready cottage in Korakiana village, kept me informed bout the properties sold over there, and soon he spotted a bargain.”

Nick has got a family of five, and they were all delighted at the prospect of a holiday house on Kerkyra. Nick was able to get a small stone house with a yard in front at a very low cost, and he built a two floored cottage in a year.

“When I first saw it,” he admits, “it was a kind of ruined store room with nothing much to attract the buyer, but the scenery all around was fantastic, and that was the basic point. We would live in the nature, breathe fresh mountain air and see a wonderful view every day.”

Nick filled the small yard with numerous flower pots with mountain herbs and flowers, and he made big windows to let the sun come into the cottage. “This will be our permanent house when we retire,” he adds. “Meanwhile, we visit Kerkyra 2-3 times a year and our kids come over in between their holidays too. We also let some close relatives to use it and some friends.”

Nick is just one of the four other residents of the village neighborhood. A few meters further on, a couple from Holland have rebuilt their own house and visit it every summer. The neighbors keep an eye on it when they are away, and they even take care of their small vegetable garden. Some of the benefits of this kind of tourism, can be listed below:
Save on rents of hotels, apartments etc.
Save on meals of restaurants
Carry no baggage
Make new friends
Ideal for retired people
Ideal for relaxing in a natural environment
Learn new lifestyle
Try new food

Some people object to this kind of tourism though. They think that the village will soon lose its identity as more foreigners than local people will be around in the future. This may be true, but the world is changing fast, more people migrate from their own countries and there will soon be an international mix everywhere. Who can stop the communication of cultures? No one can!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Local cuisine

Greek cuisine is renowned for its healthy ingredients such as olive oil, herbs and fresh vegetables. Olive oil is the top one healthy food that can get included in almost every single meal.

Have you tried cakes made from olive oil?
It’s worth giving it a try, even if you may not probably notice a great difference in taste-as I do! Olive oil is healthier than butter or margarine, so replace butter with olive oil and prepare your cake mix as usual. You will create a new version if you also add orange juice (or replace milk completely) and a drop of Greek brandy (Metaxa brand, 5 stars is the best).

Less sugar than the usual recipe and add dark chocolate pieces or sultanas to enhance flavor. The result is fabulous!

Fluffy and aromatic, this cake is the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Go olive oil then and stay healthy!

The simple cake recipe:

One bag of self raising flour
Half a cup sugar
3-4 eggs
One cup olive oil
1-2 vanilla essence portions
1-2 oranges (the juice)
Some skimmed milk or a yoghurt 2% fat
Half a cup of sultanas (optional)
One bar of dark chocolate broken in small pieces
Some brandy
A pinch of salt

How to make it:

Mix olive oil with sugar and then add the eggs.
Add the flour, milk or yoghurt (you can use both if you wish),
Add the rest apart from the chocolate.
Pour mixture into a tin and add the chocolate pieces one by one so as they are covered completely by the cake mixture.
Bake at 150 C (you may need 180 in some ovens) for 3/4 of an hour or until golden.

Enjoy it!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Corfiot Writer creates kids' books

Dimitris Grammenos has studied Computer Science in Crete.

He claims he is not a writer, His recent book for kids shows that he has got a great sense of humor and excellent writing skills!


This is a story about a Greek family with two kids, a boy and a girl. The family attend a concert at the Music Auditorium in Athens. It is the first time the young kids have gone to a concert, and the people who meet them think that they will inderstand nothing.

Dimitirs, who is actually the young kid who tells the story, describes this first music outing of theirs with humour and imagination. It is a story that will make the readers smile.

Dimitris donated the rights of the book to the charity organization called

The smile of the child.

His book was published by the AGYRA

publishing company in Greece, and it is in Greek.

The illustration of the book is beautiful!