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// AUGUST 2017
Hidden Secrets
Athens
Chios
Vrontados
Pantoukios
Lagkada
Marmaro
Kardamyla
Chios
Karies
Nea Moni of Chios
Avgonima
Anavatos
Lithi
Vessa
Agios Georgios Sikousis
Chios
Armolia
Pyrgi
Mesta, Greece
Olympoi
Mastic Museum
Volcano Beach Chios
Mesta
Limenas
Sidirounta
Volissos
Moni Agias Markellas
Epos
Vrontados
Chios
Oinousses
Athens
Mesta

Olympoi


6/12/2017
Every corner, mystical, mesmerizing charm!!!

We left Mesta and we drove 6 km, so as to visit the equally beautiful and significant village of Olympoi.

We realized, as soon as we arrived there, that the formation of castle/village we had seen in Mesta was preserved there too. The external houses are connected to each other in a way that used to form its defensive wall. Connected too, inside the village, are the houses at the level of the first floor, creating arches over the narrow cobbled roads. This particular architecture of the castle/village was preventive, like in Mesta, of the pirate raids, who were disembarking the shores of the island from Medieval Era till Turkish Occupation, in order to destroy the villages and to steal the precious mastic and other significant products
 


In order to enter or exit the village there was only one gate, which is still preserved at the location “Kato Porta”. After 1821 two more gates were constructed, one near the church of St. George and the other one near the school of the village. The central gate used to be locked at night or when a pirate attack was taking place. During the attack all the inhabitants were gathered in the heart of the village, so as to protect themselves.
 


While trying to find our orientation, when arriving at the central square of Olympoi, we entered the restaurant AMETHYSTOS and asked for which route we should follow so as to reach the sightseeing we wanted to visit. Spyros, the owner of the place, which we would visit later on for lunch and we have plenty of things to tell you about it, was extremely helpful.
 


He gave us a wonderful leaflet, which he has created himself and in which, apart from the mentioning of his own restaurant, extended and very useful information about the history of Olympoi is given too. In the leaflet there are excellent photos from his archive, from Mrs. Athina Zaharou-Loutrari archive and also from Mrs. Athina Floriadi archive. More over the vintage photos had been taken by Hubert Pernot (1898) and the old scripts come from Konstantinos Kanelakis work “Hiaka Analekta” (1890).

A person who creates such an informative and of great aesthetics leaflet about his work and the historical village, it is impossible not to love the place, care for it and being devoted in what he is doing. But we would discover, first hand, all the above, later on…

He came with us, outside his restaurant, and showed us the central tower (20meters of height) where the inhabitants were hiding to protect themselves from the pirate raids. It still exists in Olympoi till our days, along with the stone building of the old Girls’ School of Olympoi (established in 1904) which was an innovative institution at its times. Today it is a Community building which also hosts the Cultural Club of Olympoi, as we would learn afterwards.
 


We said, for the time being, our good byes to Spyros, promised to have lunch in AMETHYSTOS and carried on walking on the cobbled narrow alleys of the village, searching for sightseeing. But, the labyrinth which was created by the numerous and very similar to each other narrow streets only managed to confuse us and we lost our way! On the other hand, we had the chance to admire the mixed architecture of several houses, which were combining elements from the “xysta” we had seen in Pyrgi and from the medieval stone houses that are predominant in Mesta.  We also liked the hand painted doors that can only be seen in Olympoi.


Lucky encounters!!!

We entered a small grocery shop to ask how we would find the route that would take us to the famous Olympoi Trapeza, a two storey building with stone-carved seats and tables, where marriages used to take place once. In the small grocery we met Mrs. Kyriaki Georgalaki, a member of the Olympoi Cultural Club, who offered to take us there herself.  
 


We walked once more the narrow cobbled streets and when the very polite Mrs. Georgalaki opened the Trapeza for us, were immediately impressed. We saw indeed the stone carved seats and the table, but also the seals with the names and the dates of marriages of newlyweds of other times, still preserved on the old walls of the building. We went to the second floor too, where the meals of the marriage were cooked, as Mrs. Kyriaki told us. Predominant element of this floor was the huge stone fireplace.
 


When we left the Trapeza, we stopped by the house of Mrs. Eygenia Gaila, Mrs. Georgalaki’s aunt. Mrs. Kyriaki had suggested we should see the old church of St. Theodosia (12th century) but the keys were in the possession of her aunt. The kind lady welcomed us and also treated us with dry fruits and nuts before opening the historical church for us. More over she lit a big candle to lighten up the internal part of the church, allowing us this way to take a very atmospheric video. We were more than grateful and obliged to the two ladies with the great hospitality and kindness.


 

When we returned to the central square we met Mr. Konstantinos Karitis, also member of the Olympoi cultural club, who offered to open for us the church of Agia Paraskevi (13nth century) with its wood carved temple of St. John (10nth or 11nth century).

There are a few more significant old churches in Olympoi, like: the church of Taxiarches (1838) with a very old and treasured, by the inhabitants, icon



and also the so called “horoekklisia” St. George (1866), but unfortunately we couldn’t see them. In any case, we were more than happy to have seen the most important sightseeing of Olympoi, thanks to the kindness and hospitality of the wonderful people who had spent their precious time helping us.


When love for cooking becomes gastronomical art!

After completing our exploring in Olympoi, we returned to the restaurant AMETHYSTOS, as we had promised Spyros, the owner, so as to have lunch. To our great pleasure, we found out that it is not accidental at all the fact that the place is suggested by tripadvisor as the best gourmet restaurant in Chios!
 


Spyros and Antonia, his wife, welcomed us in a fine and warm place which impressed us immediately. Those two wonderful and polite young people had turned their good taste into profession, by creating an extremely creative, traditional Cuisine! We tried roasted sweet peppers filled with cheese, a divine salad, tortellini with red Florina peppers, filled with soft cheese ( “anthotyro”)  and sauce made of dried tomatoes, fresh cream and thyme. We also tried home made delicious burgers in a gourmet sauce made of fresh cream , mastic and blue cheese, with Basmati Rice as a side dish and accompanied them all with a great wine (meilichios)  Our excellent meal was completed with a magnificent orange pie with fresh cream and pink pepper! Unfortunately there was no place left to try the espresso coffee with mastic, suggested by Spyros.


  


Nevertheless, when we left, he said his good byes with presents. He gave us two bottles of the local drink suma enriched with honey, putting his personal signature to an immaculate service, which we will never forget and will always connect with our visit to Olympoi. We were honestly very happy to have met this lovely couple with the four adorable kids. Apart from being more than kind and hospitable, they gave us the opportunity to try the local fresh products to their most refined form.

We left Olympoi with the best of the impressions, not only because we had seen all those wonderful things, but also because we had the pleasure to meet excellent and amazing people.

Country: Greece
Date: 2017
Route: Greece : Chios Island - Oinousses
Cities: Athens, Chios, Vrontados, Pantoukios, Lagkada, Marmaro, Kardamyla, Chios, Karies, Nea Moni of Chios, Avgonima, Anavatos, Lithi, Vessa, Agios Georgios Sikousis, Chios, Armolia, Pyrgi, Mesta, Greece, Olympoi, Mastic Museum, Volcano Beach Chios, Mesta, Limenas, Sidirounta, Volissos, Moni Agias Markellas, Epos, Vrontados, Chios, Oinousses, Chios, Athens
Duration: 7
Difficulty:
Population: Chios: 53.199
Rating:
comments
VIEW
comments
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Country: Greece
Date: 2017
Route: Greece : Chios Island - Oinousses
Cities: Athens, Chios, Vrontados, Pantoukios, Lagkada, Marmaro, Kardamyla, Chios, Karies, Nea Moni of Chios, Avgonima, Anavatos, Lithi, Vessa, Agios Georgios Sikousis, Chios, Armolia, Pyrgi, Mesta, Greece, Olympoi, Mastic Museum, Volcano Beach Chios, Mesta, Limenas, Sidirounta, Volissos, Moni Agias Markellas, Epos, Vrontados, Chios, Oinousses, Chios, Athens
Duration: 7
Difficulty:
Population: Chios: 53.199
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Greece
Date: 2017
Route: Greece : Chios Island - Oinousses
Cities: Athens, Chios, Vrontados, Pantoukios, Lagkada, Marmaro, Kardamyla, Chios, Karies, Nea Moni of Chios, Avgonima, Anavatos, Lithi, Vessa, Agios Georgios Sikousis, Chios, Armolia, Pyrgi, Mesta, Greece, Olympoi, Mastic Museum, Volcano Beach Chios, Mesta, Limenas, Sidirounta, Volissos, Moni Agias Markellas, Epos, Vrontados, Chios, Oinousses, Chios, Athens
Duration: 7 days
Difficulty:
Population: Chios: 53.199
Rating:
comments
VIEW