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// JUNE 2018
The raw diamond of Kefalonia
Athens
Patras
Sami
Lepeda
Lixouri
Paralia Petani
Porto Athera
Agia Thekli
Rifi
Chavdata
Chavriata
Mantzavinata
Lixouri
Lixouri
Lepeda
Argostolion
Lixouri
Kaminarata
Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon
Lepeda
Megas Lakkos
Paralia Petani
Platia Ammos
Skinos Chavriata
Kounopetra
Xi Beach
Lixouri
Lepeda
Atheras
Amidi Beach
Fteri Beach
Atheras
Lixouri
Myrtos

Lepeda-Loggos


15nth of June
Mr. Spyros Synodinos: An authentic man of Lixouri!

From the first moment we had set foot on Kefalonia, we wanted very much to meet a man, who would have some of the legendary elements which characterize all those people who come from this unique, alluring and exceptionally beautiful island.

We were sure that in Lixouri we would discover one such a character, who would transfer us to another era and would fascinate us with his personality and his story. But where and how we would find him?
 


Once more, Kostas came with the ideal solution.
He would take us to meet the beloved friend of his late father, Alekos, who had created wonderful friendships with very unique people of Lixouri and was himself a real character, very well known and respected in the local society, because of his social talents and his bubbly personality.

So, we visited Mr. Spyros Synodinos, an old friend of Alekos , to his really beautiful house in Logo of Lepeda, just outside Lixouri.
Kostas is renting this place to foreign guests, in the summers, on the behalf of Mr. Spyros.
 


Mr. Spyros Synodinos and his kind wife welcomed us and led us to the lovely veranda of their home.
After the necessary introductions, we all sat around the table, where refreshments were offered and started talking, so as to become acquainted.

It didn’t take us long to realize that our host was not the daily, ordinary sort of man.
Behind the very polite attitude, there was that sharp and sparkling gaze “scanning” us discretely, and behind the effortless smile there was that ephemeral slight cheekiness, which was only adding to his natural charm.
We were sure that we had found an authentic man of Kefalonia_ a man of Lixouri, if we want to be precise, since, during our discussion, this was proved to be…the Achilles’ heel of Mr. Spyros, who clearly dissociates himself from the Kefalonians of Argostoli!
We had in front of us an intense man, who was going to fascinate us with his personal story and to bewitch us with pictures of another, older and very nostalgic Kefalonia…
 


The “Petritsis High School” and the education in old Lixouri

Mr. Spyros was born in the years of World War II in Lixouri, which then was the capital of the province of Pali (Palliki, today).
He was a student of the famous “Petritsis High School”, which, as he told us was constructed with money donated by the great doctor Stamos Petritsis, whose birth land was Lixouri. The high school was named after him, while with his bequest it was supported till 1901.

As far as its construction and its continuity as an institution with high educational standards, a great role played also the financial contribution of other expatriates of Lixouri (most of them were rich merchants who were travelling in the 19th century to big ports such as Vraila in Romania, Marseille in France and Odessa too).
Those great men of Lixouri were caring for their homeland and were offering their wealth, without asking anything in return…
 


Petritsis was one of the most significant Greek scientists of the 18nth and 19th century and he served as a medical doctor in Kefalonia, Zakynthos , Patras and in Ioannina, as the personal doctor of the famous Ali Pasha.
He was among the pioneers who were insisting that the population should be vaccinated against smallpox.  

Mr. Spyros informed us that before the establishment of “Petritsis High School”, access to education had only the children of the rich families, like the satiric poet Laskaratos, who was educated in Kastro, a few years before Argostoli became the capital of Kefalonia.  

During an even older era (18nth century) the great scholar Vikendios Damodos, who was one of the early representatives of the Greek Enlightenment, was teaching in the village Havriata in Palliki. 
Damodos had studied Law in Padua and when he returned to Lixouri, he established a private school, where he was teaching Theology and Philosophy.  
His students used to stay in the village Havriata, so as to be near the Great Teacher, who was receiving frequent visits from other great scholars from Europe and especially from Italy. 

One of his students was Neophytos Vamvas (great scholar and representative of the Greek Enlightment too).


Globetrotter, well educated and multitalented!

Mr. Spyros continued his studies in the Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki, where he studied Physics, before the “demon of the Kefalonian” sent him to Quebec, to Montreal and also to New York, where he had a stunning career.

When he retired and after having been a happy rover for many years, he devoted more time to the two big loves of his life: the poetry and the painting.
 


We felt honored when he offered us as present one of his books, a poetic collection, with his signature and a few personal wishes written for us with his own hand.
The poems are an amazing satire and are written in the linguistic idiom of old Lixouri.
He told us that through writing, he is trying to preserve the memory of a refined and authentic world, which inevitably and unfortunately fades away.
Old Lixouri and his people shouldn’t be just a memory for the younger generation…It is their legacy and personalities like Mr. Spyros Synodinos are part of it…

 Mr. Spyros guided us to his beautiful home, were predominant are his wonderful impressionistic paintings, with themes taken from the amazing beaches of Palliki. 

We saw even an old damaged door, driftwood, really, which he had taken from some beach and had managed to transform into a piece of art. We were equally impressed by a wonderful handmade ship. It was so irresistibly artistic… We couldn’t stop photographing it…  
 


But Mr. Spyros made us understand that he adores art in all its forms.
We realized it clearly when we saw on the wall of the veranda we were sitting an exceptionally beautiful creation, which was representing the sea nymph Mitis, the mother of the ancient Goddess Athena…
This piece of art was created by the sculptor Efi Spiliotis, who is a friend of Mr. Spyros.
 


Old Lixouri through the eyes of Mr. Synodinos

And then, within this euphoric atmosphere, surrounded by art and beauty, we learnt about the old friendly gatherings of the people of Lixouri, where the humorous dialogs, the laughter and the joy used to be a stylish way of life…
Those happy companies were also enjoying local, traditional dishes, like the Sofigado  (meat cooked in red sauce, accompanied with pasta or potatoes) the aliada, (mashed potatoes with plenty of olive oil and garlic, eaten mainly in the Ionian Islands) and the poutrida (traditional dish with pork, cauliflower and dry cheese).
This last dish probably originates from the era of the French and English Conquerors…  
 


We were transferred, mesmerized by the stories of Mr. Spyros, to the era of the great families Metaxa and Anninoi, members of the Kefalonian Libro D’ Oro, and also we had a dreamy glimpse of the “sebroi”, the workers who were taking care of the land and the animals that belonged to the nobles… 

We learnt also about that old rivalry, which seems to still keep apart the inhabitants of Lixouri from the inhabitants of Argostoli, after almost two and a half centuries…
But now they don’t solve their differences with…cannonades!
They just limit the whole thing to “partsanatses” (silly mocking words) and pranks, like in that carnival a few years ago, when some people came from Argostoli during the night by boat and tied the…King Carnival with rope, behind the statue of…Andreas Laskaratos!

We also learnt a few things about some real characters of the area, famous…
for their humorous, mocking acts in Lixouri years ago…
Characters like Leandros and Koutsonikolos, who were organizing trials/pranks and they were improvising in a teasing way, leaving nobody in peace!
 


We didn’t realize how quickly time had passed.
The company of Mr. Spyros was so exhilarating, after all!
We were completely enhanced by him!
What a multitalented man!
What a globetrotter! And with so much art inside him!
An authentic Lixouriotis with an aura of another era…
We would speak about him to our friends and we would boast that we had met a legendary, authentic man from Kefalonia!
We were so thrilled when we left his home!

But Lixouri was keeping, still, lots of wonderful surprises for us!
And though we still didn’t know it, we would meet during our staying there many more equally fascinating people from Palliki…

And we would take with us unique memories from this land, which looks as if it has appeared out of the blue in the Ionian Sea, in order to astonish the world with its “demonic children”, who had never really stopped excelling in almost all the sectors, not only in Greece, but in the whole world!  

Country: Greece
Date: 2018
Route: Kefalonia-Peninsula of Paliki
Cities: Athens, Patras, Sami, Lepeda, Lixouri, Paralia Petani, Porto Athera, Agia Thekli, Rifi, Chavdata, Chavriata, Mantzavinata, Lixouri, Lixouri, Lepeda, Argostolion, Lixouri, Kaminarata, Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon, Lepeda, Megas Lakkos, Paralia Petani, Platia Ammos, Skinos Chavriata , Kounopetra, Xi Beach, Lixouri, Lepeda, Atheras, Amidi Beach, Fteri Beach, Atheras, Lixouri
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population:
Rating:
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Country: Greece
Date: 2018
Route: Kefalonia-Peninsula of Paliki
Cities: Athens, Patras, Sami, Lepeda, Lixouri, Paralia Petani, Porto Athera, Agia Thekli, Rifi, Chavdata, Chavriata, Mantzavinata, Lixouri, Lixouri, Lepeda, Argostolion, Lixouri, Kaminarata, Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon, Lepeda, Megas Lakkos, Paralia Petani, Platia Ammos, Skinos Chavriata , Kounopetra, Xi Beach, Lixouri, Lepeda, Atheras, Amidi Beach, Fteri Beach, Atheras, Lixouri
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population:
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Greece
Date: 2018
Route: Kefalonia-Peninsula of Paliki
Cities: Athens, Patras, Sami, Lepeda, Lixouri, Paralia Petani, Porto Athera, Agia Thekli, Rifi, Chavdata, Chavriata, Mantzavinata, Lixouri, Lixouri, Lepeda, Argostolion, Lixouri, Kaminarata, Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon, Lepeda, Megas Lakkos, Paralia Petani, Platia Ammos, Skinos Chavriata , Kounopetra, Xi Beach, Lixouri, Lepeda, Atheras, Amidi Beach, Fteri Beach, Atheras, Lixouri
Duration: 8 days
Difficulty:
Population:
Rating:
comments
VIEW