food, pebbles and headstands

Delicious simple food cooked by a Greek Mum all home made the cheese , bread , herb pie and very very tasty peas and broad beans cooked in a fabulous way slowly with fennel and extra virgin olive oil. I'm even loving the table cloth. It's all good learning lots and being well looked after. The pebbles found at Therma beach here in Ikaria, are a stone collectors dream! The small bay collects and holds these wonderful little gems, so that they can be found when beach combing.


Dear readers,
it was my name day and I was planning a relaxed, unambitious post about the wonderful things an English couple who live in Ikaria do with pebbles from the beach, when all of a sudden the famous Jamie Oliver, after his visit to the Chiapas last month, landed on the island to look into our cooking and shoot scenes for his next show!!! I am still and always a bad cook (my only improvement has been towards safety but unfortunately not towards taste) so don’t be afraid, I am not going to go crazy about recipes. I do think, however, that the island has a wealth of natural, healthy foods and natural and healthy ways of cooking. But I am not going to go crazy about that either. This was planned to be a relaxed, unambitious post, and a relaxed, unambitious post it is going to be. I’ll just push Nik and Stef’s stones a bit to the side and make room for a few pictures of Ikarian food from Jamie Oliver’s instagram, plus a few shots with heavier stuff taken in Ikarian restaurants by adamansel52, a ‘food tourist’ who toured the island last month. Move your mouse over the photos to read the descriptions. Scroll down to find a surprise. Nothing to do with food! It’s just another Ikarian summer drawing near!!!

🙄 ^^’


Learning how to make Trahana from this loverly lady Maria. It's a very historical healthy whole grain cracked wheat cooked with goats milk soured and dried in the sun it's something very special and central to there diet. Delicious! A massive thank you to all the wonderful people of Ikaria that I met and worked with. this island has really touched my heart it's so natural and such a special place I can't wait to go back. The colours and textures are something to behold, and the variety of stones found I have not seen anywhere else. Quartz, banded agates, granite, jasper, and many more are found here.

A beautifully simple Greek salad the classic way with juicy tomatoes, olives and crumbly feta! Proper bold flavours and super fresh ingredients. The stones come from the sea of course, and also they get washed down from the mountain range on the island, if you go and look at the cliff faces near the beach you can see these very stones jutting out from the mud and rock; fascinating!

Cooking delicious wild herbs greens and pumpkin to be rolled in filo. Yum! Since I started beachcombing for colourful pebbles, sea glass, terracotta pottery and other surf tumbled delights, I learnt a few techniques that might help a beginner to this wonderful past time; and thought I would share them with you.


Ikaria 288 At Therma Nik and Stef from England have a business beach combing for anything that can be used to make jewellery, selling it online then shipping it all over the world.

Ikaria 200 Here I will be talking about all the wonderful stones, minerals, sea glass and other oddities that I find where I live on the Greek island of Ikaria.

Ikaria 175 Beach combing here is unlike anywhere else in the world, and is a stone collectors paradise! There are many beaches here full to the brim with all different types, colours, and textures of stones; the only limit is how many you can carry!


Taverna in Therma. The fish in sauce with salad and with bread was 8 Euros. I could have eaten spaghetti Bolognese for 5 Euros! The half litre of wine was 3 Euros. But at payment time she only wanted 10 Euros. All fresh, all local produce. With a fantastic sea view. I found these beautiful mustard colour beach pebbles whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria yesterday. But what type of rock are they...any ideas??

Ikaria 229 A lovely selection of substantial sized beach stones I found whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria a couple of days ago. The colours are amazing.

Ikaria produce on my kitchen floor. Wine, honey, olive oil, mountain tea, herbs, soaps, cosmetics. About half of it unlabeled, given to me as presents. A mix of wonderful beach finds from Therma beach in Ikaria, sea glass, pebble candy; and a sea shell! If you look along the tidelines, this is what you can find.


Αρέθουσα #here #forever #ikariamylove #daysinikaria #gipsylife by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Seychelles Ikarias. I believe in the good things coming ☀ #daydreaming #behappy #headstand #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram

Seychelles Ikarias ☀ #happy #grateful #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Κυπαρίσσι #headstand #islandlife #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram


Sofia’s headstands in her: «Days in Ikaria» on instagram ^^’ ^^’ ^^’
Nik and Stef’s etsy shop: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Blog Review Ikaria 2008-2011 # 1

I am very interested in reading personal accounts about my island. To keep in touch with the place, media is good but there’s nothing like reading actual people’s impressions and looking at their photos.

Here is a list of blog entries about Ikaria that I like. I have been keeping them in my bookmarks since 2009 and I think that by now the list has grown long enough to share it with my readers. Because my ambition was this to be a review and not just a list of blog entries, I wrote a few words about each and picked out pictures and quotes. These quotes I sometimes hid «behind the pictures».  Move your mouse over to read them.


The first blog entry in my bookmarks was by Danae (aka chez mon double). It’s in Greek and I think it’s one of the best.

Ικαρία το Μάη

Μια τυχερη περιηγηση στον καλυτερο μηνα της χρονιας με καταπληκτικες αντιπροσωπευτικες φωτογραφιες και οξυδερκεις περιγραφες που φανερωνουν διαβασμα και προετοιμασια.  Οπως συνηθιζω, εχω κρυψει μερικες πισω απο τις εικονες και διαβαζονται περνωντας το ποντικι απο πανω τους.





Κι εδω τελειωνει. Ευχαριστουμε. Ξανα το καλοκαιρι.


The next blog entry is also in Greek by ‘ikaroia’, a quiet, discreet character who loves Ikaria and Reggae music. One of the entries is about camping and  this entry has become one of the most popular ones -if not THE most popular- about Ikaria in the web! That for undestandable reasons. There is in fact a huge interest in camping in the island. When I, years ago posted my idea about it, the entry  got -and still gets- top hits!

Ικαρία και ελεύθερο κάμπινγκ

«…Για μένα η λύση είναι μια! Ξεκάθαρη και την έχω ξαναγράψει σε παλιότερο ποστ. Η δημιουργία camping στην Ικαρία !..»

. . .

. . .

Διαβαστε οπως τα γραφει γιατι εγω δεν εχω να προσθεσω τιποτα. Εχει απολυτο δικιο! Θα τονιζα μονο αυτο που ηδη λεει, δηλαδη, να γινει ενα σωστο καμπινγκ σε ωραιο μερος, οχι μια ‘μαντρα’ ανοιγμενη με μηχανηματα καπου στο πουθενα που θα θυμιζε στρατοπεδο συγκεντρωσης…


The next blog in my bookmarks is a great favorite. It’s in English and it contains several entries about Ikaria on various subjects (hiking, wildlife, maps, local life, adventures and the sad barrel dogs) each one illustrated with outstanding photos. This is Connecting Dots by Jernej Burkeljca, a Slovenian who spent 3 months and 1 week in Ikaria and wrote everything about it.

It’s hard to dig and choose from Jernej’s entries. They start with

«My Aegean Campaign»

and then go: «trippin'»

the very flattering for my friends’ work  «Hikers guide to Ikaria»

the troubles and excitements of the photographer in the wild

«A proper focus lock anyone?»

the extreme… «Rock hoppers»

the sad story of «The guard dogs»

(eventually called "barrel dogs")

the big adventure of «The Ridge walk» in 2 days!

an introduction to Ikaria’s rivers in the «Canyoning guide to Ikaria»

Have you noticed how good the photos are in the above entries?

See more and better in the galleries: Ikaria part 1 and Ikaria part 2.

Thank you Jernej!


Can you speak Finnish? The last blog to review today is Johanna Robinson’s from Finland who was in Ikaria in the same period and for the same reasons as Jernej Burkeljca. Her blog entries about Ikaria make out a full diary of her stay in the island and for the little I could translate from Finnish, they were very interesting as to know how a 20 year old foreigner from up north feels in a remote island like Ikaria and in… winter!

But the actual excitement about Johanna’s blog is the photos! Unfortunately, there is no «gallery Ikaria» but if you scroll up and down her archives starting from April 2008 you will be amazed! Landscapes, adventures, smiling faces, bugs, flowers. I loved her flowers!!!

Somebody should dedicate a full article on Johanna’s photos from Ikaria. It would take time to pick, copy-paste and formate them in a special «photo entry» but they are so beautiful I think it’s worth the trouble. Some day.

Thank you!


(to be continued...)

End *Radio Silence* (May 21, 2006)

( … blip … )
OK , 1, 2, 3, test, test.

Hello blog !
Hello world ! 😀
It’s me, Eleni. Here I am back again.

The ‘monster’ was afraid of me as much as I was afraid of the ‘monster’. The people at work did not believe that I was actually going to spend a winter in Ikaria. I showed them the photos + some I didn’t upload in Flickr. Now they are thinking of shooting a documentary about this island. This is not going to happen. I’m against the idea -for the time being at least. My island is a «BETA» island = «unfinished», «unpolished», rough. It’s just come out on the surface. It’s a new invention. (Or perhaps it’s a «GAMMA»?) Anyway, it works but it wouldn’t look good on the screen (yet).

I’ll post again about this.

Meanwhile go:


Ελένη ❤ ❤

P.S. today is my name day, St. Constantine and Helen’s. Oh, friends please don’t take the trouble to log in etc. to write wishes. I know your feelings for me and I’m grateful. My best gift is the ‘stats’ of this blog.


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Thanks for coming back. I didn’t want to be your answering machine.
The absolute proof that you were roaming in Ikaria : your car !
The mechanic in Athens wouldn’t repair it unless I had it steam-washed all over outside and inside including the motor, wheels -everything ! He asked me if you had taken part in the Paris-Dakar race. «No», I said, «But it’s more or less the same. My friend spent three off-seasons in Ikaria».

Work now and earn the money for the repairs. I think the commonwealth or common fund or whatever of the Ikarians should contribute to buy you new tires at least. It’s amazing how many stones, rusted old nails and other metal scrap we found in the old tires.
Except the air filter which was so full of dust, the rest of the engine is in a perfect shape. The mechanic (who was ready to throw up at the looks car) said that eventually you are a good driver.

Monday May 22, 2006 – 11:00am (EEST)

An Opel is an Opel. I missed the car, though I had the time of my life travelling by train across half Europe. When you washed it, did you take care to gather some of the ‘sacred Ikarian mud’?
Why do I think you did? I really do. Are you testing it? Besides metal scrap what other ingredients will you find? We want a USDA *official report* (please) here in public.

Monday May 22, 2006 – 12:22pm (PDT)

Salmonbelly is smiling.

Monday May 22, 2006 – 04:50pm (PDT)

@@@:What an idea ! Yes, Ikaria is BETA. When you see how these «unfinished» systems work, there is always a ‘dialogue’ with the members (take a survey, give us your opinion, complaints, requests e.t.c). The owners also monitor the system and see what the people actually do and what they like or tend to do. So they act accordingly. So it’s about interaction and Ikaria -yes, if you want it like that- is a very interactive BETA island.

@@@’sacred Ikarian mud’? -lol . Nostalgic, El? Already?

Tuesday May 23, 2006 – 01:11pm (EEST)

Ψ is in Ikaria, ‘doctor’ is in Ikaria, ‘ash’ is in Ikaria and they ‘interact’ with the unfinished BETA. I hate them and in the same time all my good thoughts are with them. Breathe radonium, my friends, the island’s (non-radioactive) noble gas coming out of the (so many) cracks of stones and get (not cracked or stoned), just high. I so lovingly hate you…

(p.s. glad the ‘salmon’ smiled)

Tuesday May 23, 2006 – 12:57pm (PDT)

El, you can stop hating me now. My visit was all too brief – but we (Rowan and the goat) interacted well with the Beta. I have your honey (many kisses for that) – and some local tsipouro here in England – to assist with the continuing

Monday May 29, 2006 – 12:15am (BST)

I thought you were coming in August and had arranged for «spring flower honey». But you came earlier and you caught me by surprise and you got just «standard» stuff.
I don’t hate you much. Just a bit. I wish I knew what the weather is like where I am now. I would be glad even if it was raining and thundering. We live and work in a completely artificial environment. My batteries are full to burst though after an Ikarian winter.

Monday May 29, 2006 – 02:06am (PDT)

The honey is far from ‘standard stuff’- it’s lovely!Next time I come, I will bring you some heather honey from Derbyshire – that is lovely too; but you have to promise to be there, and not to be in that horrible artificial environment you are in now. You must be going crazy…..I hope the batteries are ‘long life’.

Monday May 29, 2006 – 10:43pm (BST)

14 May, 2006

My *Angel pool* – η Αγγελολιβαδα μου

dedicated Imageto the salmon, the eel, the mountain ash, the humanist Ψ, the angelos-x-angelos, the simon whose name means rock, the goat-simon-doctor.

So what happens if you survive the call of a nymph?
The weaker ones loose their speech temporarily or for ever. Some loose their minds too. But there are some cunning strong men who look at the nymph only with the corner of their eye -the corner of their mind- so they are not harmed. On the contrary they are given
*eloquence* :

Why am I not funny today and I speak like a drunk Image? Because I am drunk Image(slightly).

Today was St. Isidoros day Image(big day marked with a red circle in the local agenta of events) and my birthdayas well.

Thank you.


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Auguri Elenuccia!

Sunday May 14, 2006 – 07:50pm (CEST)

Χρόνια Πολλά, ρε θηρίο ανήμερο.
Το δώρο μου το άφησα στον Άγιο Ισίδωρο και σίγουρα το βρήκες.

Congratulations for the Ikarian Angels’ pools, too. I’m amazed that though in a murder mood because you are leaving (don’t deny it), you go on giving. Toro, OLE !

Sunday May 14, 2006 – 09:36pm (EEST)

Hronia Polla Eleni!

Sunday May 14, 2006 – 11:09pm (BST)

Thank you everybody
Σας ευχαριστω ολους

Monday May 15, 2006 – 02:52am (PDT)

Belatedly, happy birthday Eleni, you are a special soul.

Monday May 15, 2006 – 07:27am (PDT)

Aww geez, I spend one day moving and packing for my trip, and I miss your birthday, El! Just my luck. Well, happy birthday anyway! Much luck back on the mainland, and don’t disappear completely!

Monday May 15, 2006 – 02:21pm (EDT)

«Easter Eggs red-dyed herbal and Ikarian-wise» -3

Step 3

When dry, polish them with very little olive oil.

Add a daisy.Image

Now everything is «village» : the eggs, the dye, the bowl (made of local clay in a local pottery), and my tablecloth (woven on a local loom). Only the tea came from China.

NOTE: They told me that the eggs like this do not smell of oignons and tea. I am not in position to confirm this, though. I haven’t tasted them yet. We are not supposed to crash and crack our eggs before the priest sings ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ (Christ Resurrected) at midnight sharp. But they look good, don’t they?

Très *village* Image ? muddy and dirty and cracked (and my kitchen was a mess). But at least the came out R-E-D ! So I love my Easter eggs ! I’m not going to show them to the nice person who told me what to do, though. I’m afraid she will scorn or scold me.

But I can show them to you…

φιλακια  Image φιλαρακια

!!! ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ !!!

Comments ♥

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Ahh red eggs!! This is one of the very few Greek traditions that has survived to my generation (4 times removed from Greece). Every Easter we’d gather round the family table with the red eggs and crack them together in a sort of tournament, all the time saying «Χριστος ανεστι» «Αλιτος ανεστι» (no idea if that spelling is correct).

Unfortunately this is as close as I’ve been to red eggs for many years since my schools have given the Catholic Easter off as a holiday, but not the Orthodox one.

Happy Easter, El & all.

– Matt

Sunday April 23, 2006 – 11:44pm (EDT)

The Orthodox Easter school holiday in Greece is 2 weeks !!!
Jealous, eh? Well, don’t be. It’s like in theocratic regimes. I return for those long religious holidays, the schoolchildren have to attend long, boring and absurd Religion courses for several hours a week. Parent have to declare that they are e.g. Buddists or Marxists, so that their kids are excused from attending them.
Meanwhile yesterday we had the craziest 12 hour long parties (and I can hardly make out what I’m typing right now)

Monday April 24, 2006 – 02:58am (PDT)

They look superb! Αυγα Πολλά!

Monday April 24, 2006 – 05:37pm (BST)

Happy Orthodox Easter!

But when Condi gets to Athens, maybe someone can throw some rotten eggs her way, or a cream pie maybe…

Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 09:39am (PDT)

Flying red eggs would «write» on the TV cameras. No doubt the city will be under martial law, worse than during the German occupation.

Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 11:00pm (EEST)

«Easter Eggs red-dyed herbal and Ikarian-wise» -step 2

Step 2When the water has turned dark red, take the eggs out.

Leave them on a plate to dry. Do not sweep with a towel.

My own unphilosophical, untheological, unecological and secret Greek Easter


About the Greek Orthodox Easter and an Orthodox Easter in general you can find loads of info and personal accounts just about anywhere in the press, in books, on the net even in the National Geographic and the French ‘Geo’. Because I live in a remote island village (the epitome of the so-called ‘authenticity‘), oh, readers, don’t expect me to tell you about it. This is a task young apprentice TV reporters are usually given to do. That’s Imagenot me. Zap off and type «Greek+Easter» in Google images.

My own ImageEaster in Ikaria :

1) Color: lush green, sometimes Imageorgiastic vegetation (doesn’t hold too long -sniff) with brown patches of freshly ploughed gardens and vineyards.

2) Sound: (a) nasal psalms Imagefrom the church loudspeakers and both on TV and the radio the voice of our «super saint» (*Ayatolah* ) Archibishop ImageChristodoulos performing «the top of the pop(e)s». (b) «skyladika» music from every cafe and ouzo joint, (c) very loud explosions of firecrackers, and finally (d) delighful bass chat-chat of old people and sharp shouts of children -visitors from the city.

3) Images: (a) red Imagemeat (heads of lamps with the tongues sticking out, guts, slices of fat, darker red liver e.t.c.) (b) flowers, countless flowers to decorate the epitaph (the portable simulation of the «grave» of Jesus)…


My own Imagepersonal Easter is …the visitors’ clothes !
I’m looking at them, in fact I’m devouring them, I imagine myself wearing them. I even went to the beach Imageto spy on the visitors and see what swimsuits are in fashion this season. I will go to church tonight and tomorrow just to seeImage the outfits and the looks. I’ll break my profile and dare ask a few friends «Where did you buy that?» and «How much?». Most of all I’ll admire the shoes and the hairstyles. I’ll pretend I attend the mess but actually I’ll be trying to guess my neigbour’s perfume or after-shave brand. I’ll be looking at men and wishing wishes and (who me? the «experienced» cosmo?) blush and feel shyImageImage.

That’s Image me. That’s my Easter. I’m getting rough hewn here –village girl. Yet I know that when I go for a short Imageshopping visit in Athens next month and while I’ll be trying on the wonderful shoes, I’ll be Imagethinking of my flower pots and my vegetable garden. I’ll also be Imageworrying about who’s going to remind my old neighboursImage to take their pills. It seems I am the only one who’s used to depending on a watch in my neighborhood.

That’s my Easter in Ikaria.

I wish everybody, believers or not, Christians or not
KALI ANASTASSI (ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ), which btw literally means…





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Hi Eleni, just to let you know our swallows arrived here in Northern England today; Jude and I saw them on our trail in the hills, a little party of six, and we greeted them with thoughts of you.

Friday April 21, 2006 – 11:25pm (BST)

Yes, and we found a fairy too…Either Tragos or I will post the picture on flickr. We commented that you would love it. Kalo Pascha.

Saturday April 22, 2006 – 12:02am (BST)

swallows are messangers; there are so many Greek folk verses about them asked to carry messages of love and affection to distant lands. You may understand ‘swallow-ish’ because they were carrying a msg from me; this is why you thought of me.
(I must stop now because the council of the senior USDA are waiting for an answer in their comment on the previous entry.)
* * * *

Saturday April 22, 2006 – 04:04am (PDT)