Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weee'reeee backkkkkk!

Here's the second part of our blog catch-up extravaganza! Since you missed us so much the first time, then you must be JUST ecstatic that we're doing a two-parter!

The castle on our way out!

A pretty church that we could see on our way down from the castle!
In case you were wondering, I conquered those steps.  I conquered them hard.
Lawrence of Arabia Joe meets a real person.  Typical.  Typical Joe and Rachel behavior.
The entrance to the woodworking shop! We went to their house for dinner on Sunday night.
Mama and I walking in for our dinner! They have such a lovely home.
The field behind Philippa and Eric's house.  It was so beautiful and we had the loveliest evening.  We sat around and talked, played with their three dogs, saw a baby hedgehog, ate a beautiful dinner that Philippa made for us, and Elleni (their daughter) played the guitar and I sang.
The last few days have been really lazy! We went to the beach on Monday and Tuesday, but it was too chilly to stay both days.  The wind has been blowing a lot and it's been really cloudy.  But here are some pics from the last few days!
We took a picnic lunch to the beach! My dad got up to take a picture and caught me with all of the food in my lap.
My mom, all covered up at the beach.  Swaddled really.  A) Because she was chilly.  B) Because SOMEONE (aka her) got all kinds of sunburned and wasn't allowed to have any sun exposure at the beach.
I've become a fan of making random whiny noises.  They tend to irritate people around me.  Aka, my parents.  But I think it's fun.  My dad caught this super attractive picture of me.  
A better picture of us at lunch!
Joe has the best picture poses!

Joe and I at our lunch by the sea!
Beautiful sunset we could see from our porch! There were so many cool clouds!

Mama at dinner! We've found our new favorite food for sure.  It's pita bread stuffed with meat (if you're into that sort of thing, which I'M NOT because I'm a veggie-saurus), french fries, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, onion, and cheese. OHMYGODSOGOOD.
Me at dinner!

Papa Joe and I at dinner!

I can't help it.  Just straight thuggin'.

There's an open air cinema in Molivos! We went last night to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  Joe and I couldn't remember what the title of the movie was.... "On ebbing and flowing tides? On the in and out tides? On waving tides?"  Stranger.  Gee, that was a tough one.

Joe and I before the movie started!  
We're off now, to get some pitas for lunch and shop! Happy reading!

Better late than never!

I'm just positive that all of you have been anxiously awaiting this blog.  Sitting at your computers, tap-tapping your fingers, thinking, "DEAR GOD why hasn't Rachel blogged yet?! Where is she?! What has she been doing?! WHAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IS GOING ON!?!?!".  Well your wait is over.  Cause Papa Joe and I are sitting on the couch, listening to our song of the day, "Mine Mine Mine" from Pocahontas, bloggin' away.  Just bloggin' hard. So really, though.  We were gonna blog on Monday night, but then we watched Secret Window instead, which BY THE WAY, is SO CREEPY.  Hi Johnny Depp, I love you, but I hope I never make you angry, cause YOU SO SCARY.  And then we meant to blog Tuesday morning, but our internet was out all day yesterday and we couldn't!  So, today we have the net back, so here we are.

On Sunday, we hadn't really made a plan for what we were gonna do.  So, my mom suggested we take a walk near our villa/apartment (but really it's mostly a villa), because we hadn't explored behind us yet.  So I geared up to take a short walk, but I made it VERY clear that I didn't want to go up to the castle.  It's not that I didn't want to go eventually, but it's all uphill to go to the castle and my little stocky legs were just not up to the challenge.  So, we start walking, and then all of a sudden, every turn we take, we're going uphill.  (Note: this next part should be read aloud in your best petulant British child voice) "DADDY.  Daddy, I didn't waaaant to go uphill.  Whyy are we going uphill?? Didn't I sayyy? Didn't I sayyy I didn't want to go uphill?? Daddyyyyyy.  I'm tireeddddd.  It's hottttt. I'm sweattyyyy.  DADDY!!"  Needless to say, my whining didn't get me anywhere.  We continued to go uphill.  Papa Joe is a sneaky one.  A very sneaky one.  And before I knew it, we were at the foot of the castle. "JOEEEEEE.  You tricked me!!!!! You tricked me, you sneaky sneaky man!"  But there we were.  At the castle.  So there was no use being petulant or whiny about it anymore.  So here are some of our pics from our castle expedition!

Our breakfast that morning! Fresh pastries from the bakery, yogurt with honey, and fresh fruit.

Lawrence of Arabia Joe is back.  He's back with a vengeance.

A view of the castle on our way up.  I should have known that's where we were going :)
Dad and I discussing the caption for this pic: "Dad, this would be a good place for some castle history, if you've got it." "Oh oh, ok! The name of the castle is this.."- points at Greek word in travel booklet. "Umm... no Dad, that's just the word for castle in Greek."

Joe and I in front of the Castle of Mithymna (the old name for Molivos).  The oldest part of the castle dates from the 8th century B.C.  Due to frequent attacks by Saracen pirates, the castle was renovated by the Genoese rulers of Lesvos in 1442 A.D..  This is the castle we see today!

Papa Joe and Mama in front of the castle!

The entrance to the castle! There was some Arabic writing over the entryway, because the Turks occupied this part of the island from 1462 to 1912.
Archaeologist Joe is in DA HOUSE.

Mama and I in one of the lookouts of the castle!

View to the harbor from the castle!

View of the castle wall from inside the castle!
Standing on the stage!  They have a large stage inside the castle walls and lots of benches.  During the summer months (the heavy tourist season), they have concerts and theatrical performances at the castle!

Mom- "Can I stand up here?"
Us- "NO. No you can't."
Mom- "Whyyyy??? Pleaseeee??"
Us- "Fine."
Dad- "Rachel, hold on to your mother."
Mom- "I don't need to be held on to.  I don't!"
Us- "Yeah. Right."

Oh you know, just being an explorer.  I'm like Dora.  Only.  Not animated.

Oh you know, just straight thuggin'.  We're some g's.  

Joe- "I wonder what they used that marble tablet for?"
Mama- "Virgin sacrifice.  OOH RACHEL! Go lay on the slab! Be the sacrifice!"

From the north side of the castle, you could see Eftalou!

Archaeologist Joe- "What are all these marble inserts? What did they use them for? What do they mean? Why are they here? I must get to the bottom of this."

Mama- "OOH the pit of despair!!!!"
Archaeologist Joe- "We believe in actuality this is the tunnel that the Greeks constructed leading to the beach."
Rachel- "OH, do we? WEE believe that?"

Papa Joe and Mama :)

A donkey outside the castle!  Joe kindly informed me that this was my ride home.  The ass.  
We're gonna split this blog into two posts! We just have so many pictures! Check out the next one :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eftalou! How 'bout you? Eftalou Eftalou. G to you!

So you might have looked at the title of this blog and thought... "Hmm... that looks a little strange." Well you would be right.  This title came from the brilliant and sometimes jumbled mind of my mama, Michele Hoovler.  I said, "What should we call this blog?"  My mom exclaimed from the other room, "OOH I think we should do something funny with Eftalou! Since we went there! We could call it Eftalou, how about you? Or Eftalou, g to you! Or Eftalou... Eftalou... Eftalou." Wow mom.  You shocked me with what a good title that was, you really did.  But in honor of her ideas, I decided to go with her idea anyways.

This is a bit of a catch up blog, I've gotten a bit behind the last few days!

We went to the beach again on Thursday!  I was trying to find cute pictures of us at the beach, but what we had (other than this one, which I guess is not so bad), we had: A) One of me napping, and we know from previous blogs how attractive me sleeping is.  B) A few unflattering shots of me waddling over the rocks into the ocean.  And C) Pictures that look exactly the same as all the ones we've already taken.  So this is what we got.

Papa Joe found some ruins on the way back from the beach!  They're probably from before the castle was constructed here.  At one time, they must have been closer to the beach because of how the ruins were arranged.  "It looks like a series of dwellings."- Direct Quote from Archaeologist Joe.

The castle and the town of Molivos! We walked down to the harbor, since we hadn't been there yet.  There is literally not one place in this village where there's a bad view.

A view off the pier at the harbor! So pretty.

A boat in the harbor :)

There were so many boats in the harbor! Probably more than 50, I would guess, although I'm not the best judge of  numbering things haha.

Papa Joe and I at the habor!

Mama and I on the pier! The little girl behind us was fishing and cats kept trying to eat her bait.  She was unhappy, to say the least.

We stopped at one of the restaurants in the harbor and had an appetizer.  We had a  bell pepper stuffed with feta cheese that was baked.  OHMYGODSOGOOD.  We also had olive paste spread on bread.  The food here is to die for!
On Friday, we got up and went to the bakery and then decided to take a taxi to Eftalou! It's another village on Lesvos about 5 minutes away by taxi.   Richard and Lana had recommended a fish restaurant to us and there is also a woodworking shop there!

Me on the beach at Eftalou! The water was so clear and cold!

Papa Joe and I on the beach! The land mass you can see behind us is Turkey! It's only 5 kilometers away from  Eftalou !!

Mama and I on the beach :)
We went to the woodworking shop, we were just blown away by how beautiful it is.  The people that own it, Eric and Philippa, have been living there for 12 years.  Their daughter Elleni is about to be 13.  Eric creates many pieces of art from olive wood, including jewelry and hairpins, statues, figurines, candle holders, and more.  He also paints scenery from Lesvos, among other things.  We sat and talked with the three of them for almost 3 hours! We ate plums that were picked fresh from their trees and got to look at the woodworking shop and their olive grove and their vegetable garden, as well as meet all of their animals! They have about 200 olive trees on their property.

The olive grove!

The piece we bought from Eric's shop!  

We had such a nice time and they invited us back to have dinner with them on Sunday night! We can't wait :) After we left the olive grove, we went to the Eftalou restaurant to have a late lunch! 

So.... I keep meaning to take pictures of the food we eat.  But. I either a) forget to actually take the picture or b) take the picture after we've already eaten half of it.  That's what happened here.  So.  Ignore the fact that there may or may not be drool or bite marks on the food.  These are stuffed zucchini flowers! They were fried and stuffed with feta cheese.  So. Yummy.  We also had olives.  THEY WERE NASTY.  I don't know how to describe what they tasted like.  Like.... something that has been underwater for a long time? Like something that was soaked and then boiled and then dipped in really old vinegar?  I don't know.  I DID NOT LIKE THEM.  But Papa Joe did.  What does that say, hmmmm???

This is my half eaten dinner.  I know that's a little gross.  But it was so good that it is worth having a picture of!  I had fresh cod that was fried, french fries, and a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.  Everything was SO DELICIOUS.  Minus the olives from above.  Those still sucked.

Mama and I standing on the beach, waiting for the taxi to take us back to Molivos! We had the loveliest of days in Eftalou.

Today has just been kind of a lazy day!  We've been doing our laundry and hanging it out to dry on our lovely terrace.

And my mom and I made fresh tzatziki!!!  Recipe for tzatziki: Peeled and finely chopped cucumber, chopped red onion, chopped garlic, salt and pepper, lime juice, and yoghurt.  Recipe for a happy Rachel: LOTS OF TZATZIKI.  It turned out so well!!
We also explored a bit more of town today and poked around in a lot of the little shops! If you have any souvenir requests, send them my way via Facebook :)  Tonight, we were hoping to go to the open air cinema and see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie but these tricksy Greeks (I don't actually think all Greeks are tricksy, but they did trick me with the dates of the movies)  changed it to Something Borrowed!  We will be here for another weekend though, so we might go next weekend instead!  More to come soon! Happy reading!