Villa Christina

Financial crisis -donate to charities in Greece

If you want to support Greece in its struggle for survival PLEASE consider visiting Greece this year and you will receive a warm welcome the Greek people know that a successful tourism industry is one of the few ways currently open to them to grow their economy.

If you would like to make a charitable donation to a charity working with children in Greece please consider supporting The Smile of the Child who do excellent work in many locations in Greece or alternatively SOS Children's Villages who also are active in Greece working with homeless or orphaned children.

New flights to Volos airport

 Now you can fly to Volos airport (only 23km from our villa and rental apartments in Amaliapolis) from various European cities, including Gatwick and Manchester. Volos airport site lists the airlines which now fly there http://www.volosairport.gr/en/flights-en-menu.html
  If you are flying in to Volos airport please ask about our special taxi fares direct from the airport to Amaliapolis.

The new Volos (Nea Anchialos) airport is a huge improvement on the old airport - spacious and comfortable.  It has a cafe and duty free shop however, don't expect refinements such as WiFi just yet!


New Acropolis Museum

A real 'must-see' if you are planning a day out in Athens from Amaliapolis is the new Acropolis museum which opened on 21st June 2009, bringing to an end 30 years of planning and controversy over the design.  The controversy over the Elgin marbles continues!


Architect Bernard Tschumi designed the museum to allow the sculptures to be seen in natural light, but high-spec glass and climate-control ensures they are not damaged by sunlight. The piece de la resistance is the top floor, where visitors will be able to see the frieze from the Parthenon, then turn their back to look at the ruins of the temple itself. Click here to see a video about the design of this fabulous building  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sghCuXTVbc

Acropolis museum website http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/?pname=Home&la=2 Entry to the museum is a bargain and only 1.

Alternatively if you are planning to stay in Athens to see the museum and other sites, why not escape the hurly burly of Athens to the rural tranquility of Amaliapolis for a few days?

GREEK EASTER

Enjoy a traditional Greek Easter in Greece in 2017. 

Greek Easter Sunday falls on 16th April 2017 - just perfect for a nice break in the sun.  Come and enjoy the traditional celebrations in the lovely village of Amaliapolis.  In early May the weather is invariably pleasantly warm and wild flowers are springing up everywhere.  It is a wonderful time to visit Amaliapolis.

Easter is a major religious festival in Greece and many people return to their village or area of origin to celebrate it with their extended families.
Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday has many traditions associated with it and religious people fast (abstain from easting meat and fish) and go to church each evening.  You will be welcome to wander into the Church at any time and also to attend any of the services.
  • On Holy Tuesday, housewives make sweet rolls, the koulourakia, and the following day they give the house an extra spring clean, while in the evening they follow the blessing of Holy Oil that takes place in church.
  • Holy Thursday is the day for dyeing hardboiled eggs red.  This was triditionally done using onion skins, but now red food colouring is used!  In the evening, after the reading of the 12 Gospels, the women undertake the decoration of the bier of Christ (epitaphios) with garlands of white and purple flowers, so that in the morning of Good Friday it is ready to receive the image of the body of Christ when He is taken down from the cross. 
  • Good Friday is a day of mourning. The drama of the death of Christ is followed with great devoutness. Sweet things are not eaten-for the love of Christ, who was given vinegar to drink. Soup made with sesame-paste, lettuce or lentils with vinegar is the food eaten on this day. It is considered a great sin to work with a hammer or nails or sew on Good Friday.
  • The evening Church service on Good Friday is followed by the procession of the bier (representing Christ's funeral). In some places a band or choir playing or singing solemn music precedes the procession; they are followed by the cantors, the clergy, women bearing myrrh, the altar boys carrying the liturgical fans, scouts and guides, and the people of the village, who sing the hymns throughout the procession. All along its route, people may scatter flowers and perfumes on the epitaphios (bier), holding lighted candles in their hands. The procession goes form the Church through the village to the square and back to the Church.
  • On Holy Saturday evening, the Resurrection mass (Anastasi =resurrection, the Resurrection of Jesus) takes place. At midnight the ceremony of lighting of candles is the most significant moment of the year. Everyone goes to Church taking an unlit candle with them and at midnight in all churches in Greece, and wherever in the world there is a Greek Orthodox Church, the lights are extinguished and then the priest comes out with one lighted candle to symbolise the resurrection and this light is passed from one person to another until everyone's candle is lit. At midnight at the moment of the resurrection all the families who have gone to church together turn to each other and their friends and nieghbours and everybody kisses everybody and says 'Christos anesti, Christos anesti, Christ has risen, indeed He has risen. And it's a very touching moment.The Church is always packed and overflowing with people who stand outside and listen to the service which is broadcast to them. Afterwards people carefully take home their lighted candles with the holy light of the Resurrection. Before entering their houses they make a cross with the smoke of the candle on top of the door, they light the oil candle before their icon-stand (if they have one), and try to keep this light burning throughout the year.  They then break their fast and eat a traditional meat based soup called mayiritsa.  There are often fireworks after midnight and noisy celebrations.
  • On Easter Sunday everyone gets together with their families and it is traditional to roast a lamb or goat on the spit in the garden or in any open space and have a leisurely lunch.
The weather could well be warm and sunny and there are many beautiful wild flowers in the countryside around the village.  All in all its a great time to visit and experience a traditional Greek Easter.

Argonauts set sail!

A replica of the Argo, a mythical Greek ship believed to have sailed 3,000 years on a heroic quest from Greece to modern-day Georgia, set sail in September 2006 from the port of Volos on a trial run.

Built with Bronze Age tools to the specifications of a Mycenaean-era vessel, the 28.5 meter (93 foot) wooden ship sailed into the waters of the Pagasitic Gulf - the legendary expedition's original starting point - after a four-year construction period.

                                                                                                      

According to Greek legend, the expedition headed by Jason and featuring some 50 other heroes - including Hercules and Peleus, the father of Achilles - sailed to the Black Sea kingdom of Colchis on a mission to retrieve the Golden Fleece, the skin of a divine ram.

Equipped with a ram of its own, the 14th century BC ship was of similar design to the vessels that later carried the Greek armies of the Trojan War described in Homer's "Iliad", organizers said.

In the Argonaut legend, Jason returned from Colchis to Iolkos (near modern-day Volos) with the fleece and the daughter of the local king, Medea, as his wife. According to the tale dramatized by Euripides, Medea later became insane with jealousy after Jason left her for another princess and killed their two children in reprisal.

                                                                                              


Kathimerini  19.9.2006