Κυριακή, 30 Μαρτίου 2014


The term Drosoulites (Greek: Δροσουλίτες) refers to a long procession of visions, seen by residents around Frangokastello castle in Sfakia region of Crete (Greece), 40 kilometres west of Plakias and Labyrinth Studios. The phenomenon is rumored to be visible every year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Frangokastello or even in early June near a small village in southern Crete.
The visions, as described by witnesses, consist of a group of human-like shadows dressed in black, walking or riding, armed with weapons, moving from the monastery of Agios Charalambos and advancing towards the old fort, Frangokastello, a 14th-century Venetian fortification. Legend has it that this group of people are Greek fighters that died during the Battle of Frangokastello (17 May 1828) and since then they appear as supernatural beings in the area.
The ghost army is led by Hatzimichalis Dalianis, from Delvinaki in Epirus, the chief of the Greek men, 350 of whom were lost, in the battle. The army took refuge in the fort during the Greek War of Independence against the Turks, where they were killed after a seven-day siege.
The local people named them Drosoulites ("dew shadows") due to the time of day that the phenomenon is taking place. The phenomenon is observed when the sea is calm and the atmosphere is moist and before the sun goes too high up in the sky. It usually lasts about 10 minutes.
The shadows are visible from the valley at a distance of 1000 m. Many have tried to explain this in a scientific way, and at one time it was explained as a mirage from the coast of North Africa, but still there is no accepted consensus. The appearance of the Drosoulites is documented over the ages. In 1890 a transient Turkish army, took the images for rebels and fled away. Even during the Second World War, a German patrol is said to have opened fire on the visions.

Τρίτη, 18 Μαρτίου 2014

Wild flowers of Crete

Crete has around 2000 types of plants. A huge rate of these are endemic, with 10% developing just on Crete and no place else on the planet.
 100 types of Crete's endemic plants develop just in a particular region of Crete, the Lefka Ori mountain reach (White Mountains) in the Chania range.
 An extra 38 species are restricted to just 2 spots on the planet - Crete and  Karpathos.
 The Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece incorporates 67 plants which develop on Crete, of these, 30 develop in the Lefka Ori. A few plants in Chania are very imperiled - two of these species are recorded in the index of 50 most debilitated Mediterranean island plants.
 Rethymnon, Chania, Heraklion and Lassithi all hold a gigantic assortment of plant species with numerous rarities.
 The way of Crete's vegetation with the numerous species which are endemic to Crete is demonstrated by its relative segregation as it split far from terrain Greece in excess of 5 million years prior and its rugged nature which makes numerous segregated natural surroundings untouched by present day life and advancement.
 In its 8,336 square kilometres of surface range, 260 kilometres from east to west and between 12 to 60km from north to south, the assorted qualities of living spaces on Crete make singular eco-frameworks in which specific plants thrive.
Many of these, rare flowers can be also found, in the area of Plakias, specially in Kotsifos  and down Kourtaliotis gorges.
All these places are close to Labyrinth Studios.

The vegetation zones/areas are isolated as takes after: 
• Coastal or littoral range at an elevation of 0-20 metres
• Lowland at an elevation of 20-300 metres
• Semi or sub-precipitous 300-800 metres
• Mountainous 800-1800 metres
• Sub Alpine 1800-2200 metres
• Alpine + 2200 metres

                                       Sea Daffodil (Pancratrum maritimum), Elafonissi and Plakias Crete

                                                           Almond Tree Blossomed

wild blooms, for example, Sea Lily (Pancratium maritimum), Tamarisk (Tamarix cretica), Cretan Theophrastus Palm (Phoenix theophrastii) are found close to the ocean.

Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), Oleander (Nerium oleander), Camomile (Chamomilla recutita), Spearmint (Mentha spicata), Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Cretan Ebony (Ebenus cretica) on the fields.

At a higher elevation, Holm Oak (Quercus coccifera), Thyme (Thymus capitatus), Broom/crop (Spartium junceum), Cretan (Cyclamen creticum), (Iris cretica), Tulip (Tulipa orphanidea), Ligaria (Vitex agnus-castus) and numerous types of orchids - endemic Dactylorhiza romana, Ophrys lutea, Ophrys tenthredinifera, Ophrys cretica, Barlia robertiana.
 Yellow Mustard Violet (Erysimum creticum), Wild Violet (Viola cretica), (Crocus oreocreticus), Cretan Sfentami (Acer sempervirens) develop in the mountains.
 Cretan Dittany (Origanum dictamnus) in gorges/ravines.
 Ladania (Cistus incanus-creticus), Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas).
 Semi-rugged regions - Cretan Tulip (Tulipa cretica), (Arbutus unedo), (Styrax officinalis), Drakontia (Dracunculus vulgaris).
 The canyons of southern Chania hold numerous uncommon and endemic plants. The Samaria Gorge alone holds over 400 diverse plant species, with 1/5 being endemic. In Rethymnon, the foothills of Kedros, close Spili are well known for orchids, with practically 25 species developing here. Crete has numerous extraordinary orchids.

Cretan Iris (Iris cretensis), Crete

Cretan Iris (Iris cretensis), Crete

Crown or Poppy Anemone (Anemone coronaria), Crete
                                             Crown or Poppy Anemone (Anemone coronaria), Crete

 Each season has its own particular novel presentation of colourful, scented, sweet-smelling wild blossoms and herbs.


Τετάρτη, 5 Μαρτίου 2014

Easter in Plakias

Easter Offer 2014

On Good Friday 18 to Monday, April 21, 2014
3 nights at the magical Plakias.
The offer includes:
• 3 nights in a double studio
• Breakfast Platter studio (booking 1 day in advance)
• Welcome pack (Easter delicacies and raki)
• Stay up late on the day of departure
Offers’ Rate : €100

1 child under 12 years stays free in parents' studio
Extra adult  €5 a day
Extra day stay € 25

Δευτέρα, 3 Μαρτίου 2014

Clean Monday - Καθαρά Δευτέρα

Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα), otherwise called Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian, Saint Thomas Christians of India and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It is a portable devour that happens at the start of the seventh week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.
The regular term during the current day, "Clean Monday", alludes to the deserting of corrupt state of mind and non-fasting sustenances. It is here and there called "Powder Monday," by similarity with Ash Wednesday (the day when the Western Churches start Lent). The term is regularly a misnomer, as just a little subset of Eastern Catholic Churches drill the Imposition of Ashes. The Maronite Catholic Church and The Mar Thoma Nasranis of India-Syro-Malabar Catholic Church are remarkable around the Eastern ritual that utilizes the utilization of cinders on this day.
Ceremonially, Clean Monday—and subsequently Lent itself—starts on the former (Sunday) night,[1] at an unique administration called Forgiveness Vespers, which reaches a state of perfection with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before each one in turn and ask pardoning. Thusly, the dependable start Lent with a clean inner voice, with absolution, and with reestablished Christian adoration. The whole first week of Great Lent is regularly alluded to as "Clean Week," and it is standard to head off to Confession throughout this week, and to clean the house altogether.
The subject of Clean Monday is situated by the Old Testament perusing named to be perused at the Sixth Hour on this day (Isaiah 1:1-20), which says, to some extent:
Wash yourselves and ye should be clean; secured the devilish courses from your souls before Mine eyes; stop to do abhorrence; figure out how to do well. Look for judgment, soothe the oppressed, think about the bastard, and argue for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as red, I will make them white as snow; yet despite the fact that they be red like red, I will make them white as fleece (vv. 16–8).
 Lagana bread
Clean Monday is an open occasion in Greece and Cyprus, where it is commended with outside outings, the utilization of shellfish and other fasting food,[2] an extraordinary sort of azyme bread, heated just on that day, named "lagana" (Greek: λαγάνα) and the across the board custom of flying kites. Consuming meat, eggs and dairy items is customarily prohibited to Orthodox Christians all around Lent, with fish being consumed just on real devour days, yet shellfish is allowed in European divisions. This has made the convention of consuming showy dishes dependent upon seafood (shellfish, molluscs, fish roe and so on.). Generally, it is acknowledged to check the start of the spring season, a thought which was utilized typically within Ivan Bunin's basically acclaimed story, Pure Monday. Individuals on Clean Monday typically take their cookout crate and put inside fasting nourishments on the grounds that it is the day that Lent starts.
The joyful, springtime environment of Clean Monday may appear conflicting with the Lenten soul of contrition and discretion, yet this appearing inconsistency is a checked part of the Orthodox methodology to fasting, as per the Gospel lesson (Matthew 6:14-21) read on the morning some time recently, which counsels:
The point when ye quick, be not, as the frauds, of a tragic face: for they distort their confronts, that they may show up unto men to quick. Verily I say unto you, They have their prize. Anyhow thou, when thou quickest, anoint thine head, and wash thy confront, that thou show up not unto men to quick, yet unto thy Father which is in mystery... (v. 16-18).
In this way, the Orthodox praise the way that "The springtime of the Fast has dawned, the bloom of atonemen