Saturday, 22 September 2018

A week in Serifos




We were looking forward to our week in Serifos and as our boat was landing, we got our first glimpse of the fabulous Hora (the capital, a word used to refer to the capitals of all of the Greek islands).





Brilliant white, perched on the hillside, it takes your breath away.




We spent the whole week in Livadi, the main port of the island. We rented an apartment at Astarti, where we had stayed the last time we were on the island.




This is the terrace of our apartment where we would have breakfast in the morning.




A five-minute walk would take us to the harbour where all the shops, cafeterias and tavernas are. This very small church is by the harbour




or maybe I should call it a shrine, as it's so miniscule.




It's situated next to the fishing boats, working boats, rather than the pleasure boats which are also nearby.









This is the main street in Livadi, sandwiched between the sea and the rest of the town, both sides of which are lined with tavernas and cafeterias.





What is unusual about Serifos is that the inhabitants are very environmentally conscious: mindful not to upset the balance of the eco-system, no concrete has been poured all over the front as happens in most seaside towns and villages - the sand has been left alone, as it should be. What this means in practice, is that when sitting in most of the tavernas or cafeterias which are by the sea, one walks on sand. You can see the chairs and table of one of the tavernas on the right of this photograph.




Consequently, this is something that one sees a lot: this woman was eating her lunch, then she took her shoes off, walked into the sea to refresh herself, and then turned around, and took her place at the table again.




Or this, where this woman stopped reading her ipad at her table, and decided to do so with her feet in the water.




It's gorgeous sitting here, looking at the boats




the town,
















people fishing.




A walk across the coast takes us to the Yacht Club




we have never sat here, but it's always very busy




as is this place.




This church is on a street parallel to the main one by the sea





and it's one of the few churches in Livadi. This town does not seem to have a big church that dominates the cityscape and this is very unusual





It's the church of St Nikolas, and judging by the two pictures at the front of the church, my guess is that he is the patron saint of sailors








Livadi is a modern settlement whose architecture does not have the appeal of the Hora, but it does have some traditional island features
















Metaleio is a bar and even though it looks interesting, it did not appeal to us as it does not have sea views.




It does not matter where you are in Livadi, but the presence of the Hora is always apparent, dominating everything




A shop that sells fishing equipment




The area around our hotel is where most hotels are situated. This is a new one, and it looks very stylish.





This, owned by the same people, consists of  a number of villas for rent







Most of the buildings that follow are for rent to tourists. It's a nice, quiet area, which is also near the waterfront.
















The back of an old house




and the front.


Finally, the owners of one of the supermarkets seem to be very literary-minded. This is the awning 





Horses of stone with manes
   Erect
And tranquil amphorae
And the slanting backs of dolphins
Ios, Sikinos, Serifos, Milos

Axion Esti, Odysseas Elytis



And this one next to the previous one. I could not do this justice by translating it, so it will have to be for Greek readers.





This is written on the window of the shop that sells house paint, owned by the same people as the supermarket.

You have the brushes,
You have the colours,
Paint
Paradise
and enter.

Nikos Kazantzakis


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Margarita Ecclesiarchou





Margarita Ecclesiarchou at the Hadjikyriakou-Ghika annex of the Benaki Museum

Ecclesiarchou is one of my favourite Greek ceramicists. There was quite a large selection of her early work at the Hadjikyriakou-Ghika annex of the Benaki museum last time we visited. One of the things that I admire about her practice is how she is constantly experimenting, so that each new body of work is quite different from the previous one.






































Finally, a video showing the artist at work: