Last modified 03/08/2013
Project Fiat 127 The engine rebuild of our old Fiat 127
Update December 2012
Now its fall of 2012, and the situation is still unchanged: We have still not sold our house in Holland, so we were so far not able to move permanently to Epidavros. The housing market in Holland is depressed because of the unstable moves of our government, which make potential buyers very shy. Well, time will tell.
However, in the meantime it was time to go to Epidavros as there were olives ready to be picked at the trees, and we have 10 of them, so work to do. End November, early December is the time to pick the olives, they are about ripe by then and if you wait much longer the olives are that ripe that some high wind blows them off the trees and they cannot be used if they lay on the ground, as olives off the tree deteriorate quickly and cannot be used for high quality oil.
So besides some other things to do (as a Court appointment, where Robert was called as wittness, and the case was again postponed to next year as the lawyer of the defebdant was on strike), we picked our olives. As the summer had been very dry, some olives were rather small, but with the first rain after the summer they quickly resumed growing. From the 2 trees in Yalassi an 8 in Epano we collected about 240kgs olives.
At the press
All those nice olives need to be converted to oil. This is something you cannot do yourself, you need to go to a professional press. We always go with our olives to the press of Nikoletta and Yannis in Dimina, a village close to Archaia Epidavros.
This year they had installed new machines and a new floor in the press, which looks more logical arranged and much cleaner as before. Some pictures with comment to show you how it works:
The receiving part of the plant and the processing units
The olives are carried from the receiver into the washing and cleaning machine
The olives are now crushed in a crusher and the resulting mix is held in a tank
The mixture is further processed in two more holding tanks for 30' and sent to centrifuges, where the liquid is separated from the solids at 3000 revs.
The liquid is centrifuged to separate the water from the oil and the oil is collected in stainless steel containers
The oil is sent to another tank with a weight scale, from where it is transferred into containers of the customers.
As seeing the machines work hard is making you very thirsty, the ladies discoverd the barrel with the very good rose wine:
The resulting olive oil is "extra verge", I guess the only thing virgin in Greece. The oil cannot be compared to what is sold in supermarkets in northern Europe. That oil is usually a blend of refined (heated and filtered) low quality oil (more or less bio-diesel) with some better oil to add some taste. Ofted this oil is chemically treated to lower the acidity. Not for me to consume.....
The oil we press from our trees is "extra verge" because it has a very low acidity and it has a full flavor. It cannot be compared to the supermarket oils, you have to taste yourself to appreciate the difference.
A good quality press is also essential. Our favored press is in Dimina, if you take the road from Nea Epidavros to Dimina just before the village on the left.
tel 27530 31800
So if you have some olives to be pressed for oil, better go there.
At arrival two cats were greeting Robert, a Felix-type pussy and the he old tomcat, the Boss. He had guarded the house during winter, and was looking for his reward in catfood. Made shure he got plenty.
It is now the time before Greek Orthodox Easter. So the local population is supposed to observe the fast, not eating meat for example. Yesterday we and some Dutch friends were at a small village nearby, Karatzas, known for its butcher shop annex taverna, where the temptation of good food was overwhelming. We posed the infidel foreigners and had a good evening.
This year the usual Easter ceremony Saturday midnight at the church was a bit disturbed by light rain, first time this happened in years. But the ceremony could go on and after the Pappas announced "Christos Anesti" (Christ has risen) the fireworks started and all candles were lit.
After days of fasting the Pappas wished us "Kali Orexy", meaning good appetite, as the Greek tradition calls for lamb to be roasted on Easter Sunday, and so we did.
At some friend of us, Costas (Greek) and Yvette (Belgian) we were invited to watch the cremation of the lamb.
We had a good time while swallowing the remains of the lamb.
After a good meal it is always nice to discuss the aftermath with some friends..
The Queens Birthday (koniginnendag)
On the 30th of April each year the Dutch celebrate the birthday of the Queen, a Dutch Public Holiday. The Dutch celebrate this anywhere in the world or outer space, so why not in Archaia Epidavros.
The two Wims invited all that was Dutch (including a stray belgian) to their Koniginnedag party. They had it prepared well, with oranjebitter (a Dutch liquor in orange color). Even the orange trees in the surrounding farms were decorated with orange balls.
The Dutch flag ...
Note the sophisticated device to stretch the flag.
Women mostly were dressed in orange, and they took the opportunity to exchange all the news and gossip.
As Dutch breed well there were also a lot of kids present
Marinus acted as self-appointed Dutch Major in Epidavros
So we all had a good time.
After the disappointing harvest last winter we pruned our (two) trees well. Now in spring they are fully in blossom, if all the flowers turn into olives the harvest will be large this winter.
Marja also wanted some new kitchen furniture. New ancient taverna chairs....
But after years of teverna abuse the chairs needed some attention. So Robert was sent to the paint shop to have the right colour (number 613) mixed. The seats were removed, the joints stabilized with some wood glue and screws and the frames were painted. See work in progress:
Around the countryside..
When not climbing in trees it is a good idea to make a tour around in the area, there is plenty to see. One of our favorite trips is to the monastery between Koliaki and Ligourion. The trip to Koliaki gives you a beautiful view over the Epidavros bay. Near the road there is a small church with some interesting icons.
While in Holland, there was suddenly some winter around. It was freezing -7C, and still it was foggy. The moisture collected on the trees, giving nice pictures...
Want to know more about the area or considering a visit of Achaia Epidavros?
Click the link of some friends of us
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