Few words in Greek
Greek people will really appreciate if you try to speak a few words in Greek while talking to them, you will see their faces smiling, for this reason below you will find few of the main words you "have" to know when traveling in Greece:
Odos = Street
Anikto = Open
Kleisto = Closed
Eisodos = Entrance
Exodos = Exit
Signomi = Excuse me
Efharisto = Thank you
(if you are several people - being served in a restaurant or cafe:
We thank you (is better) = Efharistoomay
Good morning = Kalimera
Good afternoon, Good evening = Kalispera
Good night = Kalinihxta
See you / Hello / Hi = Yassas
How much is this? = Posso Kanay Afto?
How far is it? = Posso makria eenay?
Excuse me, where is....... = Signomi, poo eenay.......?
Do you have a toilet? = Eheeyete Too-aletta?
One room for (five) nights. = Enna domatio ya (penday) vradia
Can we see a menu? = Boroomay na doomay enna menoo
Can we pay the bill? = Boroomay na plirosoomay?
Do you speak..... = Milatay......?
English = Ag-glika ?
German = Yermanika ?
French = Gallika ?
Spanish = Hispanika ?
Japanese = Yaponayzika ?
Sorry, I don't speak Greek. = Signomi, then milow ellenica
This one = Afto
That one = Ekino
Bigger = Mega-littero
Smaller = Mikro-tero
Too expensive = Polee akrivo
...for me = Ya menna
That's fine = Andaxi
OK = Andaxi
How are you = Ti-kanis
Well / good = Kala
It's good (food, anything) = Oraya
No.....thank you = Ohxi.......efharisto
Yes = Nay
Please (not used a lot!) = Parakalo
Water = Nerroh
Fish = Psari
Chicken = Kotopooloh
Lamb = Arr-nee
Where the Earth Moved - The Local Internet Cafe!
Marit and I were sitting in this internet cafe catching up with our mails and I definitely didn't feel like I was on dry land at all - the earth was moving!!
"Is it moving for you?" I asked.
"It's moving for me!" She replied.
That was really wierd - us poor landlubbers after only 4 days on the boats were now getting seasick on dry land!
Anyway here's the internet cafe down by the dock - the connection's OK and not too pricey.
Useful phone numbers
The most common European emergency number 112 (following Directive 2002/22/EC: Universal Service Directive) and also standard on GSM mobile phones. 112 is used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in addition to their other emergency numbers.
Here are some useful phone numbers that you might need while in Greece:
Forest fire: 191
Coast guard emergency intervention: 108
Counter- narcotics immediate intervention: 109
"On the Back Road Least Taken"
Ios, for many years, has been known as a 'party island' and an island of the youth. This may be true in high season, but when we visited in early June, we saw a side of Ios that was beautiful in its' rugged portless side. We rented a car and went to the back side of the island and what we found was no less beautiful than it's sister island, Santorini. Of course there were no white houses perched on the edges of the cliffs, but there were other remote structures made even more dramatic by their mere solitude. The sunsets no less spectacular, framed by the one isolated churches' well groomed and freshly painted environment.
"Off the Beaten Path, Go VTers"
Seeing Ios was an adventure and a Mountain to climb. We parked our car and walked around the side of a steep mountain to our final destination of the old castle (Paleo Kastero). The walk was not easy, but it was not so difficult because the walk way had been excellently constructed and the view was magnificent. No true Vter would be daunted, not even with high-heels (Sharon) nor lame leg (yours truely). And no true Vter would be without their VT towel to show the world what it means to be a Vt traveller! (Galatia)
"History and Culture"
The finds of the archeological excavation
on the hill of Skarkos prove that the island has been inhabited since the early Cycladic period.
Evidence of this lies in the very well preserved walls of buildings and the vessels demonstrating the flourishing of an important community. The remnants of the walls on the west and north entrances to Chora lead us to the conclusion that the castle's hill has been inhabited since the archaid period. There are elements that bear witness to the presence of Careans, Pelasgians, Achaeans and Phoenicians, who gave the island the name "Phoenicia".
The Ionians came and settled the island in 1050 B.C. A version about the origin of the island's name claims that it derives from the name of the Ionians, but this doesn't seem to be valid linguistically, because in such a case the name would be "Ionia" or "Ionis". According to another version, the name derives from the Phoenician word "Iion", meaning "a heap of stones". This version doesn't seem valid either, as we know that the Phoenicians had inhabited places that were much rockier than Ios. Finally, according to the prevailing version, Ios took its name from the violets (Greek "ion") that fill uts countryside each spring. The island has been linked to the death of the poet Homer, creating a myth that in the course of the centuries turned into a tradition.
Inscriptions and coins, but mainly texts of the ancient historians Stravon, Pausanias and Herodotus, give proof of the fact that the great poet died and was buried in Ios, the birthplace of his mother, Klymeni. Travellers in Greece in the 17th-19th century do not omit mentioning the evident delight of the inhabitants of rthe island in showing the visitors Homer's tomb at the area of Plakoto. During the classical period, Ios joined its forces with the Athenian League to avoid being occupied by the Persians, and thus established a democracy. The inscriptions from that era show that the inhabitants spoke the Ionian dialect and worshipped the ancestral Athenian god Pithius Apollo, as well as the protector of the Ionians, Fytalmius Poseidon. In 338 B.C. after the battle of Cheroneia, Ios came under the rule of Macedonia, and in 315 B.C. regained its independence and became an equal member of the "Islanders' Community". Later on, Ios entered into alliance with Ptolemy Philadelphus (280 B.C.) and the Rhodians (220 B.C.) who had become an important naval power in the Aegean, against the Macedonians.
In the 2th century B.C., the Romans occupied Ios and included it in their "provincia insularum" using it, like the island of Giaros, as a place of exile. During the Byzantine period, the Christians built many churches on the foundations of the pre-existing paganistic temples, using their ancient columns, marbles and inscriptions to give validity to the new religion and to secure the continuity of the religious worship.
Until Ios came under Frankish rule, it suffered a lot from the pirate raids, as its natural harbour was a sheltered anchorage for all ships. At that time, whenever the islanders saw a foreign ship in the port, they would barricade themselves in the castle, sending the oldest women of the island to the port. If they came back, then everything would be all right. If not, then they would have to prepare for battle. In 1204 Ios was occupied by the Crusaders, and up to the 15th century it was ruled by the noble family of Crispi, forming part of the Duchy of Naxos. The Crispi rebuild the castle on the ruins of the old one to protect the island from the pirates. But in 1537, Hairedin Barbarossa, the Turkish pirate, occupied the Duchy of Naxos, together with Ios. During the following years, Ios was occupied by the Turks and devastated by the pirates, which continued to plague the entire Aegean Sea region.
Yet, the island kept its Greek identity, and in 1770 sided with the Russians, who were at war with the Turks, in order to regain its freedom. At that time the island had 1400 inhabitants. In the Greek War of Independence against the Turks, in 1821, Ios took part with 24 equipped ships. During the same period, a war ship was constructed on the island, while Ios also had a school with about 100 children.
.The final liberation came with the incorporation of Ios in the modern Greek State, which was founded by the signature of the protocol of London on the 10th of March 1829.
Exploring Chora means, first of all, walking. Choose a cool morning, wear your most comfortable shoes and get ready to set off. One hour is enough for the ones who just want to have a look at this whitewashed village, perched on the slope of the hill between the port and Mylopotas. The more demanding ones will need the whole morning to discover the hidden beauty of Chora. That's because Chora was built up for the sun and it's the sun that reveals the village to the visitor or hides it from him.
To go up to Chora, just follow the wide stone steps of the old ascending road that comes from the port. On your way, right before entering the village, you will come across a part of the walls that once surrounded the ancient town. Following the same road you reach the first square of Chora. To your right stands the modern Orthodox Cathedral of the island, named Evangelismos (Annuciation) and, nearby, a church dedicated to St. Ekaterini, where in 1903 an excavation unearthed the remnants of Byzantine foundations and the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo. Above these ruins the Christians built the Byzantine Cathedral, whose altar rests upon two of the temple's columns.
To your right there is the marketplace and the two main roads that lead you across the village and to the square of the mills. Following the road that goes up, you reach the second square of the village, with its four cafes. On the left side coming from this square, the stone steps lead to the old castle of Chora, where the sublime church of Panaghia Gremiotissa (Our Lady of the Cliffs) is situated, built during the years of the Turkish occupation. According to one tradition, an icon of the Virgin was found among the rocks of Mylopotas' seashore, with a lit candle standing on it. The legend has it that the inhabitants of Crete had thrown the icon in the open sea to protect it from falling to Turkish hands, and that the waves had carried it to that coast. The icon was then taken to the church of the Holy Cross, but only to be found again the following morning on the same steep mountainside. When the islanders tried to build a new church for the icon, but not on the exact spot where it had been found because of its inaccessibility, the foundation stones of the church kept disappearing every day in a miraculous way.