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The New Year's Eve in Athens downtown

Posted by moodhacker on January 5, 2020 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)



Thousands of Athenians and visitors on Tuesday evening gathered at Syntagma Square in Athens, to wellcome the New Year at the city's special Feast organized by the municipality of Athens with lots of music, dancing and fireworks.

 

“It was the perfect way to welcome the new decade,” the Municipality said in an announcement.

 

 

A few minutes before midnight, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis asked people to hug each other and join him as he counted down to 2020 wishing all a happy New Year.

Among the artists that performed on stage were renowned Greek music band Melisses, as well as singers Ivy Adamou, Demy, Josephine and the Wolves gymnastics team.

 

The party continued until the early morning hours with a powerfull music program by Dj Pitsi.


Fireworks exploded over the ancient temple of Partthenon on top of Acropolis hill as part of theNew Year's Eve celebrations  

Forest bathing so close to Athens: rejuvenate mind and body

Posted by moodhacker on January 5, 2020 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 


Drowning in the firs, with magnificent views to the peaks of Euboea and Peloponnese, the Euboean and Corinthian Gulf, and the Attica basin lies the Flambouri Refuge, situated in the lush fir forest of Parnitha at an altitude of 1,158 meters with magnificent views¨

 

A place within the incredible beauty of Parnitha National Park, ideal for forest bathing, the new travel trend, for rest and rejuvenation for people of all ages that allows you to enjoy an all around view of the whole Attica,

 

Οn the south side you you can wach Athens from above, Aegina, Poros, Peloponnese and clear weather even Hydra.

 

On the east and north side, Marathon Lake, the Euboean Gulf, Euboea, its highest mountain, Dirfy and with clear weather the Aegean Sea and the curvature of the earth!

 

 

A place so close to Athens, but so far away from the daily routine of the city.

 

You can enjoy your coffee or the homemade dishes and you can take part in one of the many activities organized.

 

 

Ideal place for rejuvenation in nature, a breath away from the city, for young and old alike.

 

 

 

 

eco friendly equipped

 

The environmentally friendly Flamburi refuge has been powered since 1985 with photovoltaics that charge solar-powered batteries. It is heated by an energy-efficient fireplace that warms radiators, and also acts as a heat source, contributing to less air pollution.

 

 

It features an organized kitchen and offers coffee, drinks, rustic pies, freshly cooked homemade dishes, grilled meats, salads and pastries.

 

The shelter hosts parties, corporate events, seminars, school educational and environmental excursions and many other events, literally in nature!

 

 

There is also the possibility of overnight staying on the upper floor of the shelter, in a cozy and cozy wooden floor, making for a refreshing and relaxing sleep.

 

Mattresses, pillows and blankets are provided and you need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a pillowcase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Hiking

 

Parnitha has a rich network of trails and depending on your fitness level, you can choose trips that last 30 minutes to many hours. Together with the experienced guides and escorts of the shelter, you can make your own route, tailored to your group's moods and moods.

 

 

Mountain biking

 

Browse the mountain in a different way. Upload your pulses and breathe the fresh mountain air. Feel your adrenaline going downhill, feeling the sense of speed and adventure. Our experienced escorts take care of your safety and carry all the necessary equipment for you, for a carefree ride with no technical problems.

 

 

Climb

 

Experience the ultimate experience in the world of vertical rocks. Guided by experienced instructors, mountain and climbing guides, the necessary equipment and complete safety, you will climb the rocks that seem inaccessible and will feel unique emotions reaching the summit. Just 10 minutes' drive from Flamboury Refuge, climbing routes of small to medium difficulty are ideal for beginners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canyoning Crossing - Canyoning

 

Downhill canyoning is for many fans of extreme sports the most exciting. It combines hiking in the wild and the use of rappels. There is a theoretical lesson on the technique and use of the equipment we provide and of course absolute safety. In the Goura Gorge in Parnitha, you will not believe that you are not next to Athens.

 

 

Orientation - Orienteering

 

Amazing orientation activity for young and old and all levels of fitness, with a compass and map theory course. Compete with your friends by finding the flags hidden in the forest at the best time possible. Play individually and in groups, day or night!

 

 

Mountain Skiing

 

In the winter, try a separate walk in the snow-covered landscapes of the park, on the snowy treetops with the use of special sandals, under the guidance of hikers.

 

 

Skill and Action Games

 

A combination of activities in nature (Spider, Flying Fox, Centipede, Snake, Swamp, Pipe line, etc.) that offer incredible laughter and fun while developing concepts of team spirit, confidence, perseverance and collaboration. The perfect combination to celebrate an excursion, birthday, anniversaries, children's parties and more in a unique and original way.

 

 

Open

 

Friday Saturday Sunday

 

and on public holidays.

 

Daily on request.

 

At Easter and August we are closed

 

 

Working hours

 

Friday-11:00 to 22:00

 

Saturday-08: 30 to 22:30

 

Sunday-08: 30 to 19:00

 

 

 

 

 




Forest bathing

 

"Even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health., science says

 

A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.

 

 

Mindfully release your senses

 

 

The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses.

 

Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet.

 

 

Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees.

Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches.

Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy of phytoncides.

Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths.

Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers or toes in a stream. Lie on the ground.

Drink in the flavor of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm.This is your sixth sense, a state of mind.

 

Now you have connected with nature.

 

You have crossed the bridge to happiness.

 

 

When you have been busy at work all week, it can be hard to slow down. You may have been rushing around so much you no longer know how to stand still. Walking with a guide who is a trained forest therapist can help you feel more comfortable and find the right environment to fit your needs.

 

In one of my favorite forests, Iinan Furusato-no-Mori, the forest-therapy program includes guided walks. Doctors are on hand to offer general health assessments. When you arrive, you are given a physical health check and a psychological questionnaire. The therapist then works out the best walking plan for you.

 

 

But it is just as easy to forest-bathe without a guide. And there are many different activities you can do in the forest that will help you to relax and to connect with nature.

 

Here are some of the things people do:

 

 

forest walking,

yoga,

eating in the forest,

hot-spring therapy,

T’ai chi, meditation,

breathing exercises,

aromatherapy,

art classes and

pottery,

Nordic walking and plant observation.

 

"It doesn’t matter how fit – or unfit – you are. Shinrin-yoku is suitable for any level of fitness"

 

writes on Time Dr. Qing Li is the author of Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, .

 

Dr.Qing Li as he explaines in his article, has devoted his research to provide the scientific proof behind the feeling we all experience being at the forest: "The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and to think more clearly. Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us."

 

Dr. Qing Li explaines that the Japanese practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.

 

 

This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Forest Bathing

 

Forest bathing has many benefits, including:

 

 

1. Creating Kung Fu Fighting Killer Cells

 

One Japanese study demonstrated that after a three-day camping trip in the forest, participants averaged a whopping 50 percent increase in NK cell activity. Forest bathing has been scientifically shown to increase immunity, decrease the risk of cancer and help you to recover from illness faster. One study showed that even looking at trees through a hospital window increased recovery time for gallbladder surgery patients.

 

 

Not only does forest bathing enhance NK cell activity, but it also increases their number, and for a significant length of time: the positive effects lasted for more than a week after the forest excursion.

 

 

2. Decreased Risk of Heart Attack

 

Multiple forest bathing studies have demonstrated its ability to significantly reduce blood pressure, stress levels and pulse rate. A trip through the woods will also increase your body’s adiponectin levels. These have an anti-inflammatory effect on blood vessel cells and have been shown to decrease the risk of heart attack.

 

 

3. Protection Against Obesity and Diabetes

 

Increased adiponectin is also inversely related to obesity and insulin resistance. The substance is secreted by fat cells and regulates our fat metabolism, glucose levels and weight gain. Forest bathing reduces blood glucose levels, even in diabetics. Diabetic patients did a forest bathe walk every eight months for six years. Even though their time spent forest bathing was very spaced out, their blood glucose levels still showed significant improvement.

 

 

 

4. More Energy and Better Sleep

 

Many of us notice the revitalized feeling we get from taking a deep breath in a natural location. It’s not just your imagination — forest bathing has been shown to increase vigor and fight fatigue. At the same time, it triggers hormones and processes in our body that improve sleep. It’s also been shown to reduce dopamine and cortisol levels, meaning it reduces stress and calms the body and mind.

 

 

5. Mood-Boosting Effects

 

A small study of 19 men showed that anxiety, depression and confusion levels were improved after a forest bathing trip. They compared the forest walking group to one walking through an urban area. Even though both groups had the health benefits of exercise, the forest bathing group clearly won out. This is just one example of the many studies showing the mood boosting effects of forest bathing.

 

 

6. Decreased Inflammation

 

Forest air is noticeably fresher than city air, or even other nature environments, since the trees are busy converting CO2 into fresh oxygen for our lungs. Not only is the air fresher, but the compounds naturally released by the trees decrease inflammation. The D-limonene found in some forest air reduces lung inflammation. Those with breathing problems like asthma and COPD have shown improvement after forest bathing as oxygen is increased and inflammation is lessened.

 

 

 

7. Clearer, More Comfortable Skin

 

Inflammation is the cause of many issues in the body, including certain skin disorders. Those with eczema and psoriasis can see benefits after forest bathing. Terpenes are some of the main anti-inflammatory components expressed by trees into the forest air and are mainly found in conifers like cypress, fir and pine trees.

 

 

8. Soothing Relief for Sore Muscles

 

There are over 40,000 known terpene structures and they have a wide variety of positive effects on the body. Osteoarthritis relief, reduced joint pain and inflammation, and decreased neck and back pain are just some of the proven benefits.

 

 

Two groups with neck pain did forest bathing, but one group added in a four-hour stretching and strengthening exercise. Painful and tight trigger points in the neck area were reduced more in the exercise group. However, pain, inflammation and range of motion in the group that didn’t exercise was just as good.

 

 

9. Anti-inflammatory Terpenes

 

Different terpenes have also proven to be effective against inflammation in the brain, liver and pancreas to keep these vital organs healthy. The terpene borneol protects the brain and nervous system and may help protect against degenerative brain diseases that stem from inflammation, like Alzheimer’s.

 

 

As mentioned earlier, forest bathing helps fight against cancer cell growth, and that’s due in part to the terpene D-limonene. This terpene has anti-tumor properties and studies have shown it effective against breast, intestine, pancreas, liver and colon cancers.

 

 

 

 





How to Forest Bathe

 

"First, find a spot. Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don’t need any devices. Let your body be your guide. Listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose. And take your time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get anywhere. You are not going anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest in.", say Qing Li in his book

 

Dedicated Shinrin-yoku forests in Japan are predominantly conifer trees, but other trees are still beneficial for forest bathing. The point is to take a trip into the forest to soak in and fully experience your surroundings.

 

 

There are forest bathing guides that are certified through the association of nature and forest therapy.

 

 

According to this group “The aim of forest therapy is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment.”

 

 

Lying on the ground, meditating, gathering forest edibles and noticing the foliage are some of the different ways you can forest bathe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Often Should You Forest Bathe?

 

Most of the studies showed benefits when participants went on forest bathing trips every one to four weeks. The more often you can go, the better. However, positive results were still seen even seven days after a forest bathing trip, and even as long as 30 days later.

 

 

Where to Forest Bathe

 

In the United States, any nature scene is considered acceptable for forest bathing, however Japan takes a more scientific approach. Shinrin-yoku trails in Japan are only certified as such after blood sampling shows a specific increase in natural killer cells. Choosing an area that’s heavily wooded by conifer trees may be best, but really any heavily wooded area will do. Just don’t forget the all-natural bug spray!

 

If you’re sweating, are distracted by swatting at bugs, or there are noisy children running around, then you can’t focus on relaxing. Choose a place with a comfortable temperature with minimal noise and distractions.

 

 

 

 

 

 




Enhance the Experience with Earthing

 

Since the idea is to connect with the Earth, grounding or barefoot shoes help improve the experience. This also enhances your perception of the surroundings. Depending on the area you’re in and the exact circumstances, you can also kick your shoes off and go barefoot. Electromagnetic exposure from wireless devices, cell phone towers, and other modern-day technology saturates our environments. Earthing and forest bathing gives us a way to reset our natural electromagnetic fields and center the body. Read more practical ways to reduce your EMF exposure here.

 

 

No Forest? No Problem!

 

If a whole forest isn’t available to you, then even standing underneath a single tree and inhaling deeply will benefit the body to some degree. Lay on a patch of healthy grass. Go to a nature park. There’s even some evidence to suggest that focusing on a picture of a forest may have some health benefits!

 

 

Amplify Forest Bathing with Essential Oils

 

If you’re not able to get out to a forest, and instead find yourself gazing at forest pictures, essential oils can improve upon the experience. Conifer essential oils from sources like cypress, pine, juniper, cedarwood and fir contain many of the same beneficial constituents trees release during forest bathing.

 

 

Scents from conifer trees and rosemary were found to promote a healthy inflammatory response throughout the body in one study. However, the effects were even greater when these oils were combined with frankincense. Using a diffuser in the room, or even a personal diffuser, like a diffuser necklace, or personal inhaler are good ways to experience these oils.

 

 

Smell &Drink Greece: The Awarded Botanical Gin Created by the Graces of Three Women

Posted by moodhacker on July 9, 2019 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

 


Grace Gin

Grace Gin is a unique handcrafted Distilled gin from Greece.



It is the result of the shared vision between three women, two second generation distillers and a spirited woman with extensive knowledge and experience in the drinks industry.

The uniqeness of the product lies in its rich aromatic character that comes from the botanicals used, a selection from Greek nature’s land and sea. The hand crafted aspect, emphasizes the process of the ingredients' selection and how the distiller blends them in order to achieve the recipe used, to flavour the neutral grain spirit.

 

 


The term “distilled gin” means it is 100% traditionally distilled in pot stills in combination with the finest perfume techniques.

The Three Graces have researched and experimented with recipes for more than a year to decide on the 13 different botanicals and the extraction processes to be used. They start with continuous distillation to flavor the base spirit with 8 botanicals: Juniper berries, angelica root, orris, lemon and orange peels, cardamom, coriander and cassia bark.

 

 

Then carefully selecting only the “heart” of the distillation, and using a vapor-infused method, also used for essence oils production.

 

 

In addition to the base botanicals, schinos, myrtle leaves and orange blossom from Evia, have been added, and are perfectly combined with critamos (from Crete) and pink pepper. In order to enhance the final distillate’s aromas, the distiller has applied a smooth, light filtering method.

 

Grace gin has an ABV of 45,7%. On the nose it is juniper driven. At the same time this fresh-pine aroma combines perfectly with the presence of critamos and schinos. The pink pepper and cassia flavor are in the background while myrtle hints enhance this complex aromatic profile.

 

 

The palate is interestingly oily and robust. Both juniper and critamos are immediately to the fore, making a perfect match with the spicy character from coriander, pink pepper and cassia bark. There are underlying hints of an intense freshness with earthy elements.

 

 

Available in Greece and exported to England, Germany and Cyprus.




Grace Afternoon

40ml Grace Gin

10ml Amaro di Angostura liqueur

100ml lemonade

Glass: Collins

Mathod: Built

Garnish: Mint Spring

 


Grace & Tonic

40ml Grace Gin

10ml Amaro di Angostura liqueur

100ml lemonade

Glass: Collins

Mathod: Built

Garnish: Mint Spring

 


GRApCE

45ml Grace Gin

45ml Dolin Dry Vermouth

3 Dashes Fee Brothers Cherry bitters

Glass: Martini

Method:Stirred

Garnish : 2 maraschino cherries



4th annual "Beyond Borders" International Documentary Festival of Castellorizo, late Augaust

Posted by moodhacker on June 24, 2019 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)





The fourth annual “Beyond Borders” International Documentary Festival of Castellorizo will take place from August 25 to September 1, 2019 on the idyllic Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean.


The Festival’s theme this year is “Bring people to Castellorizo and transport Castellorizo to the world!”


The competitive section of the festival will once again include a selection of Greek and foreign documentary films which were made to the highest artistic standards.


Historical and sociopolitical documentaries will compete for awards in the genres of ”Best History Documentary” and ”Best Social Documentary,” as well as for the ”Special Award for Mediterranean Friendship.”


The Beyond Borders festival will be a meetingplace for some of the top creators of historical and sociopolitical documentary films as well as figures from the sphere of arts and letters from Greece and abroad.


Among the films competing for prizes are “The Greek of the Russian Empire” from Russia, the film ”HAMAD,” a co-production of Sweden, Norway and Germany; “A Woman Captured” (Hungary); “Our Territory” (Belgium and Italy); “Time to Leave” (Turkey); “To the Living, Fatherland and Deep Roots” (France); “Hugo Blanco: Deep River” (Peru), and others.


The University of New York will be the honored institution and BBC Four the honored media for this year’s edition of the festival.


Source: AMNA

photo: rodosnews.gr

The Greek Super Food that's Figs, since ancient times

Posted by moodhacker on June 19, 2019 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)




In Ancient Greek times, figs were an essential part of the everyday diet, and were enjoyed along with other fruits such as apples and reportedly used as a substitute for bread, scholars of the Ancient Greek lifestyle report .

Greek islanders would press the figs to change the texture and make figs stodgier. Meanwhile, fig leaves were used to wrap around fish, according to archaeology findings .

 

Figs were widely known in the greater area of Mediterranean since the ancient times; thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt and then spread to Crete and Ancient Greece.


The fruits were considered so valuable that it was illegal to export them.


Figs by the Ancient Greek "Consume Greek' ideology 

 

Bread, Wine and Olive Oil, were primarily the three fundamentals were the most important ingredients for the Ancient Greek:  This was part of the dietary model or what we can call food ideology. For the Greeks these foods represented frugality and the simple life along with honey and figs.

It is thought that this represented loyalty to their country since these fundamental foods were produced in Greece and therefore it was not necessary to import rare luxury type foods, they were happy with their own. It also is thought that it had to do with areas that should be conquered; anywhere that olives and vines grew should be conquered and be Greek.


(by https://www.slideshare.net/christinakas/superfoods-in-ancient-greece)

Nowadays one of the  largest producers of figs worldwide is Greece.


The fruits are rich in calcium, potassium (a mineral that helps to control high blood pressure), dietary fibre (positive effect on weight management) and manganese (known for its cardiovascular effects).


It is among the richest in fibre fruits, protective against post-menopausal breast cancer and their leaves have insulin lowering properties.


Dried figs can be enjoyed throughout the year and stay fresh for several months. They are best kept in room temperature in a cool and dry place wrapped well.


If you wish to revive them, soak them in boiling water or lightly steam them.


They’re wonderful when chopped, mixed with other dried fruits, nuts and spices, added to tea-breads and cakes or stewed, flavoured with anise and fennel


Benefits of both fresh & dried figs

Figs have a similar function in the body as cereal; their high fibre content promotes healthy bowel function and their high vitamin B content is essential for intestinal regulation.


  • The mineral content of figs closely resembles that of human milk and gram for gram they contain twice as much calcium as cows milk.
  • Dried figs are rich in fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • They are a good source of potassium which is important in helping to regulate blood pressure.
  • The soluble fibre, called pectin, in figs may help reduce blood cholesterol.
  • Figs are loaded in vitamins A, B1 and B2 as well as phosphorus, manganese, sodium and chlorine;
  • Due to the high levels of fibre. Figs are amongst the most highly alkaline foods, making them useful in balancing the pH levels of the body.
  • They are high in natural and simple sugars and are a good alternative to sugar.


Tips for adding Figs to your Diet


  • Keep dried figs in your handbag and have them as a healthy energy snack whenever needed.
  • For extra flavour and nutrients, stuff them with nuts and drizzle with a little raw honey.
  • Add figs either dry or fresh to oatmeal or cereal.
  • Add chopped figs to salads or savoury dishes.
  • Just pick some straight off a fig tree and eat all if it, including the skin!







sources :theculturetrip.com,.greece10best.com, greekcitytimes.com, www.olivetomato.com/food-and-eating-ancient-greece-vs-modern-greece/

Mr.Bean enjoying Crete

Posted by moodhacker on June 18, 2019 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)


Famous English actor, comedian, and screenwriter Rowan Atkinson, otherwise known as ‘Mr Bean’ has made Greece his first summer getaway for 2019, visiting Crete, the country’s largest island and one of the most popular destinations over the warmer months.


According to Ekriti.gr, Mr Bean checked into a hotel at Elounda Bay, which is a small town in Agios Nikolaos, boasting a spectacular coastline, private beaches, archaeological sites and is also close to the rocky islet of Spinalonga.


The acclaimed actor loves the Aegean Sea and Greek culture and in previous visits to the country, he has explored the islands of Ithaca, Kefalonia and also owns a cottage in Andros, where he likes to unwind.


Although Atkinson prefers to stay under the radar, Mr Bean’s presence never goes unnoticed when he reaches the Mediterranean.


source, photo Best of Greece

Maria Menounos and husband sailing the Aegean, enjoying Crete

Posted by moodhacker on June 18, 2019 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)




Greek-American TV personality Maria Menounos and her husband Kevin Undergaro s having a great time on Crete where they came on the occasion of a wedding of a close friend.

The couple is staying at Villa Octo, located on a bay overlooking the city, at a newly designed, eco-friendly villa located near Heraklion, the capital of the island.


“Had an amazing time visiting the beautiful island of Crete. Best move ever was renting a car so we could explore as much of it as possible!” she gushed.






Maria Menounos  posted her joyful moments of relax at the island of Crete and sailing on the Aegean Sea to her  million Instagram followers stating that she came "to love the island" at the early summer days  .

The spring time stay on the island has been “magical from start to finish,” Maria and her husband said to the local media . .



Cayaks cross the Aegean from Sounio to Santorini against Sea Pollution

Posted by moodhacker on June 18, 2019 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)




Eight days, ten islands, 160 nautical miles and one message: We love life-We protect the sea.


With this slogan Angelos Christofidis, founder and rower of South Evian Gulf team and the volunteer rower Constantinos Diliakos will attempt to cross the Aegean Sea with their kayaks, ANA reports.

This year's rowing endeavor will start from Cape Sounio and will conclude at Santorini..The two rowers will try to cross the southern Aegean through the west Cyclades islands complex as they will follow the itinerary Sounio-Kea-Kythnos-Serifos-Sifnos-Kimolos-Polyaigos-Folegandros-Sikinos-Ios and finally the island of Santorini.

"It is a cry of agony for the future of the Aegean, of the Mediterranean and of the seas all around the world" Christofidis noted

It is the 9th consecutive major expedition of the specific team and this time the wager is 8-10 rowing every day with aim to attract the public awareness.



Greece 10th most welcoming place in the world

Posted by moodhacker on June 6, 2019 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)


photo Ikaria, Lagada Feast, August 2018 , alithinesgynaikes.gr


It comes as no surprise that Greece the country that first teached Hospitality to the world, and worshipped a god of Philoxenia Xenios Zeus, is awarded as one of the most welcoming places globally, according to a report recently released by Booking.com for its 2018 Guest Review Awards.


Booking.com is one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms. 

In its seventh edition, the annual awards honours a total of 759,845 properties across 219 countries and territories.

 

Based on the properties receiving an award in 2018, for 1st time ever Booking.com revealed the most welcoming places according to customer reviews.


With the highest percentages of total eligible properties winning awards, the most welcoming countries are


  • Austria,
  • Czech Republic,
  • Poland,
  • New Zealand,
  • Taiwan,
  • Romania,
  • Hungary,
  • Ireland,
  • Serbia,
  • and Greece.


In the tourism word,  Greeks are since always known for their ‘filoxenia’, generosity and warmth towards people of all ages, which has made   Greece over the years one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.



photo: Neakriti website, Crete March 2015 welcome event to Chinese vacationers by the Region of Crete :

Zeus Xenios and Greek Philoxenia

Posted by moodhacker on May 22, 2019 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Greek word Philoxenia, literally translated as a “friend to a stranger”, is widely perceived to be synonymous to hospitality.


For Greeks it is much deeper than that. It is an unspoken cultural law that shows generosity and courtesy to strangers.


Greeks are enormously generous when inviting others to their home, or being invited themselves.

In villages, it is not uncommon for villagers to show up at the door of a resident foreigner (or even a temporary visitor renting a room) with a sack full of fresh tomatoes, or even a bottle of local olive oil.


Philoxenia today can be as simple as a smile, helping a stranded motorist, buying a meal for a homeless person, or opening your home to friends and family.


Zeus Xenios


This cultural law has its origins in Ancient Greece. The Greek god Zeus is sometimes called Zeus Xenios — as he was also a protector of travelers. He thus embodied the religious obligation to be hospitable to travelers.

The beautiful story written by the Roman poet Ovid in 8 A.D of Zeus and Hermes disguised as poor travelers, narrates the sacred relation between host and guest, embodying the ancient Greek tradition.


The two ancient Gods, the story goes, visited many villages in search of refuge for the night. A poor elderly couple — Baucis and Philemon welcomed them as guests in their home and generously served them food and wine.


After refilling her guests’ cups many times over, Baucis noticed that the wine jug was still full. Philemon then realized the visitors were actually gods and she offered to kill their only goose to feed them. Touched by this gesture, Zeus rewarded their generosity by transforming the humble cottage into a beautiful stone temple.


Zeus also granted the couple their ultimate wish: to be the guardians of the temple, die at the same time, and stay together for eternity as they were turned into trees, guarding each side of the temple’s door.





Trojan War


According to legend, even an event as momentous as the Trojan War began because of a guest’s violation of xenia. The Trojan prince Paris was a guest of King Menelaus of Sparta when he abducted Menelaus’ wife, Helen.

Both the Odyssey and the Iliad are filled with episodes in which xenia is either honored or ignored and the subsequent consequences are notable. For instance, when Odysseus sails to the island of the cyclops, the monster’s treatment of Odysseus and his sailors is a violation of the custom of xenia. The cyclops is punished for the transgression. Odysseus blinds his “host” and escapes. The cyclops episode depicts an abuse of xenia.

In another story, Odysseus’ wife Penelope is forced by custom to entertain an entire household of suitors. The guests not only make unreasonable, burdensome requests that were impolite for guests but they do so with the assumption the host himself is no longer alive. The conclusion of the poem involves Odysseus’s slaughter of the suitors. This violent ending can be seen as retribution for an egregious abuse of xenia, or conversely, a violation of its very precepts.



Reasons for philoxenia

The Greeks believed the gods wanted them to show hospitality to anyone who showed up at their homes. nother possible explanation for the amount of hospitality shown is that It was also believed that turning away someone and not providing them this hospitality would result in some form of punishment from the gods.

There are many possible reasons why hospitality was more prevalent in those times.


Traveling in Homer’s time was much more extensive and lengthier than in modern times. Because of this, many more nights were spent away from home in many different locations. Also, there were not hotels or inns where travelers could pay and stay the night.


Because of this, travelers had to rely on the hospitality of others for shelter, food, and protection. There was, however, some payment for this hospitality in the form of a gift exchange.


Another possible reason for this hospitality was the fact that there were not nations that would allow travelers to enter their territory safely. Without such hospitality, strangers could be captured or even killed for entering a foreign land.

 

Finally, hospitality could have been used to spread ones name and bring them a sense of fame if they provided a high standard of hospitality to strangers. It also could have been a way to show how wealthy one was.


Mastic and Mood

Posted by moodhacker on May 22, 2019 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Chios mastiha has been well known ever since antiquity, for its medicinal and pharmaceutical properties.

But what about mood elevation levels , and the mastica's contribution to Greek kefi ? 

Mastica of Chios is a unique in Greece  spice element incoroporated in the Greek daily life in many aspects . It is used in cooking and also cosnumed strait as a gum or as ypovrichio  

 


Nowadays, it has been gradually revealed by the scientific community, (through accurate and scientifically acceptable methods based on laboratory research and clinical studies carried out by independent researchers in Greece and abroad,) that natural Chios mastiha is gifted with unique beneficial and therapeutic properties, thus confirming what has been historically recorded over the past.

 

Scientific evidence has confirmed Mastiha’s beneficial action against disorders of the peptic system, its contribution to oral hygiene, its significant antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action, as well as the fact that it constitutes a natural antioxidant agent. In addition to that, Chios mastiha contributes to wound healing and skin regeneration.

 

Important research studies regarding Chios mastiha’s medicinal and pharmaceutical action have been published  in international scientific journals.

 




Mastiha’s action in terms of prevention and treatment of peptic system diseases

The results of recent scientific studies related to mastiha’s therapeutic action with regard to disorders of the peptic system are especially worth-mentioning.

 

Ever since antiquity, it had been known that Chios mastiha had a strong positive effect in stomach comfort, e.g. relieving from gastrointestinal disorders, dyspepsia, gastralgia (stomach ache), peptic ulcers, etc.

 

In our times, scientific, laboratory but also clinical studies have confirmed the aforementioned significant action of Chios mastiha. The first research efforts were carried out in university foundations and clinics of the Arab world, areas where the use of Chios mastiha was and still is widespread even in practical medicine concoctions.




The association between peptic ulcer diseases and mental health problems

According to a recent study conducted by the Division of Chronic Disease Surveillance, a division of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Psychological problems, such as severe stress, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and psychological counseling, were associated with PUD prevalence.

Among the 14,266 participants over 19-years old, 813 participants (5.6%) had PUD. Compared to the non-PUD group (n = 13,453), the PUD group had a significantly higher percentage of males, current smokers, and heavy drinkers, lower education status, lower income, and greater presence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and mental health problems, including severe stress, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and psychological counseling history. After adjustment for lifestyle and medical and environmental factors, mental health problems were found to be associated with a significantly higher risk for PUD.

 


(Previous studies found that there was a relationship between PUD and psychological problems; however, this study specifically identified significant association between PUD and mental health problems including severe stress, depressive mood, and suicidal ideation, and further clarified that an increased number of mental health problems in a subject were significantly associated with prevalence of PUD)




Other Mastic Properties 

 


 

Chios Mastiha as a protective agent against atherosclerosis

 

Nowadays, there has been an intense scientific interest regarding the use of natural antioxidant agents as protective means against the atherosclerosis disease. Because of their composition, these substances offer protection against the formation of atheromatous plaques, thus preventing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart diseases. The presence of phenolic molecules, triterpenic compounds as well as phytosterols among Chios mastiha’s components is particularly important because of their action against the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) and that is a significant evidence for its potential antioxidant effect. Research activity in that field is still in an experimental stage. In any case, the results that have been published up to now are particularly encouraging and indicate a strong possibility of using mastiha as a natural antioxidant agent.

 


Chios Mastiha in relation to oral hygiene and dental research

 

Scientific studies have proved that chewing Chios mastiha is very helpful for gum exercise, along with all its relevant beneficial effects in dental health. It has been further confirmed that Chios mastiha, unlike ordinary chewing gums, induces greater salivation due to its particular taste and its relative hardness, something that gives a greater feel of mouth freshness and cleanness, while it has been also proved to be relieving for people suffering from dry mouth, a disorder especially common among elderly persons.

 

In addition, researchers have carried out numerous scientific and clinical studies regarding mastiha’s and Chios mastiha chewing gum’s action in decreasing microbial plaque formation and eliminating bacterial growth inside the oral cavity.

 

 

 


Antimicrobial action of Chios Mastiha essential oil

 

Significant research activity has been carried out regarding the antimicrobial action of mastiha’s essential oil – mastiha oil. Researchers have studied in particular that when mastiha oil, Chios mastiha essential oil, has been incorporated in the growth medium, it can delay the growth rate but also eliminate microbes, bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms.

 

The results of such studies confirm the important antimicrobial and antifungal action of mastiha oil, thus encouraging its further usage as a component of pharmaceutical and other protection and care products.

 




https://www.gummastic.gr/en/chiosmastiha/properties

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572011/



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