Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ostria Restaurant Dinner in Votsalakia, Samos

Eating out in Samos Island, Greece is very cheap, you spend approximately 30+- euros for 2 pax (1 starter + 2 mains + 2 drinks). We normally have coffee somewhere else at a lounge or bar. Thus, we ate out every night (we still have a week to go to enjoy this island!) and I will be posting all our dinners (and lunches) at different restaurants.

Hopefully, those who stumble upon this blog whilst planning for their prospective Samos holiday will have an idea where to eat and what to expect. My way of giving back to travellers and holidaymakers out there.

First night dinner at Ostria Restaurant

We were quite intrigued with this restaurant because you cannot see the dining area except for a pathway leading to the beach. The pathway is partly covered with vines crawling on a trellis with grapes hanging from it. The restaurant is indeed located on the sea side which makes it very attractive and quite romantic as well.

The restaurant has no website but it is listed on Trip Advisor, go here: Ostria

Kambos area (Votsalakia beach) in Marathokampos municipality is small so it is easy to find this restaurant as it is located on the main town’s street.

Special menu of the day

We ordered their special menu of the day that includes a Greek salad. Dutchman, the Burger special with Tzatziki, and moi, the Grilled Dorade Fish (gilt-head bream or bream fish) special with lemon sauce. Of course, a quarter Samian white wine for me as well. Samos has its own wine culture and is quite famous locally.

Food here is quite good. Not a fan really of French fries but I loved my Grilled Dorade fish. 4.25 stars out of 5. The ambiance here at the restaurant is fresh and lovely. They also gave us free coffee to close the dinner. In Samos, all restaurants give you a surprise free thing after dinner. The surprise vary per restaurant!

The beach view

But what we really enjoyed most were the beautiful views, and oh, the sunset! So relaxing...

If in Votsalakia - Kampos area, don’t miss this restaurant, for lunch or dinner.

More food posts coming!

Travel Period: June 2013
Destination: Votsalakia-Kampos (Marathokampos – Samos Island), South Aegean, Greece

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Finally went to Ephesus yesterday!

Ephesus is an ancient Greek city (later became a Roman city during the Roman Empire), one of the largest cities in the 1st century BC and very famous in the Christian world because of Paul's ministry. The apostle Paul lived here for sometime (see Ephesians book in the New Testament, Bible).

Trivia: Did you know that Saint Paul was not officially part of Jesus' Twelve Disciples? He gained the title Apostle Paul because of his work and dedication in spreading Christianity outside of Jewish territory. Before Paul, Christianity was strictly for the Jews, a tributary religion of Judaism, although Judaism never acknowlegded Jesus as the messaiah (son of God), they are still waiting for the messaiah to come. Judaism even saw Jesus as one of the false messaiahs albeit the most influential of them all.

I have always seen Paul as the best sales person and marketeer in the whole wide world. Without him, there would have been no Christianity today. This would have been an extinct religion.

Now John, one of twelve desciples of Jesus, also known as John the Baptist, the Beloved Disciple (or the disciple whom Jesus loved), John of Patmos, John the evangelist, wrote the Book of Revelations (New Testament, Bible) here in Ephesus. He wrote the rest of the book in Patmos Island but I am not going there because its a 2.5 hours boat ride from Samos Island where we are staying.

The ancient city of Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis (also known as Temple of Diana) completed around 550 BC, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world but there is nothing left to see of the temple really except for a small cut-off column.

Nowadays, Ephesus is a big touristy attraction and a pilgrimage site as well. Roman Catholics visit the House of Virgin Mary nearby. Artists such as Sting, Elton John, etc have performed at the grand theater.

The city ruins are now part of Turkey.

I will post a more thorough entry about my visit to Ephesus another time, with lots of pictures of course.

Travel Period: June 2013
Destination: Ephesus (Selcuk - Izmir), Turkey

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Do you still remember Pythagoras?

Or let me rephrase that—Do you still remember struggling with the Pythagorean Theorem in high school? I do. It took me ages to understand the whole mathematical equation because I simply did not want to understand it.

Pythagoras statue at my back. Pythagoras was born in Samos Island, Greece.

Reminiscing school: Pythagoras Theorem

Mathematics was not my strongest subject in school. Actually, I hated school. I never excelled in my elementary and high school years because I disliked studying. I only get excited when it’s the first week of school because everything is new—new bag, new shoes, new uniform (I went to a private girl’s school and we have to wear silly uniforms), new notebooks, new pencils, pen, everything is new. I was obviously the quintessential mediocre student who sat through class uninterested and was just buying time. But if there was a subject about ‘will’ or ‘ambition’ then I would have probably scored perfect. I was a little girl who could not wait to grow up and enter the real world. Luckily I was able to finish school without having to go through dichotomising my brains.

My mother wanted me to bring home the medals (hated the pressure as well, so obviously this made me all the more uninterested in school) but it took college for me to finally do it. Because I was, finally, interested in what I was studying. Some people say that I was a late bloomer. I disagree. The reality is simple. I was simply interested in what I was doing, in what I was studying.

Thus, when the interest is there, the results will follow.

Pythagoras... and the Village of Pythagorion

He is the father of mathematics. He was also a geometrician, astronomer and philosopher. For Pythagoras, everything is based on numbers, measure and harmony. The fishing village called Pythagorion is named after him, after all, he was born in Samos Island, Greece.

Philosophers, astronomers, engineers, inventors and scholars, many of them come from Greece.

At Pythagorion marina is a statue of the great mathematician, an ode to Pythagoras.

Trivia: Did you know that Pythagoras died at the age of 110 in the south of Italy? Born circa 580bC – died 490bC. He was told to be a very handsome man.

The village is now very touristy, it even has its own marina for yachts and a beach as well in the town centre, but I found out, and this was after a little stroll along the marina where I came across a few Samian fishermen busy preparing for the next catch.... that fishing is fortunately still a source of livelihood here. I will post more about this encounter on another time.

More of Pythagorion village soon!

Travel Period: June 2013
Destination: Pythagorion (Samos – South Aegean), Greece

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spotting Potami in Samos: Metamorphosis Church, Potami Beach and Hippy’s Place

Now that we have our rental scooter, Dutchman and I have started exploring Samos Island. One of our first stop that left a very long and positive impression on us, that we even both agreed to come back here another time, is Potami in Karlovasi (northwest of Samos).

This is Potami in a nutshell but there are other attractions and cool places in the area as well, so read along...

The Metamorphosis Church

As we slowly approached Potami, we saw this white and idyllic (chic-styled if I may add) small Orthodox Church. Something told me to stop by and we were glad we did. The church sits on a rock cliff and is also a viewing point! From its viewing platform are stunning views of the Potami Beach below.

As for its name, I have no idea why it is called the Metamorphosis Church.

I highly suggest a quick stop over here for the scenic views.

Potami Beach

This beach is very distinctive because of its two side by side bays that is beautifully separated by a rock. Potami Beach is a pebble beach and the area has many interesting rock formations, there is even a waterfalls nearby in the forest and a river for those seeking a little bit of adventure and a change of scenery.

There are tavernas on the main street and on the beach as well, and we went to check out the hip one located right on the water.

Hippy’s Place
Website: Hippy’s Place

Oh wow, what a cool lovely place! A cafe, bar, lounge and restaurant on the beach.

And it looks like all the customers here were Greeks? Not sure if they were all local ones from Samos or vacationing Greeks from other parts of the country.

Having an ice cream and iced tea break from the hot scooter ride. This is indeed a very hip place.

We are so coming back here and we’ll spend a day to laze on the beach, enjoy the cool atmosphere and music of Hippy’s Place and have lunch at another cosy open-air lounge restaurant along the main road.

Go here for our second time in Potami: Another Day on Potami Beach and Cafe del Mundo

Travel Period: June 2013
Destination: Karlovasi (Samos - South Aegean), Greece

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beach Life in Votsalakia, Samos Island

Greetings from the Greek Island of Samos!

There’s so much to tell but let me first update about what we do best at the moment: Beaching (and laying by the pool as well) and doing nothing. Below is a quick peek into our temporary beach life.

To the beach!

This is the pathway from our apartment in Kampos leading to the Votsalakia beach.

Our apartment, which merits a separate post, is just a 3-minute walk to the beach. We have a beautiful view of the island’s highest summit and the olive tree pasture that nestles under the mountain from our bedroom balcony.

Light lunch at Chesters Beach Bar

Greek Salad, warm Pita bread (this bread was soooooooo good) and iced coffee. They also have nice music here. Lounge jazz and flashback to the 80's.

Beaching continues...

Chesters have one of the nice beach areas with sunbeds and parasols. If you eat here at Chesters you get to use the sunbed and parasol for free =)

After 3 days of doing nothing, we will finally explore the island. Tomorrow, Dutchman and I are renting a scooter.

Travel Period: June-July 2013
Destination: Kampos/Votsalakia (Samos - South Aegean), Greece

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