Monday, 9 April 2007


Zeus, the chief god of the 12 most important gods of Olympus and God of weather, must have had a pretty chaotic last week. The modern weather forecasts on the internet were forecasting rain and cold for the Easter days. Not a good prospect when you've invited some 20 people for a souvla, the traditional lamb on the spit.

Maybe the God of wine interfered. Dionysos is said to be a son of Zeus. Zeus, married to Hera, had a lot of flings. It is not sure who Dionysos' mother was with whom Zeus had a fling but it is sure that when Dionysos was born he was brought to the rain-nymphs of Nysa who raised him, far away from a possible revenge by Hera.

The nymphs of Nysa, also called Hyades, were the daughters of Atlas, the god who has to bear the earth on his shoulders. They had a brother, Hyas, who was killed by a lion. This tragic accident made the nymphs cry so many tears, that those tears now are associated with the spring rains and the wet autumn storms.

I don't know what the nymphs were doing last year, we did not see that much rain. And while the weather forecasts predicted many days with rain before Easter, only White Thursday had some spots of rain. Dionysos probably tempted his father and step mothers with a gorgeous party, because at Easter it was so hot that we even had to wake up the sun umbrella from his hibernation.

Easter on Lesvos is also the start for the summer season. This year it was on the same day as Easter in the rest of the world (The Greek Church still adheres to an old orthodox calendar, so that most years Greek Easter is not on the same day as in other countries). Even though bad weather was predicted, the island slowly filled with tourists. Not only Greeks came in numbers to celebrate Easter with family and friends, also a lot of foreign tourists were seen around this early Easter.

Another Easter tradition on Lesvos seems to be (and probably in other tourist regions) that nobody is ready for the season. Most of the hotels still have to do some Herculean works, municipalities still have to cover some holes in the streets, women start hurriedly sweeping their steps, the local flower shop does not have enough flowers to fill all the flower pots before Easter.

The miracle of Easter is that on this day, just about everything has to be ready. Although the real start of the season is the arrival of the first charter plane, this year also coming from Holland pretty early: Friday 13th of April. I have to admit that we secretly laugh about all this because of course nothing is ready then. Alkeos still has to put half a roof on a new building (although their renewed roof is the prettiest on the island; it has terra coloured tiles), Elpidiki still has to do the interior of one of their newest bungalows, hotel Panselinos which the whole winter through worked at its garden still has to mow the wild grass and hotel Kangeroo (yes, indeed this hotel exists in Molyvos!) that has been bought by hotel Olive Press is still covered in dirty clouds because of the works going on there. And so on for the others.

After two years of closure Hotel Mythimna Beach in Eftalou this year opens under the new name Bella Vista. It is the only hotel that seems to be ready for its new future. Besides the rebuilding inside they will have an extended watersport service for sailing and surfing.

Thanks to good lawyers, restaurant Anatoli made it through the winter and they can rejoice in a busier Eftalou. Although the two sisters still threaten them with closure, this case seems to be nothing more than a soap opera of the exchange of letters between lawyers. According to the latest news Anatoli will stay open.

Dionysos enjoyed himself pretty well this Easter. Thanks to the heat the white wine kept flowing from the bottles. Instead of a lamb we had a goat grilled as an Easter lamb. I wondered if you could stuff such a souvla animal, like it is done with the stuffed lamb that goes into the oven. This experiment was a great success. It was close to midnight when we put the Easter fire out.

It promises to be a hot and dry summer. Although somebody should make the Hyades cry. But if Dionysos makes sure that the wine still flows and the dinner tables are stocked with food, why should we worry...

Copyright © Smitaki 2007

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