Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Nels Bels Cockle Shells

Grandaughter Nels had a long weekend

On Saturday morning we all left early to travel to the city of Argos (think greek myth 'Jason and the Argonauts') an hour and a half away.  Argos and the agricultural city of Larissa further north are the hottest cities in Greece.  It was 29o on Poros, 35o in Argos.

Nels sat an English exam for her first certificate.  First a written exam and then oral.  I am sure she passed with flying colours. 

While Nels waited to sit the examinations we found an old style cafenion to drink coffee and enjoy some airconditioning

The men at the far end of the room are playing cards.  A cafenion was traditionally a male stronghold but nowdays women are more than welcome.  Men come to pass their time while wives back home are cooking and cleaning.  They chat with friends over a greek coffee, play card games or backgammon and just enjoy the company of other men all keeping out from under their wives' feet.

No ouzo, beer or raki today.  A simple iced coffee (frappe) and a bottle of cold water

Then we raced back so Nels could take part in the 10,000 metre run that is part of the triathlon taking place on Poros this weekend

The photo above shows the smaller children and some of their Mums running the 1,500 metre event.  Some of the kids looked as young as 4 or 5

The finishing line down in the main harbour

There is a medal for everyone taking part plus a banana and a bottle of water as they cross the finish line

Nels devoured a sandwich in the car on the way back, got changed in a cafe bathroom and made the starting line with minutes to spare.  

Here she is passing the finishing line, still going strong after a gruelling 10k s in the still hot sun.

She made straight for a seat on the curb and a bottle of water while we all gathered around to congratulate our champ

Nels was the third woman to cross the line.  Here she gets her third place medal.  The other two women were much older and more experienced.  She also got a medal for being first in her age group

One of the family volunteers

Well done Nels

και εις ανοτερα

Upwards and onwards

Oh and the day didn't stop there.  First there was a 'pasta party' for all involved in the Porosea events, then almost a hundred dancers, including Nels and all the family , took part in a dance event highlighting the unique moves of a greek dance called the 'harsapiko' which were perfected years ago by those from the island.  This dance is called the 'Poriotiko harsapiko'.  The idea is to, next time,  get the whole island involved and try for a place in the Guiness book of records.

The day ended with a concert on the waterfront


  1. Oh my goodness, what a jam packed weekend! She sounds like an incredible girl with a lot of drive and determination! -Jenn

    1. I don't know how she does it. Hard even for a 15 year old. She is always moving. School exams have just finished so she has 3 months summer holidays now

  2. Great weekend and important things to do, an exam and a race. Sounds like she is a keen, get-up-and-go girl.

    1. She's very athletic, loves taking dance lessons too and of course has her rowing. Summer holidays now will be filled up with rowing competitions, days in the sun and dance practice.

  3. Congratulations to Nel! She is also a very pretty young lady!
    I love that dance. Is it also called zorba the Greek dance? I once went to a Greek wedding (a university friend, from Cyprus) and I was pushed onto the dance floor to join. I was 25 years old then but soon fell out of the circle because I couldn't keep up with the other dancers!
    Greetings Maria x

    1. It is a version f zorbas dance. Zorbas usually gets very fast towards the end and is spectacular.
      I tried to learn but kept on messing up left and right!

  4. You have all the reasons to be proud and happy.

  5. The old idea of a cafenion. -chuckle-

    Bet 'back in the day,' there was no tv up in the corner, though.

    Nels is a champ in all ways!!! And a pretty girl toooooo.

    What a full, full, full day. And what a great day. Love these events, which bring people together.

    1. Back in the 70s the tv was black and white and there were only two channels. The whole village gathered to see the big events.
      I didnt ask but they must have had wifi too. And cheap 1.50 euros for an iced coffee which would be 2.50 - 3 euros on the island

  6. Well done Nels! And I would love a frappe right now!

    1. A frappe hits the spot now. Not weather for hot coffee! I am finally liking it without sugar too

  7. My granddaughter Ellie (aged 12 soon) is often called Ells Bells, so I'm going to add Cockle Shells now!

    1. We've got an Elli too but both of them are actually Eleni.
      I'm a nick name and ditty person so Eleni became Elli for one and Nelli for the other . From there it was nels and she was at the age for ...cockle shells and how does your garden grow
      May your Ells Bels cockle shells love her new name!

  8. Congratulations to Nels; a star in the making. That dancing always me think of Zorba.

  9. Wow. What a huge day!
    Congratulations on your third place and best of luck in your exams.
    A busy day.