Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Halki in Pictures

Last Friday, June 24th, on the Halki trip, I took the camera again and so, here below are some more Halki moods. Hope you like them...

(As usual, clicking on any of the pics will open it in a larger window)

A forest of Agave flower stalks, sadly signifying that these particular plants will soon die, after probably 20 years of growing.

This is the bay where there is a very pleasant beach to the right, which is very safe for bathing and sports the required taverna too!

The couple in the pic above were Jean & Phil Sibley, who have just contacted me by e-mail since arriving home in the UK. I remember them well, but didn't ask them their names at the time. So, since Jean's now been in touch, I'm happy to name-check them here. Especially since they haven't taken legal action since discovering their photo on my blog!!

The Traditional House of Halki. Well worth a visit and signposted from the harbour.
Regarding the spelling, see text at the end of this post.

This woman was scaling fish, a traditional task going back for centuries. What brought me down to the modern day with a bump was the fact that, whilst carrying on a conversation with someone several metres away, she exclaimed at one point: "Tell her to put it on Facebook!"

 The above pic features two of my guests on the excursion. A lovely couple of Grecophiles from Poole in Dorset, UK, called Maggie & Phil. I was trying to remember who Maggie reminded me of. Then it came to me, didn't she once play the lead in "To The Manor Born"?

They used to have a place in Northern France, but having chatted with them about their impressions of Rhodes & Halki in particular, I'd say it's only a matter of time...

Why "Halki" and not "Chalki"?

Simple: Τhe Greeks read the "ch" as a gutteral "H." We Brits see it and say "chalkey" as in "chalk" with the "i" sounding like the double "e" in "see." 

The correct pronunciation is "Hal'key". With the "Hal" bit sounding like the computer's name in the movie 2001 a Space Odyssey.

So this is why I spell it, as do many Greeks too, without the "c". Although, just to confuse everyone, sometimes the Greeks will spell it "Chalki" when using the Roman alphabet (as is the case with the signs for the Halki Traditional House). The Greek spelling is Χάλκη. This is because the "x" in Greek is the gutteral "H" and if you want a real "X" (as in "taxi") you use "Ξ" in upper case or "ξ" lower case. 

Of course, you already know that the "η" is like an English "i"!

Still awake? Thought not!

Also, check out this post too.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Halki, June 10th 2011

Went to Halki for the first time yesterday. Took a few shots as we tied up then one whilst waiting for what turned out to be an excellent lunch in a waterfront taverna. Seems the speciality, which is ideal for vegetarians, is Halki Pasta. Home-made pasta done with finely chopped and fried onions. Add one Mythos = paradise! 

(click on any image for a larger view. The first one is now my desktop pic!!!)

Also, check out this post too.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Dragged Kicking and Screaming...

Well today I did my first excursion of the 2011 season. 

It was a very relaxed affair, involving collecting my 61 guests from a couple of hotels in the general Lindos area, bus-ing them to Lindos itself, where I took them on the shuttle bus from Krana Square down to the main square in the village, from where I walked them holding my clipboard aloft down past the Rainbird Bar and down to the jetty on Pallas Beach. There we boarded the "Captain Mihalis", captained by - yes you've guessed it - Mihalis, who's a very nice bloke in his late forties at a guess.

Once on board we cast off for Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes town, a voyage of about two and a quarter hours. Once we'd disembarked at Mandraki, I walked the guests into the old town, went for lunch with a clutch of them in Yiannis Taverna, which is a small traditional affair, even down to the checked tablecloths. If you click that link by the way, forget the review by LJML, London, and look at the rest!!

On the way back we stopped for a swim in impossibly calm waters at the top end of Tsambika Beach, before heading back down to Lindos. Another day at the office. Boy life can be hard sometimes.

Why am I telling you this? Well, the thing is, there was this English bloke among the four Brits I had on board with the rest, all of which were French and all quite charming I might add, and he was reading for quite a lot of the time. But he was reading on his Amazon Kindle thingie.

Now I've had readers request that I make my books available for use with the Kindle, a process which heretofore I had been led to believe would be a bit involved and consequently had shied away from since I'm just too busy at the moment. But since here was a fella actually using one of these new-fangled tablet-type things I thought, why not tap his brain a bit? Incidentally his charming wife was reading a real old-fashioned book made out of paper, much to my relief as she soon chipped in that she preferred to turn real pages, to my immediate and wholehearted agreement!

Nevertheless, since I am prepared to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, albeit reluctantly in this case, I proceeded to interrogate my guest about the formats that can be used on a Kindle and he confirmed that they do indeed work with PDF files. Had I known this months ago, I'd have done this sooner, but now - I hope much to the delight of yer Kindle user - you can click HERE, scroll down and find "Add to basket" under each title. If you haven't already joined, you may have to do so at this point, but it's free and only takes a mo. Then of course you'll also be in a position to add a review to any or all of my works on the publisher's site too, what a fab idea, eh?

So there we are. I've taken yet another step along the road to modernity. Didn't even hurt all that much either, if the truth be told.