Wednesday, 6 September 2017

An Illustrious Occasion

The traditional Greek iced coffee, the frappé, is 60 years old. Its anniversary was Thursday August 31st, and last week the Greek Alpha TV evening news made a bit of a splash about it. The first Greek frappé is reputed to have been accidentally invented by Dimitris Vakondio, in the café/bar where he worked as an employee for Nescafé representative Giannis Dritsa in Thessaloniki in August of 1957.

According to the story, he wanted to fix himself a hot coffee during a break, but didn't have any hot water. Thus, he put some coffee (Nescafé of course), milk and a little sugar into a cocktail shaker with the aim of getting the coffee to emulsify, but when he poured it he was surprised to see the frothy head that it had acquired. Deciding to drink it anyway he was blown away by what he had accidentally created. Pretty soon the bar was selling them like hot cakes, well, like cold coffees, and it spread from there. Nowadays, of course it's the staple drink of millions of Greeks who have to have their frappé fix at least once a day.

I wonder how many Greeks would know though that the word 'frappé' is French? The verb to 'frappe' means literally to hit, or beat. Needless to say it's pretty obvious how that applies. Greeks generally believe 'frappé' to refer to the fact that it's chilled, or iced, but that would be 'glacé' in French, or 'pagomenos' in Greek.

Although the Frappé (usually spelt with just the one 'p' in Greek as it happens) is indeed now ubiquitous in Greece and Cyprus, in more recent years many younger folk have been opting for the slightly healthier 'Freddo Espresso' instead. Interestingly the word 'freddo' is Italian for cold!! Also popular these days is the freddoccino, invented by a Greek chap who was born in Italy apparently.

 And, here is a selection of recent piccies folks...

Evening meal in Filippos Taverna, old Rhodes Town.

Courtyard near the Eleftheria gate at 11.00pm

Our fave place for a few hours on the beach these days is the Sposa Beach Bar,  just north of Gennadi. They do a great choice of food that can either be eaten at table in the bar at the back of the beach, or your waiter will serve you at your sun bed if you prefer. This is how they serve up a portion of home-made fries. Delicious!

View of Mandraki Harbour from the steps of the Post Office building.

Back to the Sposa again...

...and again.

On board the Madelena during a recent Bay-to-Bay excursion. Tough work, but someone has to do it.

Anchored at Tzambika Beach for a swim-stop.

Well, bless me if we're not back at the Sposa again.

This beautiful little chap dropped out of one of our garden parasols as we were putting it up the other day. We probably really annoyed the little blighter, or perhaps scared the living daylights out of him. I was able to smooth his cuddly, furry back before he gathered his wits and flew off in search of a more undisturbed resting place.

Last week onboard the Madelena I snapped a photo of my sleeping work colleague Lubos, who is from Slovakia and looks after our guests from both the Czech Republic and Slovakia during our Bay-to-Bay excursions. He returned the favour this past Sunday as I was taking some thinking time after lunch.

Here I am thanking Lubos for taking that lovely photo of me. I'm pleased to say that he and I share the same sense of humour and I find him an absolute joy to work with. I only hope he decides to come back next year.

When you realise that your sun cream's run out and you still have a few hours to go...

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