Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter decorations

Unlike previous years that we went to the beach house for the whole of the holidays certain things (the weather among them) kept us in the city this year!
Therefore I cleaned up, and decorated with my collection of Easter eggs.
Here are some photos.
My mum's embroidered Easter cloth.

 And some close ups.
I made this collection of animal Easter eggs many many years ago when my son was five, during our first Easter together after my divorce! We tried to have fun and it was so great to make them. The eggs were store bought dyed in various colours and I think I had found the patterns in a Marie Claire Idees magazine.

I hang some eggs bought in Prague from branches I collected at a walk.
The Indian girl.
 Blown glass.

 Two huge ostrich eggs from Africa.
Marabeth's glass egg(painted from the inside) in AtelierStella vase (I had won in a giveaway) and two Romanian eggs.

 Some of the eggs I have made during the past years at Easter. And some given to me as gifts.
 Candle eggs inside candle holders.
 The bird I was given this Christmas by a pupil inside a crocheted basket given to me by another pupil next to Margie's of Resurrection fern stone.
 My aunt's hen next to the porcelain candle holder I bought at Nafplio this Christmas.
 Wooden eggs from Romania along with a wooden ladybug from Prague inside a basket by my best friend next to a bunch of beautiful fabric bunnies bought at the Orphanage Melissa bazaar this Easter.
 Tomorrow I will be dyeing this year's Easter eggs.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

In Patras for the Shadow Puppet Festival

It was a fun long weekend. We attended lots and lots of great shadow puppet performances, we met lots of old shadow puppeteer friends and met new ones too.
Here are some photos.
On the way to Patras we decided to go by the Egnatia Highway.It has lots of bridges and tunnels. It was the first time we used it and really loved all those tunnels that have made the distance much shorter.

 Kozani electricity plant.

 To reach Patras you have to pass the Patraikos Gulf. We chose to use the ferry which is half price from the bridge toll. And it was fun too.
 I loved that little beach and went to collect some sea glass(very little unfortunately).
 The trip took only 20 minutes and the weather was lovely!

 Isn't it the most amazing bridge? The Rio-Antirrio Bridge is the longest suspended deck bridge in the world!You can read about it here.

 We reached the other side and went straight to our hotel.
 We stayed at the Astir Hotel, and the room was fantastic and on the sixth floor. We were guests of the Festival so that was really great! I wasn't impressed by the breakfast at the hotel though!
(Photo taken from the hotel site)
And the view was amazing! Although the strangest thing happens in this city. Although it is built on the Patras Gulf it does not have a seafront. It is a harbour and there is no seafront walking promenade like in Thessaloniki!A train track, fences and the harbour are between you and the sea! Unbelievable!
The view from our hotel!

 After a bit of rest we went to Agora Argyri which was an old renovated building next to our hotel where the Festival was taking place. We first visited the exhibition of shadow puppets and posters.

 We attended a couple of shadow puppet performances of people who were taking part in the competition among them Haris Billinis performance of Frankenstein which was exceptional and was eventually the winner of the competition for people over 25.
Then there was a great performance out of the competition by our friend Tassos Georgiou. We have known Tassos for years and he has won the competition many a time.
Later we had dinner at Kalamaki. Where again we spotted shadow puppets decorating the restaurant!

 The next day was the day we were competing so it was  a bit of a frenzy and anxiety. This view from our hotel was very calming though!

 After our performance which went rather well we went for lunch with other shadow puppeteers. On the way we passed this beautiful old Anglican Church of Saint Andreas which was the first building to be bombarded in Patras during the Second World War.

 We watched a lovely sunset from our hotel balcony before going back to the Festival.
 We watched some more performances and the presentation of a book Mimaros dialogues by Aris Milionis. Then there was one more amazing performance out of the competition by our friend
  Ilias Karellas who is a fantastic shadow puppeteer and incorporates theatre in his shadow play. We had attended his perormance at the Music Hall in Athens on our trip to the Peloponnese this January. You can read about it here.

On Sunday morning after the fantastic view photos I realised that this was the fourth time we were in Patras and we would be leaving without seeing any of the sights so we decided to visit the nearest to our hotel which was the Saint Andreas Greek Orthodox church.

 So we walked to the church. Saint Andrew church is the largest in Greece!

 It had the most amazing mosaics in it!
 We then walked to the only part of Patras that one can walk near the sea. There is  a lovely lighthouse too.

 And again we attended some more performances including one more that won in the under 25 years old competition by Nicholas Tzivelekis.

 Later we attended the closing ceremony that gave hubby an original shadow puppet perormance script praise!
Afterwards there was one more great performance by the excellent shadow puppetter Athos Danellis.
The next morning we toured our hotel roof garden and took photos.

 See the train passing in front of us?
 We returned home via the bridge this time. Double price,much faster.

 We had to do a short detour as some of the tunnels were closed.
 We stopped for a while at Aitoliko , a most amazing little town built on a tiny island that is bridged to land by a causeway.

 This is how it looks from the air. (Photo taken from the Internet to show you how different it is!)

 We then had coffee at Amfilohia.Another very beautiful town on Amvrakikos Gulf.
We reached Thessaloniki late in the evening.