Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back to HypoHol

...after the trials, tribulations and alcohol excesses of the FA Cup final weekend and a day in the studio yesterday playing bass on songs from the Paul Daly Band CD it is time to return to my HypoHol...

So, where were we?

I had just had my bougatsa for breakfast I think. This is a kind of hot flaky fyllo pastry pie filled with either a sweet vanilla semolina filling or savoury cheese. They are incredibly good.

(Here is a pretty decent recipe for bougatsa.)

Ok, I think I have to go down to the lake again and take a trip over to the little island in the middle of the lake which is called to nisaki which means "little island"...which is quite a reasonable name for a little island I suppose!

I looked for the sign in Greek and 'English' which said,

Axiothemata tis nisou
Worthseeing of the island

...but I couldn't find it.

The little ferry boats look the same though...

So you jump on one of those and chug out to the island. The island itself is a peaceful little world of fishermen's houses and monasteries which date back to the 13th century.

Opposite the little harbour where the boats pull in there are a few fish restaurants which offer fish from the lake. They have the fish swimming in glass tanks at the front of the restaurants and as each boat pulls in during the day the restaurant owners go into top gear to try and lure the arriving guests, who are of course their only customers, to come in and eat. And they have a pretty dramatic way of getting attention. Just as the passengers disembark, the waiters come out with nets and reach into the tanks. Then when they have got a couple of fish in their nets they throw them onto the marble paving slabs at the feet of the newly arrived tourists where they writhe and flap, unable to breathe. The idea is that this shows just how fresh the fish are and you are supposed to choose one which will then be taken off into the kitchen, executed and served up! As the people walked away the waiters would gather up the fish again and drop them back into the water.

I always used to feel sorry for the fish! The boats would arrive every hour and out the poor little buggers would go ...again and again until finally they would manage to attract the attention of some hungry visitor and got clobbered on the head and fried in a pan. What a life!

This is the harbour on the island.

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