Author Topic: Strange but True ?  (Read 3436 times)

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Offline Steve

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Strange but True ?
« on: February 14, 2012, 08:24:11 PM »
Ban on Smoking

The first (unsuccessful) anti-smoking legislation in Greece was passed in 1856 amid fears that civil servants could cause fires in their offices.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 08:25:25 PM »
Freshwater Terrapins
 
Corfu is home to two species of freshwater or pond terrapins - Emys Orbicularis and the rarer Mayremys Caspica Rivulata. Both can grow up to 10-12 inches long and like to hide in the vegetation at the water's edge. As they are cold-blooded, they clamber onto the bank or a convenient rock to bask in the sun. They lay 10 to 15 eggs in sandy soil on the bank, which take about three months to incubate. Adults hibernate in the mud on the bottom of the pond or slow moving river. Food consists of small fish, frogs etc. Freshwater terrapins can be spotted in several places in Corfu including the river that runs through the Ropa Valley to the sea at Ermones and which passes Corfu Golf Club.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 08:27:03 PM »
Roadside Shrines.
 
When driving around Corfu you can see metal boxes on legs (and their grander modern equivalents, often modelled on churches) by the side of the road. Inside the small glass doors an oil-lamp flickers next to an picture of a saint, an icon and sometimes personal mementoes. The top of the box is usually crowned with a cross. These roadside shrines are erected to serve as a memorial for the victim of a road accident. Alternatively they may have been placed there by the survivor of a potentially fatal accident, to publicly thank a saint for saving them.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 08:28:33 PM »
Insects.

Naturalists have recorded 83 species of butterflies on Corfu.
Corfu has 40 species of dragonflies, out of 41 species recorded in the whole Ionian.
Corfu is a beetle-watcher's paradise. One beetle, Agapanthia schurmanni, is only found on Corfu and in parts of Northern Greece and Macedonia.
The island has 64 species of crickets and grasshoppers, among them the bizarre Mole Cricket, which as its name suggests digs burrows, in locations with moist soils, for its eggs.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 08:30:08 PM »
The Petegolia (the Gossip)

Re-enacted in the Old Town on the last Thursday of Carnival every year, the custom of The Corfiot Petegoletsia dates back to an old tradition of street theatre. Corfu Town's narrow cobblestoned streets - called "kantounia" - are lined by tall houses. Actors, playing local housewives, stand in their windows exchange scurrilous gossip about local affairs, in authentic Corfiot dialect. The performance culminates with traditional songs and mandolin music.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 08:31:13 PM »
The Shakespeare Connection.
 
Around 1611 Shakespeare wrote The Tempest, possibly his final play, and some would also say the most fascinating. The Tempest is generally agreed to be set in Corfu. This is never made explicit but the details fit. Shakespeare had already set another play, Twelfth Night, in Illyria, just across from Corfu, and other plays of his take place in northern Italy (such as The Merchant of Venice), so this was clearly an area of the world he liked to use as a setting.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 08:32:23 PM »
The Judas Tree.

The Judas Tree can be found all over Corfu and is one of the first harbingers of Spring. According to Christian tradition, it is the tree from which Judas hanged himself after denouncing Christ. Guilt-ridden, it has been made to blush with shame ever since - a reference to the pink flowers that erupt from the bare stems and trunk before the leaves appear. Judas Trees flower from March to April.

stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 08:33:23 PM »
Ginger Beer.
 
Ginger beer, or tsin tsin birra to give it the proper Corfiot name, is still  available in Corfu and can be bought at the cafes on The Liston. A legacy of the British protectorate, the drink is made in traditional fashion using the finest ingredients of grated ginger, lemon juice, lemon oil, water and sugar. The mix is brewed in large cauldrons and is best taken fresh, though traditionally it was stored for long periods in stone bottles that were sealed with little glass marble stoppers and kept in the cool waters of the island wells.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 08:34:36 PM »
October 28 - Ochi Day.
 
Celebrated throughout Greece on its anniversary each year, Ochi Day commemorates Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas's rejection of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Mussolini on October 28 1940. This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador to Greece, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single word: όχι or no. In response to Metaxas's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border. Metaxas's reply marked the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 08:35:44 PM »
Kumquat.

This is a famous Corfiot liqueur. It is distilled from the tiny kumquat, a citrus fruit that looks like a miniature orange. It is native to South East Asia and was introduced to Corfu in the 1860s. The standard kumquat drink is bright orange, the colour being from the rind; it is very sweet. There is a colourless distillation of kumquat juice which is far more potent and adventurous and can be identified by the twig with attached crystals that floats inside the bottle. All manner of other drinks, candies and sweets are produced using kumquats.

stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 08:37:04 PM »
Cicadas.

Any summer vistor to Corfu will have heard cicadas chirping in the olive groves. But how many know that cicadas spend most of their life underground. In fact, as nymphs, they live underground for around six to seven years. In contrast, the life of adult cicadas is very short, lasting only a few weeks. After mating, the adult female cicada lays its eggs. It does this by piercing plant stems with its ovipositor (egg-laying spike at the tip of the abdomen) and inserting the eggs into the slits it has made. The eggs hatch into small wingless cicadas which are known as nymphs. They fall to the ground and burrow below the surface. Here they live on the sap from plant roots for a period which may last several years. They shed their skin at intervals as they grow. When the nymph reaches full size it digs its way to the surface with its front legs, which are specially adapted for digging. It generally surfaces about nightfall in late spring or early summer. The nymph then climbs on to a tree trunk or other object and sheds its skin for the last time.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 08:38:21 PM »
Christmas Elves.
 
While other cultures have Christmas elves, the Greek equivalent is not so benign. Mischievous sprites called Kallikantzari, prey upon people only during the twelve days of Christmas. Descriptions of them vary, and in one area they are believed to wear wooden or iron boots, the better to kick people, while other areas insist that they are hooved, not booted. Some households keep fires burning through the twelve days, to keep the spirits from entering by the chimney and protective herbs such as hyssop, thistle, and asparagus are hung by the fireplace, to keep the Kallinkantzari away. Other households, perhaps less devout, resort to simple bribery and put meat out for them. At Epiphany, the ceremonial blessing of the waters by the local priest is believed to settle the nasty creatures until the following year.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 08:39:43 PM »
Corfu Stamps.

The first Greek postage stamps were issued in Corfu on 15 May 1859. These stamps had lettering in Greek and values of half a penny, one penny and two pence. The stamps became invalid when the islands were returned to Greece on 28 May 1864. Greek stamps have been used since that time except for two short periods in 1921 and 1941. Following World War I, Italy occupied Corfu and Italian stamps were overprinted during a temporary dispute with Greece. Italian forces invaded in 1941 and stocks of Greek stamps in the islands, mainly of 1937 issue, were over-printed. These were then replaced by Italian stamps overprinted ISOLE JONIE which were used until 1943. In that year the Italian regime collapsed and occupation was taken over by the Germans. They reissued some of the Italian overprints with the additional marking ELLAS (Greece) and 2-x-43 (the date of occupation). Since the recapture of the island, Greek stamps have been used.

Stevie, 8)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 11:04:00 PM by stevie f »
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 08:44:22 PM »
Greek Beer.

Research indicates that just three lagers - Heineken, Amstel and Mythos - make up 90% of the beer sold on the Greek market.
 
Over 75% of beer is consumed between April and September.
The bulk of beer is consumed in bottles as opposed to cans or on draught.
 
The first domestic beer, Fix, was brewed in 1864. The factory closed in the 1980s, but the brand name re-emerged in 1997 after Olympic Breweries purchased the rights.
 
Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

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Re: Strange but True ?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 08:49:35 PM »
Cricket.

The first cricket match in Corfu was on 23rd April 1823 between officers of the British Navy and the Garrison. It took only twelve years for the Corfiots to learn the game, form two local sides and start taking on the British. Traditionally matches were played on the famous Esplanade in the centre of Corfu Town, but because of the increased space given over to car parking a new ground was recently built at Gouvia Marina. There are now eleven cricket teams in Corfu: Feax, Byron, Gymnastikos, Achilleas, Kerkyra, GEK, Ergatikos, Nafsithoos, Laodamas, Dekathlo and Atlas.

Stevie,  8)
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

 

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