Tuesday, April 6, 2010

CsLaKoNaS' home...

Hello citizens of the Internet,

This is CsLaKoNaS and this is officially my first post on this blog. Both Fairy and I have agreed on having an introductory post about our homes. I come from Heraklion. The fourth biggest city of Greece. One may easily find a lot of information for my home (click here) so I will try to make this post sort of more personal than a typical introduction to the city. I will talk about Heraklion from my point of view. For this reason it is necessary to introduce you to a VIC (very important cat)

This is Sokratis, our cat ! He is a very important part of my family as the guard of the house. He usually resides on my somebody's laps and of course using my bed while I am away. Here you see him in mentally productive moments (with the espresso on the background !). Let me take you down to my room at the door of which

someone usually meets Sokratis! This is his favorite spot. It is next to my room and at the end of the downstairs. From this point he can listen to every movement in the house, while of course the central heating's tube makes it really warm :)

The first thing one notices as he enters my bedroom is this
I have a big collection of cd albums which I am really proud of. I love good music and listen to it every single day. This collection would have been at least double size if it hadn't been for the mp3's... I regret I wasn't born in the LP times, honestly.

Let's go outside, shall we ?

I left Heraklion after I graduated from high school, in 2002. Since then, I usually return in Xmas or Summer vacation. Thus the route I recall the most is this from home to school. The 4th United High-School of Heraklion

(artwork by a distinguished former student of this school : 0039split ) !!!!
In these buildings I spent the last 3 years of my adolescence. Despite the hard work due to a really awful educational system, we had our fun!!

Both my home and my school lie in the suburbs of Herakion. By suburbs I mean a walking distance of about 20 minutes to downtown. By downtown I mean this:

This is the famous Morosini (or the four lions) fountain, aged since the Venetian times. This is the centre of the city. Any appointment or any date must be at least once given in this spot. Here anyone may meet anyone. From here 6 distinct directions span what we call the downtown.

Here let me make an important note. In Heraklion, it is essential for you to "read between the lines". In our case, dear reader, focus on what the photo does not reveal :

So right in front of the fountain is the most famous cream-filled pastry shop in town !! Do not come to Heraklion if you intend not to visit it. Another example is Loggia

The Loggia is also in the centre of Heraklion, a few yards downhill from the Lions. The elegant building of the Loggia is one of the finest monuments of Venetian Crete. It houses our town hall. In this example what one should do is to "follow the red arrow"...

to "PLATEIA", the best grill house for souvlaki or gyros in town !!!!

Now let's get back to the serious staff.

Every time I visit Heraklion I take a long hike. I start from my house, walk downtown to the Lions and take a route to the cafeterias. Here, people spend way too much time drinking coffees and chattering about nonsense. I envy them for I cannot do this in the States. I always pass through Koraes cafe

Reading between the lines, I confess that I have never sat here. This is my old primary school. It was almost a 100 yrs old (the oldest private school in the country) before it went bankrupt and was sold and turned to a cafe. Here is a photo of the old times:

I am somewhere there...6th grade.

Keep walking through cafeterias (and memories) I will find my self at the "Freedom Square":

This is the other 'hot spot' of Heraklion. It connects the western suburbs with downtown as it is also a way out to the port. Nobody really likes this square because of its shape and design. All in all, an expensive failure !!

What is not a failure is the church of Saint Menas, the metropolitan church of Heraklion and the highest orthodox temple all over Balkans (wow !!! )

It lies on a triangle of temples which embrace Saint Aikaterini's square. This is 1. Saint Menas, 2. Little Saint Menas ( the old church that existed before the grand one). 3. Saint Aikaterini (catholic temple aged from venetian times, now used as a museum) .

Heraklion is the capital of Crete. Cretans are considered to be nativists and indeed they are. Either they love too much their island or know nothing else beyond it. I do not like Crete that much. Mainly because of its people. Citizens of Heraklion is the best example. They are just awful. This city consists of a bunch of newly rich, poor-educated and underdeveloped people that what they only really care about is to show off. In fact they are foxy hypocrites. It is a mixture of the inferiority complex of the province towards the capital; and the snobbery of the capital towards the (rest Cretan) province. Simply unbearable.

What only comforts me is the European heritage and the hope that in this blessed land, a wind of change may blow. It better be soon...

Be well !


Saq said...

Όλα τέλεια, και το Ηράκλειο και οι ξενάγηση. Κάναμε εκδρομή στην τρίτη λυκείου για 5ήμερη και ήταν τέλεια. Πολλά μέρη που δείχνεις τα θυμάμαι ακόμα. Αυτές οι σιαμαίες όμως...πολυυυυυυύ τρίχα.

CsLaKoNaS said...

Αν θες να πας εκδρομή στην Κρήτη να μην επιλέξεις το Ηράκλειο. Υπαρχουν τόσα άλλα πανέμορφα μέρη !

Πάρε ένα τζιπάκι και κάνε το γύρο της νότιας Κρήτης. Θα εκπλαγείς από τις ομορφιές αυτού του νησιού!!

Για τις γάτες έχεις απόλυτο δίκιο. Αλλά είναι αίγλη όμως ε;

JSteiak said...

"I do not like Crete that much. Mainly because of its people."

It's quite unfair for the people of Crete... But I am not intended to change your mind... Not now at least. I have a different perspective, as I am a village boy (!) from Heraklion (the province, not the city!)

PS-1. Now that U are the other half of fairy, you don't need Sokratis and you got him thrown at Heraklion. Heartless monster!
PS-2. Can U provide the pic of school in higher analysis? It must be hilarious!

CsLaKoNaS said...

@ JSteiak

As a cretan resident you more than anyone else should understand what I mean by the sentence you quote! I think we don't disagree on that, nevertheless.

I'd really like to take Sokratis with me but I'm pretty sure he is not going to make it here. It is too far for an old cat like him.

No I cannot. This is the best analysis of the photos. In fact these are not mine. I struggled to find them from facebook. By the way I do not have a profile there any more. After negotiating with Greek officials, I deleted it on Sunday, something that led to the collapse of the Spreads, the day after !

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Asteroid said...

I quote:
"It was almost a 100 yrs old (the oldest private school in the country) before it went bankrupt and was sold and turned to a cafe."

Are you talking about the school or the country?

Great post, C - we got to know a lot more about you, after all!!!

P.S.: Good luck with the new blog!

crispy said...

Καλησπερα.Μια μπουγατσουλα στα λιονταρια θα ηταν οτι επρεπε τωρα!

CsLaKoNaS said...


This is a clever question ! We will see in a couple of months !

Thank you for your wishes!

CsLaKoNaS said...


Αστα ρε Crispy και δε φαντάζεσαι πόσο μου έχουν λείψει και τα δύο. Και η μπουγάτσα και ο γύρος !!!

Καλώς ήρθες!

Ephemeron said...

Πολυ καλο το post και οι φωτο πολυ καλες!
Καλη αρχη!

fairy said...

Thank you so much Ephemeron !

συνvεφάκι said...

Καλημέρα,πολύ όμορφο το κοινό σας μπλογκ(αχ αυτά τα αγγλικά τι τα θέλατε).Ο Σωκράτης αξιαγάπητος,θέλω και άλλες φωτογραφίες του.Τι τό ήθελες και το ανέφερες το μαγαζί με τις μπουγάτσες.Δύο φορές βρέθηκα στο Ηράκλειο για να πάρω το καράβι και τις δύο βαρυστομάχιασα.Νομίζω ότι αυτό το μαγαζί είναι το καλύτερο αξιοθέατο για μας του κοιλιόδουλους.

CsLaKoNaS said...


Σε ευχαριστούμε πάρα πολύ!

Το μαγαζί αυτό είναι από τα πιο γνωστά στο Ηράκλειο. Μαζί με τις μπουγάτσες είναι και τα σουβλάκια :) Αχ και είμαι και σε δίαιτα!!

Εδώ μπορείς να βρεις φωτογραφίες του Σωκράτη και άλλων γατών που κατά καιρούς μας έχουν συντροφεύσει:

1ο μέρος


2ο μέρος


3ο μέρος


4ο μέρος


Φιλία πολλά!!

Φωτεινή S said...

Ώστε κρητικός ο CsLaKoNas!!!!
Όταν σε πρωτοσυνάντησα στο Δεσποινάριον, υπέθεσα πως ήσουν εκ Λακωνίας ορμώμενος!!!
Χάρηκα που σε γνώρισα!

Φωτεινή S said...

Ένα link από μια περυσινή επίσκεψη στην πόλη σου (80 χιλιόμετρα μόνο μας χωρίζουν)

ΙωάννηςΚ (πρώην ioannisk) said...

I agree with you about Cretans but I can not express an absolute opinion about Heraklion since I have been there only once and 20 years ago but I am afraid that the city and its inhabitants are like you describe them. Unfortunately this is the rule for Greeks outside Athens :(