Aleko's Page

Aleko Damaskinos has become a very good friend of mine in the very short time that I have been on Corfu. He has a wealth of interesting information about the history, culture and Flora and Fauna of the Island. With his much appreciated permission I will be sharing some of his stories and factual pieces on this page.

aleko1Aleko was Born in Corfu and after attending the primary and secondary school on the island went to Edinburgh in 1966 to obtain the necessary A-levels for admission to a University. At Napier University he studied electrical and electronic engineering and later pure mathematics. Aleko then Worked as a consultant electrical engineer in Edinburgh and later, after completing a PhD degree was a lecturer of mathematics in Edinburgh, London (Queen Mary College), Ireland (Trinity College, Dublin), University of Phoenix, Arizona USA, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He Returned to Corfu where he became a tourist guide and a specialist guide for walking tours which included wild flower identification, especially the wild orchids.During the winters he teaches mathematics privately, Greek language to foreign students and offers English-Greek-English translation services.

Aleko also hosts a Facebook group “Only Corfu Society”

 

Islands Islets and Rocks around Corfu

OTHONOI (FANO) ERIKOUSA (MERLERA) MATHRAKI These are three small offshore islands (inhabited), North-West of Corfu. KARAVI A rock next to Mathraki supposed to be the Phoenician’s boat which was turned into stone! If you look carefully it looks like a ship trailing a...

Tenedos Church (Corfu Town)

At the top of Solomou Street under the New Fortress is the Roman Catholic Church of Tenedos dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Carmel and it is named after an icon of the Virgin Mary which was brought to Corfu when the Venetians were forced to evacuate the island of...

Pantocrator Monastery (Pantocrator Summit)

Built on the highest peak of the island, 914 metres. The mountain is named “Pantocrator” after the first church that was built there in the 14th Century. Once on this site stood an ancient temple dedicated to Zeus Cassios. A manuscript of 1347 was written by the monk...

THE “SCREECHING OR DEATH BIRD”

THE “SCREECHING OR DEATH BIRD” My findings after a research concerning this particular bird on the island of Corfu. A while ago various members were concerned and wanted to know about the “eerie” sound of a bird at night which brought death in the village or at a...

MANDRAGORA OFFICINARUM

MANDRAGORA OFFICINARUM (In Greek it is called “ Μανδραγόρας/Μανδραγούδι) You will see it in fields and stony places and it flowers in Spring and Autumn. It belongs to the family of “SOLANACEAE” (Nightshade family) A plant favoured in myth and magic because its shape...

“SANTA DECCA” (Poem by Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde)

The Gods are dead: no longer do we bring To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of olive-leaves! Demeter’s child no more hath tithe of sheaves, And in the noon the careless shepherd sings, For Pan is dead, and all the wantoning By secret glade and devious haunt is o’er: Young...

The Island Of Vido

“THE ISLAND OF VIDO” (CORFU) Some interesting facts It is called “THE ISLAND OF VIDO” and NOT “VIDOS ISLAND” and has an area of 53.8 hectares. I will write it also in Greek; «ΤΟ ΝΗΣΙ ΤΟΥ ΒΙΔΟΥ» και ΟΧΙ «Ο ΒΙΔΟΣ» as so many erroneously call it!! The name derives from...

CORFU GINGER BEER!! Aleko’s way

CORFU GINGER BEER I certainly don’t want to compete with the already established ginger-beer company here on Corfu belonging to Mr Chimarios but I would like to tell you MY OWN version which does not use yeast and nothing is boiled! Very-very easy, but you must be...

THE “SIKOMAIDA”

If you have the patience make these at home! with a minimal expense and… a small piece goes a long way….in the long winter months which follow… THE “SIKOMAIDA” ( Fig cake with ouzo) Very soon, mid-August to the end of September the figs will be ripe...

SCRIPTURE CAKE

All this talk about figs reminded me of this excellent cake which I had in the North of Scotland many years ago…! Baked by the very religious mother of my girl-friend at the time. You may ask what has this got to do with Corfu? Well… God is everywhere!!!...

NAMES OF SOME CORFU VILLAGES

I cannot cover all the villages, only some which I have researched! I will put them in categories CATEGORY 1 ROMAN, PRE-CHRISTIAN PERIOD Kassiopi, Aharavi, Nimfes, Afionas, Agros, Pagi, Vistonas CATEGORY 2 ROMAN, FIRST CHRISTIAN PERIOD Villages that end in -ilas...

The Neraids

The ancient Greeks apart from the twelve Gods of Olympus also believed in minor Gods and Goddesses. Amongst these were the “NYMPHS”. The sea “NYMPHS” called “NERAIDS” were beautiful young girls who sat, walked, danced or ran on top of the waves.

HOW CYCLAMENS GREW (CYCLAMENUM NEAPOLITANUM)

The well known pale pink-carmine flower with the distinctive mild fragrance in Corfu is called “ KOPELOULES”  or “YOUNG GIRLS”.  The name is attributed to the following legend : A village priest had an only child, a beautiful and shy girl in the pre-puberty age. One...

A Most Terrible Explosion In The Old Fortress

After researching for many years I now give here an accurate (as far as possible) account of the incident which literally “shook” Corfu . It was the middle of the night on the 11th November 1718 when a most terrible storm commenced. Torrential rain followed by...

Horta

The wild “greens” growing everywhere and make a wonderful vegetarian meal! I have tried to find corresponding names in English, but could only find a few as you will see! If you want to collect these lovely “horta” I would advise you to take with you an elderly lady...

A CORFU GHOST

“THE MORO” Whenever something goes wrong here in Corfu, the “Moro” is always to be blamed. Every village on the island has its own “Moro”. He can be anywhere… Of course this could be dismissed as utter nonsense, many though will not discuss the matter further… He has...

CORFU CAVES

Only a few seem to know that caves exist on Corfu and because of this I would like to introduce some of them which I have personally investigated. I will start with two, close to Nisaki where I now live. 1. “THE KAMINAKI CAVE” About 2 kilometres passed the church at...

THE LEGEND OF NIKOLAOS PIERRIS AND NAZLI HANOUM

In the beginning of the 18th century two foreigners, Nikolaos Pierris and his wife accompanied by a black servant Mehmet arrived to Corfu in a Venetian ship. They made many enquiries about buying a property until they eventually found what they were looking for. Even...

The Palm Sunday Procession

This great procession of Saint Spyridon with palm branches follows a longer route than any of the others. Naturally there is a history behind it which I will relate briefly. On Christmas night in 1629, four cases of the plague occurred in the town of Corfu. The...

The Easter Saturday Procession

Sometime during the 16th century (1501-1600) the continuously foul weather and intense winds prevented the “grain ships” from approaching Corfu for a long time. Easter was close at hand and there was no bread. Great hunger was seen on the people’s faces. How could...
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