The Lotus Eaters

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Forsto
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:36 pm

The Lotus Eaters

Postby Forsto » Fri May 15, 2020 5:30 pm

A bit of escapism during these depressing times! Anyone else spotted that both series of The Lotus Eaters from 1972 and1973 are now available on YouTube? Scenes of Crete from nearly 50 years ago must bring back memories. Who knew Elounda where it was filmed so long ago? What a change but I suppose the same could be said of anywhere in Greece where my own memories only go back thirty years.

Mixos
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Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Mixos » Fri May 15, 2020 6:56 pm

Can't speak for Elounda, Forsto, as we didn't venture that far along the coast, but Malia beach 45 years ago was a glorious sandy strand with about three modest hotels at the back and the town itself was little more than a fishing village. Most of the island could have doubled as an idyllic film set in those days!

filippos
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Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby filippos » Fri May 15, 2020 7:28 pm

I loved the Lotus Eaters when I watched it on TV all those years ago and again a couple of years ago when a friend loaned us a box set of both series. The recent viewing left me a little disappointed. The same friend also loaned us her set of Who Pays the Ferryman which was also very enjoyable.

About 10 years ago we went into a local kafeneio which usually has an exclusively Greek clientele and the four locals hunched over the (small) television made room for us to join them watch Zorba the Greek and it was fascinating listening to their comments during a passage filmed locally. "Giorgo, wasn't that your grandfather's house?" "Yes but he never got to see the film; he died a month before it was shown in Xania." Apart from recognising many locations they regaled us with stories of 'goings on' during the making of the film. If I remember rightly one of the men had a couple of relatives who participated as extras.

Forsto
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Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Forsto » Fri May 15, 2020 7:44 pm

Yes, I suppose it’s of its time, but I do enjoy re-watching something so evocative. First saw The Lotus Eaters in black and white as that was our tv at the time so to see it now in colour brings an added dimension. I particularly like the old cars and the tinny noise the doors make! Also the traffic on the roads, i.e. goats!

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Kilkis » Fri May 15, 2020 11:07 pm

I didn't visit Elounda in the early 70s but I did go there for the first time around 1981. It was the first foreign holiday my late wife and I took. We had never holidayed abroad before and we chose Crete precisely because of the Lotus Eaters and Who Pays the Ferryman. We actually stayed in Malia but we hired a motorbike and toured round the area each day. We rode to Elounda at Pascha on back roads round the promontory to the north of Elounda, rather than along the National Highway through Agios Nikolaos. It really was quite magical. Everywhere was the strong smell of herbs and every house we passed or village we went through you could smell the spit roasted lamb. Everybody was so friendly and welcoming even though it was obvious we were tourists. We asked in Elounda if we could get something to eat and, although all the tavernas were closed and having private parties, one of them cooked us a pizza. The café nearest our hotel dragged us in off the street to eat Tsourekia after midnight on the Saturday even though we had never been in it and the hotel had put candles and red eggs in our room. Within 24 hours of landing we both said we could happily live somewhere like this and eventually we did, albeit at the opposite end of the island.

A warning. For those who don't already live here it is a dangerous programme to watch.

Warwick

Maud
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Location: S.W. England/ S.W. Crete.

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Maud » Fri May 15, 2020 11:40 pm

It was ‘Who Pays the Ferryman’ that first brought us to Crete. My husband happened to accidentally meet up with an old school friend. The friend told him how he had just returned from filming ‘ Who Pays the Ferryman‘ in in Elounda. He insisted we should visit Crete, and especially Elounda. We booked a flight.....and our love affair with Crete began.

In those days there was only one tv in the village, so when the lottery was broadcast once a week, all the locals would grab a chair and sit outside the kafeneon. The lane would be full of people on chairs waiting to see if they had won a fortune! If a car came along they all had to pick them up and move out of the way!

A couple of Christmas’s ago I asked our son to buy me the boxed sets of the Lotus Eaters, and also Who Pays the Ferryman. - We have enjoyed watching them, as have friends we have loaned them to. Both programmes might seem ‘dated’ now, but for lovers of Crete they are a ‘must’.....if you haven’t seen them yet.

Re Zorba, I have a recording of it from when it was on UK tv a few years ago. As many of you will all know, a large part of it was filmed at Stavros. The house they used there belonged to a friend’s father. At the time, a lot of the land in the area belonged to the Church. Her father was a priest in Hania, so was able to buy a plot.

So much has changed on the island over the years, but it is still a very special place.

Kookla
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Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Kookla » Sat May 16, 2020 8:42 am

Forsto,thank you for posting that. I shall have to check it out. I have heard of it, but not seen it. Like many of you, I have delightfully quaint memories of Elounda. Although my first visit wasn’t until 1981, when I taught windsurfing on the beach. As I recall a new hotel had been built, very modern for its time. These holiday makers were our clients. We worked from sunrise to sunset. I recall one old dear who sat on a stool in the square selling watermelons. She used to take pity on me and feed me along with pistachios...She used to rule the roost from that stool, over riding the kiosk man and other locals in the vicinity. Happy days.

bobscott
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Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby bobscott » Sat May 16, 2020 8:50 am

In 2014, the 50th Anniversary of the making of the film 'Zorba the Greek', our village (Kokkino Horio) decided to have a 'Zorba Fest' and show the original Black and White film in the square. The village scenes in the film were largely filmed in Kokkino Horio. Anthony Quinn was (and still is in some quarters) certainly a local hero, if not a Greek national hero! Walter Lassally who directed the film was there and spoke about the making of the film and the locals asked me to do something for the British Community in the area.

Anna and I went around the village hunting out those who had been in the film, largely as extras, and who were still alive, taking their photographs. From that I made a Power Point presentation showing pictures of those who had featured in the film, as they looked now (2014). The Brits appreciated it, but the Greeks were astonished and delighted to see their pictures (current) appearing on the screen; much laughter, occasional ribald comments etc. A success. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Yin&Yang
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Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Yin&Yang » Sat May 16, 2020 9:00 am

Inspired by your comments I have just looked on Amazon. While The Lotus Eaters is selling at a reasonable price of just under £10, Who Pays the Ferryman is a whopping price of i.r.o. £70.
Someday is now : )

Forsto
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:36 pm

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Forsto » Sat May 16, 2020 9:06 am

Yes and for some reason series 2 of The Lotus Eaters has been rarely available in European format and very expensive indeed. I personally preferred the first series although the plot lines were rather dark, maybe to discourage others from relocating, who knows?

Maud
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Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Maud » Sat May 16, 2020 10:44 am

It would be great to see your presentation Bob. No chance you could somehow turn it in to something that could be posted on here?

Kookla, we holidayed in Elounda for four years, which would have encompassed 1981. We remember a wind surfing school, but my vague memory recollects the children and I sitting by the little jetty in front of the supermarket watching our husband setting off on a windsurfer. The reason I remember being there is that it was OH’s first attempt at windsurfing. He was having a problem staying on board! When he eventually stood up and started moving, the little tourist boat full of Germans that had moored up to use the taverna there, all gave him a round of applause! He then set off for Turkey and the rescue boat from the surf school had to rescued him. - It was probably you! I have a photo somewhere. I must dig it out!

We clearly remember that in those days the old village ladies often did their clothes washing with scrubbing boards in the sea near the Kalypso Hotel. I also remember on one occasion a lady tenderising squid by bashing it on a rock. - The ink went all over the new T shirts our two little ones were wearing. They were fascinated......and had gone to watch her do it! I think she enjoyed her ‘audience’ and became even more enthusiastic in her task!

Happy days!

Forsto
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:36 pm

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Forsto » Sat May 16, 2020 11:39 am

Such fantastic memories, glad to have triggered them, keep them coming,please!

Kookla
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Kookla » Sat May 16, 2020 11:51 am

Maud, what a super idea. I second it! Bob, you must try to upload your presentation somehow. I can quite see how it would have appealed to the locals.

Maud, you really are invoking memories now. Of course this was well in the days before health and safety... I remember the owner of the windsurfing school wanting to try out para sailing. He didn’t haven’t a rope long enough, so tied three together. He then needed a volunteer; I was summonsed as I was the lightest of the group ( a long time ago) . Up I went, the rope broke, down I came...the boat circled around me and went straight over to chase the ends of the rope to see why his knots had failed!
Ps glad your husband returned!

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 16, 2020 12:56 pm

I can remember watching para sailing from our hotel balcony overlooking Agios Nikolaos beach. They used a floating pontoon in the bay as the launch pad. The customer would stand at the opposite side of the pontoon from the boat, the boat would slowly ease forward until it had taken up the slack in the rope and an assistant would flap the parachute to fill it with air. The boat would then start to accelerate and the customer would run across the platform and hurl himself into the air. It looked great fun and I was seriously considering giving it a try the next day until it all went wrong. The driver forgot to take up the slack in the rope so there was a coil of rope on the pontoon when he started to accelerate. By the time the coil unwound the boat was going pretty fast and the customer was pulled off his feet onto his front and dragged across the rough wooden pontoon. I decided to give it a miss.

Years later I visited Cyprus and saw a much safer system. The customer stood on a platform at the back of the boat and the rope was attached to a winch mounted on the boat. The boat would accelerate until the customer was starting to experience lift and then the winch would pay out the rope. At the end of the ride the winch would then pull the customer back onto the platform. By this time I had heard several reports where boats had gone close to the shore and executed a sharp turn so the customer would sail over the land to make the ride more exciting. Unfortunately in a couple of cases the parachute had lost lift as the boat turned, the customer had fallen onto the rocks and then been dragged across the rocks for some distance by the accelerating boat. I still decided to give it a miss. Now I doubt there is a parachute big enough.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: The Lotus Eaters

Postby Maud » Sat May 16, 2020 1:15 pm

We saw the same floating pontoon system in Tolon in the early 1990’s.

We had taken 50 sixteen year olds on a water sports holiday to the Peloponnese. There were a couple of other schools also at the resort, and they were trying out he parasailing. - I (very firmly) told our lot that they were NOT allowed to do it. I could see problems.

The second day of our holiday a child from another school broke his leg whilst attempting to land back on the pontoon. The danger was that participants took off and landed back on a very small floating area out in the bay. Taking off seemed to be ok, but trying to land again was a nightmare. Most people seemed to come down in the water, even though they were aiming for the pontoon. Those that got closer to the landing area often hit the sides, instead of landing ‘cleanly.’

When my students saw the poor child with the badly broken leg, they were more than happy to listen to my Instructions!
Last edited by Maud on Sat May 16, 2020 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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