1.Tell us a few things about yourself so we can get to know you better: your name and surname, your age (date), zodiac sign, the place you grew up at, where do you live now and what do you do for a living.
My name is Anni Nikoli, and I come from the wonderful island of Kos, the birthplace of Hippocrates. I was born on February 29th, 1996, near the Imia islets. It was at the hospital of Kos, by the hands of my own grandfather, who was one of the doctors of the island, and more precisely, a radiologist. You would wonder why would a radiologist assist in birth…but he couldn’t be absent, because my mother (part Swedish, part Yugoslavian) could have given birth in Sweden. After the results of the 2014 entrance examination tests for the Greek Universities, I was admitted to the School of Physical Education and Sport Science (SEFAA). I moved to Athens, where I have been living for the past five years. I graduated with a major in Gymnastics and applied for a Master’s Degree in Molecular and Applied Physiology at the Medical School of Athens, where I studied for the two following years. During those five years I met and loved Athens.
2.Which is your favorite place to visit, and how often do you go there (and a couple of comments - why)?
The place that I love the most, if it’s even considered a place, is where the sky meets the sea. And, to be totally honest, I love the dawn. And my home island, Kos, features the best dawns you will see. The endless seas and that beautiful blue color are the things that calm me down the most. But also the people who are there, my people. I visit Kos whenever I have the chance, but mostly during the holidays, when I have free time from my academic and business life. I feel that Kos looks more beautiful during the summer, with all the sunlight and the flowers in bloom. The climate is dry and that’s why there is not a lot of green in the valleys during the summer. But that changes during the winter, when the whole island turns green.
3.Describe yourself in three words (or less).
Positive, Persistent, Adrenaline Freak.
4.What is your favorite color, and your favorite taste?
The colors that fulfill me are the colors of dawn. Sometimes it’s orange, sometimes it’s soft pink, other times it’s lavender… I like all kinds of food, I like food whether it’s salty or sweet. But I do have a special love towards sweets. I love chocolate…cinnamon in pastries… But traditional syrup pastries are not really my thing, I prefer chocolate.
5.What motivates you to get out of bed each morning?
I have a zest for life. I like to live. I feel that there is nothing that I am missing. I appreciate any thing that happens around me and I feel blessed that I grew up with the people that I did - my family. Each day is different and has something different to offer. There is always something positive to get from life, even if it doesn’t look like it. Even if something doesn’t happen, or someone doesn’t do something, there always a positive aspect in life.
6.Through your love for life, what do you like most about it? What is the strongest image you have imprinted in your head?
Life is so simple and beautiful, but it is very different for each person. It’s about how you understand life, and how you deal with each moment, whether it’s a good one or not. One of the strongest mental images I have is when I rode a surfboard for the first time. It was about a year ago in Kakovato, Ilia, with the Kyma Surf School. That moment when your body realizes how small you are compared to nature, the waves and the force of the water. And as a result, the communication between your body and nature and how the two coexist in order for one to stand up on the board.
7.You come from Kos and you like to spend as much time as you can there during the summer. Tell us a few words about the place you live in, what is Kos to you, what do you like or dislike about it, why is it special and how do you experience all that?
Kos is my home. During the summer I usually spend most of my time there. Kos’ simplicity is what comes as a total opposite to the chaos that is Athens. The food is phenomenal, the fruit are fresh and so are the vegetables. A walk around the traditional taverns of Kos will remind you the food your grandmother used to make. Freshly-made, right out of the over, filling your nostrils with pretty smells - images of your childhood. The careless play in the tavern by the sea-shore right after you finished eating. Your mother used to warn you not to swim right after eating, but you still stole a few moments to feel the sea, always with caution not to go too deep. Let’s not forget the freshly-cut watermelon at the end of the day - otherwise known as “plizina” - that came along with Possa cheese (mizithra dipped in red wine). What a combination that was! We chose Kefalos often enough because my grandfather (and his grandfather before him) were locals, Kefalians. Of course, we spent all our Sundays in Kefalos, it was like a tradition. That is because Kefalos is located around 40 minutes outside the Town of Kos, and also due to the fact that the water is crystal clear. The strong sea currents are responsible for that, thus the frozen waters.
8.Which activities would you recommend to a friend that has 48 hours to spend in Kos?
If you had 48 hours in Kos: You would wake up in the morning and wouldn’t miss the chance to eat “mpougatsa”, a traditional pastry, at Tsivrinis in the Town of Kos. Later on you would go for a walk in the old city and the castle. After leaving the city, you would go to Platani-Kermetes to eat. Arap’s famous Turkish food, the unforgettable “soutzoukakia” that fill your mouth with aromas. There are also some nice pastry shops there, where you can buy a snack for the road. The time is now 17:00, and it’s time for a walk in the Asklipiio, a tour of the grounds and it’s green forests. The time is now 19:30. From there you will move on to Zia and sit at one of it’s beautiful restaurants, Oromedon, with a stunning view of the sea and the islands across… If you are not hungry you can go to Neromilos in Zia, for a homemade lemonade and the same stunning view. The sun starts to set…so it’s probably time to head back! If you are still in the mood, you can go to the Town of Kos for a nice cocktail in the harbor. Now here comes a dilemma - will you head back to your accommodation or will you keep going? Maybe a night swim? Hmmm….then off to Therma we go, so get ready for therapeutic baths. The next day comes, and of course we will go to Kefalos. There you can chose any beach you wish. The most magical, in my opinion, are Limionas, Kohilari, Agios Theologos, Agios Ioannis and…Kamari. All these beaches have at least one restaurant nearby. And it will surely be nightfall when you decide to leave…no one ever leaves Kefalos early!
9.Give us a local recipe or product, and explain what makes it so special.
One of my favorite local recipes are the so-called “Lambropites”, because we make them at my father’s name-day, his name is Lambros. We encounter the Lambropites during the Easter season. They are round cheese-pies, in the shape of a big plate stuffed with unsalted mizithra cheese, baked with plenty of eggs and a little bit of sourdough, or “prozimi”.
Here is the recipe:
For the dough:
1kg of all-purpose flour,
3 cups of yogurt,
3 cups of butter,
1 satchel of baking powder,
1 teaspoon of salt.
For the stuffing:
1 kg of “anthotiro”or “mizithra”,
1/2 kg feta cheese,
3-4 eggs, some pepper and one egg for coating.
We get a big bowl and we put the yogurt, the melted butter, the salt and the eggs and mix them. We slowly add some flour and the baking powder, looking to make a soft dough. We now roll small amounts of that dough trying to create a flat disk with thickness of about 1 cm. We butter the bakeware (that is in the same shape of the flat disks we just created), and place the dough inside. Use your hands to apply some pressure all around it so it’s all evenly distributed. Now we will put the stuffing on top of the dough and we use a fork to gently press the cheese. After that we coat the top with some egg, sprinkle a bit of peeper or cinnamon and bake in medium temperature until they turn brownish.
10. Favorite thing to do in Kos, favorite thing to do in Athens?
As I mentioned before, simplicity is what characterizes Kos, as opposed to Athens where everything is programmed and in abundance. But in Kos things are really close to each other, you can go to the center of the Town in under five minutes and you rarely see traffic. But sometimes that is the beauty of Athens. Chaos. You co-exist with chaos in Athens, you live your life with that around you. You have a lot of options…both mountain and sea. During the winter you can go on an excursion to the mountain, in Arahova, at Thymios’ for a coffee. That is the difference between Athens and Kos. In Athens you have a ton of options, while in Kos the options are limited. Some people like the former, some like the latter. If you ask me, in this point in my life, due to studies, I might prefer Athens during the winter, and Kos during the summer. We “island kids” are blessed, we always have a way out.
11.Which is the most beautiful trip you’ve ever taken and which is the best image you have?
Each trip is different and beautiful. My last trip abroad was in Paris, with my good friend Irini, who is like a sister to me. I will never forget our rides with those green electrical scooters, which are really popular lately. We rode around Paris without any difficulty. And let’s not forget the “creperies”, the places where they make crepes. They were everywhere. I thought I was in Paradise.
12.Where would you like to be now?
Right now I would love to be surfing in Bali, or visiting Nepal, which is one of the trips that I have planned for the coming February. Another destination I would like to visit in Greece would be Crete. All of it. Especially the “Finikodasos”, a truly remarkable coconut grove
13.Words to live by?
Fight, Appreciate, Love.
14.What kind of music do you listen to these days?
Mention your top-ten tracks and how would you name them if they were feelings. Lately I have a certain tendency, I think it’s Rock music. I am not a fan of the genre, but for some reason I have a natural call for Rock music, especially when I work out. If any rock fans are reading this list and some songs are not rock songs, I am sorry. This was today’s work-out playlist, in no particular order:
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand (Mystery), PJ Harvey - Down by the Water (Approach), The White Stripes - I think I Smell A Rat (Tension), Arctic Monkeys - One for the Road (Relaxing), The Raconteurs - Blue Veins (Temptation), Imagine Dragons - I’m So Sorry (Tension), Royal Blood - Com on Over (Anger), Queen Kwong - Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing (Temptation), Arctic Monkeys - Arabella (Temptation)
You can listen to Annie's playlist here:
Μπορείς να ακούσεις τα τραγούδια που επέλεξε η Άννη στην παρακάτω λίστα από το κανάλι μας στο Spotify:
Text: λ3 team
Translation: Pavlos Laguretos
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