It had been a while since I’d met Roshfeld, and in fact some 15 years ago at his gourmet restaurant in Tel Aviv. At that time he was only 30 and was operating a gourmet restaurant under the sponsorship of a wealthy friend. For those of you who do not know Roshfeld, I can tell you that he is an information guru, a food junkie. After spending some time with him, you begin to realize that he’s very versatile in the kitchen, spontaneous, well versed and very experienced with many styles and types of cuisines – he’s a pro.
On day #4, we took a ride to Tinos previously known as San Nicolò, an important island for various reasons with a culture and history that goes back centuries. Tinos was one of several islands ruled by private Venetian citizens and belonged to Geremia Ghisi, whose heirs held it until 1390 when the last member of the family branch bequeathed both Tinos and Mykonos to Venice. It was ruled by Venice until 1715, when Tinos was captured by the Ottoman Empire and became known as İstendil. The Ottomans held Tinos until 1821 when the inhabitants joined in the Greek War of Independence.
These days we travel to Tinos with a great sense of respect for the island. On our way to Ysternia, I am reminded of Ieronymos I of Athens the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece 1967–1973. He was born there.
The island is mostly touristic like most Cycladic islands it relies on tourism. This day we traveled to Tinos to see Aris and Adonia the owners of ToThalassaki and enjoy some Tinos cuisine. The spirit of Ysternia bay shines with water glitter as we sit on the water watching the ships pass in a distance.
On our way home I watched the mountain of Exomvourgo, a fortress and town functioning as the administrative center of the island from 1207. The mountain of Exobourgo is quite distinct, and unlike its more rounded Cycladic neighbors, has a more jagged appearance that would be more at home in the Alps.
In 1570 a force of 8,000 Ottoman troops and several cannons, commanded by Canum Pasha, besieged the mountain, but were successfully repulsed. Further failed attempts to capture the fortress were made in 1655, 1658, 1661, and 1684. By 1700 the fortifications were not in a good state and the fortress was only manned by 14 soldiers. The Venetians remained in charge until 1715 during the last Ottoman–Venetian war when, long after the rest of the Cyclades had fallen to the Turks, it was besieged by a Turkish force of 65 warships and 74 transports carrying 25,000 soldiers. Despite the fortress being regarded as unconquerable and seeming secure against the invaders the commander of the fortress negotiated terms and surrendered. The terms allowed all the Venetians on the island to leave with the Greeks forced to stay. The commander and his officers were accused of “treason after bribery” by the Venetian Republic and sentenced to death by swallowing liquid silver and by having liquid silver poured on their bodies Bernardo Balbi the rector (governor) of the island, was transferred to Venice and sentenced to life imprisonment for cowardice. The Ottomans almost completely dismantled the fortress and the town inside it within a period of 3 days.