THE LAKE PAMVOTIS AND THE ISLAND/ NATURAL BEAUTIES
The lake and the island
Let me throw ten quintals of sugar in the lake
To sweeten the water that Mrs Frosyni will drink
A lake called Pamviotis (that which feeds everything) cannot but store treasures in its waters. In the lake are 13 kinds of fish: tasty carp, Albanian barbel, blenny. Among them are two species endemic to the area, strosidi and minnow, which are protected by national and European legislation. There are also very tasty eels, crabs, ham mussels and the local variety of frogs, rana epiroticus. Another rare species is the tiny ferruginous duck (aythia nyroca), a true champion of diving, which provides free entertainment to tourists. Two further endangered species are also found here: the black stork and the lesser kestrel. The lake is joyful and capricious. It is famous for its sudden storms that endanger the lives of navigators. Sometimes it turns into an ice-rink, like that winter evening of 1434, when Tourahan Pasha crossed it with his army without wetting his feet. According to legend, the Turkish official believed that he was saved by the Virgin and founded the monastery of Dourahani on the eastern shore of the lake. The lake in figures: it has been settled 20,000 years, its perimeter is 20 kilometres, its depth is 1.60 9 metres, its length is 7.5 kilometres, its width is 1.4-4.5 kilometres, and it is linked with 18 Ioannina women, victims of the mentality and morals of the 19th century. On February 1801 on the order of Ali Pasha, the beautiful and emancipated Mrs Frosyni with another 17 women were executed by drowning in the lake, because of an amorous adventure with Mouhtar, the son of Ali Pasha.
*natural resources, lake, myths, environment
Some 0.2 squared km of stone in the middle of the lake, planted with black pine trees and embraced by a dense reed growth are the home of an elegant stone built community, an internationally rare phenomenon. Its 500 residents are mainly occupied with the provision of tourist services. Restaurants with many kinds of delicacies famous fried frogs legs, shops with local sweets, drinks, silver jewels and folk art receive modern day Robinson Crusoes arriving here with the picturesque little boats that depart from the shore of Ioannina, at their base at Averof Street.
A few metres away from the earthly goods: the trout, eels, the famous baklava, the fine traditional sweets, the silverware and the copperware, await the heavenly goods: a paradise sewn with the treasures of Byzantine art. The island, an old hermitage, became an important monastic centre as early as the 13th century and had its acme throughout the period of Ottoman occupation. The first residents arrived here in the 16th century and according to an unconfirmed source were from Mani.
*natural beauty, Byzantine monuments