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Maroulas - Rethymnon - Crete - Greece


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photo Since 1996, Marianna Founti-Vassi runs her tiny herb shop in the village of Maroulas near Rethymnon on the north coast of the island of Crete.

She specialized in tea-mixtures and oil essences from native plants which help to allay many complaints in a natural way.

However, Marianna does come from Crete, and her knowledge of the Cretan plant life was in no way passed down to her from her grandmother.
In fact, she comes from the mainland, from Athens, and studied in Paris. Not botany, but educational psychology.
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The plant life was indeed one of her hobbies, so she finally decided to make it her profession.
The hunt for the traditional skills of natural medicine first drove her through several countries.

In 1989 she then settled in Crete because the old people here still have ample knowledge of using natural remedies and healing therapies.

This way she became a collector and preserver of the almost forgotten skills of herb medicine.
In early 1996 Marianna finally moved to Maroulas because the environment of the village remained (and still remains) rather unpolluted.
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Since then, she runs the small herb shop in the narrow lane which connects the lower platia of Maroulas to the upper one (actually the village's main road).
photo Here she introcudes visitors and customers to the production of tea-mixtures and oil essences, and explains about the ingredients' effects and applications.

There are printed fact sheets in several languages available as well for the teas as for the oils.

They are in harmony with the small handicraft items which Marianna makes besides e.g. her lovely "shopping-bags".
Most popular are also the Botanological Walks which Marianna organizes in the village's neighbourhood.
During these tours she does not only show the native plants and their habitats but also explains about when which plants can be harvested, and why.

The walks start on a regular basis every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and take about 4 hours.

Meeting-point and start for the excursions is always at Marianna's Workshop in Maroulas.
photo Participants' prior registration is requested: Either long-term by e-mail, or on short notice by telephone.

Additional appointments can be made as well. The maximum group size is 12 persons.

Marianna speaks not only Greek but is also fluent in English and French.

More details are available on her homepage.
Text and photos by Ingo H. Dietrich

Marianna's Workshop
Marianna Founti-Vassi
GR - 74100 Rethymnon
Phone (0030) 28310 72432
Email to Marianna's Workshop

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