His island of freedom


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Eleni on Mavri rocks

Hello readers!🙂
how long has it been since I last wrote a blog review properly speaking – that is, to review something written by someone I don’t know? I think the last one was about Jackie Fox, the Ikarian/American who posted a whole series of wonderful articles about her life in Ikaria during the year 2012-13. Jackie published on WordPress so it was easy for me to spot her and connect to her blog articles. But this time I have in hand a rather unusual case: a facebook blogger! His name is Tolga, he is from Izmir, Turkey and he keeps a blog which he calls: «Tolga’s travels». As I am not on facebook, it wouldn’t be possible to know anything about him, but fortunately and unexpectedly his blog is public! So here I am, hard-working, cool blogger Eleni, I am blogging about his doings in Ikaria!
As I always do, I will let him speak on his own. But before that,
just let me say only two things: a) Tolga comes from Izmir, a city geographically and historically associated with our islands. It’s so close and so big that in some winter nights when the clouds are low I can see the glow of the lights of his city in the east! b) Some Turks like Tolga, also like a lot of people who come from the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, incarnate the legendary Oriental Oral Narrator – in simpler words, they know how to tell a story and capture the listener!
Go Tolga, speak about my island – your island of freedom!
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As always in my blog reviews, the pictures direct to the full posts in the source -in this case, facebook. There you will find more photos with a few words for each. As you will see, I have borrowed some quotes from Tolga’s posts.  Goes without saying that I am solely responsible for my choices.

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Tolga’s Ikaria : Foreword

Foreword: 'I was one of those kids who loved looking at maps. We didn’t have Google Maps back then, but there were mighty world atlases and we had one of those at home. I would place it on the floor and lose myself in it. I would travel from country to country, mountain to ocean. I was always mesmerized by the map of the Aegean Sea. Perhaps because it was home, perhaps because hundreds of islands scattered across my big blue sea would allow me to create thousands of fantasies in my head, it was a magical map. From his terrace, my grandpa would point out the mountains rising from the sea several miles away and say...'

«…but then, there was another island. One that was somehow magical, and for no special reason. One that I picked for myself, my fantasy island, my island. When I told the name, very few people would have heard of it, even though it was so close to where we lived. In my child’s mind, I would be the king of my island and my own civilization. I would declare my independence lying on the floor of my bedroom, lost in the map. It was years later, when I started reading about it, I was surprised to see that my island was of the same mindset, that it had actually declared its independence in 1912, had its own flag, its own anthem, even if it had lasted for only five months. Yes, that was definitely my island…»

Tolga’s Ikaria : Day 1 – Arrival

Day 1 Arrival: 'Getting to Ikaria is no easy task, I’ll tell you. Despite being one of the largest of the Aegean islands, it seems to be somehow left out of the grid. Although it is clearly visible from the Turkish coast, it is easier to get to Mykonos or Santorini then Ikaria. Well, I hope it will stay that way. The day started early. At 6:30, I was on the bus to Kusadasi. I was sure I had a solid plan – funny me. As there are no direct boats to Ikaria from Turkey, I first had to reach Samos, from where fer-ries run to Agios Kirykos, the administrative centre of Ikaria, couple of times a week – Yes, you cannot just go to Ikaria whichever day you feel like, you have to plan!'

«Getting to Ikaria is no easy task, I’ll tell you. Despite being one of the largest of the Aegean islands, it seems to be somehow left out of the grid. Although it is clearly visible from the Turkish coast, it is easier to get to Mykonos or Santorini then Ikaria. Well, I hope it will stay that way…»

«The entertaining bit of the trip though was to overhear (ok, not overhear, simply listen, yes I like lis-tening to others’ conversations, shush!) twenty something Istanbulites discussing which beach clubs they should go to in Samos. I’m not going to get into details, but I will tell you this much: some of the Turks really have the wrong idea about the Greek islands. They get on the boat to Samos or Chios thinking they will find the same boom boom – fuck me – boom beach clubs they go to in Cesme or Bodrum, and then they are heavily disappointed. Aegean islands, perhaps with the excep-tion of Mykonos and Santorini, is about peace and tranquillity, and very very good ouzo…»

«.So here I am, sitting on my wooden throne on the beach, adoring my kingdom. I just had the most delicious grilled squid and am on my third glass of white wine. Stars are shining, there’s a gentle Greek tune coming from the back, and the sound of the waves from the front. There’s a brave woman going for a swim. Life is good. So far, I love my kingdom.»

Tolga’s Ikaria : Day 2 – Agios Kirykos

Day 2: 'Mornings of any Aegean trip has the same theme: wake up (preferably not too late), instead of jumping under the shower, jump into the sea, sit at a café, have a bite, have a coffee, and another coffee and another one. Why should today be any different? An insight to travelling in Ikaria: public transport on the island is virtually non-existent. There are two buses...'

«Mornings of any Aegean trip has the same theme: wake up (preferably not too late), instead of jumping under the shower, jump into the sea, sit at a café, have a bite, have a coffee, and another coffee and another one. Why should today be any different?»

«Ag. Kirykos is a nice island town (town – village – town? whatever), but nothing spectacular. Nice cafés by the coast to enjoy your book. Few pebble beaches around – not very comfy, but the sea is much warmer than in the nearby islands of Samos and Chios. Nice people. Yeah, that’s it. Summary of the day: swim, have coffee, read book, walk around, have more coffee, plan the next day, have another dip in the sea, and another coffee – yeah that’s really it.»

«Although Greece gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1827, East Aegean Islands still remained part of the empire. In July 1912, the Ikarians said that they had enough with that and revolted under the leadership of a chap named Ioannis Malahias. The Ottomans had their own prob-lems like World War I, so as a result, Free State of Ikaria was declared an independent country on July 17th. Of course, it wasn’t the easiest of times. And with no dowry, no money, no family background, Ikarians had to be glad to be annexed by Greece only five months later in November. To this day, Ikarians are extremely proud of those five months and all around the island, you can see more Free State flags than Greek ones. The flag has a dark blue background with a white cross in the middle – basically Swiss flag turned blue. 🙂 »

Tolga’s Ikaria : Day 3 – Chalares Canyon, Nas, Armenistis

Day 3 – Chalares Canyon, Nas, Armenistis: 'The alarm started ringing at 7:00 am and I got out of the bed at once. The sun was slowly rising over Fourni putting a big smile on my face. Try to wake me up so early during the work week and God knows what I’ll do to you, but today I have a mission: I’m gonna claim the mountains of my island! I had bought stuff for today’s lunch from yesterday evening. All I needed was bread. At this hour, there are only two places open in Therma: the bakery, and interestingly enough, the thermal baths. As you would guess from the name, Therma is known for its thermal baths and you can see oldies in white bathrobes...'

«To get from the south to the north of the island, you have to go up and down the high mountains that run like the spine of Ikaria. The view on both sides is simply breath-taking. One has to be care-ful enjoying the view while driving in Ikaria though. The roads are all very narrow – at some points to the degree that two cars cannot pass at the same time. On one side of the road, there are rocks and on the other side, cliffs several hundred meters high and more rocks at the bottom. Not to worry, you are more likely to come across a goat than a car while driving on the island anyway.»

«I arrived at Nas, at the northwest end of the island towards ten o’clock. Nas is a very small village with a few hotels and restaurants that took the healthy-trendy line. Everything here is organic, healthy, super food and stuff. It’s not difficult to imagine people doing yoga on the beach at sun-rise, which I’m sure they do.»

«Ikaria has an unbelievable amount of well-marked and well-kept walking trails – one might say bet-ter marked and kept than the roads themselves. The one I was going to try today was starting at Nas and following the river along the Chalares Canyon. As the trails are never ending, I decided to walk as long as I found reasonable, then return back either using the same route or some alternative path.»

Tolga’s Ikaria : Day 4 – Evdilos, Kampos and around

Day 4 – Evdilos, Kampos and around: 'The northerly autumn winds begun caressing Ikaria this morning. The sun is still strong, but you know that it is not going to last long. Colors of the season started showing themselves on the trees at higher altitudes. It is the best time of the Aegean. The first activity of the day was a leisurely hike. After covering my feet with band-aid – I am kinda starting to see the wisdom in socks with sandals thing, but not in this lifetime – I decided to take the dirt roads going up from Kampos. It was not going to be anything difficult like yesterday’s, just a few hours of sightseeing really. The roads gently ascend the hills passing by farms and vineyards. After a few dead ends, I seem to have found my way. In any case, if you get really lost lost, just walk down till you meet the sea, not that hard.'

«The northerly autumn winds begun caressing Ikaria this morning. The sun is still strong, but you know that it is not going to last long. Colors of the season started showing themselves on the trees at higher altitudes. It is the best time of the Aegean.»

«The roads gently ascend the hills passing by farms and vineyards. After a few dead ends, I seem to have found my way. In any case, if you get really lost lost, just walk down till you meet the sea, not that hard.»

«As the altitude increased, bushes and olive trees left the scene to pine forest. At the end, I reached my destination point: Theoktistis Monastery. It is really a small monastery this one, but sitting on top of the mountain, the view is well worth the climb. There is a small church at the very entrance with your typical Greek icons and what not. As you climb a bit more though, you come across an-other tiny church which drops your jaw. Imagine that there’s this big rock on the ground, then they built block walls on it, and then using what mythical creature god knows, they placed a gigantic rock on top of it all to serve as a roof. Walking around the church, you realize that the roof bit is ac-tually a massive rock cantilevering out of the mountain. They just built a block wall in between the two rocks. Okay, now it makes sense. It’s a tiny tiny church by the way, the door is barely a meter high or so, you really need to bend down to get in.»

Tolga’s Ikaria : Day 5 – Manganitis

Day 5 – Manganitis : there are no words here, just photos. The words are in the description of the 6th day.

«The south coast of Ikaria is rugged, harsh, so rocky that in most places depriving the trees of the least bit of soil to hang on to. This makes it very difficult for humans to settle, but it is a playground for the goats. These steep hills also shelter some of the most beautiful, tiny, isolated beaches you can find on the island, of which, Seychelles Beach has unequivocal reputation.»

«Here’s another interesting note about Ikaria: After the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 between the nationalists and the communists, the Greek government used Ikaria as an exile location for the de-feated commies. Some 13,000 people affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, KKE, were sent to the island. Considering the current population of Ikaria is just 8,500, you can well imagine the impact of this relocation on the island’s political demographics. And which party do you think wins all the elections on the island today? Yes, you guessed it right🙂. Even today, the island is referred to by many Greeks as the Red Rock. It is funny though, Ikarians are also very devout Orthodox Christians. Nowhere else have I seen communism and religion going so much hand in hand, but then again, Ikaria is not just any place.»

«…the highlight of the whole day, perhaps the trip, was the tiny, beautiful, under-stated Manganitis village. With houses overlooking the vast blueness that is the Aegean and the cutest little harbour, this fishing village offers the real isolated Greek island beauty in one’s imagination. And the deli-cious Ikarian ratatouille cooked from vegetables grown by the owner of the taverna himself in his backyard, accompanied by a glass of Mythos… for some people, there is heaven, eden, paradise to go to; for the likes of me, there is Manganitis.»

Tolga’s Ikaria : Day 6 – Departure

Day 6 – Departure: 'The south coast of Ikaria is rugged, harsh, so rocky that in most places depriving the trees of the least bit of soil to hang on to. This makes it very difficult for humans to settle, but it is a playground for the goats. These steep hills also shelter some of the most beautiful, tiny, isolated beaches you can find on the island, of which, Seychelles Beach has unequivocal reputation. Here’s another interesting note about Ikaria: After the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 between the nationalists and the communists, the Greek government used Ikaria as an exile location for the de-feated commies. Some 13,000 people affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, KKE, were sent to the island. Considering the current population...'

«Today, I will have a few beers and enjoy my book until the Dodekanisos Seaways hydrofoil takes me to Pythagoreio in Samos, from where I will board the boat back to Kusadasi. I have one and a half hours between the two boats, I hope the connection will be less dramatic than the last one.»

«I have to express my gratitude to the amazing island of Ikaria, for treating me like the king that I am and allowing me to reign over it for six long days – much longer than many mighty nations tried to do. It would be unwise though to outstay my welcome, for I know that the spirit of Ikaria is all about freedom. I will surely miss this red little rock of mine and who knows, perhaps one day…»

«Autumn winds increased their strength over Ikaria today. Gone are the long, warm days of the summer. Whether you like it or not, change is on its way. Things are about to get different, and different we will have to embrace.»

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Come again Tolga! Maybe your ancestors and my ancestors were related! Maybe they were friends!
Let’s be friends too! 😊

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💠 💠 💠
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👩 Eleni

September 20, 2016

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The Who in The Where (2)


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«…συνηθισμένοι εις τον θεληματικόν κόπον μιας ησύχου ζωής, ανυπόδουλοι, εξ αρχής της κατοικήσεως των εις εκείνα τα υψηλά βουνά – έχουν ευτυχείς μακρά από την πολυτέλειαν και κακοήθειαν των διεφθαρμένων πολιτειών, ανδρείοι ως ελεύθεροι, φιλόξενοι ως Έλληνες…»
(παλιο ανωνυμο)

____Five strong and good looking men! by angeloska on Flickr
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Hello readers!

There is no need to say much about this kind of post. I think I said more than enough in my first, very enthousiastic «The Who in The Where» 4 years ago. The focus again is on people, our people or the people who visit Ikaria but who somehow seem to have always belonged there. Or is it that our mysterious but so peaceful island has always belonged to them? I don’t know… I only know that I am missing it. I hope that as usual I will return in winter. Meanwhile, go ahead and look through my choice of new pictures of beautiful, meaningful human figures and faces from the summer months as well as the winter in Ikaria. Some of them I know, some others I don’t but I am proud of them all! These people are my next of kin. And though I writing this in a grey overheated city while wearing an uncomfortable formal suit, my heart is with them! I hope you like them too!

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Mission completed by angeloska, on Flickr

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Untitled by Philby, on Flickr Soulis Fradelos by fayum, on Flickr Ikaria by 40c taliban in Nana's article: 'You have the right to remain silent'

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Giorgos Sourtis by fayum, on Flickr Goodbye friends by Cameron Ford, on Instagram

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Happy to be here by angeloska, on Flickr Artemis in holly land by angeloska, on Flickr

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slavsquat by Jeannine, on Instagram A friend, his staff and his dog by angeloska, on Flickr The lake we built in Ikaria, from Nana's article: 'Φτιάχνοντας μια Λίμνη στο Φαράγγι (1)'

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Panigiri Langada 01 by Kerstin Hehmann in my article: 'The Two Sides' img_4288_1_1 from my article: 'The Aegean's nameless dead'

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waves-play-nas-ikaria in my article: 'IF *I am tourist promoter*, so …' Chiara and Pierre Selini Ikaria from my article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ'

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Lefteris from the gallery of my article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ' Angelos & Lefteris from the gallery of my article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ' Volunteers trails Ikaria 20, from Nana's article: 'Εθελοντική εργασία στην Ικαρία'

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Volunteers trails Ikaria 15, from Nana's article: 'Εθελοντική εργασία στην Ικαρία' Ikaria by Ntinos Mpompourdakis, on Flickr Faros 16, from my article: 'The day we took over the mountains!

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Our guide Ikaria, from my article: 'Break on through to the other side ☀ yeah !' Lina & Xenia from the gallery of the article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ'

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Vitsaras from the gallery of the article: 'KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ' Ikaria by Alexis Karnoutsos, on Flickr Like dlophins can swim by Peggy Zouti on Flickr sunsout gunsout by Melina Paneris, on Instagram
Sofia feeling great by angeloska, on Flickr Musicians test dancing tunes 2 by angeloska, on Flickr Lafina Manganitis, from my article: 'ΓΙΑΤΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΚΑΡΙΑ; Μια συνέντευξη με την Ελένη' soso headstand 1 from my article: 'food, pebbles and headstands'

Ikarian pathman, from the article: 'Trail network shutdown' Be volunteer, from the article: 'Μύθοι για την Ικαρία : Ο ΚΟΚΚΙΝΟΣ ΜΥΘΟΣ' d02, from my article: '‘vRiLiSoS’ Nature Loving Society work paths' Silent walk 2 on the Trail of the Elves by angeloska, on Flickr

samphire ikaria 2 from my article: 'Gathering samphire at the brink of the waves' poledancer Therma Ikaria 3 in my article: 'That window won’t open …'

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Red J in the Sun by angeloska, on Flickr Ikaria 2014 by Chris Tzaferos, on Flickr We love Nas, from Nana's article: 'Simply Belgian' Untitled by Morfoula Pithi, from Nana's article: 'Όλα Τέντα τον Αύγουστο'

Petra advertises hiking map by angeloska, on Flickr Petra walks the Round 5 by angeloska, on Flickr Shana on the bus in Ikaria, from my article: 'Ikaria in August – Instructions for Use' Leda and Lentisks in Myrsonas gorge by angeloska, on Flickr Dan the volunteer by angeloska, on Flickr

Musicians test dancing tunes 3 by angeloska, on Flickr Al Pacino in the panigiri Ikaria by Karl Georges, on Flickr Ικαρία Νας by Ntinos Mpormpoudakis, on Flickr

p1040703, from Nana's article: 'Simply Mother' Image from Nana's article: 'Touristicon' Καλό Καλοκαίρι by angeloska, on Flickr

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agrimi03, from my article: 'Αφιερωμένο στην Αθηνά και σε κανέναν άλλον!' B&J in Ikaria 12, from Nana's article: 'Simply UK' The man and the place by angeloska, on Flickr Proud on the top by angeloska, on Flickr

Image from Nana's article: 'Touristicon' Posing at the pool by angeloska, on Flickr

All images open directly on the bloggers’ or photographers’ own spaces and it goes without saying that they are copyrighted. Special thanks to © angeloska, © Ορειβατικός Σύλλογος Ικαρίας and © egotoagrimi

More material in Flickr can be easily found if you type: «Ikaria + portrait», «Ikaria + face», «Ikaria + girl», «Ikaria + boy» etc.

Closing this let me add that there are more shots but that’s not «The Who in The Where» – that’s …

«Only Few in Only Few Places»!😀

rocky nan summer ikaria

Bye, bye! Got to work now! 😛

Work Eleni

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Cross blogging 1: Nana’s WP media


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We ♥ Nana to agrimi's blog
.Katsika, from 'Four Seasons in Ikaria'

Happy Summer, my friends!


Google Image Search for 'egotoagrimi+files+wordpress'
It’s not the right time of the year to post long accounts. In the summer people usually browse magazines and look at pictures. So this article is about pictures, pictures of a special kind, older or newer attachements to my friend Nana’s blog posts, that may have passed unnoticed. The same as her blog as a whole, these pictures are not touristic neither do they aim to giving information about the island. All I may say about them is that they are thrilling and they have provided inspiration to a lot of viewers, and if I may say, a bit of motivation as well, and that not only concerning Ikaria but for all similar places of the world gifted with an exciting outdoors and a culture of freedom. Before I write a full blog review, I’ll stop and just say: it’s not pictures from my beloved Flickr that I look at when I am homesick for Ikaria. I look at these pictures. And when I have time, I click on the links and I also read the articles some of which go back to several years ago.
I encourage you to take the ride. It’s a wild ride, as wild and natural as our island. Sometimes the concept does not make sense, sometimes it does, sometimes there’s humor or doubt, puzzlement, even bewilderment. There is art and fun and yes, in some of them a visitor can find some tourist information too.
But this is not the point. The point is a strong, desicive and creative girl living and rambling in Ikaria and what she thinks about it all. Take a look yourselves and say if I am wrong.
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Sending love to NanaSomeone just asked. Yes, of course there will be a second part and maybe more to come. Nana to agrimi’s media library from Ikaria is big!.

Sending love to my readers

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dance-ikaria, from 'Η Ικαριώτικη Σούστα στον καιρό της Παγκοσμιοποίησης.' Konica Minolta Digital Camera 2, from 'Ο Αύγουστος του Αγριμιού'

Faragi mou, from 'OFF THE RECORD #1' blythe-spurge-s, from 'My Blythe Doll is in Ikaria' hornet-1s, from 'THREATS XVII (common)'

October Ikaria, from 'Some Ikaria sounds' xaplara, from 'Time for blackberries' gantia kouzinas, from 'Σαλεμένο Πατατάτο Σώζει Δάση'

The lake we built in Ikaria, from 'Φτιάχνοντας μια Λίμνη στο Φαράγγι (1)' Keep Ikaria free and clean, from 'Η ελεύθερη κατασκήνωση είναι βιώσιμος τουρισμός και πλούτος για όλους' Secret beach, from 'Giving it all : Wild coves & beaches in southern Ikaria'

proespera-1, from 'Spiral Dance Super Version' Agrimi Sum, from 'Agrimi Sum' Old house countryside Ikaria, from 'Rediscover The Countryside'

These Mountains Are For Dancing, from 'Simply ♡ Ikarian' wildcamp3, from 'Mountain Camping Easter' We love Nas, from 'Simply Belgian'

Snake, from 'THREATS Χ – ΑΠΕΙΛΕΣ Χ' OPS Ikarias cleaning Myrsonas trail, from 'Said to be made by God' Ikaria 186, from 'Why can’t we do it in Ikaria?'

Pireus by Vangelis Rinas, from 'Μην κλαίτε! Δεν είναι ξερόβραχος!' Esor Rairb, from 'Not Briar Rose but Esor RairB' misikolaki Ikaria, from 'Το Μισοκωλάκι και άλλες τρομακτικές ιστορίες από την Ικαρία σε κόμικς'

Volunteers trails Ikaria, from 'Εθελοντική εργασία στην Ικαρία' Simply Mother, from 'Simply Mother' OPS Ikarias Google maps, from 'Hiking routes by OPS Ikarias in Google maps'

free in the mountains, from 'I am away for a little while' Savage Nan Ikaria 4, from 'Holes and Thorns' Pot Ikaria, from 'Έλλειψη Συγκέντρωσης'

Birgit&Angelos, from 'Τα σέβη μου σ’εκείνους που επιμένουν' img_5816, from 'ΚΥΚΛΟΣ ΕΡΓΑΣΙΩΝ 1'

free on the other side, from 'Break on through to the other side ☀ yeah !' tourist instructions ikaria august, from 'Ικαρία τον Αύγουστο – Οδηγίες Χρήσης'

frikia sta agka8ia Ikaria, from 'Διάλειμμα για Τζούρες Θυμάρι' love at the pool ikaria, from 'You have the right to remain silent' Ang & Nan, from 'Επιστροφή στον Λαγουδότοπο'

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et cetera
et cetera

 

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‘The Hiking Trails of Ikaria’ – illustrated interview by OPS Ikarias


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In life it's not where you go but who you you travel withHello readers! ❤😀

You know that my blog likes interviews and this one… well, it’s a good one because it’s like a documentary! I mean that you can just stare at the photos (loads of them) streaming over the questions and answers, only that I thought that the context was interesting too, so I got into the trouble to translate the whole thing in English and then I sent it over to be added as subtitles to the video on youtube. Which video is an illustrated version of an interview to my good Ikarian friend, Angelos K., founding member and representative of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria (OPS Ikarias), by Babis Kokosis for «The Hiking Trails of Greece» a regular radio show on «The Voice of Greece», the international Greek state Radio (ERA 5). Unlike what you might have expected, the pictures do not show landscapes and trails and maps and stuff like that but people!
As the introduction goes:

«The photos showing in this video made by OPS Ikarias were taken along our various hiking trips and many other activities in the nature of Ikaria from 2008 to 2016. They are a tribute to our older and newer friends and members of the Club who walk and enjoy the island’s fascinating landscapes and take part in the club’s projects and activities. They are our inspiration and our one and only support. This video is dedicated to them!»

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***Find button to turn on "subtitles". Seen best in full screen mode!
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You can read my translation of Angelos’s radio interview by opening this link to OPS Ikarias Google docs. The interviewer introduces the show like this:

«Today we will visit Ikaria, an island that has managed, in spite of the growing tourist development, to maintain a big part of its cultural traditions.
The natural particularities of Ikaria are many. They are shaped by the geographical features and the position of the island in the Aegean Sea. Ikaria consists of a long mountainous mass stretching from east to west forming a ridge with heights over 1000 m. and separating the island in two sides: the northern side with mild slopes, forestlands and abundant waters, and the southern side with stony grounds and steep slopes. Therefore, it displays an impressive variety of landscapes and natural sights which the visitor can discover by following its numerous trails while getting in touch with its history and the legendary particular way of life of its inhabitants.
Let’s find out a bit more about the hiking routes of the island as well as what a hiker may encounter in them through our talk with Mr. Angelos Kalokairinos, representative of the local Hiking Club.»

read more...

And if you are a Greek reader you can check out the original transcript in this link.

The video, seen best in full screen mode, it goes without saying, includes a selection of pictures from the Flickr Album: «Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria».  I have exercised my influence🙂 and gotten a specially coded link so you can see all the pictures -not only the public ones. So take advantage of this privilege and enjoy an amazing slideshow! But if you just like a quick view, here is the album straight out of Flickr:


Eleni Ik

https://www.561media.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/heart.png 

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Ikaria, May 14 2016
[BIG DAY!]

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Ικαρία & Φούρνοι: μια εξερεύνηση


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Alexias Ikarian GuidebookΓεια σας αναγνωστες🙂


Σημερα γραφω με χαρα στα Ελληνικα γιατι το θεμα μου ειναι Ελληνικο και μαλιστα αφορα ενα καλο βιβλιο για την Ικαρια! Μπορει να πειτε πως κανονικα δεν θα ‘πρεπε να γραψω αφου
ειμαι τοσο παθιασμενη, οντας ολοσωμο κι ολοψυχο το μπλογκ μου αφιερωμενο σ’ αυτο το νησι, αρα η κριτικη μου δεν θα ειναι αντικειμενικη. Ομως εγω οταν χρειαζεται ξερω να συγκρατω το παθος μου. Εξαλλου εχω αλητεψει ταξιδεψει αρκετα και ξερω καλα οτι η Ικαρια δεν ειναι το κεντρο του κοσμου καθως επισης εχει και παρα πολλα μειονεκτηματα. Ετσι νομιζω οτι θα τα καταφερω να γραψω μια νηφαλια κριτικη. Θα βοηθουσε επισης αν σας ελεγα οτι οχι μονο δεν εχω μετοχες στον εκδοτικο οικο που βγαζει το βιβλιο αλλα ουτε καν γνωριζω τη συγγραφεα. Καποτε μονο διαβασα μερικα γραπτα και ειδα φωτογραφιες της και μου φανηκε πως ηταν καλο παιδι. Ετσι απλα.
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Crouched photographer in EMF & land erosion.

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Οταν λοιπον εκανε την πρωτη ερευνα για το βιβλιο, μου εγραψε και μου ζητησε φωτογραφιες για την εκδοση. Τοτε ηταν που ειχα ζησει πανω απο 1/2 χρονο στην Ικαρια και μου ειχε κανει μεγαλη εντυπωση που δεν υπηρχε σχεδον καθολου εγκυρο δημοσιευμενο υλικο για τον τοπο που ζουσα. Τοσο που γνωστοι και φιλοι, συνεργατες στη δουλεια, ξεροντας τον χαρακτηρα μου, νομιζαν οτι ειχα κατοικησει σε καποια χιππικη βραχονησιδα με σπηλιες!😮 Ετσι της εδωσα φωτογραφιες με χαρα και ανακουφιση, νιωθοντας απο ενστικτο οτι η Αλεξια θα εγραφε απλα και τιμια, με διασταυρωμενα στοιχεια και καλη επιλογη θεματων, και ιδιως χωρις κουφιες εμπορικες καλολογιες. Πραγματι, τωρα που κρατησα στα χερια μου το αντιτυπο που μου χάρισε, βλεπω πως ειχα δικιο. Αυτος ο ταξιωτικος οδηγος ειναι τοσο αμεσος κι απλος που
εκτος απο «Εξερευνηση», θα μπορουσε να εχει τιτλο: «Ικαρια και Φουρνοι: Εξ επαφης»!^^’
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Proud Alexia and her Guidebook about Ikaria.

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Το καλο πραγμα αργει να γινει. Μεχρι να εκδοθει σωστα το βιβλιο της Αλεξιας γνωρισε μεγαλες περιπετειες. Απο κοινους γνωστους εμαθα οτι αντι να της ανατεθει η αποστολη απο καποιο αφεντικο, εκεινη ηταν που πηγε και χτυπησε «μεγαλες πορτες» ζητώντας την αναθεση η οποια της δοθηκε μεν, ομως η εκδοση, αν και με τρανταχτη υπογραφη γνωστων εκδοσεων του χωρου, πηγε κακην κακως στη διανομη, δεν έφτασε στα ραφια και τελικα εξαφανιστηκε.😮
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On slippery grounds....

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Ομως η Αλεξια επεμεινε. Σε συννενοηση με την Καριωτικη παρεα του ηλεκτρονικου περιοδικου ikariamag τμηματα του βιβλιου εμφανιστηκαν στο «Ο,τι χρειαζεστε για το νησι» οπου φαινεται πως ειχαν μεγαλη επισκεψιμοτητα, ελεγχθηκαν απο τους αναγνωστες και αναγνωριστηκε η εγκυροτητα τους. Ετσι ψηθηκε η ιδεα για μια νεα ενημερωμενη εκδοση η οποια βγηκε τελικα το Δεκεμβρη του 2015 απο τις Εκδοσεις «Ελευθερες Πτησεις» που συνδεονται με το περιοGood signal, thank you!δικο και άρα το θεωρω απιθανο η εκδοση να εξαφανιστει κι αυτη απο τα ραφια.😉🙂
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Εκτος απο τikariamag.gr/ikariastore/product/10608α βιβλιοπωλεια, το «Ικαρια & Φουρνοι: μια εξερευνηση» θα βρειτε σιγουρα στο ηλεκτρονικο καταστημα ikariastore. Εχει 370 σελιδες και κοστιζει 15.00€. Παρακατω θα σας εξηγησω γιατι αξιζει να το αγορασετε. Πρωτα ομως ας δουμε τι γραφει στην εισαγωγη η ίδια η Αλεξια για το βιβλιο της:
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«Το παραδέχομαι, δεν την είχα συμπαθήσει όταν την είχα πρωτοδεί την Ικαρία. Ούτε που την ένοιξε βέβαια αυτήν. Δεν με είχε ανάγκη βλέπεις, ούτε εμένα ούτε κανέναν. Ωστόσο δεν κατόρθωσε να με ξεφορτωθεί τόσο εύκολα. Καθώς περνούσαν τα χρόνια, κάπως τα ΄φερε η ζωή κι επέστρεψα, αυτή τη φορά κάτω από τελείως διαφορετικές συνηθήκες. Η Νίκη κι ο Βασίλης με πήγανε παντού, με φρόντισαν, μου έμαθαν ικαριώτικο, με βοήθησαν να μην αισθάνομαι ενοχές που δεν βιάζομαι, με πήγανε στη ντίσκο στις 5 το πρωί και μάντεψε: τελικά τη λάτρεψα την Ικαρία!..»

«Μετά δεν ήθελε και πολύ. Ξαναπήγα και ξαναπήγα και ξαναπήγα, γνώρισα κι άλλους φανταστικούς ανθρώπους και τελικά έγραψα ένα βιβλίο. Ο στόχος τώρα -όπως και τότε- παραμένει ο ίδιος: ν’ απολαύσετε και να αγαπήσετε αυτόν τον τόπο γι’ αυτό που είναι και όχι γιατί σας το προτείνω εγώ. Κάθε τόπος άλλωστε είναι σαν ένας ξεχωριστός άνθρωπος. Με τα χρόνια φτιάχνει την προσωπικότητά του, ζώντας τις δικές του μοναδικές εμπειρίες, κάτω από διαφορετικές επιδράσεις. Κάπως έτσι γράφεται τελικά η ιστορία του, όποια κι αν είναι αυτή…»

«Ανοίγοντας το βήμα για να φτάσεις στα πιο απομονωμένα σημεία, χάνεσαι μέσα σε ανήλιαγα αρχαία δάση, διασχίζεις ορμητικούς λουλουδιασμένους ποταμούς, βουτάς μέσα σε χρυσαφένιες παραλίες, διψάς μέσα στην πέτρα και τη σκόνη, ξαποσταίνεις σε καταπράσινα προστατευτικά δέντρα. Μέσα σ’ αυτόν τον ταξιδιωτικό οδηγό θα βρεις τον τρόπο να φτάσεις στα πιο κρυφά σημεία της Ικαρίας και των Φούρνων, θα γνωρίσεις ηλιοκαμένους ανθρώπους που κατέχουν το μυστικό της μακροζωίας και θα ανακαλύψεις γιατί ο Ίκαρος διάλεξε να πέσει ακριβώς εκεί…»

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Κι εγω τωρα σας λεω να το παρετε γιατι:
^^’
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tourist instructions ikaria august

  • Η Αλεξια εφαρμοζει πιστα τους βασικους κανονες του καλου ταξιδιωτικου βιβλιου. Χωρις να θεωρει τιποτα σαν δεδομενο ή αυτονοητο, γίνεται σύντροφος του ταξιδιωτη και τον καθοδηγει να κινηθει στο νησι και εφοσον θελει, να ξετρυπωσει κρυμενα περασματα σε μυστηριωδεις πραγματικοτητες που η Ικαρια διαθετει αφθονες, πιο πολλες απο καθε αλλο Ελληνικο νησί.🙄😉>:D.
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Break on through to the other side ☀ yeah ! Our guide ikaria

  • Εχει ξεκαθαρισει σε ποιους απευθυνεται. Η Ικαρια της Αλεξιας δεν ειναι για ταξιδιωτες μαθημενους στα ευκολα. Ξερει που ειναι ολα τα αγκαθια, τα βραχια, οι αποτομες στροφες κι οι γκρεμοι, ενω θεματα περιβαλλοντος, τοπικης οικονομιας, τροπου ζωης και κοινωνικων συνθηκων ειναι σε πρωτο πλανο σε ολα τα κεφαλαια του βιβλιου, διχως ωστοσο περιττους εγκυκλοπαιδισμους. Σ’ αυτα τα θεματα εμεις οι γυναικες ειμαστε πιο πρακτικες απ’ τους αντρες.😉🙂.
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Adobe in the rocks

  • Αν και ολοφανερα δεμενη με τον τοπο, εχει το θαρρος της αποψης και της επιλογης των θεματων. Μετα τη θαυμασια εισαγωγη για τη γεωγραφια, την ιστορια, την κουλτουρα, την αρχιτεκτονικη και τις παραδοσεις, διαιρει το βιβλιο σε οκτω διαδρομές στις οποιες μας παει βημα-βημα, δινει τα highlights, καποια αφηνει απεξω, εννοειται, ευτυχως, δεν ειναι εγκυκλοπαιδεια ουτε χρυσος οδηγος!🙄.

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All Ikaria map web

  • Οι χαρτες! Οι χαρτες! Οι χαρτες!^^’
    Οι φωτογραφιες! Οι φωτογραφιες!^^’
    Οι πρακτικες πληροφοριες και τα μικρα, πολυ χρησιμα, τιπς😎


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Overgrazed Ikarian mountain Atheras

  • Δεν γινοταν να λειπουν οι αναφορες στις χτυπητες ιδιαιτεροτητες μας. Τα πανηγυρια⭐ οι «γκρουβαλοι»😎 η διαφορετικη αισθηση του χρονου😳 το οχι/ναι καμπινγκ🙄 η μακροζωια😉 – για ολα αυτα (και αλλα που δεν τα ξερετε) η Αλεξια καταθετει την αποψη της θαρρετα, γλαφυρα και με χιουμορ😀 αλλα δεν παραλειπει κιολας να καταγγειλει τα πολλα σκουπιδια, τα παρατημενα αυτοκινητα, την συχνη ελλειψη αρχιτεκτονικης καλαισθησιας και την αδιαφορια για το περιβαλλον οπως π.χ. στο θεμα της υπερβοσκησης που ερημοποιει τα βουνα του νησιου.😦

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Ikarian Ridge Walk Oct 30 22

  • Μιας και μιλησα για βουνα, σε καθε κεφαλαιο του βιβλιου γινονται πολλες αναφορες στην πεζοπορια: ειτε για το πολυ απλο, δηλαδη για να φτασει κανεις σε μια απομονωμενη παραλια [«καβατζα»😀 ] ειτε για μεγαλυτερες διαδρομες οπως π.χ. το Φαραγγι της Χαλαρης ή τον Γυρο του Δασους του Ραντη. Ομως δεν επεκτεινεται πολυ και κανει καλα. Η πεζοπορια/ορειβασια στην Ικαρια ειναι ξεχωριστο, πολυ μεγαλο κεφαλαιο που γι’ αυτο θα αξιζε να γραφτει εξειδικευμενος ταξιδιωτικος οδηγος.🙄

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Food, pebbles and headstands: coffee!

  • Τελος, ηθελα να πω οτι δεν εχω δει καλυτερο καταλογο δωματιων, ξενοδοχειων, εστιατοριων, μπαρ κτλ. Βρισκονται μετα απο καθε κεφαλαιο στο τελος καθε διαδρομης και απορησα που τα ξερει, γιατι στην Ικαρια ουτε τα μισα κομοντιτις δεν βρισκονται στον κεντρικο δρομο αλλα ειναι κρυμμενα σε μακρινες πλαγιες και ραχουλες! Μαλιστα η Αλεξια δηλωνει οτι για αυτη τη ξεχωρη δουλεια δεν ζητησε κι ουτε πηρε δεκαρα. Φυσικα την πιστευω! Κι εσεις να ακολουθησετε τις συμβουλες της γιατι ειναι γυναικα μερακλου προφανως.^^’

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Το Πέλαγος του Βοριά: We gaze Icarian Sea

  • Προσωπικά εγω διαβασα το βιβλιο της με περιεργεια αλλα κυριως με μεγαλη ανακουφιση. Η περιεργεια μου ικανοποιηθηκε με το παραπανω γιατι εμαθα πολλα πραγματα που δεν ηξερα. Πιο πολυ ομως ενιωσα ανακουφιση γιατι εχουμε ενα καλο τουριστικο τυφλοσουρτη επιτελους! Να μη χρειαζεται καθε φορα που συνανταμε ενα ξενο να του κανουμε σεμιναριο, αλλα να του λεμε:
    -Αγορασε αυτο το βιβλιο, ειναι καλο, το διαβαζουμε κι εμεις οι Καριωτες. Διαβασε το κι ελα μετα, οποτε θες,  να τα πουμε με πιο πολλες λεπτομερειες!😀
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me fairy muddy Αυτα απο μενα τη Λενη και γεια σας, χαρα σας.🙂

πηγΙκαρια - Φουρνοι: μια εξερευνηση στο facebookαινετε τωρα αν θελετε να δειτε τη
σελιδα του βιβλιου της Αλεξιας στο facebook
⭐⭐⭐


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Η Αλεξια και το βιβλιο της στο facebook Σημ: Η Αλεξια δεν ειναι απο την Ικαρια ή τους Φουρνους. Γεννηθηκε και μεγαλωσε στην Αθηνα, σπουδασε στο τμημα ΕΜΜΕ του Πανεπιστημιου Αθηνων και λιγο αργοτερα βρεθηκε για μεταπτυχιακα στην Αγγλια και την Ολλανδια. Εργαστηκε στο χωρο της δημοσιογραφιας, της επικοινωνιας και της εκπαιδευσης και απο το 2014 εχει μεταναστευσει στη Μεση Ανατολη. Λατρευει τα εξερευνητικα ταξιδια, ενω η συγγραφη αποτελει γι’ αυτην καταφυγιο. Το «Ικαρια & Φουρνοι: μια εξερευνηση» ειναι το πρωτο της βιβλιο και το πιο αγαπημενο της δημιουργημα στη μεχρι τωρα ζωη της. Το mail της ειναι: alexia.palesti@gmail.com

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Ικαρια, 24 Μαρτιου 2016

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The Aegean’s nameless dead


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hashtag safe passage logoHello🙄
I have written before about this, oh that was so long ago
, in 2006. Since then I kept as quiet as I could about the fact, I tried to amuse impressions, I clowned, I ignored questions. I can’t do that any more! The word has been said, the evidence is present and the report has been written: We don’t welcome refugees in Ikaria because refugees do not come to our shores alive. This is the devastating truth, the truth that I couldn’t afford to speak out openly about in 2006. I am sorry, readers. I am out of breath. Go on and read John Psaropoulos’ article in the IRIN. Please don’t add comments under this entry. I don’t want comments because no comments are needed. The only thing needed is action and loud protest!
😐
The Aegean’s nameless dead
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IRIN: 'The Aegean’s nameless dead' by John Psaropoulos IRIN contributorThe girl was lying across the beach, her face down in the pebbles,” says municipal plumber Pantelis Markakis as we walk to the water’s edge. “What shocked me was when I saw that her hands were turned like this and white like stone,” he says, turning his palms upwards and gnarling his fingers. “I asked a coastguard officer if she was wearing gloves.

 

Girl refugee slipper in the coast of Ikaria: The beach at Iero is littered with refugees' possessions

«The unidentified 10- or 11-year-old was one of two bodies that washed up on the Greek island of Ikaria in the eastern Aegean on 19 December. The other was that of a man in his 20s.
Subsequent storms have since reclaimed the dozen-odd life jackets that washed up on the beach at Iero that day; but it is still littered with packets of Amoxipen, Spandoverin and Diclopinda – antibiotics, painkillers and anti-nausea medicine that were among the refugees’ possessions. Turkish fruit juice boxes also litter the shore along with a pair of hotel slippers from the Istanbul Holiday Inn, encrusted with barbed seed pods.»

Ikaria's rocky, jagged coastline is full of coves where bodies, or parts of bodies, can become lodged, impossible to see or recover

«Ikaria, and the sea around it, are named after the mythical hero, Ikaros, who plummeted to a watery grave after flying too close to the sun. He and his father, Daidalos, had constructed wings out of birds’ feathers held together by wax – a flimsiness born of desperation not unlike that of today’s refugees, who attempt to cross the Aegean in unseaworthy vessels wearing useless life vests.
The island sits at a relatively isolated longitude exposed to the north winds that sweep down from the Dardanelles to Crete. This means that it acts as a net for the bodies and wreckage of shipwrecked refugees and migrants that shoot past the islands of Samos and Chios to the north and east. For migrants to find themselves on Ikaria means that they have lost their way, and they rarely arrive here alive.»

Dr Kalliopi Katte recalls helping firemen recover a badly decomposed body found in the shallows of Ikaria's north shore

«More bodies have surfaced recently – some in an advanced state of decay. On 5 January, a young woman was found bobbing in the shallows of the north shore, 10 kilometres from Iero.
“She was completely naked,” remembers Kalliopi Katte, the doctor who lifted her onto a stretcher. “It was an awful sight because although she had her arms and legs, her face was missing. There was no skin or flesh. It was just a skull.” The woman’s belly was bloated, not from pregnancy, but from the gases emanating from her decomposing bowels. Katte believes she had been at the bottom of the sea for about two weeks.
Like the other bodies, it too had to be cut loose from a life vest that failed to save the woman’s life.
The patch of coast where the body was found is so remote. Katte and three firemen had to carry the body up a mountainside for an hour to reach the nearest road.
“The bodies are always found after strong northern winds because they’ve sunk to the bottom of the sea and the weather brings them up against the rock,” says Katte. “The bodies have been eaten by fish – they’re not just decomposing.”»

Fisherman Nikos Avayannis (centre) salts sardines for bait.

«Some 3,771 refugees were recorded as dead or missing in the Mediterranean last year. In Greek and Turkish waters alone, 320 people have drowned or gone missing just since the beginning of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration. Yet these figures do not tell the whole story.
Even in death there are degrees of misfortune. Some dead are recovered, identified, and shipped home for burial. Some are listed as missing but never found. Some are found but remain unidentified; and there are those who are never sought and never found, because no witnesses survived their shipwreck, and no bodies washed up. The sea has claimed them without a trace, so they form an unknown statistic.
“Often in the straits we find life vests and other objects from shipwrecks in the nets,” says fisherman Nikos Avayannis. “I once found a backpack. We took it on board and searched for a survivor but didn’t find one. We delivered it to the authorities. It had clothes in it, some headphones from a cell phone and some documents.”
Avayannis believes that the owner of the backpack may have ended up part of that ghostly statistic of unclaimed, undiscovered dead. “If a body hasn’t been hit by a propeller and chopped to pieces, it floats and gets thrown out onto shore. If the current takes a body onto jagged rocks with caves, it’s possible that it will never be found.”
The rumour that fish are now eating dead refugees has turned many of Avayannis’ customers away. “A few days ago, as I was selling fish, two or three of my customers said, ‘as long as people are drowning we are going to abstain from fish.’»

A mass grave for refugees lies under unmarked, freshly turned earth, beside the graves of the island's residents

«Greek law demands an autopsy after every non-natural death. After that, the fate of a body depends on whether surviving relatives are available to identify it. “When relatives decide to bury them in Greece, it is usually done in the Muslim cemeteries on Rhodes and Kos. If they are Christians, they can be buried in one of the local cemeteries,” says Erasmia Roumana of the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. “The other choice is repatriation of the body, usually taken by Iraqi nationals.” For Syrians and Afghans, repatriating the bodies of family members to their war-torn countries is not an option.
When bodies are found, they are taken to Ikaria’s hospital. There, doctors pronounce death and take hair and tissue samples, which are preserved in brine. The entire package of paperwork and DNA evidence is then forwarded to the nearest district attorney – in this case on the island of Samos.
Surgeon John Tripoulas is still haunted by the experience of examining the body of an eight- to 10-year-old girl who had been in the sea for weeks, and was so close to disintegrating, rescue workers had to lift her up by her clothes. Her flesh was “saponified” he said – a term meaning it had literally developed a soap-like consistency.
“I’ll never forget what she was wearing,” says Tripoulas. “Pink sweatpants with a Mickey Mouse patch; white boots and a pink overcoat. Her facial features were not visible – [they] had been lost to the sea.”
This information, included on the death certificate, is perhaps all that is known about the girl; but even this may prove vital in one day informing her family of her ultimate fate.
“We use anything we can for recognition, such as clothing or jewellery or a manicure,” says Katte, the doctor who recalled helping to retrieve the young woman’s body on 5 January.
The only identifying objects on her faceless corpse had been five carved gold bracelets, now buried with her in a mass grave at Ikaria’s cemetery.»

The Aegean’s nameless dead
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Let me repeat: don’t comment.
Befriend with sorrow and act.

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😐😐😐

 

Ikaria, February 18, 2016

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Back home for Christmas


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dream steamer

Γεια σας🙂
βρισκομαι στην Ικαρια και δεν αντεχω παρα να γραψω στη γλωσσα του τοπου, δηλαδη στα Ελληνικα. Ειναι χειμωνας, εποχη για παλιες ιστοριες. Ομως δεν μου βγαινει να σας πω μια δικη μου γιατι ειμαι πολυ κουρασμενη.
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Για την Ικαρία του 1978-80 στο 'Πύραυλος των Υπογείων' του Βασίλη Ηλιακόπουλου με τίτλο: 'Back Home for Christmas'Αντι για μενα λοιπον, καλυτερα να διαβασετε το γραπτο του Βασιλη Ηλιακοπουλου απο το μπλογκ του που λεγεται «Πυραυλος των Υπογειων» και εχει τιτλο: Back home for Christmas. Απο τις πρόσθετες φωτογραφιες μερικες ειναι δικες μου και οι υπολοιπες ανηκουν σε γνωστους και αγνωστους φιλους απο το Flickr. Με αυτες τις προσθηκες προσπαθησα να αποδωσω εικονικα, αν και χωρις να δείξω προσωπα και παλιες καταστασεις, παρα μονο σκηνες του τοπιου, κατι απο την κλειστη και τραχεια, ομως τοσο θερμη και οικεια σε μενα, το περαστικο πουλι, ατμοσφαιρα που περιγραφει ο Ηλιακοπουλος.

Back home for Christmas

Armenistis Ikaria winter wave

«Έχω βρεθεί καταχείμωνο στην Ικαρία, τότε που οι λιγοστοί κάτοικοι λουφάζουν περιμένοντας να περάσουν οι δύσκολες εποχές. Αγριεμένος ο καιρός, τρία μέτρα ψηλή η θάλασσα, ορμάει με πάταγο στην προκυμαία και η νύχτα προμηνύεται όλο βουητό και αντάρα. Ο Αρμενιστής, ένα παλιό ψαροχώρι, εκτεθειμένο στους βορεινούς καιρούς, δεν κρατάει το χειμώνα πάνω από τριάντα ανθρώπους. Όσοι δεν κάθονται γύρω από τη σπιτική φωτιά μαζεύονται στον καφενέ, τραβούν τα παραθυρόφυλλα και τις ξύλινες πόρτες που μαστιγώνονται από θαλασσινές ριπές. Παλιοί ναυτικοί και μετανάστες που γύρισαν ύστερα από χρόνια στην Αμερική, βολεύονται γύρω απ’ τη σόμπα, ψήνουν κάστανα και πίνουν ρακί.»

Armenistis Ikaria winter calm with a bird on a rock

«Ο μπάρμπα-Δημήτρης, ο Κόχυλας, ο καφετζής, άρχοντας της λιτότητας, αράζει σ’ έναν πάγκο στη γωνία, χωμένος σ’ ένα βαρύ δερματόδετο βιβλίο που αν κανείς κάνει τον κόπο και πλησιάσει, θα διαβάσει: “Απομνημονεύματα του Στρατηγού Σαράφη„. Η γυναίκα του, η κυρά-Μαρία, όρθια στην άλλη γωνία, στην κουζίνα, τηγανίζει ψαράκια που τσιτσιρίζουν στο τηγάνι της. Ο καφενές τρίζει από την επίθεση των καιρών και όσοι είναι μαζεμένοι γύρω από τη σόμπα ξαναμμένοι από τη ρακή, το ρίχνουν στη συζήτηση για τα καράβια που έπιαναν παλιά στην Ικαρία.»

Armenistis Ikaria winter storm and rainbow splash by Wim De Weerdt on Flickr

«Το μεγάλο ερώτημα που ρίχτηκε στη κουβέντα, είναι: “Πότε ήρθε για τελευταία φορά το Μιμίκα Λ. στον Αρμενιστή„. Ήταν το ’47 ή το ’49; Για όσους δεν ξέρουν τι λαός είναι οι Ικαριώτες, πρέπει να πω ότι είναι πρωτομάστορες του καλαμπουριού και των ιστοριών. Όταν άρχιζε ο Στρατής ο Αφιανές ερχότανε μια στιγμή που βρισκόσουνα, χωρίς να το καταλάβεις, κυκλωμένος από παντού να τσαλαβουτάς μέσα στο τραγελαφικό και το παράδοξο. Κι όταν σηκωνότανε όρθιος ο Σταμάτης ο Κόχυλας, ο μεγάλος αδελφός του μπάρμπα-Δημήτρη, που ’χε κι αυτός έναν μικρό καφενέ πάνω από την προκυμαία, κοντός, ξερακιανός, αργομίλητος, τότε απλωνότανε νεκρική σιγή. Κι έπειτα, τα καλαμπούρια. Οι Ικαριώτες μπορούν να πειράζουν ο έναν τον άλλον για μια ολόκληρη νύχτα. Το κάνουν σαν ένα παιχνίδι που γυρίζει γύρω-γύρω κι αυτός που αρχίζει θα δεχτεί με τη σειρά του τα πειράγματα των άλλων. Άντρες πλατύστερνοι και βαριοκόκκαλοι, γέρνουν πάνω στην καρέκλα και με μάτια που λάμπουν από περιπαικτική διάθεση αμολάν το καλαμπούρι ενώ με τα χοντροδάχτυλά τους τρίβουν το κάστανο και ταυτόχρονα περιεργάζονται μία το θύμα και μία τις αντιδράσεις της παρέας. Ώρες-ώρες ο καφενές σείεται από τα γέλια. Πότε ήταν λοιπόν, το ’47 ή το ’49; Ήταν πριν από το γάμο του Τάσου του Φραγκούλη ή τότε που ο Τσαντίρης ο γέρος γύρισε από το Σικάγο και είπε ότι θέλει ν’ αφήσει τα κόκαλά του εδώ πέρα στα χώματα τα πατρογονικά.»

Eleni in Ikaria, February 08, 2006, thalassograph 2

«Όποιος δεν καλοθυμάται γίνεται αντικείμενο γενικής θυμηδίας. Μετά η συζήτηση προχωράει στα παλιά καράβια. Το Προπολεμικό «Φρίντο» που έκαιγε κάρβουνο, το «Παντελής», το «Δεσποινάκι» και η «Μαριλένα» πρώην «Κωστάκης Τόγιας». Μετά ερχότανε το «Μυρτιδιώτισσα» η «Μιμίκα Λ» και τα ιταλικά: ο «Κολοκοτρώνης», ο «Καραϊσκάκης» και το «Έλλη». Καράβια, φαντάσματα καραβιών που πέρναγαν σαν παλιές γκραβούρες μέσα απ’ την κουβέντα τους.»

Lighthouse in Armenistís by Ralf Moritz on Flickr

«Αλήθεια, τι απόσταση από το “Μιμίκα Λ.„ μέχρι το “Αιγαίο„! Κι από το Ο/Γ “Αιγαίο„ στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του ’80 ως τα σήμερα, τέλη του ’90. Παλιά σιδερένια βαπόρια με στρογγυλές πρύμνες, μυτερές πλώρες και ξύλινα καταστρώματα. Παστωμένα με άσπρη λαδομπογιά, με δερμάτινους καναπέδες και ξύλινες επενδύσεις. Το “Αιγαίο„ παλιό και ταλαιπωρημένο διέσχιζε το Ικάριο, βυθιζόταν με την πλώρη μέσα στο κύμα κι όταν σηκωνότανε πάνω από την ίσαλο γραμμή έβλεπες τα μίνια και τις ξεφλουδισμένες μπογιές του. Οι Ικαριώτες όμως ήταν βαθιά δεμένοι μ’ αυτό το πλοίο. Τους έφερνε στον Πειραιά μ’ όλους τους καιρούς κι από κει πίσω στο σπίτι τους. Γέρνανε στις κουπαστές και αγναντεύαν το νησί τους καθώς το καράβι έπλεε κατά μήκος του για μια ολόκληρη ώρα γιατί είναι ένα εξαιρετικά μακρόστενο νησί η Ικαρία.»

Hand by Eva Devriendt on Flickr

«Όπως το πλοίο έβγαινε από τον Άγιο Κήρυκο και τράβαγε δυτικά παραπλέοντας όλη τη νότια πλευρά του νησιού που την δέρνει το Ικάριο δείχνανε ο ένας στον άλλο με το δάχτυλο, και ονομάζανε με το όνομά τους, όλα τα χωριά, ένα, ένα. Γέροι με χοντρά τζην και καρρώ πουκάμισα φοράγανε εκείνα τα παλιά αμερικάνικα γυαλιά με τον μαύρο σκελετό που έδιναν οι αμερικάνικες κοινωνικές υπηρεσίες, το αμερικάνικο ΙΚΑ, στη δεκαετία του ’60. Στις πλάτες τους κρεμόταν ο γυλιός φτιαγμένος από δέρμα κατσίκας με το τρίχωμα προς τα έξω. Γυναίκες μαντηλοδεμένες, νύφες, γαμπροί, παιδιά.»

ikarialandscape by Gabriela Sofia Flores Schnaider inside album Ikaria on Flickr

«Διακρίνανε τα χωριά το ένα μετά το άλλο και στο τέλος πια τον Μαγγανίτη και μετά το Καρκινάγρι, που κρέμονταν πάνω στον απόκρημνο βράχο. Ξεχώριζαν το δρόμο που χρόνια τώρα πάσχιζε, με τις μπουλντόζες και τα φουρνέλα, ν’ ανοίξει η ΜΟΜΑ για να ενώσει το νησί. Κι όταν προσπέρναγαν το ακρωτήριο Παππάς, με τον φάρο του, τότε ήσυχοι πια κατέβαιναν στα σαλόνια του καραβιού και παρέες-παρέες άνοιγαν τα φαγητά με τα κεφτεδάκια και το ψωμοτύρι και τραβάγανε κοντά τη νταμιτζάνα με το κόκκινο Ικαριώτικο κρασί.»

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Τι ωραιο κειμενο!^^’
Καλε μου αγνωστε αναγνωστη αν θελεις κι ενα οχι για τη θαλασσα αλλα για το βουνο της ιδιας ή πιο παλιας εποχης, διαβασε στο μπλογκ της Νανας το:

Ήμεσσαν τρεις ψυχεροί ελόου μας…

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⭐⭐⭐
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Κι αν θες τη γνωμη μου, πιστευω οτι και σημερα πισω απο το τσιμεντο, τα μηχανηματα και το τουριστικο πασαλειμμα επικαλυμμα, κατι δυνατο απο ολα αυτα υπαρχει ακομα. ❤

Ελενη Ικ.
Ικαρια, 27 Ιανουαριου 2016

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