Glaciers, marbles and turbines


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*, by Guillermo on Flickr.

Dear readers
As I started this article, my intention was to present to the world the aestetic and environmental value of the limestone surfaces, crests and cliffs in a very special part of «Atheras», the ridge which makes the backbone of my island, Ikaria. This part is called «Pounta», a hellenized Italian word used by old seamen to describe a sticking out edge or protrusion of rocks like a promontory into the sea.
But after writing a few words, I changed my mind. I had to change my approach on the subject. You see, the landscape of Pounta is not at all «beautiful» in the common understanding of the word. Nor is the environmental value of this endless succession of barren, fragmented and cragged surfaces an easy thing to explain to a broad public. You see (again), along the irregular leaning pyramids of Pounta there is no water and none but very few weather beaten trees, the vegetation being restricted to thorny spurges of all kinds and sizes growing in the gaps between the limestone slabs.
It’s a nothingness, an emptiness, an inhospitable rocky wilderness.
But on the other hand, it’s one of the most impressive (read, majestic) landscapes I’ve seen in my life.
I’ve read that otherworldly landscapes like this were shaped by the movement of ancient glaciers. I can understand that for mt Olympus, but glaciers in Ikaria?!  Glaciers in the Aegean Sea?! Well, if you want my opinion, I prefer this explanation than no explanation at all. After all, we had dwarf mammoths and rhinos 50.000 years ago. Why couldn’t we have had glaciers as well?
Anyway, my point here isn’t hard science. My point is the effect these landscapes can have to the soul of the traveller -in this case, the hiker.
I’ve already written about it when I blogged on a similarly dramatic landscape in another side of the island. It was one of the most destitude and wildest places I know, but – oh my God! – so spectacular! There I experienced strong feelings of anchoritism, like a voice calling me to escape from the worldly turmoil and settle for the rest of my life among  dark hanging rocks on one side and  the blue immensity on the other.
Now, as I crossed Pounta for the first time (that was in 2006) I experienced a similar, though somehow different feeling. It wasn’t about God; it was about me, as a human being. I felt brave and I felt strong and I felt persistent and decisive. Especially when few years aIn my blog: Gallery: Ακομα κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων, Ikaria fogfter I tried the crossing again and the weather – as it usually happens up there – switched to gale and blew upon us thick blankets of vapor and dence sheets of fog.
In one word, I felt indomitable. 🐲

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Ikaria 247 by Eleni Ikanou on FlickrIkaria 241 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPressIkaria 248 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPressIkaria 242 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPressIkaria blog 250 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPress

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I love all the wild untamable landscapes of my island. By challenging my fears and reservations, they have strengthened my character through the years and helped me evolve to a more self-confident and more independent person.
However, in spite of their timeless, unshakeable appearance, limestone crests and cliffs like Pounta are very complicated and extremelIn my blog: In my blog: We say Νο to 110 turbines in Ιkaria (4)y fragile landscapes. Human activities of a gigantic industrial scale, such as the rumored installation of 110 mega-size wind turbines, would totally anihilate their actual high quality. An industrial eolian plant on mt Atheras would devastate Pounta. The prodigious ammount of excavations needed to install these monsters will sooner than later turn its proud crests to mere piles of gravel – piles of gravel rolling and dropping on our heads!

But enough with words. Just below you can see a choice of photos from a recent hiking day trip across the limestone crests of Pounta taken by my friends the OPS Ikarians.
I chose them from 1) Flickr, 2) Google, anΚeep calm and sign our petition against 110 turbines in Ιkaria: ΥΠΟΓΡΑΦΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ 110 ΑΝΕΜΟΓΕΝΝΗΤΡΙΩΝ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΚΑΡΙΑd 3) the photos contained in the Google map of the hike. If you like this visual evidence and therefore, you think like me that this very special landscape should stay untouched by capitalist piracy, please consider signing the petition! 📜

Ikaria 120, 'looking at the waterfall' | Eleni Ikanou on Flickr ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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ATHERAS, by angelos ka on Flickr

ATHERAS

…..

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In Nana Agrimi's blog: Up on the trees + Down on our knees

Afterword: This was eventually one more article about the landscapes of Ikaria with a stress on the mountainous nature of the island. I wonder when I will post another one. I do hope that I’ll do that soon, though. All I know right now is that the land is closing in for winter and everybody is picking olives …

 

Eleni Ik

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


19 Σχόλια on “Glaciers, marbles and turbines”

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    […] …You cannot conceive the beauty or the ugliness of this world when you are observing it from a distance. You have to approach, dive into its depths and explore… It is only then that awareness and objectiveness are acquired.. […]


    [«Windbag of Aeolus»]

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    Windbag of Aeolus

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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  2. Ο/Η Angelos Ka λέει:
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    «…this very special landscape should stay untouched by capitalist piracy»

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    So glad you have taken out your splendid heavy sword! 🙂
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    Eleni on Atheras with sword

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    Αρέσει σε 7 άτομα

  3. Ο/Η guerrero λέει:
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    … Big thanks Eleni… 🙂

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    No to 110 wind turbines on Atheras Ikaria

    No to 110 wind turbines in Ikaria (3)

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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  4. Ο/Η egotoagrimi λέει:
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    I loved the part about the gravel! ^^’
    As if the devastation from massive goat grazing on our steep slopes wasn’t enough 😛 😉 :*

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    overgrazed ikarian mountain atheras

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    we will have tons and tons of gravel dropping everywhere… 😥

    piles of limestone gravel

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    😮
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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  5. Ο/Η Eleni λέει:
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    This is it! I’d rather see happy jumping people on the ridge than rusty iron monsters, and gravel piles everywhere!

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    ‘Niña voladora en Ikaria’

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    ‘In the clouds’ by josephinemayw on instagram

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    Rock jumping on Prioni, Koskinas Castle, Ikaria

    ^^’
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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  6. Ο/Η Kanga Ikaria λέει:
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    A plan like this would be the death not only of mountain tourism in Ikaria but of life in the villages in the slopes of the mountain as well!

    😮
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    Profit, is that what you want?

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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  7. Ο/Η Tamara λέει:
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    I am with you in the fight! The marble crests of Pounta on Atheras are amazing! They should stay free and pristine!

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    akro ikaria

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    Thank you for standing up against this terrible project!

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    Αρέσει σε 9 άτομα

  8. Ο/Η Θεοδώριχος λέει:
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    Your approach is the best approach. The dolomites of Ikaria have to be saved and preserved!

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    Atlas

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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  9. Ο/Η elinalafina λέει:
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    15 sq km of free undomesticated, unmastered space, before man and after man, huge water reservoir, super important natural habitat for 1000 species, heaven for photographers, inspiration for sculptors and architects – this is all true – but someone had to come out and say HOW IT FEELS!!!
    That’s a big post Eleni!

    💗

    Let's all jump in the wild! 🙂

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    💗

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  10. Ο/Η girl of the last chance λέει:
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    Nous avons fait cette traversée il y a deux ans. Cela nous a pris une journée entière. Il faisait chaud et parfois nous étions presque complètement nues. Marcher comme ça dans ce paysage des glaciers et sauter par-dessus les épines pour passer d’une dalle à l’autre a été une expérience – torsion de l’esprit et du corps. Jamais des éoliennes industrielles là-haut!

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    Pounta panoramic

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    😉 🙂

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

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    We are protesting against industrial wind turbines on Wednesday! Thanks for your stimulating motivation! It’s about time we say NO TO INDUSTRIAL WIND FARMS IN IKARIA!

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    ΟΧΙ ΣΤΗ ΛΕΗΛΑΣΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΦΥΣΗΣ
    ΣΤΟ ΟΝΟΜΑ ΤΩΝ ΣΥΜΦΕΡΟΝΤΩΝ!

    ΟΧΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΣΟΠΕΔΩΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΒΟΥΝΩΝ ΜΑΣ
    ΣΤΟ ΟΝΟΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΚΕΡΔΟΥΣ!

    ΟΧΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΡΑΣΙΝΗ ΟΙΚΟ-ΚΤΟΝΙΑ!

    ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΣ ΑΘΕΡΑΣ ΧΩΡΙΣ ΑΙΟΛΙΚΑ!

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    Κάλεσμα σε Πεζο-Πορεία Διαμαρτυρίας και Αντίστασης στις ΒΑΠΕ*

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    Αρέσει σε 6 άτομα


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