Simply UK post produced!

Click to be redirected to my friend Nana to agrimi's blog. Common standard WP reblogging wouldn't be enough for that wonderful entry, that wonderful content!
i miss everything She didn't belong to anywhere and never really belonged to anyone. And everyone else belonged somewhere and to someone.

Forest nymphs In the clouds

nακεd & unemployed


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Hello readers!
Not many words needed for these too few snapshots I was allowed to post wishing to celebrate Nana’s first sureal weeks of her new life in Ikaria. Don’t pay too much importance to the title of the enty. It’s only a joke. 🙂 My best friend is no ordinary girl so the whole thing was a success! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐




Hot Summer Day Dusk Ikaria


nακεd & unemployed by Nana to agrimi in Flickr

Moonlight Ravine Ikaria: A picture by Nana for her radical blog entry: Why can’t we do it in Ikaria?




Trahilas, a secret beach in Ikaria: Picture from Nana's 1st weeks of life in Ikaria


Whirl Pool Ikaria: Nana's picture from her revealing blog entry: Wild coves & beaches in northern Ikaria


Visit her blog to read stories and see photos. And for more quality visit her photostream in (no instagram!) … in Flickr of course!!! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

code name egotoagrimi

egotoagrimi's old buddy icon in FLickr: Nana in Ikaria with Olianders



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Piercing through an ancient forest

Trail of the Elves # 1


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simonsterg Pro User says:

This looks like an enormous achievement, angeloska! It looks like there has been a lot of chopping! (At least you had elves to help you!)

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isl_gr Pro User says:

@ ‘simonsterg’ : if you enlarge the image, you see on the footer it reads «Lothlorien College Graduates» !!!
@ ‘angeloska’ : x x x x x x x x

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angeloska Pro User says:

You are giving me new strength!
In return here is a small part of the story. This trail was almost an imaginary one, featuring only in an old Italian map of 1943 and in Elenis imagination and *unusual sources* (her old neigbours’ tales). The distance was about 2,5 km cutting through deep tall makia. We started cittung from both sides, one day from the east and the other from the west, with no more sense of direction but the zig-zag flow of a rivulet running next to the alleged path. The hard evidence whether the path existed, as well as my extreme worry was if the two tunnels would eventually meet someplace. They DID! I felt like opening a champaigne bottle.
Posted 6 months ago. ( permalink )

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simonsterg Pro User says:

That bit about the 1943 italian map sounds sort of romantic § – a hint from an odd old source – ideally you should have lost the map – kind of like a Borges tale, you know the sort of thing…
And you have made this perhaps imaginary path into… a REAL ONE – a Second Eupalinos! ¤ Champagne corks ought to be flying!
§ not that Eleni’s imagination isn’t also, of course, romantic – and the *unusual sources* very likely accurate…

¤ if that’s hyperbole it’s just in a celebratory way – not an attempt at irony (which I dislike)

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angeloska Pro User says:

I lost the map! As soon as I found it I lost it! I had only one glimpse of it. Then a veil of secrecy came and covered …
Eupalinos? I had thought of him. He used stereometry and trigonometry. He was given an awful amount of money too. But Eleni’s way is the low-budget one: trust your senses.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(Nana says:) Maybe this is a stupid question, but why did you start cutting one day from the east, one day from the west? Why haven’t you done it one way only? And avoid the risk of the two tunnels not meeting?

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angeloska Pro User says:

(love to talk technicalities with you, *thorn-walker*)
I have many reasons to cut from both sides :

1st) I usually hit the paths from as many sides as I can. Although people know more or less about my business, they still may get suspicious if they see me driving too often and stopping long in a desert place. So I sometimes take a path from one end and sometimes from another. It looks more normal if I am seen going someplace once or twice a fortnight instead of once a week.

2nd) This particular path was looong! When we got into the thick, deep and dark, at a certain point I lost my self-confidence. (That’s about when Eleni wrote in that last message of hers in the hiking group that I should not give up the chainsaw.) So we drove a long way round and started cutting from another place: a glade with a stony ground where the path was easy to see. Conveniently, this place was not far from a road, so we didn’t have to walk long to get back from work.

3rd) Regardless of the above, it really had to be done from both sides. With the Komatsu (*good machine* -lol:) I could have butchered through the maquis on a straight line and created a way through. But I don’t make way-throughs; I make paths. And I’m always tryng to find the original ones. Because my walks are inside nature and history as well. When the two ends connected (so to say, automatically), I was sure that I hadn’t just made an opening through. That was an ancient path used by the elvish old inhabitants of Ikaria.
§ § § §
And because I have explained so thoroughly, here is question for you:
I have a permission from the Forest Service to open the paths. In fact, more than permission, it is an encouragement based on the general principle that there should be paths in the forests. They serve as fire zones, they say, and this is correct. Yet for most people this means that firemen are able to unreel their hoses and put out a fire in the heart of the forest. But there is also another reason why a path like this is a fire-zone.It prevents fires. Why, Nan? You are still a good mechanic, aren’t you?

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Konstantinos Mentzelopoulos Pro User says:

Congratulations! It looks wonderful and I can imagine how hard it must have been. Warmest regards from Tilos island, Konstantinos

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(Nana says:)

Here I go…
(We are between friends, are not we? Nobody is bothered. Hope so.)
(Γειά σου Κωνσταντίνε!)

An archaic forest as this, is an alive organic and very complicated system : : a *good machine* which (to work well) needs a temperature control system. In spring when temperatures rise considerably in Greece, there is still water, the system is watercooled. Afterwards in summer, when there is little water but there are cool winds from the sea, the system shifts to air-cooled (like some car engines fit for both normal and desert conditions).
So, your tunnel *αγγελούκο* helps in the air-cooling, lowers the temperature of the organism and therefore prevents fires. Your tunnel is an air-duct; functions like the pipe of a ventillator. Είναι ένας αεραγωγός. Brings from the sea and spreads through the cool breeze inside the forest and (w/o entering into a lot of technical details) this makes a big difference.
Because I have a feeling that you are kinda sorry for the chopping off all these tree branches, just think that what you did with the mini-Komatsu, was being done in the past by the ancient animals, like the deer (dama-dama), the wild goat (capra aegagrus) and the wild pig (sus scrofa). They made scars in the forest for the good of the forest. Now, unlike the animal’s, your scar is straight; ok, never mind; let’s put the blame on gaddem Euclides!

What’s the orientation of the tunnel? N to S? NE to SW?
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simonsterg Pro User says:

Wow!! It’s so sexy when it gets technical!
How ’bout a graph to spice it up even more… (never mind that it’s from across the sea on Kerkis.) Do you see? «overheating in the cushion» – HOT STUFF! – someone should make a (straight line) path through that thing!
(incidentally, I see Tilos has it’s very own Astragalus on flickr – but I can’t locate any photo with the tags astragalus and ikaria. – it must be just that I’m not searching properly…) 😉

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angeloska Pro User says:

zzdoing!!! I am dazed -:)) Aχ Nana when you want…
(Just wait… I will edit this tomorrow morning)l

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isl_gr Pro User says:

Even more dazed u should be at my friend Nana when u know that this analysis comes right out of a smoked turnery in Petrou Rali str, Athens.

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Tragopodaros says:

I lost MY map somewhere in there last year! In fact three maps I had specially copied and enlarged in Manchester; such was my struggle to hack a way through to PIGI, they fell from my pack.

Here’s another reason for the path to be cut from both ends – so that the people living at either end both feel they have a new path that TAKES them somewhere and don’t see it as an invasion from the outside world.

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angeloska Pro User says:

For years hikers who stayed in Evdilos and Kampos on the coast (point A) and saw the mountains of Rahes (point C) on the west, were asking for a direct way to make it up there without having to walk on the coastal road as far as Armenistis (point B) and from there climb to Rahes (point C). At a certain point I realized that what they were asking to follow was a cut-trough on the ypotenuse of the right triangle (A-C). I like ypotenuses. They are good options to a square static world. And indeed these are the ways invaders follow.
(But of course to make a succesfull invasion, I needed an invitation and a promise for an orgy on plenty of fried good Ikarian potatoes from Perameria.)


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Nothing to add except that «the orgy with plenty of good Ikarian potatoes from Perameria -panfried a la Belge» took place at last!

Monday September 3, 2007 – 08:34am (PDT)

The potatoes were delicious and all and so was the company but… on the next day I met Lefteris (the boy with the chainsaw in my Flickr photos) who had walked the trail and he told me that it needs a lot more work. Who is going to do it? Am I chasing a chimera?p.s. should I declare it a «nude hiking trail» ? <tease>

Tuesday September 4, 2007 – 03:39pm (EEST)

Βeautiful to the point of causing pain.Tuesday September 4, 2007 – 01:14pm (PDT)

AKK : Of course you are chasing a chimera. But your gift is that you are able to make other people chase it too; so it becomes real. Nana did the stalking and I visualized a story (in a story). I met people who walked it and …oh my friend, they were sober people, and they had …hallucinations!
«from an…» : «Βeautiful to the point of causing pain». That’s a perfect definition of a chimera -:)) I’m noting this down.p.s. «nude hiking trail»? whatever, but don’t shout it over the roofs. I don’t like «bears» -:lol:- and neither does Nana.

Wednesday September 5, 2007 – 10:54am (PDT)

Αφιερωμένο στην Αθηνά και σε κανέναν άλλον!

Arriving in Athens and staying indoors and doing stupid things, while I should be in Ikaria. Nana went down with melancholy.

I have a few pictures. I dedicate them to Nana, the 3 rd star of my life. She is actually in a very similar place. I want her to be inspired and to have me inspired back! You others may enjoy our interaction for free..



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Aiih, thaaank uuu agapi mas. Both of us liked the collage veeery much!!! We did get *inspired* -especially D.T. We Owe You Back!!! It’s zsuper to know that you watch over us!

Tuesday July 3, 2007 – 01:05pm (EEST)

και γαμώ τα κολαζ! η μικρη μας θεα  Νανα…

Wednesday July 4, 2007 – 12:06am (EEST)

Την τρέλα μου! Εκεί επιμονή. Και θάλασσα… Αφού είπαμε, δεν υπάρχουν θάλασσες.:P

Monday July 16, 2007 – 04:25pm (PDT)


Tuesday July 17, 2007 – 01:18pm (PDT)

Hiking like Flying


Hiking Ikaria facebook group

Για την Ικαρία βρίσκω πάντα 5 λεπτά καιρό για ένα γρήγορο copy-paste. Το παρακάτω τα έγραψε ο Άγγελος για να απαντήσει σε ερώτηση της Νανάς στο φόρουμ του ιντερνετικού κλαμπ των οδοιπόρων της Ικαρίας. Όμως κάτι έγινε με τα Greekfontsκαι ίσως κάποιοι ενδιαφερόμενοι δεν μπόρεσαν να διαβάσουν κανένα από τα δυο μηνύματα. Εγώ τα πήρα και τα δύο σωστά στο mailμου κι έτσι τα αναπαράγω εδώ.


Λοιπόν η Νανά είχε γράψει:



The Round of Rahes has expanded. Is the map outdated now? Except the «trail of the elves» (Evdilos – Rahes) which other trails have you made sure to find and follow? Can you announce? What other ways across wildernesses and «lost villages» are we to expect? What about the southern side?

There is a thought that we come and help you in June. Me together with Doubting Thomas, if you don’t mind. He asks to know everything beforehand.

Any progress in finding out who the unknown cairn-makers are? Should we think of this as just another mystery of Ikaria?



Είναι φανερό πως ο Γύρος των Ραχών έχει επεκταθεί. Ο χάρτης είναι λοιπόν ξεπερασμένος; Εκτός από «το μονοπάτι των ξωτικών» (Ράχες – Εύδηλος) ποιά άλλα μονοπάτια έχεις σιγουρέψει; Μπορεί να ανακοινώσεις; Τι άλλες διαδρομές μέσα από αγριότοπους και «χαμένα χωριά» να περιμένουμε; Τι γίνεται με τη νότια ακτή;

Γίνεται μια σκέψη να ‘ρθουμε και να σε βοηθήσουμε τον Ιούνη. Εγώ μαζί κι ο Άπιστος Θωμάς, αν δεν σε πειράζει. Όμως θέλει να τα ξέρει όλα προκαταβολικά.

Έχουμε κάποια εξέλιξη στο να βρεθούν ποιοί είναι οι άγνωστοι κτίστες των «κούκων»; Άλλο ένα μυστήριο της Ικαρίας αυτό;



Κι η απάντηση του Άγγελου ήταν:


This is about the new trails. An English translation will be coming soon…

Αυτήν τη στιγμή οι νέες πεζοπορικές διαδρομές,  προεκτάσεις του «Γύρου των Ραχών», είναι:

1) Ράχες (Μονή Μουντέ) – Περαμεριά (μονή Θεοκτίστης στο χωριό Πηγή) – Κάμπος (και Εύδηλος). 24 χιλ. περίπου. Κινείται σε μέσο υψόμετρο 400 μ. σε μήκος 24 χιλιομέτρων περίπου κατά μήκος μιας παρθένας ζώνης με πευκώνες, μακία και «χαμένα χωριά», η οποία έχει παραμένει ανεπηρέαστη τόσο από τη βόσκηση (που συμβαίνει πιο ψηλά στο βουνό), όσο και από την οικοδόμηση (που συμβαίνει πιο χαμηλά στα παράλια). Γι’ αυτό σωστά ονομάστηκε (ευχαριστώ!) «μονοπάτι των ξωτικών». Δεν έχω περπατήσει ακόμα ολόκληρη τη διαδρομή μονομιάς, όμως υπολογίζω ότι από την πλατεία του Ευδήλου μέχρι την πλατεία του Χριστού στις Ράχες πρέπει να είναι γύρω στις 7-8 ώρες άνετο περπάτημα με πολλές στάσεις. Ανήφορος υπάρχει μόνο ένας, από τον Κάμπο στην Πηγή, που είναι όμως λιθόστρωτος «ντουσεμές», εύκολος στο περπάτημα και με θαυμάσια θέα.

2) Ράχες (μικρό φράγμα στις Καστανιές) – Πούντα (Άγιος Δημήτριος). Στην αρχή της διαδρομής (λίγο πριν τις λίμνες) η πινακίδα γράφει «Άγιος Κήρυκος 8 ώρες». Αυτό το μονοπάτι είναι ο παλιός δρόμος από τις Ράχες για την πρωτεύουσα του νησιού. Μέχρι τώρα το ήξεραν ελάχιστοι πεζοπόροι. Αυτός όμως είναι ο πιο σύντομος δρόμος από και προς Άγιο Κήρυκο. Ανεβαίνοντας τον Μύρσωνα και αφήνοντας δεξιά κι αποφεύγοντας τα οροπέδια «Αμμούδια» και «Ζηζόκαμπος», το μονοπάτι οδηγεί κατευθείαν στις εκτάσεις πάνω από το Φραντάτο. Το σκηνικό είναι γεμάτο άγριο μυστήριο. Αδύνατο να πιστέψει κανείς ότι κάποτε ήταν μια εξαιρετικά πολυσύχναστη διαδρομή. Αυτή είναι επίσης η αμεσότερη οδός από τις Ράχες για το Δάσος του Ράντη.

3) Έχει γίνει μια πρώτη σήμανση στη διαδρομή από Προεσπέρα προς Κουνιάδο, Βρακάδες, Λαγκάδα (και μετά Άγιο Ισίδωρο, Καρκινάγρι ή Τραπάλου). Δεν ασχολούμαι πολύ μ’ αυτό γιατί δεν προλαβαίνω, αλλά κι επειδή το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της (Προεσπέρα – Βρακάδες) είναι δρόμος αμαξιτός. Απλά υπάρχουν κάποιες ενδείξεις. Άλλωστε αυτή η μακριά διαδρομή υπάρχει στον χάρτη μονοπατιών του Τουριστικού Οδηγού του Δήμου Ραχών ο οποίος επανεκδίδεται σύντομα.

Το μεγάλο προσόν αυτής της διαδρομής είναι η άπλετη θέα στο Αιγαίο. Νομίζεις ότι πετάς.

4) Θέλω να τονίσω (κυριολεκτικά, να υμνήσω) τους άγνωστους κατασκευαστές των σωρών από πέτρες, γιατί κτίζοντας «κούκους» προτείνουν μια νέα διαδρομή : Νας – Ελιάς Κάμπος (!) Αυτήν τη στιγμή, ένας σκληραγωγημένος οδοιπόρος που θα ξεκινήσει από το Να κι αφού έχει ανέβει ολόκληρο (!) το Φαράγγι της Χάλαρης και πιο πάνω (!) μέχρι το οροπέδιο «Εριφή», μπορεί μετά (ακολουθώντας τους «κούκους») να κατέβει στον ορμίσκο «Ελιάς Κάμπος» (ανατολικά του Τραπάλου). Είναι μια διαδρομή τουλάχιστον 10 ωρών, σηματοδοτημένη με όμορφους σωρούς από πέτρες κάθε 50-100 μέτρα !

5) Υπάρχουν κι άλλες πολλές επί μέρους που δεν αναφέρω εδώ. Εν κατακλείδι, τα πορτοκαλί σημάδια («πατούσες» ή βούλες) πάνε παντού! Αγοράζετε, διαδίδετε τον χάρτη «Γύρος των Ραχών με τα Πόδια». Αυτός «πληρώνει» για όλα αυτά. Κυρίως «πληρώνει ηθικά», αν με πιάνετε…


P.S. English translation coming soon…


Καλή ευκαιρία να πω ότι μέσα στον χαμό με το μωρό, τη δουλειά, την έλλειψη ύπνου και φαγητού, ξαφνικά κάτι έκανε κλικ και … άρχισα να γράφω καλή Ελληνική ορθογραφία και στίξη και ΤΟΝΟΥΣ !!!!

(Θα σας τα πω σε άλλο blogentry, άραγε να δούμε πότε…)

y.γ. η Νανούλα το αγρίμι που προσέχει το blog μου, όταν μπορέσει, θα έρθει να κανει edit entry και να βαλει κι άλλα διάφορα links πίσω απ’ το κειμενο.


Studying the map by Lambrini



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Nice photo you have chosen 😀

Thursday March 15, 2007 – 11:13pm (EET)

You say that now the unknown cairn-makers have marked with beautiful made cairns the entire distance from Nas on the North coast and across the plateau Erifi on the mountain to Elias Kampos on the South. So we have a total new hiking itinerary. (1, 2, or 3 days?) Great idea, great plan and a great job “on the field” too! But why have they done it incognito? I gave some thought on the reason. Maybe:
1) They are “mad” artists who were inspired and did so because they felt like it.
2) They are Swiss hikers, specialists in cairn-building, who plant cairns wherever they go.
3) They are some good people who wanted to offer some discreet help with the marking and propose new trails as well.
4) They are some ultra-alternative tour agency who have marked this new trail “as theirs only”.
5) They are “good grouvaloi” from Nas who propose “Elias Kampos” as an alternative refuge –by hiking there!

What do you think?
Why these people have made all that job and taken all that trouble (all those kilometers…) and they don’t announce anywhere? If I had been they, I would have said something to somebody.

I will put this as a poll in this blog so people can vote.

Friday March 16, 2007 – 12:40pm (EET)

Nana in Dungarees inside Thistles and Thorns



Did you think that because I’m working full-time now, this blog would be left to dry out of new entries?
Did you think that the cute, nevertheless too abstract motto «Keep Free and Clean» would be our last?
Did you think that we were going to waste time and space on jokes or general principles?
Did you think we were just being rhetoric?
Did you? chk, chk, chk, chk…
You were wrong !
Nana is in hold of the reins now. And Nana is not for *legends* and metaphors and *female litterature* with many dots (…) at the ends of the sentences.
Nana is all for direct approaches. (*) Read her blog about


The language is Greek, I am afraid. But even if she wrote in Chinese, we should be glad that she gave the show away.

All this time I was under oath not speak openly about it. There were only a few cues in some of my photos of spurges in Flickr. *Where my Bunny used to hide* ; that was the code name. How could someone have guessed?

But now that she let out *the vice*, I will do my best to render some of the best parts translated in English. I’m not sure yet how; maybe as comments in her blog or as entries in mine.And I could also speak of my impressions as viewer for the small part I have seen; that is, a brown head on a proud neck moving in a sea of tall thorny shrubs. Did I say»moving»? Oh no… That was the slowest motion I have seen in my life. How else could it be? We are talking about some big thick threatening (genuine Grreeek) thorns here. But whenNana -my fakir- comes out of this rough spinose sea, she is scratchless!.. (**)

So see you in her blog.



(*) that’s why I love her so much -she is so liberating…
(**) so it’s not a vice after all, isn’t it?



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love the pictures !
«the rest of the thorn trekker» – Η Ανάπαυση της Αγκαθοβάτισας» :))

Friday March 2, 2007 – 11:53pm (EET)

love the picture too…:)

Sunday March 4, 2007 – 01:19pm (EET)

Ξέρω… Ξέρω… Αλλά γιατί ρε γαμώτο, ποτέ δεν θα υπάρξουν φωτογραφίες; Αν το παίξω «Άπιστος Θωμάς», θα μου δείξετε;

Monday March 5, 2007 – 11:13pm (EET)

Ωραία λοιπόν. Ακολούθησε με την άλλη φορά αν τολμας μέσα στα αγκάθια και θα σου κάτσω να τραβήξεις όσες φωτογραφίες θέλεις.

Tuesday March 6, 2007 – 11:15pm (EET)

Αποκλείεται να βρεθώ κάπου περικυκλωμένος από αγκάθια και παρέα με ένα θηλυκό «αγρίμι»

Thursday March 8, 2007 – 10:44pm (EET)

Legends about Ikaria : THE MYTH OF ICARUS


(Στα Ελληνικά εδώ)


(An interview with Doubting Thomas)

Is Ikaria the island where Icarus fell?

I can’t tell you. I hadn’t been born yet and there is no video-tape of the accident. The nearest we have to a video is Brueghel’s painting but this is not enough evidence. It’s a painting made in Holland thousands of miles away from the Aegean, many centuries later. Though it’s a fact that it looks like those amateur videos that are focused on an innocent scene and accidentaly captured a tragedy. Then they become famous and their makers sell them to the media for a lot of money. It could be a video, but it’s not. It’s an oil painting -a artistic fancy, in other words.

Yet people say that’s where he fell.

People say a lot of things. For example in every encyclopedia and guide book we read, «Ikaria, known from the fall of Icarus, e.t.c.» People love to be told stories especially when accidents are involved.

Yes but what about the name of the island?

Oh, names may mean something or may mean nothing. We can go to the registrar and change our names according to our fancies and make various connections and associations. Or without changing the name, we can change it’s meaning or it’s origin to suit our convenience. For example, there is a Greek island called Karpathos, that is, it’s got the same name as the Karpathian mountains in Transylvania, Romania. Now the Karpathians (of the island) are free to associate the name of their island with Dracula; to claim, for example, that the mountains of Romania got their name from their island; evenmore, that Dracula was born in Karpathos and after having sucked all the blood out of the inhabitants as a kid, when he grew up, he flew (he was a vampire) to a larger place with a larger population and an endless supply of blood. Nevertheless, today, even if the Aegean Karpathians had thought of doing this, they are too late. The Romanians have taken every advantage of the tale already and Dracula’s castle is the biggest tourist attraction of their country. There would be a huge diplomatic clash between Greece and Romania, if the Aegean Karpathians claimed their island as the birthplace of Dracula. There is so much money and prestige involved, you see.

So the association between Ikaria and Icarus is a lie?

I don’t say it’s a lie. All I say is I don’t know. There is no video and there were no reliable eye-witnesses, BBC, CNN, SKY NEWS and so on. Maybe there was an amateur video (by a cousin of that plower in the painting, for example) or a pilot shot for a documentary on a rustic subject; because it had captured «The Fall» it survived till the 16th century and that’s what Brueghel saw and he made the famous painting. All I’m saying is that we must find and watch the original video to be sure of the fact. For example, something like this.

The drowning of Icarus


Next week a new episode of the interview with Doubting Thomas.
Subject-matter : «Ikaria political« : Red Rock, Dry Rock, Devil’s island, Island of Exile

Athina Sk.


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Yes, we must definitely find the Icarus video. I am also interested in the videos of other high flyers such as Abbas Ibn Firnas, Leonardo da Vinci, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi etc. I looked at youtube but none is available. Leonardo’s depiction of the Icarus accident is a collector item and would be OK instead of the original video. I wonder if Doubting Thomas has seen any of those?

Tuesday February 13, 2007 – 04:56pm (EST)

Keep looking. Doubting Thomas is right. In the times we live, what’s not on a photo or a video, just doesn’t exist!..

Thursday February 15, 2007 – 01:14am (PST)

That’s interesting to know that… will browse thru youtube and dailmotion to find anything on this… and add it to my documentary collection @

Wednesday February 21, 2007 – 07:54am (GMT)


Related to: «Icarus in the pool»


The Myth of Icarus, the flying man, belongs to the ‘Circle of Theseus’, which in its turn belongs to a larger group of closely related myths, all of them being the foundation of the Ionian Greek heritage and identity.
In simple words, to know these myths meant that you were Greek.
Though it is certain that the Ionians conducted savage warfare against the Carians, the Cretans and other peoples who inhabited the coasts of the Aegean, their myths speak very little about it. They speak about achievements of the mind instead; ingenious devices, machines, new political ideas (‘the city-state’ for instance was supposed to be Theseus’ invention), new kind of ships (‘the 50oared that could sail against any sea current), new gods like Dionysus who was –what else?- the difficult art of wine making and drinking personified or rather deified, as it should be.

To know these myths meant that you were Greek.

Thursday January 24, 2008 – 10:59pm (EET)

To know these myths meant that you were Greek.
It is very interesting how little magic is involved in them. For example, in the myth of Deadalus and Icarus, unlike the similar myths about flyers from Persia and India, we are told bluntly that it was enough for a man to glue feathers with wax to make wings and fly away! We are not even told that the flyer had to move his arms very fast! Isn’t it absurd?
There is no magic and yet, there precisely lies the magic. The myth is a challenge to the mind. How on earth did Deadalus and Icarus do it? How did Theseus come up with the idea to seduce Ariadne and how did she come up with the idea to give him the string, Ariadne’s clue, to find his way in the Labyrinth?
These are logical myths. Their purpose is not to make you stand in awe but to make you want to do the same.
For example, you see that you weren’t able to fly with feathers glued with wax tied around your arms? Your head is in bandages? Don’t worry. Blame Dedalus who probably knew a few tricks that he didn’t say. But if you were patient enough to do all that feather and wax and leather straps work, if you were as crazy as to jump from a high place trying to fly, you can build yourself a nice little boat now. Plant a nice mast, rigging and sail and set off towards the unknown.
These are logical myths. And there is nothing more crazy than logic. But it’s magic because it makes us move. Not too often against each other, I hope.

Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:02pm (EET)


When the Ionians who of course knew well the myths of the ‘Circle of Theseus’, came from Miletus and settled in Ikaria in the 7th century B.C. or while they were sailing past and round it, they must have observed the resemblance of the island’s Phoenician name, Ikor, (most of the Aegean islands bear Phoenician names) to the name of Ikaros (Icarus) and they must have told their brothers, the Athenians. As the Phoenicians weren’t there anymore to contradict them, the Athenians thought: Nice! We can complete the myth of Deadalus and Icarus. That place must have been where Icarus fell and drowned! There is wild wind-beaten sea around it, called “Sea of Ikor”? That’s it!
And so you have an entire sea and an entire island dragged out of nothingness and into the Ionian universe: “The place where Icarus fell” = Island Icarus (in Thucydides) = Ikaria (in the archives of Venice and to the present day).
The myth was a great one and the Ikarians were lucky to have acquired it. Even Nero the mad Roman emperor loved that story and he had tried to adapt and stage set it in the theater! Only that he was soon short of actors because the play was too realistic. The Icaruses dropped themselves from the ceiling and died!
Meanwhile the Ikarians worked on their myth and even claimed they had found the tomb of Icarus. In fact it is said that they showed it to visitors in the Roman time (‘tourism’ as we know it was born exactly then).

Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:05pm (EET)


So it was all propaganda, you will say. Of course it was. Isn’t it all? Those myths were heavy with propaganda and partiotic stuff. What else is a myth after all if not a way to turn reality the way we want it?
I find this fascinating. The mind connects and works with whatever finds handy.
Cabet and the utopians started and social conditions made so as today the Myth of Icarus is associated with the idea of Freedom. Since the 19th century people refer to it as “The Flight of Icarus” rather than “The Fall of Icarus”. Ikaria again takes advantage. By some game of coincidence, it so happened that its inhabitants have never been slaves to nobody, were never invaded, lived primitive perhaps, but free –sometimes (good times) carefree. “Welcome to the Island of Icarus” reads the big sign in the harbour of the capital. Agios Kyrikos. Does it mean “This is the site of the most famous flying accident in the world”?
No. For the people I know at least, it means (consciously, unconsciously or subconsciously) “Welcome to the Island of Freedom”.

The Island of Freedom… What a heavy weight our own propaganda has put on our shoulders!

Why couldn’t we rather have something lighter and more neutral like “Welcome to the Island of Windmills” instead?



Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:09pm (EET)

Είπα στο
ότι θα γράψω τα παραπάνω και στα Ελληνικά, ε;
Ε, λοιπόν πολύ αμφιβάλλω…

Thursday January 24, 2008 – 11:11pm (EET)

Οχι μωρε. Αστο. Δεν χρειαζεται. Τρεχα γυρευε – που λες κι εσυ…
«Το Νησι της Ελευθεριας» -αυτο μονο ας μεινει. Πραγματι, τι μεγαλο βαρος.
«Το Νησι της Ισοτητας» -να προσθεσω εγω (αν και ασχετο με το μυθο). Κι αυτο ειναι βαρος.
Χριστε μου ευτυχως που υπαρχει το κρασι! 🙂

Friday January 25, 2008 – 04:22am (PST)

«Με το κεφάλι δεμένο μέσα σε επιδέσμους; Μη χολοσκάς. Μπορείς τώρα να φτιάξεις ένα ωραίο σκάφος…»
Χαχαχα – Μ’ άρεσε πολύ!

Saturday January 26, 2008 – 02:02pm (EET)

All propaganda?
Of the muses, children of Memory, perhaps.
Reality the way we want it?
No, I think it’s reality the way we don’t want it.
Think of Oedipus (Tiresias: ‘What made me forget? I never should have come.’)
Or Agamemnon returning home. Or Odysseus for that matter.
There is a political dimension, but you can’t limit it to just that!

Thursday February 14, 2008 – 12:20am (CET)

But now I’ve argued with AKK it looks like I don’t appreciate him setting out the myth and so much background for us.
So to cover up the argumentativeness, can I add Auden’s poem?

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot<
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Thursday February 14, 2008 – 10:53am (CET)

Simon G, maybe AKK should have put the word ‘propaganda’ between quotes. Yet for the Greeks, politics has run in their veins since always, so terms like this sound much less heavy. They are part of the culture.

I don’t know why, the epigram on Aeschylus grave came in my mind. It didn’t read anything about him being a big shot playwright. It read «The long curly haired Persians will remember his valour in battle». The poet wanted to be remembered as the young soldier who had been and had fought for the freedom of his city in Marathon.

Thursday February 14, 2008 – 11:33am (PST)

Heh heh heh! You caught me :)) Auden’s poem was behind my choice of Brughel’s painting to go with Nana’s hilarious interview of DT.

Thursday February 14, 2008 – 11:40am (PST)

You are right. I over-simplified. Put ***propaganda*** in many quotes.


Friday February 15, 2008 – 02:04pm (EET)