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


Seven Power Spots in Ikaria


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The Ikarian Hiking & Mountain Climbing Association (OPS Ikarias) official page on Google+

Hello readers!
The Sturmvogel 💗
said
«Soul Powered Works»!
And I say now «Seven Power Spots»!!!
It’s wintertime and summer is a long way ahead, so let’s forget «narcinstagram» 🙂 for a while and get down to serious business. Because here I am going to catch the pending threads from Nana’s
glorious old article «Hiking routes…» and weave some more cloth on the loom.
Maps and hiking routes by OPS Ikarias on Google maps - a presentation of places and trails to hike in Ikaria by Nana to agrimi in her blog. Click on image to view all maps in this entry.Skip the metaphors…
This article is actually about the work of
Hiking Club of Ikaria in mapmaking! Let me quote Nana’s words about these people…

OPS Ikarias: the blog of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria. Non-Greek speakers use the 'traslate button' on top of the page.«In spite the lack of support by government and privates, OPS Ikarias are doing more than their best to promote hiking in Ikaria. In the course of time they have literally built with their hands a large network of very popular hiking routes in the island’s varied landscapes and since 2014 when they owned a page in Google they started making Google maps of some of these hikes. Though I have helped several times, it is never enough. There is and there will always be plenty more to do.»

«This entry stands as a due tribute, promotion and encouragement to their effort. As I said and as surprising as this can be, the OPS Ikarias are not funded by anybody. On the other hand, as far as marking and mapping the paths are concerned, given that they are very few and that the terrain of the island is very rough and complicated, they haven’t done badly at all!»

«However, their task is far from being concluded. The maps that I am presenting below to do not correspond to organized, marked and clearly secure trails of the kind we see in other parts of the world. So very often advise and guidance in needed in advance. But the good thing is that the OPS Ikarias are residents who live on the island all year long. So, before you take up any of these hikes, I am asking you to get in contact with them either through their Google page, blog, photo gallery on Flickr and group on facebook.»

Nice spots Ikaria map by Eleni, in Nana to agrimi's blog article: «Limani», «Potami», «Chorio», «Panigiri», «Paralia»

And I, how am I involved? Well, I was the naive and ignorant newcomer who put a few red marks on this map of Ikaria and posted it on my blog back in 2006. It became so popular so fast on the net that I felt awkard and had to take it down (Nana, our good archiver, stored it though). You see, although I have done a lot in this direction, I wouldn’t take it on me to draw maps of my island, thus offering reliable guidance across its exciting but rough, exhausting and sometimes dangerous landscapes.
All trails Ikaria Google map by OPS Ikarias These times are over! Since that old red marker stained sheet of paper, we have had fine quality digital mapmaking on the net, interactive, with a signature, and for free, created by OPS Ikarias for the sake of hiking, nature, tradition, pleasure and sport. There is so much love into this things that I have decided to call the places included in these maps -places where they have dedicated so much time and work (Soul Powered Work!)– I have decided to call them «Power Spots»!
How many are they until now? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 !!!
So here they are, dear readers, nature lovers and possible future hikers of Ikaria, the Seven Power Spots of the island, checked, signed, branded and… blogged!

«Penelope set up a great loom in her palace, and set to weaving a web of threads long and fine. Then she said...» Love
Eleni
your faithful weaver

. 💗’

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1) The Lighthouse of Kavo Papas
Check the OPS Ikarias review of the location

About the trail, check the OPS Ikarias map:
«Karkinagri – Kavo Papas»
and the amazing photos included in my article:
«A Day at an Exhibition»

2) «Σπιτάκι της Μαμής»
Check the OPS Ikarias review of the location
and my article: «The little house in the desert»

3) Δάσος Ράντη
See also my richly illustrated article:
«Legends about Ikaria: The Forest of Radi»

4) ΛΑΓΚΑΔΑ
[♦] See the location on the map and read
the OPS Ikarias review
loaded with many recent photos.

[♦] See the map & description of the 1st hiking route in the area:
«HINTERLAND»
A hiking round in the wild mountains of western Ikaria

Also in the OPSI blog: «HINTERLAND»,
γύρος στην ορεινή ενδοχώρα της δυτικής Ικαρίας.

[♦] See the map & description of the 2nd hiking route in the area:
«On the old dry stone built trails of Northwestern Ikaria»
Mavrianou – Vrakades – Langada – Amalou

5) Crossing Mt Atheras from north to south
With a stop for a meal in Taverna Plaka».
[Read the OPS Ikarias review of this place]

Map of the hike:
«Karavostamo – Dokimi – Arethousa – Chrysostomo»
Photos:
«Karavostamo – Dokimi – Arethousa – Chrysostomo»
The Pictures!!!

6) Chalares Canyon
[♦] The beautiful area and the old chapel of «Ai Giannis»,
also the epicenter of the «Musical Yards» events in July.

[♦] Read the OPS Ikarias review
about the trail in the Canyon.

[♦] Finally, for the experienced, the bold and the demanding:
«The Round of Upper Chalares Canyon»

7) Μονοπάτι του Αθέρα
[♦] This amazing long trail running on Ikaria’s high mountain ridge starts from the Tower of Drakano. Read the OPS Ikarias review of the place and check out the location on the map.

[♦] About the trail read the OPS Ikarias review
and check out the starting point.

[♦] Finally, the map of the first part of this hike. It’s one of the best I’ve seen on Google maps! I so hope OPS Ikarias will continue with this project!
«THE TRAIL OF ATHERAS RIDGE»

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Related articles in my blog:

What I have written in a 1000 e-mails For Reasons of Honour Κλείνει προς τα έξω, ανοίγει προς τα μέσα These Mountains Are For Dancing! The day we took over the mountains! When I am tired of the world Two big hikes Google mapped! Legends about Ikaria : The Forest of Radi The little house in the desert OASIFICATION! 🌳 🌳 🌳 Mushrooms! ‘The Hiking Trails of Ikaria’ – illustrated interview by OPS Ikarias

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Ikaria, Greece
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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Keep it till next summer 😎


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Corpus Arcanarum Ikariae in Augustum

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«Παμε γερα με τσαμπουκα.»

(Greek slogan)

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☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀☀

Hello readers!
This is not a reblog. This is a roundup!
😊 😊 😊

Golden hours melt my pixels, by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr


Ikaria, August 2018

Στο blog της Νανάς: «Νύχτα παπί τρικάβαλο» - 'Μια ιστορία του καλοκαιριού και πολλές φωτογραφίες από το Ίνσταγκραμ«Αγαπώ τον Αύγουστο στην Ικαρία. Βλέπεις κι ακούς πολλά. Δείχνεις κι εσύ και λες πολλά. Ο Αύγουστος είναι μια γιορτή. Για κριτική κι ανάλυση θα έχουμε μπόλικο χρόνο το χειμώνα.»

[«Νύχτα παπί τρικάβαλο»]
[Σχόλια στο «Νύχτα παπί τρικάβαλο»]


Ikaria, August 2017

Στο blog της Νανάς: «Be hip and with the youths» - νέος κόσμος στην Ικαρία τον Αύγουστο, τι σκέφτεται γι' αυτό η Νανά, και πολλές φωτογραφίες από το Ίνσταγκραμ«Be hip and with the youths»

[«Be hip and with the youths»]
[Σχόλια στο «Be hip and with the youths»]


Ikaria, August 2017

Στο blog της Νανάς: «Απόδραση απ’ την Κρίση» - ο νέος κόσμος στην Ικαρία τον Αύγουστο, πως τους βλέπει ένας ξένος δημοσιογράφος, συνεντεύξεις και πολλές φωτογραφίες«Οι νέοι της Ελλάδας αρνούνται να αφήσουν τη χειρότερη οικονομική κρίση στην ιστορία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης να τους στερήσει το δικαίωμα στην απόλαυση του γενέθλιου τόπου τους.»

[«Απόδραση απ’ την Κρίση»]
[Σχόλια στο «Απόδραση απ’ την Κρίση»]


Ikaria, August 2017

Στο blog της Νανάς: «Ήταν ένας Αύγουστος με πολλά λινκς» - η φίλη μου κάνει παρέα με πολύ κόσμο στην Ικαρία τον Αύγουστο, χορεύει και κολυμπάει«Έτσι πέρασε κι αυτός ο Αύγουστος στην ΑντιΜύκονο…»

[«Ήταν ένας Αύγουστος με πολλά λινκς»]
[Σχόλια στο «Ήταν ένας Αύγουστος με πολλά λινκς»]


Ikaria, August 2017

In my blog: «Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 1» - Celebrating the young visitors to Ikaria, their ways and their adventures + a lot of photos from instagram«Now, don’t think I have betrayed Flickr but as it goes, from the side of Ikaria at least, sometimes the pictures fail in edge, spontaneity and personal touch. for the small picture, the snapshot, the ephemeral, subjective thing, Instagram, coming with all its smart filters and tricks, seems to win the game.»

[«Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 1»]
[Comments on «Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 1»]


Ikaria, August 2017

In my blog: «Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 2» - Celebrating the young visitors to Ikaria, their ways and their adventures + a lot of photos from instagram«It’s the story of the young travellers to Ikaria in the summer. It’s all loaded on Instagram. Enjoy and respect. This is the new DIY generation who are not looking for ready-made things but for the true experience, for whatever that takes.»

[«Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 2»]
[Comments on «Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 2»]


Ikaria, August 2017

In my blog: «Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 3 ➕» - Celebrating the young visitors to Ikaria, their ways and their adventures + a strange story + some photos from instagram«Was it I the other woman alone? The woman alone who was looked at by another woman alone in that cut-off place and moment? Yes, perhaps it was I. I turned fifty last year. And as often as always I like to swim in remote, quiet places at dusk.»

[«Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 3 ➕»]
[Comments on «Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 3 ➕»]


…………………….

So here is the latest bunch.⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Note: All of the photos displayed below were chosen after long search according to complicated criteria. None of them have been downloaded but embedded into this post directly from the source. If you click on the thumbnails, you will be directed to the originals on Instagram.
All rights reserved by the respective owners © 2017-2018

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Χρόνια και χρόνια τώρα τριγυρνώ.Que se me vuela el sombrero !!Ikarian good vibes peopleΣεϋχέλλες, ΙκαρίαIn the middle of it all.CitronellaΚονσέρβα..*τζιβοπαρέα Νάς...IkariaΑυτοί, του '60 οι εκδρομείς, απόμακροι εξ αρχής, εκτός παραδομένου κόσμου, αυτοί. Εγκαταλελειμμένοι στις παρυφές του Τραπάλου υπό σκιά.COLLECTED SOME SEA SALT - BRING ON THE TEQUILAAlways fly high...SnakePeace...eyesRemember... The time you smiled..Ikaria moonWavyΙΙΙ. Οι Μαινάδες σκότωσαν τον Ορφέα.morningskasetophonoleavesloveEndless adventures, last bit of summer...Hiking GreeceTerasΕικόνες από τη ζωή όπως θα έπρεπε να είναι στις 16:59Εξεταστική Σεπτέμβρη...First Love Yourself ———-Ένα ακόμη ηλιοβασίλεμα. Μια ακόμη ημέρα να τελειώνει μαζί σου.φουτφετιςNas Ikaria summer Greeceautostop in Ikaria while eating fresh picked blackberriesΓάτες, πόδια, παντόφλεςikaria my loveFeeling small... Dust in the universeFeel natureYoga droga BodirogaAtheras Ikaria Grecia...Camplife, Ikaria (Greece)Ντύσαμε με λουλούδια τα κορμιά μας...Σαν άρωμα, Μνήμη και ρίγος.Kiss MoonLazy SundayYoga and the big blueVast and steep secret placeReach out your handObserving InfinityTogether with you is my favorite place to beikaria my loveΤελικά δόθηκε αυτό το φιλί η απλά χτυπήσαμε τα κεφάλια μας;Ikaria 2018Mesakti BeachIt's just a matter of perspectiveHead carrying~Να εδω~ beach, camping, boho, zen, sand, sea, sun, summer, δεν εχει σημα εδω, παραλιγο να πνιγω, τσουναμι, τι σκαλια ειναι αυτα, δεν ηρθαν τα κολοκυθακια ποτε, ικαριωτισσα, ικαρια, φρικαρια, γυρισε στη φυση...It's always about the seaIkariaIkaria. Sosyalist, nadide bir adamizdir... Heryerde hissedersiniz... Hissettirirler...1 Αυγούστου2 Αυγούστου3 ΑυγούστουI met so many beautiful people this summer and I m so grateful for this trip. It couldn't be better...Karkinagrion, Ikaria, Greeceas free as the oceanBehind this tower is hidden a beautiful beach which you should visit...Ikarian style, ωτοστόπSummer stories, IkariaIkaria, MiliopoHarvest 2018. One of the best experience in my life.Όταν η φύση προνοεί για τα σπα σου... με μια καυτή πισίνα στην θάλασσα!!!wavesdivefruitsnature girl'One armed' or 'Here's what scratching your cheek can do to a romantic picture'Una isla llena de magia, gente asombrosa y lugares alucinantes. La mejor combinacion de factores que podia pedirUna isla llena de magia, gente asombrosa y lugares alucinantes. La mejor combinacion de factores que podia pedir·feel free·Dream house, less is moreWind in my hair and wine in my bellymiaouArmenistis, Ikaria, GreeceΈκλαψα λίγο αλλά έκατσα να τις δω πάλι τις φωτογραφίες του καλοκαιριού.ikaria griechenlandΦυλλαρακι εχεις ενα ευρω;everythingThe water is greener on my sideτράβηξα αυτή την φωτογραφία ξενυχτισμένη πεινασμένη βρώμικη αλλά χαρούμενη όσο ποτέLittle Rock in the sunRaxes IkariasIkarian SweetheartSome Kind Of GhostΠΑΜΕ ΠΙΣΩΩΩΩΩΩ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΑRoomyou're not the black sheep of the familyeyes - eyes - eyes20 Σεπτέμβρη, Κορυφή Αη Στάθη, οροσειρά Αθέρα (1.041μ.)thermal spring ikaria nude nature aegeanSummer life gets better...the goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature...my crushIt's a beautiful thing to become fully absorbed in the momentLivadi beach, IkariaEnjoying life to the fullestSummer vibesΑρμενιστής ΙκαρίαςΦίλοι κωλοιBlue on Blue on BlueΘέροςIkariaοταν ειχες πιο πολλα μουσιαθα συνεχισω να ανεβαζω φωτογραφιες απο Ικαρια κι ας ειμαι ΑθηναWhere is my coffee anyway?Karkinagrion, Ikaria, GreeceStill there.Με το κρασί στο αίμα μας και με καλό καιρό. Λαγκάδα 2018. Ικαρία, όπως ουτοπία.Έλα να πάμε στο νησί.Ikaria :heartpulse:χοτ κλάσσυ σάμερ άουτφιτΌταν το σώμα έχει πάει Αθήνα κ το μυαλό είναι ακόμη ΙκαριαIkaria OctoberDays on the islandThe free soul is rare but you know it when you see itΣτον κόσμο μου όλα εφήμερα, τα πάντα για το τίποταPrioni, Agios Kirikos

……Eleni in Ikaria, October 2006

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Yesterday is today,
today is tomorrow.

So long
and take care
Eleni

……This was just a massive reblog. Therefore, new comments, if any, should go to the respective articles herein reblogged

Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »


Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 3 ➕


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❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀

Hello readers!
This is obviously the third part of the second part and the first part. But in this post there is a big [[]]! Because as I was browsing through Instagram to choose some last pictures from Ikaria to show you, I looked again at a picture I had added in PART 1 and I realised that it wasn’t just one random holiday snaphot. More pictures followed and all of them belonged to a story – a story written in a blog!
But first things first. Take a look at my last 50 selected grams from Ikaria and then scroll down to read my English translation of Virginia’s «Sobre una mujer sola en una playa». As you will see in the end, I have reasons to cherish very strong personal feelings about it. But far besides that, what matters more is that I find her adventure and more importantly the way she describes her adventure the best to this moment, most edgy and wonderfully dramatic example of the attitude I’ve spoken about in Part 2:

«Enjoy and respect. This is the new DIY generation who are not looking for ready-made things but for the true experience, for whatever that takes.»

……………………..⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Note: I have displayed the pictures randomly and democratically all same size. None of them (including the ones inside the Virginia’s story) have been downloaded but embedded into this post directly from the source. All rights reserved by the respective owners © 2012-2017
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Αν δεν κοιτάς εκει που θες να πας, θα πας εκει που κοιτάςΗ Έλλη χαμένη στην ΙκαρίαΤι να πειςΣεϋχέλλες ΙκαρίαParadise islandΣτο φαράγγι!!!!Take me back - 8.9.17 - secret νας IκαρίαChilling and reading ξεμαλλιασμενη ας χελλDancing the IkariotikosUnknown woman in a panigiriOrange sky in Nas IkariaIs this even real life?'Then I was young and unafraid. And dreams were made and used and wasted'Hot like the sun, Wet like the rain, Green like the leaves, Life is a game.le chien etait adorable...Because sometimes lying under trees and walking barefoot on the earth is the most spiritual thing you could ever do in your life. To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miraclesSwam some more, climbed up rocks and claimed them as our ownJai Guru Deva Om'I was overlooking the heights and I felt somewhere in between...'Ikaria island summerIkaria-kerame CityRevolution starts from each of usMy bedroom - Feels like home - Gypsy hearts forever - Exoria stin ikariaΙκαριες - Rηξικελευθες πτησειςAmphitrite in Kambos, Ikariaνιώστε το βράχο - IkariaThe Cave in Seychelles beach, IkariaWaking up in Manganitis, IkariaO TarzanAnd the living is easy in IkariaAlceste in IkariaPeaceful naked moments in Nas IkariaSummer days in Aris river, IkariaΗ ζωή του camper: Τρώγοντας πάνω σε ενα φρισμπιSometimes in the wind of change we find our true directionGommorna på lägerΣαλτάροντας...Ikariarelax stressfree sea girl nas ikaria copertoneIkaria you stole my heartSorelle nella naturaSorelle nella naturaLine up......Find me where the wild things areIkaria, summerambianceΞυλόφουρνος του ΓεραλήWith my fav personRaches, Ikaria

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😌 😌 😌
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«Sobre una mujer sola en una playa»
(About a woman alone on a beach)

«Later that evening, we were sitting there and I could hear a church bell from the Orthodox church around the corner. My ear followed the sound there and back, there and back, my eye trailing the distance to the church in the dark. I asked my aunt if she was awake. She stirred in her chair and said yes, she was. I said, how did you make it so long. She asked what I meant. I said, there are so many years. How can you be alone so long. She said she didn’t know.»
[Jesse Ball, How to Make a Fire and Why]

La aurora de los dedos de rosa, diria Homero

«Last year with Adrián we decided to take a trip. He asked me where I wanted to go, and I told him that for some time I had in my thoughts the island of Ikaría. He wondered why. I do not know, I told him. He asked me again: what is there? Nothing, I said. It is an island where there is nothing. He told me, that’s an answer.»

«He asked me again: what is there? Nothing, I said. It is an island where there is nothing. He told me, that’s an answer.»

Ese dia fue muy largo y muy dificil y muy hermoso y a la noche dormi adentro de un mausoleo en un cementerio a unos metros de la playa

«There was a turning point in the trip and it was the day of the monopati. By then I already had severely infected soles of the feet. I think about the precise moment, a few days before, in which the blisters that almost completely covered the metatarsals broke and I still get goosebumps. I remember it with my head but I also remember it more with my body, it was a burning like I had never felt before, I felt it break, tear. And if walking most of the day with a heavy backpack on my back, sleeping little and feeding mainly on the figs and grapes that we found on the way, it was already difficult, every step I took with the blisters open and beginning to become infected was a torture.»

Aυτά τα δέντρα δε βολεύονται με λιγότερο ουρανό...

«There was a turning point in the trip and it was the day of the monopati.»

«We spent the night in a forest on the outskirts of Raches and the next morning we started walking very early. In the course of the day we had to descend an altitude of nine hundred meters extended along twenty kilometers by mountain road and reach the coastal town of Karkinagri, at the south-western end of the island. We had no choice. Between Raches and Karkinagri there was absolutely nothing, no food, no water, no shelter, no firm terrain to camp, only a narrow monopati that descended sinuously and abruptly down the mountain.»

El punto mas alto, justo antes de encontrar el monopati

«The first challenge was to find the mentioned monopati. The map of Ikaría that we had pointed out as villages what we, upon arriving, discovered that they were only scattered houses, many of them abandoned (one night we camped inside one, it was the night that I really thought I was going to die, that until then everything had arrived, but that is another story).»

El bosque de espinos

«After walking for a few hours we arrived at what we hoped would be a town, where we expected to replenish our water and ask for directions for the rest of the way, but all we found was a half-demolished farm in which a very old man milked a goat. He approached us with the wooden bucket full of warm, steaming, perfumed milk. The milk had a pregnant smell, cloying, a bit repulsive. I was dying to try it, I felt that my body was asking for it while the man told us that in his youth he had been a sailor and had been in Buenos Aires. French fries, he said in Spanish. His dogs barked at us with fury. We asked him about the monopati and he indicated where to go.»

La pequena iglesia de San Isidoro, en medio de la montana

«Later we heard voices and followed them and in the middle of the forest we found a neat land with an orchard and a house made of a container. Under a tree a group of men and women talked and worked. We asked them about the monopati and as Greeks as they were, they invited to come in, unconditional hospitality is practiced even in the depths of the forest, especially there (if a Greek refuses philoxenia to a stranger in the middle of the forest and there is no one to witness it, do the Erynias overwhelm him?). They served us a strong and delicious coffee (we had not had coffee for days, we had not done many things for days, like bathing) and they invited us with figs from their garden dried in the sun.»

Un claro en el monopati

«The owner of the house, about forty or forty-five years old, had grown tired of life in Athens and had exchanged it for that rectangle of land on which he lived most of the year, growing his own food and reading the classics, receiving friends during the summer. He was a serious man, serene, a man who spoke slowly, beautifully. The beautiful Greeks are truly beautiful, slender and proud, with marked features and deep wrinkles of expression. Beside him, Adrian, with his blond curls and his upturned nose and his reckless speech, looked like a teenager.»

A mitad de camino entre Karkinagri y Manganitis

«We continue advancing and at the highest point of the mountain, in the middle of a thorny forest, an enchanted forest, the most beautiful I saw, we found a tiny church and sitting at the door a shaggy man, the caretaker. Hour after hour and day after day he would sit there, alone, in silence. We asked him about the monopati. He showed us the way. He himself is walking up and down on it every several weeks to get provisions from the town. We were reassured by this concrete reference that the monopati existed and it was not far away.»

El desayuno en la taberna de Manganitis

«Finally we found it and the descent was slow and difficult. My feet were in deplorable condition, I felt the stockings alternately wet and stiff, as blood and pus sprouted and dried. We walked slower and slower, and Adrian became impatient. He advanced alone and he waited for me later, feeling solicitous and confused. We got lost several times. The monopati at times became so narrow that it was easy to mistake it with openings that appeared naturally among the vegetation. Several times we took the wrong direction. We opened and closed gates. We climbed trees and stones. We crossed a dry river in a valley.»

«It had been a difficult day for two people who knew little of each other, who began to glimpse with a mixture of rejection and compassion into the miseries of the other and to remember their own miseries, those that one tends to forget when there is no witness around, when conveniences and routines camouflage them a bit.»

La playa de Manganitis al atardecer donde la mujer y yo nos acompanamos un rato (en el momento exacto en que la foto fue sacada)

«Around four in the afternoon we arrived at the town. We hated it immediately. Ikaría does not receive too many tourists, but the few that were there were there. We ate something quickly and decided to continue on our way and spend the night in [Manganitis], a nearby town. We resumed the march in silence. It had been a difficult day for two people who knew little of each other, who began to glimpse with a mixture of rejection and compassion into the miseries of the other and to remember their own miseries, those that one tends to forget when there is no witness around, when conveniences and routines camouflage them a bit.»

La playa de Manganitis al amanecer, despues de la noche en el mausoleo

«We arrived at [Manganitis] at sunset, and the place was a dream. A tiny village, quiet, no more than fifteen houses. A warm tavern in the shade of a vine. A bay of white stones, turquoise waters. A small church and a cemetery near the edge of the sea (where we would spend the night, sleeping in one of the mausoleums between candles and coffins, but that’s another story). A group of men and women swam naked. Adrian also undressed and got into the water. I sat on the still warm stones of the shore and soaked my feet. The salt water washed my blood and the pain worsened first and then it started to ease up a bit. The group of bathers left and the beach was deserted.»

Χρόνια πολλά Ελλάδα

«It was almost dark when a woman in her fifties appeared. Adrian had swum away, and we seemed to be alone on that silent beach at the end of the world. She took off her clothes and got into the water. She swam for a long time and then came back to the shore and wrapped herself in a towel and stayed there, looking at the water until it was completely dark. Then she got dressed, took her things and left.»

Manganitis desde la altura, camino a Seychelles

«All this preamble is to say that last night I thought about that woman. Many times, I think about that woman, and last night was one of those times. I was in bed and was cold (because the days are warm and sunny, but still cool at night) and I began to rub my arms and legs with my hands to warm me up. And I do not know why that gesture made me suddenly feel very aware that I am alone. That I brought myself to this bed in the house of strangers in a city in another hemisphere and I am responsible for giving me heat, I am both the injured foot and the salty sea that heals, the woman alone and the woman alone who looks at the woman alone.»

TEXT: ΤΡΕΙΣ ΜΗΝΕΣ: «Sobre una mujer sola en una playa»
PICTURES: Virginia Rech on Instagram
Virginia Rech on Instagram

** «Monopati» («μονοπάτι» in Greek) = footpath, a more or less narrow trail usually across nature or rural land.

*** There is a slight confusion with placenames. To all evidence the final scene of the story takes place in «Trapalou» instead of «Manganitis» which is a relatively large village located much further to the east.

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AFTERWORD:
Was it I the other woman alone? The woman alone who was looked at by another woman alone in that cut-offMy Ikaria book cover by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr place and moment? Yes, perhaps it was I. I turned fifty last year. And as often as always I like to swim in remote, quiet places at dusk. Thank you Virginia. All Virginias of this world, thank you!!!

So long and take care
Eleni

 

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The little house in the desert


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………The place ^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐
On the wuthering heights of Ikaria 305 by Eleni Ikanou on Flickrmount Atheraς in the center of a sandy plateau surrounded by windswept round boulders lies a tiny cube-like building with a chimney on its flat roof. This is «To Spitaki tis Mamis» (the little house of the midwife), or «Saint Panteleimon Mountain Refuge», as the marble plate in the wall next to the door says. Built by a kind woman in 1960 for the benefit of all mountain walkers, Spitaki tis Mamis, despite its miniature size, is a mountain shelter properly speaking, not associated to a church or mountain chapel, as it is usual in Greece, but built hiking-wise at important crossroads in a location where a hiker cannot possibly miss. This makes Spitaki tis Mamis, if not the oldest, undoubtedly one of the oldest mountain shelters in the Aegean islands. With my own ears I have heard about the lives it has saved through the years. On the chimney there was a fog bell to guide lost souls in the mountain and inside, as if by a magic hand, it was always provided with firewood, cooking pots, lamps and lamp oil, coffee, sugar, rice etc.
It was a place that wrote history.
However and in spite of all that, in the course of events and new road building in the 1990s Spitaki tis Mamis was forgotten and fell in oblivion. As a result, today -57 years after it was built- it’s in very bad shape: cracked walls, no door and window and a roof almost ready to fall in.

………The project ^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Last month, answering Announcement by OPS Ikarias on Google+: 'We are in the pleasant position to announce that our request to the Municipality of Ikaria to grant permission to repair on our own expences and volunteer work the derelict mountain shelter to a request made by several local associations, Spitaki tis Mamis was declared by the Town Council as a cultural monument – standing reminder of the times when there were no roads and cars in Ikaria and the only way to travel from one part of the island to another was by walking long hours across uninhabited, mountainous landscapes in rain, snow or fog. Following this desicion, the Town Council granted permission to the interested parts to repair the old shelter and adapt it to modern needs. As they said, that would be done on the own expences and voluntary work without help from either central or local government…
Volunteers going to work in the wilderness on dream project…?
Oops! I know that! I must help!

………My involvement ^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Dear readers, the purpose The oldest mt. shelter in the Aegean islands by angelos ka on Flickr of this article is to advertise the aforementioned project and call for funding and support. To do so I can’t find a better way than to show you a set of 16 photos taken many years ago on a hike along half the length of the mountain ridge. That great, mind and soul filling, two-day trip would not have been possible if Spitaki tis Mamis didn’t exist.
In the middle of that desert of rocks, sands, ferns and srubs, although abandonned and broken, it was still there marking the way, connecting the present with the past. It still said «Hello, I am here for you». I want it to be repaired. If not for any other reason, because of an experience I will never forget. Many years ago when I was single and young, while lying in my sleeping bag on its old cracked concrete roof, still warm from the sun, Nightsky over the mountain shelter in Ammoudia, IkariaI gazed at the biggest and brightest summer night sky I’ve seen in my life!

……… The pictures
^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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On the path inside Ranti Forest

On the path inside Ranti Forest

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Walking on the ridge and leaving the forest behind

Walking on the ridge and leaving the old forest behind

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A typical Ikarian rock house on the way to Rahes

A typical Ikarian rock house on the way to Rahes

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Checking the map in the sunset. Got to reach that mountain shelter before nightfall

Checking the map in the sunset. Got to reach that mountain shelter before nightfall

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Unpacking inside the tiny mountain shelter

Unpacking inside the tiny mountain shelter

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The fireplace!

The fireplace!

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Sunrise on Ammoudia plateau, alt 860 m.

Sunrise on Ammoudia plateau, alt. 860 m.

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On the road inside Erifi plateau in the morning

On the road inside Erifi plateau in the morning

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In view of forested uplands

In view of forested uplands

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Hike across barren wastelands

Hike across barren wastelands

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In view of the southern coast at last

In view of the southern coast at last

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Walking down to Karkinagri on a beautiful stone paved lane for a while

Walking down to Karkinagri on a beautiful stone paved lane for a while

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Old houses built on steep ground in the historical part of the village next to a very violent mountain torrent

Old houses built on steep ground in the historical part of the village next to a very violent mountain torrent

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Climbing down along a mountain stream near Karkinagri

Climbing down along a mountain stream near Karkinagri

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source

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That was all from me for now. You can read the official account of the project at this link. For donations, as well as for extra hands, you may write to opsikarias2008@gmail.com and/or kinisi.politon.ikaria@gmail.com. I will keep you up to date for further developments.
Follow me up! ^^’

Eleni Ik ❤

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Saturday, June 6, 2017


A Day at an Exhibition


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Dear readers💗
As things are at my work I sometimes have to stay for hours at nerve-racking standbys. To relax tension the trick is always to turn my mind to Ikaria and then to look for something interesting to blog about my island. In most cases things don’t fall in as I wish. Inspiration is a bird in flight, but sometimes there are exceptions.😋
Parea on Ikaria south coastLast week during one of those standbys I mentionned above, and while I was surfing fruitlessly in Flickr, I looked for new stuff from friends and a wonderful new set of 29 pictures from Ikaria appeared in front of my eyes: «A Day at an Exhibition» – «Hard hiking, wild swimming and admiring rocks scuptured by nature in Cape Papas, Ikaria». What a brilliant title, description and of course, visual content!
These pictures were taken by my friend Angelos, amateur photographer and leading member of the Ikarian hiking club, on a day of March while he and his friends were trying to find a trail through «a jungle of rocks sculptured by nature» (sic) to connect the remote village of Karkinagri with the even remoter westernmost tip of Ikaria and the historical, spectacular lighthouse which stands on it.
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. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .
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As you could see in this great map above, the trail was found! Therefore, I think we should expect to see more shots from this colorful and naturally artistic, wild coast of Ikaria very soon. But for the time being, these are the best I have seen. I am letting you enjoy them! Move your mouse over the thumbnails to read a few words written by the author about each picture. They are very expressive and enlightening!
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⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Posing to demonstrate size and proportions of a stone house. In general this is a place as if from neolithic times. Several hollow rocks in this area have served as human shelters through the ages.

All pictures © Mountain Climbing & Hiking Club of Ikaria

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. . .Like 7 years ago, the task of the day was to discover a practicable hiking route across a jungle of naturally sculpted rocks and connect Cape Papas to the village of Karkinagri. The team was great so this time we succeeded! View of the lighthouse from the new hiking trail
. . .Opening out to the vastness of the horizon Colors, reflections, shapes, make the most alive landscape I have ever seen. Hard to adjust the camera and take good pictures though...
. . .
. . .3 pictures to demonstrate how hard it was sometimes for us to go round just one of these rocks! 3 pictures to demonstrate how hard it was sometimes for us to go round just one of these rocks!
. . .3 pictures to demonstrate how hard it was sometimes for us to go round just one of these rocks! If only we had more time to explore, pose and play with these rocks... But the task of the day was to discover a trail which we did! Let the rocks wait for another day.

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'The Scream' by Edvard Munch. It was her idea and that cavity was perfect so we couldn't resist!
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. . .The first one who found the trail is already swimming! Fair prize for good scouting. We are making our way slowly down to the little cove while the scout is sunbathing. The hardest part of the hike is over and the route across that jungle of rocks to connect Cape Papas and the village of Karkinagri is more or less fixed.
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. . .Having done most of the job with the new trail, it was time to try and take one or two good shots of this beautiful wild cove. Naturally sculptured shapes of sandstone make the scenery behind the little wild cove of the previous pictures. The trail runs across these amazing clusters of rocks.

. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .
Having done most of the job with the new trail, it was time to try and take one or two good shots of this beautiful wild cove.
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. . .This round little pool in the rock filled with sea water could be seen from far above. We were very happy to have found a trail that runs through so many natural wonders! Many sea monster shapes sculptured in this rock.
. . .Among the rocks we found this unidentified orchid for Eleni to add to her collection Some of us take time to examine every detail of the sculptured landscape, while the photographer is struggling with the sparkling rocks, the changing light and the saturated color of everything. How happy we were to have found a trail that runs through so many natural wonders!
. . .Everybody insisted on capturing the lines, the texture and especially the shape of this rocky protrusion which by some mystery resists the huge winter waves of the Cape. I don't think it's a success. I should have set the camera differently. I think it's a good tribute though. Everybody insisted on capturing the lines, the texture and especially the shape of this rocky protrusion which by some mystery resists the huge winter waves of the Cape. I don't think it's a success. I should have set the camera differently. I think it's a good tribute though.
. . .Shot taken as were leaving. I like it. Inside this scenery maybe the secret is not to aim at anything special but leave everything to chance. But as I said ... the task of the day was not photography but to discover a trail between a village and a lighthouse. This time we succeeded! The southwesternmost end of Ikaria is generally called
. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .
After taking so many pictures of this unearthly scenery I felt a bit alienated. For a change I took a shot of the warm wet face of one of us. Picture taken somewhere between the lighthouse of Papas and Karkinagri.
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. . .Two of us caught at rest. It's not as thick jungle of sculptured rocks as before but we still had a long way to go untill we reached Karkinagri. It is an exhibition and that's only one of the millions of exhibits! Area highly recommended to photographers, now that the trail is more or less fixed.

. .

. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ . .A place as if from neolithic times. Several hollow rocks in this area have served as human shelters through the ages. The new trail runs right through this historic neighborhood and of course we are very happy about it!.

.
.
.Besides everything, the photographer kindly cited under each picture two articles from my blog and one article from the blog of my friend Nana, as he thought them related to the material. These articles are:
Côte de Naufragés Sauvés
Wild coves & beaches in southern Ikaria
Thank you very much, Angelos!💗
. . . . .Eleni Ikanou
Sunday, March 26, 2017
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Picture Calendar 2017! 😎


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My Ikarian picture Calendar 2017Dear readers,
in Ikaria almost every village, community or association makes a picture calendar for the new year to raise money for various causes
Ikarian Radio Station Calendar 2017: '12 Ikarian mushrooms, one for every month' and needs. Competition is tough so these calendars are getting better and better in both concept and context every year. Take for example this one by the Ikarian Radio Station on the subject of mushrooms (By the way, do you remember my post about Ikarian mushrooms?)
Anyway, I am not a village, that’s obvious! And my purpose is not to raise money either. I am one of the co-founders and co-administrators of a small photo community about Ikaria on Flickr and there we have the same tradition as on the island itself: every year we produce a Picture Calendar! The idea behind it is not money of course. All I want is to present some pictures which, besides their quality, are worth to be seen by anyone who is interested in our small stripe of land. They are pictures typical of the corresponding months and/or typical of what goes on in Ikaria during these months.
This year too I made a Calendar for the group, but as I said in the forenote, this time the choice of photos would not be mine. They would be either the viewers’ choice through Flickr Flickr Image Searchor merely at random through
Google Image Search Google Image Search. So if you click on a picture below, a new window will open to a Flickr Search or a Google Search page showing all the results, for example, of «Ikaria» and «January«, «Ikaria» and «February» etc.
The only bit of choosing I did was to pick a photo as a sample from the first rows of both websites. The reason was that as we scroll down the pages, the pictures tend to be less and less relevant to the topic, that is «Flickr + location + month».
I hope you will enjoy this. The larger pictures on the left direct to Flickr. The smaller pictures on the right direct to Google. Click and watch our Ikarian monthly panorama!

Happy New Year!

^^’
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January

On Flickr: Ikaria + January, sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + January, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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February

On Flickr: Ikaria + February, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + February, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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March

On Flickr: Ikaria + March, sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + March, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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April

On Flickr: Ikaria + April, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + April, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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May

On Flickr: Ikaria + May, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + May, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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June

On Flickr: Ikaria + June, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + June, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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July

On Flickr: Ikaria + July, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + July, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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August

On Flickr: Ikaria + August, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + August, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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September

On Flickr: Ikaria + September, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + September, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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October

On Flickr: Ikaria + October, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + October, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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November

On Flickr: Ikaria + November, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + November, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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December

On Flickr: Ikaria + December, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + December, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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