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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Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny


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. . . ⭐ . . . ⭐ . . . ⭐ . . . .
Sculpture Garden of the Gods, ANIMATED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE GREEK ISLAND OF IKARIA, a book by Thomas K. Shor

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. Hello readers! .Angelos K.

My name is Angelos K. and since I was nominated contributor I am afraid I have written very few articles in this blog. Let’s say that I was saving my blogging skills for special occasions. And as I hope you can tell from the introductory picture, this is a special occasion. The place is Pezi plateau located on the western part of Ikaria island, Greece. The time is two years ago, between December and January 2013. The photographer is Thomas K. Shor, an American writer, photographer and traveller. He and his wife Barbara appeared out of the blue in Ikaria in the middle of a cloudy and rainy winter. During their stay we hiked (a little), we talked (a lot) and we became good friends. Apparently, they liked the island, because they visited us two times. Between their visits I had the chance to read two of Thomas’s books, «A Step Away from Paradise» and «The Master Director» and although I know very little about the places where the action takes place, I liked both of them very much.

While in Ikaria Thomas often carried a camera but I didn’t pay much attention to the fact. All Americans carry cameras. Until one day when he came to my house and showed to me a pack of high quality B/W prints. Knowing that I am a hiker and an amateur photographer, and therefore, I was familiar with the locations and the subjects, he asked for my opinion about his work. I was all admiration! As a matter of fact, I couldn’t keep my fingers off those prints! Through the years I have seen a lot of great pictures from the desolate landscapes of our mountains but these ones were special. Moreover, they were 100% «Ikaria» and not, as it so often happens, overprocessed creations which, no matter how beautiful they are, I label them «fiction» and I don’t usually give them a second glance.  😕 😕

Sculpture Garden of the Gods, ANIMATED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE GREEK ISLAND OF IKARIA, a book by Thomas K. Shor, City Lion Press, 2018I immediately told Eleni about Thomas work and as much of her blog is dedicated to photography, she told me to ask for Thomas’s permission and left the door open for me to get in and post an article about his book. So I did.

Inside Thomas’s article about his book, there is an awesome slideshow where you can view some of his many amazing photos. I borrowed the title of my article: «Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny», from Thomas’s first draft of the publication. I loved that title! Because, like Eleni, everybody in Ikaria loves ghost stories. How couldn’t we? Just take a look at these photos! Look at the landscapes we live in! Thomas has managed to show that these shapes, these shades, these forms, are alive. More than that, they can talk and tell stories!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Below you can see some photos
of Thomas K. Shor taken while hiking with our local hiking club, in Ikaria. Further down I have added a few quotes from his book about the island.
….:star: ⭐ :star:….

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.Hike Karavostamo - Arethousa. Morning Gathering (4)Hike Karavostamo - Arethousa. Morning Gathering (3)Karavostamo - Arethousa. 3rd part of the hike (6)Karavostamo - Arethousa. 3rd part of the hike (2)Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 01Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 02Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 04Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 06Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 10Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 04Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 03Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 02Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 01
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«THE ISLAND OF IKARIA is distinctive for various reasons. It remains to this day an untouristed backwater where people are largely self-sufficient and unusually independently minded. It has been labeled one of the “Blue Zones,” with the highest percentage of people in their nineties on the planet.»

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«Historically, it was the poorest island in the Aegean. It is also one of the lushest, with numerous springs and rivers and forests of pine and oak.»

«Yet the landscape photographs I have been taking over the course of a couple of extended stays reflect nothing of this lushness and hardly depict any people.»

«The island is long and thin, a single mountain ridge rising sharply out of the Aegean Sea not far from the coast of Turkey. At the top of this ridge, topped by numerous 3,000 foot (1,000 meter) peaks, is a landscape that haunted and excited me from the moment I set eyes on it.»

«It is a desolate and windswept land of exposed granite carved by the elements into bizarre shapes and balancing boulders. The granite has a mysterious propensity to take the form of living beings.»

«The trees are stunted and the bushes thorny. It can change from bright sun to near impenetrable fog at such a speed as to be entirely disorienting.»

«The atmosphere is often reminiscent of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny. The beauty of the place is raw and the solitude profound. This series of photographs, taken on the mountain’s many moods, reflects both the landscape and what it did to me.»

Amazon: Order a copy of 'Sculpture Garden of the Gods', ANIMATED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE GREEK ISLAND OF IKARIA, a book by Thomas K. Shor

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Wednesday, December 24, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2018
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