Musical Yards ♪♫♬ Μουσικές Αυλές


One good thing about music,
when it hits you, you feel no pain.
[Bob Marley]
.Woman dancing in Ikaria

What do I know about music?
I know more than you ever thought, dear readers.
Perhaps because my mother was Italian, perhaps because music has been for me a good way to soothe a temper often volcanic, or just because I have strong lungs and throat, I have always sung and I think that my singing is not completely unacceptable to a trained ear. I’ve never had a musical education, and yet during a year or two of my crazy young days I could sing folk songs and jazz music from Hungary – and all that in Hungarian, oh yeah! 😀

What I cannot do, and that’s a life fact, is to dance.
All I do is jump and kick and dangle and that’s a pity because I love Greek music and all the music of the countries around Greece and that music is (90% of it) associated to dancing. So, I listen to it, sing it, but all the dancing is done within me.
What to do? Nobody is perfect.
This was just a soppy introduction. Bloggers are expected to write a couple of soppy things before getting into the subject, aren’t they?
Forget it.

😖

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Musical Yards, homepage The subject here is the Music Seminar of Ikaria («Μουσικό Σεμινάριο Ικαρίας») also known as Musical Yards («Μουσικές Αυλές») and Musical Fireplaces («Μουσικά Τζάκια»), a long course of lessons, workshops and concerts organized by a small group of young Ikarians in the village of Christos Ráches every February and July.

Students dancing the Ikariotikos at the big party in the end. .

You would say, what’s big about it? There are several prestigious and popular music seminars taking place in Greece, the most known ones being in Mount Pelion and Crete. Why a seminar in Ikaria? What more does it offer? And who are this “small group of young Ikarians”? It sounds like one more boring folklore festival. At best perhaps a more sophisticated, DIY generational “panigiri”. Nothing new here.

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.This year's Musical Yards poster

Oh no, readers! Everything is new here! The seminar’s webpage does not explain very clearly the novelties of the event, so I have decided to say a few more things about it. For example, everything that goes around the Musical Seminar of Ikaria is hand-made, home-made and ever-evolving.

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Everything about the Seminar is countless hours of unpaid collective work done by local resident volunteers without support from the authorities, without sponsors and with only some help from few small hotel owners, car rentals and bus drivers.

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Playing music after the classes late in the eveningThe most remarkable thing about it is that they don’t have art directors, managers, public relations, don’t have «connections». Totally independent and willing to pay the price for this, all and all these guys have is each other and the support of their community. All and all what they want is to do it. And by some magic trick, they do it.

But how? What’s the trick?

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The trick is, first of all, dear readers, that it’s not a “big event”. Only capable of hosting a rough maximum of 200 students, the center of everything is the large yard of a countryside chapel near the village of Traditional violin classChristos.

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Several classes take place under the oak trees in that yard, while other classes are hosted -guess where?- in the yards, patios and spare rooms of the surrounding family homeBabis Papadopoulo's musical composition and orchestra classs in the neighborhood. Hence, the meaningful name of the Seminar («Musical Yards»*), a name which does not only signify the location; it says a lot about the character of the event.

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It also shows Exercises at the course of singing and vocals the support it receives from the village community, not to mention that, in my opinion, it’s a great way to say «thanks» to the owners of the homes where the classes take place.

(* The same houses, plus/minus some, during the wintertime Seminar turn into Musical Fireplaces. Cool!)

The Seminar's camping site in Ai Giannis. .

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No buses, no traffic, everything is nested in nature, including the participants themselves, around 1/3 of which choose to accommodate themselves in the campsite set by the organizers near the church.

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Secondly, “the small group of young Ikarians” is no other than the environmental, political and cultural association “Citizens’ Movement of Ráches Ikaria” («Κίνηση Πολιτών Ραχών Ικαρίας»), a 20yearold group still and always active in various fields (see my 2 footnotes down below).

At the course of musical instrument construction. .

None of them are idle or leisured patrons of arts; on the contrary, all of them are ordinary working people, faces that you see in the streets on their way to work in the morning.

Song writing course with Thanassis Papakonstantinou

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But there is an unseen difference: in spite of their smallness, in spite of their very limited financial resources, these people care! Moreover, they have skills and experience. Even though none of them are graduates of the Conservatory of Vienna, they know how to make things go right.

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.Evgenios Voulgaris, the lute teacher

Thirdly, the teachers! If anyone ever thought the Music Seminar of Ikaria is some kind of groovy thing, just a glance at the list of teachers is enough to change their minds. Each one in his or her own music, mostly the Oriental, traditional Greek or Balkan genre, as far as I can tell, they are the best among the best!

How come?

Singing course 3. .

Because these teachers trusted the organizers and they liked the concept. Some of them even, who come again and again every year, have proved to be truly committed to this event. They brought along their own students, they helped the organizers with valuable advice and in general, they did a lot to improve the Ikarian Seminar and Guitar lessongradually establish it in the agenda of musical education in Greece.

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Against the tourist legend that no serious work can be done in Ikaria because everything is unfocused and relaxed, the Papadopoulos and Siotas in one of the concertsclasses are as demanding and as strict as anywhere in a city environment. Besides this, every  year the teachers, to show their understanding of the concept of the Seminar, offer three evening concerts which are open to everybody. Arranging themselves in small groups in these concerts, the last of which always blows up to a big party, they play for hours without being paid.

The teachers playing at the big final concert. .

A large audience from all over the island gathers to attend that last concert in the Yards and all the money collected is used for the causes of the Citizens’ Movement, the first of them always being the preparation of the next seminar.

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The goal of the Seminar:

«Culture, communication, living together and playing music, teaching and being taught, knowing each other and having a good time too».

Yeah, we know, we know…

I know you know but I don’t think you know everything.

Singing course 1So, let me elaborate and add a few throughts of my own. They are strictly personal -although I don’t think I am totally wrong in what I am going to say. It’s no coincidence the Ikarian Music Seminar “Musical Yards” started in 2012. That was the terrible year when the Greek economic crisis peaked. That was the year of suicides, the year of social cannibalism when everybody blamed each other for the crisis and the dept.

Singing course 2. .

In several occasions during that year, Art, and more particularly Music, did a lot to keep Greek society from breaking apart. To say the least, Music, and more particularly Greek (traditional and post-traditional music), reminded to us that in spite of our differences, we can still love the same songs and can still sing together.

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.Tsambouna - Aegean island bagpipe

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Because 2012 was a bad year for Ikaria too, this was, in my humble opinion, the reason why the Citizens’ Movement, instead of some other activity, chose to put their bets on music. After all music plays an important role in the life of the island.

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One out of four mostly younger inhabitants play a musical instrument, one out of three is an excellent dancer and absolutely everybody loves to go out to places where there is live music – no matter Spaced percussionistwhat kind, no matter how good. So, why not invite other musicians to the island, not just for a concert or two, but to stay longer and share their art?

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To cut this short, against all odds, with crisis on one hand, and the love for music on the other, without any support from the authorities and no sponsoring, the first Musical Seminar of Ikaria was crowned with success.

Careful listener. .

Although small at that time, Musical Yards was a pool of forgetfulness and forgiveness, a pocket of equality and fraternity, a refuge for the young for inspiration and hope, a spot where music was played, taught and performed without interruptions or interferences – other than the song of the cicadas on those old oak trees in the hospitable churchyard of Ai Giannis.

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The course of the lute behind the churchIt is still like this and now – 2018 – is their 7th year!
Who would have thought!

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Composer and singer Thanassis Papakonstantinou in the concertLast year I was there for only one day but that one day, as I was guided around by a friend, was enough for me to witness all of the above. The Music Seminar of Ikaria is cultural and social barrier breaker and meltdown. I think everybody involved in musical education – and I dare say all education- have something to learn from the way things go during its course.

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Trumpet!I support Musical Yards with all my heart!

😍

Eleni

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.Chapel altar window, Pablo Picasso (unsigned), Ikaria, round about 1620 😉 Partying in the Seminar Music ♪♫♬ bubbles in the air .

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June 15, 2018

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Except the first taken by kikiller all photos featuring in this article belong to Musical Yards. They can be found in the files of their website and their page on facebook. © All rights reserved 2012-2017.

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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 31 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.»

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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 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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Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 2


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Hello readers!
This is the second part of… well, the first part.  How these two successive posts came about is a long Greek story. 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.
I have displayed the pictures randomly and democratically all same size, but I can allow myself to say that my favorite is a portrait of a sweet young woman with a caption in Greek, which means:

«When you are hungry but still pose»

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Note: None of the 100 pictures seen below 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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Nostalgia is a Bitch obsessed by shadow and a tree Who needs a hotel room? Travel tip number 22: Make friends with the locals My commitment to all Ikaria is also known for their naturally radio energized springs Ikaria relaxing endless view '15 Ikaria 41 Αυγούστου στο νησί Ikaria views Ikaria mother and daughter Hang Loose Ikaria Ikaria let me take you home Ikaria This is me turning my back to the gram & unplugging a bit Σκέψου κάτι που σε ευχαριστεί για να αρχίσει καλά η ημέρα Πάμε μαζί κι ας μας λιθοβολούν, κι ας μας λεν αεροβάτες.. Ο δρόμος είναι η χαρά Ikaria beautiful chest piece Unconditionally Ikaria Περα στου χωριου τη βρυση.. Probably swimming with some killer fish Φήμες λένε ότι πέρασαν χάλια Οταν πεινας αλλα ποζαρεις Adventures green tent Karkinagri οτοστοπ Για τα πανηγύρια! We were hitchhikin down that road when... Live in the sunshine and drink the wild air Endless (summer) Ikaria γεια χαρα αντιο Nighty night from Ikaria Ikaria, Nas Οικογενειακές στιγμές στο νησί Born to be wild Ikaria, Nas Μην σταματας οταν κουραστεις. Σταματα οταν τα καταφερεις! happy Langhada, Ikaria van life Ikaria, dam Σαπισμααααα I know i want to travel with you.I was lucky to meet you girl! My__ σκουπιδεολε paddle surf Ikaria Surf School Last dose of freedom ~ΛΑΓΚΑΔΑ~ Faros Καπως ετσι απλα Λαγκάδα παρανταις ικαρια Secret place ikaria waterfall οταν βρισκεις το καλυτερο σποτακι για τη σκηνη σου και κοιμασαι μεχρι τις 5 το απογιομα These pesticide-free fresh-from-the-tree mulberries are firing my orthorexia No internet connection. The wind the sky the moon and the stars instead. Nas, waterfalls Middle East Realness I really just want to be the warm yellow light that pours all over everyone I love Ikaria, August 2017 Nas beach Summer fun Συ μπαξες κ γω φυντανι , να σ'απαρνηθω δεν κανει gazin' the travelers Ida in the chapel of theoktisti Λαγκάδα: Το καργιώτικο γουντστοκ Σεϋχέλλες blythe doll Ikaria μονο αγαπη ρε Sunrise hiking motorbike I’ve been grindin outside all day with my niggas Summer Tip no2: go to HaveFunLand το ζούμε επικίνδυνα στην Ικαρία Καρότσες και οτοστόπ Ασκητική ζωή Raxounia Ikaria surf school Οι αμφίδρομες οι αντιδράσεις θα με φάνε Σειχελες Ικαρια Τιμή στους αλύγιστους της ταξικής πάλης Το απόλυτο οτοστόπ You are the life itself livin it Teaching them some style Να ρθει το καλοκαίρι να ξυπνάμε πάλι έτσι Billion star hotel girls on trip

 

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Mesakti
Finally, the last picture: that was taken by Georgia, a local photographer last February. IIkaria 040n the previous post Nana said I like to connect with the past. This is only partly true. I connect with the past and the past connects with me. That girl there looks as if it was me standing on that spot when I took this historical picture long long long ago, back in November 2005!!!

So long and take care
Eleni

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Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 1


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Hello readers!
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. It’s no wonder my friends lately don’t add pictures from Flickr in their comments on my posts. They seem to prefer Instagram and I think they are right. Flickr is fine for the large picture and it’s jaw-dropping what you can sometimes see in there, but for the small picture, the snapshot, the ephemeral, subjective thing, Instagram, coming with all its smart filters and tricks, seems to win the game. No wonder (again) why it’s so popular with the under 30s. And these under 30s are the ones who flock together and liven up Ikaria in the summer. Are you guessing it already? You guessed right. Forget the introduction. This article is not really about photography. It’s about these under 30s. Cheers to their generation! All the spirit I love and cherish, they got it! And certainly a lot more!
Go, go, go, young travelers to Ikaria in the age of crisis!
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Note: None of the 100 pictures seen below 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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Pura Vida rocks ~αιωρούμενα όνειρα~ dionysus Lemonasana (Lemon pose) Bottoms up for glass walls and red onesies vacation trip Ikaria ikaria sunsets beat η ντροπή δεν είναι δουλειά Nas, Ikaria Spending my day in ikaria Actually...they're for making raisins! Απλώνουμε της σταφίδες. Look what we discovered on our adventure Ikaria Φωτεινουλι Pizza fun Όταν κόβεται το ρεύμα... Τα όργανα μπαίνουν στην πίστα! we climbed that cliff just to put him in the riskiest place possible wtf am I doing here?? Peace & love I'm waiting summer camp Mesakti beach Sleeping mode Little brother makes big sister smile Εvdhilos, Ikaria, Greece Ikaria memories, sun and rocks Karkinagrion, Ikaria, Greece woodstock Ικαρία Μεταξύ τσίπουρου και πανηγυριού my girl sea sun beach Snapshot during Bouldering in Ikaria Road Trippin' Καλοκαιρινος best job in the world, best place on earth win win Nas, Ikaria *** Magic hour colors Nas Beach, Ikaria tbt to the best days of my life Nas Ikaria I love June in Ikaria Listening stories from the nature... Kalimeresss surf surfboard happiness reasons to visit greece Malakes Ganesha's reincarnation Faros Beach, Ikaria On the Road following the Greek's hippie trails Πανηγυρια I am happy out here. Messy hair, dirty feet & wild water on my skin. Ola kala Mesakti beach Goodbye friends, part 2 Σεϋχέλλες, Ικαρία Lady of the hot springs Εκείνο το καλοκαίρι opa_opa mousaka tzatziki zorbas greece Ikaria pinkpanther beetle 70s Studying the map Nas, Ikaria αγνατευοντας την θαλασσα Mooning the moon Female... the meaning of the word! Find truth in madness Look Ma No Veil To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles. There is peace full. There is wild. I am both at the same time. holidays spam day holidays spam day Ikariotikos dance suns out guns out gypsy style Seychelles, Ikaria, moon eclipse Μου 'χουν πει σ' αγαπώ με το στόμα, με το στυλό, με το πληκτρολόγιο.. Με τα κύματα ήταν η πιο ωραία μου φορά! Ikaria Reflecting on how incredible 2016 was to me. Ready for this years adventures. Throwback when uber in Ikaria wasn't an option... Ikaria 2016 Paradise Some of the best memories are made in flip flops I miss those days.. Άλλες νύχτες Chilling... Chilling... The naked beauty of this world is undeniable. Latvia is cold and wet. Get me back here with her!! Σεϋχέλλες, Ικαρία Ikaria Surf School τροχόσπιτο ikaria camping Seychelles, Ikaria Νας, Ικαρία Λαούτα και βιολιά mountain Ikaria Not a usual photo siga siga, file mou, you are in ikaria siga siga, file mou, you are in ikaria

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Go ahead to Part 2 😊

 


OASIFICATION! 🌳 🌳 🌳


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WTF is this word? 😵 ❓ ❓

According to YourDictionary: Oasification

«The process of restoring water, soil, and plant life to an environment that has been degraded by soil erosion.»


According to the Wikipedia: Oasification

«In hydrology, oasification is the antonym to desertification by soil erosion. This technique has limited application and is normally considered for much smaller areas than those threatened by desertification.»

«To help the oasification process, engineers aim to develop a thriving dense woody plant cover to redress the hydrological, edaphic and botanical degradation affecting a slope.»


According to writer F. R. Chateaubriand: Oasification

«Forest precedes Man and desert follows him. Thus has ocurred with many civilizations that we know, settled in arid and semiarid territories. However, desertification is not an irreversible and hopeless process. In this new millenium we must be able to find the solutions to the problems that we generate. Against desertification: Oasification!»


According to the declaration of the three Ikarian Associations mentionned
at the end of my previous article «The little house in the desert»

«Besides that, again with our voluntary work, we intend to fence an area of at least 8.000 square meters around the shelter in order to protect it from the goats. This way, we will allow at least a small part of the overgrazed, eroded and almost desertified mountain plateau to grow green again like it was in the past.»

«Among the benefits resulting from this [project will be] the awakening of the local community concerning the desertification of the mountain volume of Ikaria through creating a visitable framed green space where endemic species will grow. This way, it will be proven in practice that this phenomenon and its disastrous effects (flashfloods, landslides, impoverishment of the soil) is not a natural, inevitable process but something that started for specific reasons [only] few decades ago and therefore, there is a way to stop it.»

«But most of all, what we want to do is to show with a project of our own -no matter its smallness- the great love we feel for our mountain, its freedom and its wild beauty.»

Project: 'To Spitaki tis Mamis', mountain refuge and protected green area in Ammoudia plateau, on mt. Atheras, Ikaria island, Greece
Well, tThe fenced area around 'Spitaki tis Mamis'hey’ve done it!!!! Against all odds (bureaucracy, indifference, fatalism, pessimism and hostile goat barons) on Sunday, September 24, more than 40 young local people gathered on the mountain and after several hours of hard work, they secured an area of 8.000 square meters around the old mountain shelter on Ammoudia plateau with a long line of welded wire mesh panels.
They ‘ve done it! Look at them at work! You can tell from the pictures which are all first quality, the feelings of joy and fulfillment shared by the participants. I am so glad I’ve helped in my own small way to this project. If things go well -and I have every reason to thnk they will- in less than 3 years, instead of that depressive, although sometimes also impressive, goat desert, we will have an oasis!

Notice: The gallery above is made up of 56 pictures I discovered in three posts at the OPS Ikarias Google+ page. They redirected me to three of their facebook posts: the first one, containing 12 pictures taken by my friend Angelos, the second and the third one containing a total of 44 pictures, taken by our friends from Italy, Paola and Ivo, founders of the association «Η ‘δική μας’ Ικαρία».

All pictures © OPSIkarias & DikimasIkaria 2017


For the title of this article I am gratedul to
angeloska | Flickr
who looked up the meaning of the term «oasification» for me and
suggested that it would be more appropriate to describe the project
of fencing instead of the akward «fencing against desertification»
which wouldn’t make much sense to a reader who is not familiar
with our strange island and its strange problems.

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For information and donations, you may write to
opsikarias2008@gmail.com
kinisi.politon.ikaria@gmail.com




Κεραύνιοι λίθοι


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Post about Ikarian thunderstones on fb
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Χαίρετε, αξιότιμοι αναγνώστες του μπλογκ της Ελένης!
Angelos K. Πριν λίγες μέρες με αφορμή ένα ποστ δικό μου στο facebook όπου διατύπωνα κάποιες σκέψεις σχετικά με την αναπάντεχη, πολύ μεγάλη δημοφιλία που είχε μια φωτογραφία που τράβηξα αμέσως μόλις την ανέβασα στο Φλικρ, προσκλήθηκα εδώ από τη σεβαστή οικοδέσποινα για να γράψω, αν ήθελα, περισσότερα για το θέμα, δηλαδή τη «μαγεία των μικρών μυστηριωδών πραγμάτων», όπως ήταν ο τίτλος του ποστ μου στο FB. Μου ζήτησε επίσης να βάλω μαζί και μια προπέρσινη φωτογραφία ενός κοινού μανιταριού που αναφέρω στο ποστ, η οποία κι αυτή, τότε που την Mushroom course in the forest 02 ανέβασα, γνώρισε την ίδια σχεδόν στιγμιαία δημοφιλία, μάλλον για παρόμοιους, αν και περισσότερο κατανοητούς σε μένα λόγους. Ξέρω ότι υπάρχουν εκατομμύρια μανιταρόφιλοι στον κόσμο και ότι ανάμεσά τους υπάρχουν άνθρωποι που δεν τα βλέπουν μόνο ως φαγητό, αλλά και σαν μαγικά φυτά τόσο από άποψη μορφής, όσο και για τον τρόπο που φύονται -ξαφνικά, κρυφά, ανέλπιστα- λες κι ανήκουν σε μια άλλη διάσταση, σε έναν άλλο τύπο ανάπτυξης της ζωής, πολύ διαφορετικό από των δέντρων, των θάμνων, των λουλουδιών, κτλ. Αντίθετα ωστόσο, δεν έχω ακούσει ποτέ τίποτα για Neolithic adzes «προϊστορικούς πετρόφιλους», πόσο μάλλον όταν η φωτογραφία δεν εικονίζει κάποιο μεγαλόπρεπο ντολμέν ή μενίρ (οπότε η δημοφιλία θα ήταν κάπως δικαιολογημένη), αλλά δυο πετραδάκια που από μακριά αν τα δεις, δεν διαφέρουν από βότσαλα.
Όπως έγραψα και στο ποστ, το ζήτημα με ξεπερνά. Και εξακολουθεί να με ξεπερνά και τώρα που γράφω. Γι’ αυτό, αντί να παραστήσω τον ειδικό στη μαγεία, θεώρησα σωστό να ανατρέξω στις πηγές. Και όχι πηγές ό,τι και ό,τι, αλλά σε μία παλαιά μεν αλλά μεγάλη αυθεντία στο θέμα, τον λαογράφο, καθηγητή του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών, Νικόλαο Πολίτη. Από αυτόν λοιπόν τον σπουδαίο πρόδρομο της Ελληνικής λαογραφίας αντιγράφω εδώ (διασκευασμένα στη δημοτική) μερικά αποσπάσματα από την αρχή του κεφαλαίου ΙΓ’ ΚΑΙΡΟΙ (δηλ, περί καιρικών φαινομένων) του έργου του «Μελέται περί του βίου και της γλώσσης του ελληνικού λαού: Παραδόσεις – Μέρος Β΄ (Αθήνα, 1899-1902)»:
 
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Nikos Politis, Meletai 1 «Η λέξη «αστροπελέκι» και σπανιότερα «αστροπελέκιο» ή «αστροπέλεκο» ή «αστροπέλεκας» σημαίνει τον κεραυνό, και ειδικότερα το βλήμα του κεραυνού, που το φαντάζονται σαν πέτρινο τσεκούρι. Είναι δηλαδή, όπως δείχνει η ετυμολογία του, «ο πέλεκυς της αστραπής». Η λέξη ήταν σε χρήση κατά τον μεσαίωνα και μόνο στον Ερωτόκριτο, απ’ όσο γνωρίζω, βρίσκεται η περίφραση «πέτρα τς αστραπής», ενώ μια άλλη περίφραση είναι «του θεού το βόλι».
Όπως έχω επισημάνει και αλλού, ο λαός ξεχωρίζει το φαινόμενο της αστραπής, όπως έκαναν και οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες και οι Ρωμαίοι, σε τρία: την αστραπή, το αστροπελέκι και το μπουμπουνητό, δηλαδή την αστραπή, τον κεραυνό και τη βροντή. Το βλήμα του κεραυνού πιστεύουν ότι πέφτει στη γη ως άμορφος λίθος, και ότι ωριμάζει, δηλαδή παίρνει το σχήμα του, όταν μείνει σαράντα μέρες χωμένος μέσα στη γη.»

Nikos Politis, Meletai 2 «Τότε αποκτά θαυμαστές δυνάμεις και γι’ αυτό το λόγο όσοι βρίσκουν τέτοια πέτρα την έχουν για φυλαχτό, καθώς πιστεύουν ότι φέρνει ευτυχία στον κάτοχό της, ότι λύνει τα μάγια και προστατεύει από κάθε κακό. Κεραύνιοι λίθοι πιστεύουν ότι είναι οι προϊστορικοί πέτρινοι πέλεκεις ή αιχμές βελών της λίθινης εποχής που βρίσκονται σε αφθονία στην Ελλάδα, ενώ μερικές φορές εκλαμβάνονται ως «αστροπελέκια» και τεμάχια χαλαζία (quartz).
Η δοξασία αυτή είναι πάρα πολύ αρχαία. Οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες θεωρούσαν την αστραπή ως πηγή γέννησης και υπέθεταν ότι αυτή παράγει τα μανιτάρια «τρούφες» και τα μαργαριτάρια. Ονόμαζαν τα αστροπελέκια «κεραύνιους λίθους» και ως τέτοιους θεωρούσαν τους προϊστορικούς λίθινους πέλεκεις ή και τους αερόλιθους. Σε αυτούς απέδιδαν τις ίδιες θαυμαστές δυνάμεις που τους αποδίδει και σήμερα ο λαός, και τους χρησιμοποιούσαν σε καθαρμούς ή τους είχαν για φυλαχτά.»

Nikos Politis, Meletai 3 «Αυτά τα φυλαχτά πίστευαν ότι προστατεύουν επίσης από τους κεραυνούς, όπως συνάγεται από κάποιες οδηγίες που διασώθηκαν για την κατασκευή τους, ενώ στους Βυζαντινούς χρόνους τα θεωρούσαν πολύτιμα.
Κάποιοι αρχαίοι συγγραφείς επίσης παρομοίαζαν τους κεραύνιους λίθους με τσεκούρια. Φαίνεται απ’ αυτό ότι ως τέτοιους κυρίως θεωρούσαν τους προϊστορικούς λίθινους πέλεκεις.
Οι Γερμανοί επίσης ονομάζουν τους κεραύνιους λίθους «Donneraxt» (πέλεκυς της βροντής), ενώ στα πιο αρχαία χρόνια θεωρούσαν τον πέλεκυ ως σύμβολο του κεραυνού και όπλο του θεού της βροντής Thunar (Thôrr). Είναι πολύ κοινές στους Γερμανούς αυτές οι δοξασίες, έτσι ώστε, εκτός από τη λέξη Donneraxt, είναι σε χρήση κι άλλες που δηλώνουν τους κεραύνιους λίθους, όπως «Donnerstein» (λίθος βροντής), «Donnerkeil» (σφήνα βροντής) και πλήθος άλλες.
Αλλά και άλλοι λαοί της Ευρώπης, της Ασίας και της Αφρικής τιμούν τους λίθους που πιστεύουν ότι προέρχονται από τους κεραυνούς. Ως τέτοιους, εκτός από τους προϊστορικούς πέλεκεις και τα βέλη, θεωρούν και τους αερόλιθους και τα απολιθωμένα οστά προϊστορικών καλαμαριών («βελεμνίτες») τους οποίους έχουν συνδέσει με πλήθος δεισιδαιμονιών.»

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Φίλη μου Ελένη, δεν έχω να προσθέσω άλλο παρά να ξαναπώ με άλλα λόγια εκείνο που έγραψα στο facebook. Τα αστροπελέκια «δεν ανήκουν σ’ αυτόν τον κόσμο». Είναι λείψανα του τρόπου ζωής της λεγόμενης «Λίθινης Εποχής» που είναι πολύ δύσκολο να κατανοήσουμε όχι μόνο εμείς, αλλά όπως φαίνεται, αφότου διαδόθηκε και επικράτησε η χρήση των μετάλλων, ξεχάστηκε και έγινε ακατανόητος ακόμα και στους αρχαίους. Είναι «αντικείμενα από άλλη διάσταση», τέτοια που ακόμα και σήμερα, παρόλες τις αδιαμφισβήτητες επιστημονικές εξηγήσεις, συνεχίζουν να εξάπτουν την φαντασία, να δημιουργούν απορίες και να κάνουν το νου μας να ταξιδεύει.
Όσον αφορά τώρα την Ικαρία, είναι πασίγνωστη και αξιοσημείωτη η αφθονία τους. Πάρα πολλά βλέπει κανείς να εκτίθενται στις αρχαιολογικές και λαογραφικές συλλογές του νησιού, αλλά και στα σπίτια ακόμα υπάρχουν πολλά. Οι παλιοί Καριώτες τα ανακάλυπταν στα πιο απίθανα σημεία στα βουνά, σε μέρη που δύσκολα μπορεί κανείς να φανταστεί ότι ζούσαν άλλοτε άνθρωποι. Τα μάζευαν και τα φύλαγαν ως μαγικά αντικείμενα, αλλά και σήμερα ακόμα τα τιμούν και τα επιδεικνύουν με σεβασμό, ως ιστορικά αντικείμενα που δηλώνουν το πόσο αρχαία είναι η παρουσία του ανθρώπου στον τόπο μας.
Και θα τελειώσω την αναφορά στα αστροπελέκια της Ικαρίας, Ελένη, με το δικό σου σχόλιο κάτω από τη φωτογραφία στο Φλικρ:


«(τα αστροπελέκια) είναι από μια εποχή που το νησί ήταν καλυμένο με δάση και αυτές οι πέτρες (οι μεγάλες στρογγυλές πέτρες που ονομάζουμε «λούρους») ήταν ακόμα χωμένες βαθιά μέσα στη γη«.

Κεραύνια Εποχή, στ’ αλήθεια, θα ήταν εκείνη!

Άγγελος Κ.

Αρχαιολογία Online: Προϊστορικές τεχνικές και μέθοδοι κατεργασίας του λίθου (Μέρος A´)1) Τα νεώτερα αρχαιολογικά δεδομένα για τα λίθινα εργαλεία που ονομάζουμε «αστροπελέκια» μπορεί κανείς να διαβάσει στο «Αρχαιολογία Online» στο άρθρο: Προϊστορικές τεχνικές και μέθοδοι κατεργασίας του λίθου (Μέρος A´)

Παρουσίαση της Ελληνικής μετάφρασης του βιβλίου 'Αρχαία Ικαρία2) Για την αρχαία ιστορία και αρχαιολογία της Ικαρίας βλέπε το βιβλίο «Αρχαία Ικαρία» του καθηγητή Α. Παπαλά.

 
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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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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...
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. . .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.

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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.
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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
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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.

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. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ . .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!.

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.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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