You know that my blog likes interviews and this one… well, it’s a good one because it’s like a documentary! I mean that you can just stare at the photos (loads of them) streaming over the questions and answers, only that I thought that the context was interesting too, so I got into the trouble to translate the whole thing in English and then I sent it over to be added as subtitles to the video on youtube. Which video is an illustrated version of an interview to my good Ikarian friend, Angelos K., founding member and representative of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria (OPS Ikarias), by Babis Kokosis for «The Hiking Trails of Greece» a regular radio show on «The Voice of Greece», the international Greek state Radio (ERA 5). Unlike what you might have expected, the pictures do not show landscapes and trails and maps and stuff like that but people!
As the introduction goes:
«The photos showing in this video made by OPS Ikarias were taken along our various hiking trips and many other activities in the nature of Ikaria from 2008 to 2016. They are a tribute to our older and newer friends and members of the Club who walk and enjoy the island’s fascinating landscapes and take part in the club’s projects and activities. They are our inspiration and our one and only support. This video is dedicated to them!»
. ***Find button to turn on "subtitles". Seen best in full screen mode! .
You can read my translation of Angelos’s radio interview by opening this link to OPS Ikarias Google docs. The interviewer introduces the show like this:
«Today we will visit Ikaria, an island that has managed, in spite of the growing tourist development, to maintain a big part of its cultural traditions.
The natural particularities of Ikaria are many. They are shaped by the geographical features and the position of the island in the Aegean Sea. Ikaria consists of a long mountainous mass stretching from east to west forming a ridge with heights over 1000 m. and separating the island in two sides: the northern side with mild slopes, forestlands and abundant waters, and the southern side with stony grounds and steep slopes. Therefore, it displays an impressive variety of landscapes and natural sights which the visitor can discover by following its numerous trails while getting in touch with its history and the legendary particular way of life of its inhabitants.
Let’s find out a bit more about the hiking routes of the island as well as what a hiker may encounter in them through our talk with Mr. Angelos Kalokairinos, representative of the local Hiking Club.»
And if you are a Greek reader you can check out the original transcript in this link.
The video, seen best in full screen mode, it goes without saying, includes a selection of pictures from the Flickr Album: «Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria». I have exercised my influence 🙂 and gotten a specially coded link so you can see all the pictures -not only the public ones. So take advantage of this privilege and enjoy an amazing slideshow! But if you just like a quick view, here is the album straight out of Flickr:
Ikaria, May 14 2016 [BIG DAY!]
The future belongs to the young. And the young -a special kind of young- have always prefered Ikaria for their holidays in July and August. Not only we respect that but it’s actually an honor. The following article which is also going to be distributed in print appeared in the website of the local municipal party ASPI in June 2015. In this manual-like style of document ASPI makes a list of the basic facts a young visitor should know about our strange island. I was very happy about this good piece of straightforwardness, friendliness and understanding. As there are a lot of foreign young people who come to the island in high summer and knowning from experience that they also need a warm welcome and a helping hand, I felt I had to translate it in English. I am letting you read my translation. No embellishments! Facts and instructions! Big times!!! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
You can see it from the ferry, Ikaria is one long and high mountain without plains and many beaches, while most of the villages are hidden in its slopes. By nature it’s not suitable for mass tourism. Its mountainous landscape does not offer the comfort and convenient pleasure seeked by the average consumer/tourist. Nonetheless, since the island was known as a tourist destination, the followning paradox occurs: Ikaria’s difference (not only in the landscape but in the way of life and the way of thinking of the inhabitants) attracts many people, mostly young, who want to see «what goes on here» – to catch a glimpse and understand a bit of this difference. But because they also want to be together with other young people who are after the same thing, they all arrive in August. As a result, during those few weeks different Ikaria becomes «alternative Ikaria» – a chaotic (alternatively massive) «anti-Mykonos».»
«We would like holidays in Ikaria to be a break from the massive consumer way of life.»
«It’s a shame, because inspite of our many defects and faults, we believe that our difference can tell (maybe teach too) one or two things to the people of the city. This, however, is very difficult to happen with so many people around, that is, when the city moves to the island.
It’s a shame also because we are used to being few. Although we love to have a lot of visitors, it is difficult for us to get along with the hustle and bustle, evenmore to run matters in the way we should.
This text is not a tourist guide.
It was written by a group of friends, members of the Independent League of Citizens of Ikaria (*) to inform the young people who visit our island in August about our problems and our lacks and help them get round pitfalls. Our motive is love for our island. Our purpose is to be together and have a good time. Because we love the crazy Ikarian August as much as you do.»
B u s e s : Unlike other islands in Ikaria there is no organised transport network with a central station, billboards with timetables etc. There are buses, of course, and they are more frequent in August, most times even servicing the two ports of the island, combining with the arrival and departure of ferries. Their timetables are usually pinned at central shops of towns and villages where unfortunately they soon disappear under several layers of irrelevent posters and ads. So we end up getting information from mouth to ear or by asking the drivers. T a x i s : there are many taxis with helpful drivers and a rather cheap fare given the state of the roads and the distances. However, they are difficult to find in August. H i t c h h i k i n g : When they have spare seats local cars (plates with AT, MOA or MOB) often stop and take hitchhikers. Yet, nothing is for free in life. The «fare» is communication with the driver and the passengers. Don’t keep your mouth shut but talk. Speak about your impressions, ask questions about the island. W a l k i n g : Nobody in Ikaria will think that you are pauper or tramp because you go on foot. Everything is a road and no road in Ikaria is boring.
«R o o m s : they are countless, found even in the most remote villages, some of which in amazing natural settings and with low prices even in August. O u t d o o r s : Three are the basic facts, 1st) Ikaria is ideal and very inspiring for camping, 2nd) camping is forbidden on the island -everywhere!, and 3rd) there is no organised camping site -nowhere! Not only to avoid eventual protests and raids but also because we think it is best, if you stay outdoors we suggest you are thrifty, light and flexible (and more «lawful»), by rejecting big «mobile summer villa» tents. An open awning for shade in the day and for protection from moisture at night is enough. Choose a spot as far as possible from the beach which should be kept free for everybody. If you camp on the mountains and hills, sooner or later you will be spotted and asked to leave by the locals or the fire service. As far as private land is concerned, there may be people who won’t object if you camp in their properties for a few days. As long, of course, as you find them and ask their permission. Whatever you do, wherever you go, even in the remotest wilderness, don’t behave as if you were the owner. It’s wrong.»
«Let’s face it, Ikaria may have an enviable natural environment, but unfortunately we are not famous for our cleanliness. As if the «resident trash» haunting the streets (junk metal, rubble piles, broken cars) wasn’t enough, the 3-4 weeks of the short tourist season create a garbadge bomb! There are not enough bins, not enough trucks, not enough space in the landfills, and finally not enough cleaning workers. Recently we are doing our best to handle the situation. But we also need your help.»
«The famous village festivals («panigiris») of the island are neither «shops» nor «free parties». It’s an institution (the word is not extravagant) serving multiple, religious, social and economic, needs of the small communities of every village. It is true that in the last years panigiris have been massified and commercialized (with serious impact on the environment due to over-consumption of meat and over-production of trash), nonetheless they still keep their basic characteristic as a communal egalitarian feast for everybody regardless of gender, age, origin, dress code or ideological profile. The secret is that all the organizers are volunteers. Therefore, if you have complaints, don’t behave like «dissatisfied costumers». Talk to the people of the village. They want to talk about it too. A panigiri is no one-night clubbing. Its a reunion and a celebration.»
«It is to wonder how roads were built through those mountains and over those cliffs. And yet, the road network of Ikaria is huge and immeasurably complicated. On the other hand, most of these roads are not in a good condition. Even the main roadway (Agios Kirikos – Evdilos – Rahes – Karkinagri) is messed up in many parts with reverse slopes, sudden narrow curves, obstacles, holes, bumps etc. Drive at speeds not exceeding 30-40 km/h, wear seat belts, put on bike helmets. Don’t drive, if you drink a lot in a panigiri. Find a spot, lie down and sleep you are sober.»
«Often when the meltemi wind blows, big waves beat the most known beaches of the northern side of the island (Kiparissi, Kampos, Messakti, Livadi, Nas). We like to watch them and to swim against their strength, but unfortunately there have been many drownings too. Besides the rules of safe swimming, when you play in the waves you must keep in mind that this activity is actually a sport. Even in the form of simple game body-surfing requires good physical condition and self-restraint. You should also keep in mind that the hardest part is at the end, when the countercurrent which runs under the waves makes it difficult for the swimmer to get back to land. You shouldn’t forget yourself in the pleasure of the game. You must have kept forces to fight the countercurrent. Finally, if you are tired of this sport, of course there are several hospitable, calm beaches in the southern side of the island, that’s something to remember too.»
«You may have heard about it, among the islands of the Aegean sea Ikaria is considered a top mountain climbing and hiking destination. Indeed its hiking trail network is boundless. It was created by volunteers with no help from the government in the course of many years. A d v i c e : a) When it’s windy in the summer, it hardly ever rains, however the mountain-tops are often covered with thick fog. b) The canyon of the river Chalares (what most people know as «the river of Nas») has acquired a fair reputation regardless of the fact that there is too little water in the river in August. The canyon itself is quite impressive, however hiking can be hard because the trail has been destroyed in several parts by floods and overgrazing goats. c) A successful hiking day in Ikaria is a day that has started early in the morning. The island has a very high relief and the ground is rocky. As a result, distances come up longer than their actual length shown on the map.»
«Small-scale agriculture is a way of life in Ikaria. We search, find and buy wine, moonshine, cheese, fruit, vegetables, dried herbs and everything that comes from the island. It’s good quality and it’s good for our economy.»
«We would like holidays in Ikaria to be for you a break from the massive consumer way of life. We know, it’s odd to ask for such a thing in August which is the most wholesale and haphazard month of the year as far as holidays are concerned. But it’s exactly at that month that we think it’s worth asking. Look at the works of out ancestors on the mountains, the houses in the rocks, the terraces over cliffs. It’s in our nature to ask for the impossible. We don’t know what results we attain, we do know however that a beautiful story is being written, little by little, slowly, piece by piece, every year. It’s the fairy-tale of Ikaria. Catch the spirit and be part of our story.»
Have a good time!
.A gift to our followers. What Nana and I have blogged about in 2014 as seen in Google Image Search. This is our archives exposed. 😳
Enjoy with thought and care. ❤
Warm greetings to everybody from a stormy Aegean sea!.
Happy New Year!
With this commemorative entry Eleni and I would like to thank all our visitors, especially those who didn’t just browse but took a minute to read one or two entries of our sisterly blogs during 2014. It was another difficult year for Greece but neither of us blogged much about that lately. That wasn’t our topic. We were more involved in doing things and influencing others to do things. We were involved in moving ahead, following visions and creating visions. And that’s what we hope to go on doing in 2015. Good heavens, this island helps our trade. Don’t ask how, it’s hardly possible to explain it in words. Instead, let’s turn to the power of images. Use Google Image Search to see samples of what we have blogged about last year. We are saving you the typing, so here they are: this link is for…
Δείτε την αρχική δημοσίευση 57 επιπλέον λέξεις
_Blog Review Ikaria 2014 # 11 The Explorers (2a)_
Είμαι η Νανά to agrimi και σήμερα στο μπλογκ της Ελένης που παρουσιάζει διαλεχτά μπλογκς για την Ικαρία, γράφω για τον ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας.
Είναι μια χαοτική παρέα που αλλάζει συνεχώς, άλλοι έρχονται, άλλοι φεύγουν, σημαδεύουν και φτιάχνουν μονοπάτια, παραδοσιακά ή καινούριες διαδρομές, κάνουν πεζοπορίες, ορειβασίες, ψάχνουν, εξερευνούν, φωτογραφίζουν, στις πτυχώσεις των βουνών ανακαλύπτουν κρυμένες ομορφιές που δεν φαίνονται.
Είναι ο Ορειβατικός Πεζοπορικός Σύλλογος Ικαρίας, μια ανεξάρτητη, δημιουργική ομάδα ντόπιων πεζοπόρων και ορειβατών που κι αυτοί δεν καλοφαίνονται, δεν έχουν, ας πούμε, πινακίδα ούτε γραφεία, όμως θα καταλάβεις την παρουσία τους από τη συστηματική δουλειά που έχουν κάνει στα βουνά και την εξίσου συστηματική προβολή της στο ίντερνετ.
Για χάρη τους, επεμβαίνω στη σειρά blog reviews about Ikaria που κανονικά γράφει η Ελένη, και προσθέτω στην κατηγορία «explorers» το ιστολόγιο του ΟΠΣΙ που είναι συνάμα, ημερολόγιο δραστηριοτήτων και εκδρομών, διαδικτυακό βιβλίο πρακτικών και κατάλογος προτάσεων για βόλτες με τα πόδια στο νησί, δύσκολες ή εύκολες, χειμώνα ή καλοκαίρι.
Για όποιον ξέρει τη μορφολογία της Ικαρίας αλλά και τον χαρακτήρα των κατοίκων, ο τίτλος «Κλείνει προς τα έξω, ανοίγει προς τα μέσα» είναι μάλλον κατανοητός και οικείος. Ειπώθηκε πριν πολλά χρόνια σαν ατάκα από την Ελένη σε μια πεζοπορία, καθώς προσπαθούσαμε να περιγράψουμε το νησί: απ’ έξω απότομο, άγριο και κλειστό, αλλά από μέσα μια αγκαλιά.
Αυτό είναι το πρώτο μέρος του αφιερώματος. Κάνοντας κλικ στο μικρό εικονίδιο, ανοίγει θεαματικό fullscreen Slide Show φωτογραφιών στο Flickr. Κάνοντας κλικ στο μεγάλο εικονίδιο, ανοίγει η σχετική καταχώρηση όπου διαβάζει κανείς την περιγραφή της δράσης και των σκηνικών, με πρακτικές πληροφορίες, χάρτες, σχεδιαγράμματα, κτλ. Όπως πάντα, τριγυρίζοντας το ποντίκι πάνω από τα λινκς και τις εικόνες, διαβάζεις τίτλους, αποσπάσματα και περιλήψεις.
Για σχόλια καλά είναι κι εδώ, αλλά καλύτερα πήγαινε στο μπλογκ τους, επίσης και στο facebook group : hikingIkaria
… .Οκτώβρης 2008: Εκδρομή γνωριμίας
A chronicle of twenty years in the paths and the mountains of Ikaria. What has been done, by who, how and why.
A thrilling true story.
We are opening our hearts and sharing the secrets in the village hall of Agios Dimitrios, Rahes,
on Sunday, March 3 at 5 a. m.
Thanks George for the video.