Wind-bound in Nicaria, circa 1740


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 Old stone shelter near Langada in Ikaria
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Hello readers!
I don’t expect this long article to become too popular. It’s just that several modern-day Ikarians show a lot of interest in knowing as much as they can about the more recent history of the island and they are usually very disappointed. Compared with other islands of the Aegean Sea, there is so little to say about Ikaria! No glorious battles, no illustrious rulers, no forts and fleets, no trading towns, no towers, cathedrals and famous monasteries; only mossy stonewalls and old thrifty houses scattered in the ravines, the valleys and the forests in the hills.
Εxcept one Greek Orthodox clergyman in the 17th century, no other educated person from East or West felt the urge to visit the island and write an account. If I’m not mistaken, the first book about the history of Ikaria appeared in the middle of the 20th century. Until then, there was no big narrative but only countless little stories told by the fireplace; persistent little stories which by force of repetition, became local legends; local legends some of which today, by force of time and culture gap, may sound like wild fairy tales.

Imaginary depiction of Charles Perry's ship wind-bound under Cape Papas in Ikaria
Neverthelss, there were some short descriptions of the life in the island during the Obscurity («Αφάνεια») as we like to call in Ikaria the first hard centuries of the Ottoman occupation. These were written by the very few European travelers who touched at our rough, inhospitable shores, often by chance or accident. In Pr A.J. Papalas’ book «Ancient Icaria» I found a reference to one of these documents, which, although brief and trivial, capticated my imagination. It is by Charles Perry, a wealthy medical doctor from England who travelled in the Levant from 1739 to 1742. After visiting Egypt, Perry sailed from Alexandria to Athens. On his way across the Aegean he visited and described the islands of Cos and Patmos. But after that island, as he was heading for Mykonos, his ship was caught in a storm and was forced to drop anchor in Ikaria.

Old settlement in Karkinagri Ikaria I liked Perry’s account. Reading his one and a half page about his accidental visit to Ikaria, I felt the genuine puzzlement of a man of the Century of Lights for the unwelcoming, extremely mountainous environment of the island and his also genuine astonishment (and contempt) for the attitude and the way of life of its inhabitants. But, most of all, I liked his account for a more personal reason: through the eyes of the good old British doctor, I saw some places of western Ikaria which I know very well, such as Karkinagri, Agios Isidoros and Langada, looking as uncanny and wild, as if we were talking about a remote, unfriendly rock in the middle of the South Pacific!
I found that very exciting! In my mind it fitted in with the other tales of my island and their mixture generated cores for several imaginary storylines! Maybe some day I’ll sit down Drawing of Imaginary Ikarians fiesting in the 18th century and write a similar story, this time not from the side of an enlightened European physician, probably wearing a powdered wig, but from the side of the «wretched, almost naked and savage» Ikarians!

😌
 ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴

Wind-bound in Nicaria, p.484 «We spent three days in Patmos, not disagreeably; and the fourth in the morning we set sail for Myconos; but the wind, which was otherwise pretty favorable, grew slack, next to a calm; so that it was with much-ado, with what wind we had, and the help of our oars, that we reached the west end of Nicaria in two days. We much lamented our hard fate, that we should thus long want a wind at such a favourable (for it) crisis of the year, it being near the Autumnal Equinox.
However, that night, about an hour after sunset, even whilst we were reproaching the malice of our stars, a fine gale sprang up. We failed not to embrace it immediately, and we went driving on, Jehu-like, with our sails full of wind and our hearts full of joy: But alas! How frail and transitory are human hopes and happiness, especially upon the sea? Within an hour after, the wind turned against us, and blew a storm; so that we were forced to change our course, and to seek shelter under a rock at the west end of Nicaria, which we did not attain, however, without much difficulty and danger.»

Wind-bound in Nicaria, p.485 «Here we lay wind-bound four nights, and above three days; during which irksome interval we amused ourselves in the best manner we could with fishing: But after we had spent two days without other recreation than fishing, that sport grew dull and tedious; and whilst we were looking out for some sport and divertissement, kind Providence (of its grace and favour) sent us the glad tidings that about a mile off, on the side of a high rocky mountain, there was a spring of excellent water, which was resorted to by great number of partridges. Upon this intelligence, (which we got the third day of our detention there) we immediately got ready arms and ammunition of all sorts, as well for the belly as the barrel -such as bread, butter, cheese, salt, pepper, wine, glasses, etc. We marched on directly, (flushed with the hopes of new game) with uncommon ardour, or rather avidity; and we were well recompensed our pains; for we passed that day very agreeably.
The mountain (though in general very steep) admits a sort of level in that place; and the spring of water issues out of a rock, in a very convenient and delightful spot, where nature or chance has formed a sort of grot, large enough to receive and accommodate a dozen or 15 persons. This natural grot (if we may so call it) is covered over, and secured against the weather, by a large flat stone of about 24 feet in diameter: This rests upon and is supported by other stones on all sides, except to the eastward; where, being open, it presents to view a sort of alcove. Here we passed the whole day (which but for that retreat would have been tedious) very agreeably -reclining upon the bed of our grot, with the water trilling along close by us, whilst our partisans upon the hunt for partridges, wild goats, and the like, of which they brought us in good store.»

Wind-bound in Nicaria, p.486 «There are some few inhabitants on this island, but those almost naked and savage, seldom seeing or conversing with any of the human species, except those of their own isle. The second day after we put in there, we sent out some of the mariners a shooting for us, who pursuing their game to the north side of the mountain, met with some of the natives. These were so affrighted at sight of strangers, that they fled from them with precipitation; but our people calling after them, and telling them they had brought them bread and corn, they at last prevailed on them to stop, and come to a party with them. These poor wretches, being at length persuaded of our good intentions, came to see us aboard our vessel, and afterwards brought us good store of grapes and meat. We were really at a loss to guess where they found those things; for the whole island, so far as we could see of it, is the most miserable, barren rock that ever was seen.
The 4th day, towards noon, the wind changing in our favour, we set sail for Myconos, which is 40 miles distant from the westernmost point of Nicaria. This (as it is to be supposed) is a run of about 7 hours, with a good brisk gale…»

 ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴  ∴

Pages 484-486 from Charles Perry’s book, «A View of the Levant», which I have arbitrarily named «Wind bound in Nicaria», can be found in Google books

Modern books about the history of Ikaria:

Pr A.J.Papalas 'Ancient Icaria' on Amazon.com A presentation of the Greek translation of Pr A.J.Papalas 'Ancient Icaria' in my blog In my blog a rather personal and enthusiastic presentation of Pr A.J.Papalas 'Rebels and Radicals', a book about the history of Ikaria after 1670

Comments on this article are very welcome!
Ελενη

😌
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Windbag of Aeolus


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«Windbag of Aeolus»
«Ο Ασκός του Αιόλου»

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About the documentary, in short

Director, journalist Nasim Alatras You cannot conceive the beauty or the ugliness of this world when you are observing it from a distance. You have to approach, dive into its depths and explore… It is only then that awareness and objectiveness are acquired.

Green growth was introduced to Greece round the early ‘80s, when E.U. directives applied to Greek Government energy policy led to the installation of the first wind farm. Since then the number of wind farms has been increasing at an immense rate. The incentive for this investigation was the observation of wind turbines being inconsiderately dispersed across invaluable regions of the mainland and the islands of Greece, in the name of clean, “green energy”.

The main objective of this documentary is to shed light on the environmental, financial and social consequences of this policy and the aftermath of the so-called “high priority” investments supported by huge subsidies.

Why?

Ikaria with towers and propellers While following this objective numerous questions were raised. Is this energy policy the essence of green growth and if so, could this be considered a truly sustainable form development?

When examining the environmental aspects, one could wonder about the following:

  • Which are the spatial criteria for selection of areas of installation?
  • Under what kind of environmental assessment sites like forests, conservation areas, sites near traditional settlements or historic sites are approved as suitable?
  • Why are those environmental assessments carried out mostly by private companies and not by scientists, and how are their results validated?
  • Which are, if there are any, the obligations of the wind farm owners considering the removal of the turbines and the restoration of the environment and who sees that it is actually carried out?
  • In other words, is this really a strategy or a predatory way of harnessing renewable energy sources? Could green energy under these circumstances ever be actually “green”?

profit Such an obvious lack of strategic planning raises more questions considering the financial aspects of the matter.

  • Whom do these “strategic investments” really serve?
  • Under what legislation is the constitutionally defined meaning of sustainability being annulled, when permits are being issued inconsiderately and subsidies are given out to one-person companies and affiliates of the same key companies in the energy field?
  • Why isn’t there any consideration whatsoever of the actual energy needs of the country?
  • Why aren’t those companies fined when they are not meeting their dept to land owners?
  • Or, why is the ownership status scouted?

Risks & Challenges

No to the giant wind turbine plant on mt Atheras Τhe strength, support and motivation for this 16-month journey of searching, filming and visiting the farthest corners of Greece came from the people of this land, people who have been conveniently silenced. This raises the biggest question of all:

  • Why are all the above taking place while communities around Greece are provided with no official information at all?
  • Why are the views of Municipalities totally disregarded in decision making? Why are their arguments, protests, petitions passed by?
  • Is this really where the birthplace of Democracy ended up to?

As a production team we decided 16 months ago to open the windbag of green growth in Greece and separate the lies from the truth. We did so being fully aware of the risks involved and while knowing well enough the power of the key players in the energy field in Greece…

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—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—

Ο «Ασκός του Αιόλου» με λίγα λόγια

 

Director, journalist Nasim Alatras Δεν μπορείς να συλλάβεις την ομορφιά ή την ασχήμια αυτού του κόσμου όταν τον παρατηρείς από μακριά. Πρέπει να τον πλησιάσεις, να βουτήξεις μέσα και να τον εξερευνήσεις… Μόνο τότε αποκτάς πλήρη συναίσθηση και αντικειμενικότητα. Ο όρος και η πρακτική εφαρμογή της πράσινης ανάπτυξης εμφανίστηκαν στην Ελλάδα τη δεκαετία του ’80, όταν η ενεργειακή πολιτική των Ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων, καθοδηγούμενη από τις Ευρωπαϊκές οδηγίες, συναίνεσε στη δημιουργία του πρώτου αιολικό πάρκου. Από τότε ο αριθμός τους αυξάνεται με φρενήρη ρυθμό. Η παρουσία πολυάριθμων ανεμογεννητριών που αλόγιστα φυτεύονται στο όνομα της «πράσινης ενέργειας» σε ανεκτίμητες περιοχές της ηπειρωτικής και νησιωτικής Ελλάδας, αποτέλεσε το έναυσμα της έρευνάς μας. Ο κύριος στόχος του ντοκιμαντέρ είναι να φέρει στην επιφάνεια τις πραγματικές περιβαλλοντικές, οικονομικές και κοινωνικές συνέπειες της εφαρμογής αυτής της πολιτικής και τις «παρενέργειες» τον αποκαλούμενων «στρατηγικών επενδύσεων» που επιδοτούνται αδρά.

Γιατί;

Ikaria with towers and propellers Ακολουθώντας το στόχο αυτό γεννήθηκαν πολυάριθμα ερωτήματα. Αυτή είναι τελικά η ουσία της πράσινης ανάπτυξης και αν ναι, υπό ποία έννοια χαρακτηρίζονται βιώσιμες οι εφαρμογές τέτοιων πρακτικών; Σε ότι αφορά το περιβάλλον ορισμένα μόνο από τα βασικά ερωτήματα  που προκύπτουν είναι τα εξής:

  • Ποια είναι επιτέλους τα χωροταξικά κριτήρια επιλογής των περιοχών εγκατάστασης;
  • Τι είδους και πόσης αξιοπιστίας περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες «επιστημονικά» συναινούν στην επιλογή δασών, προστατευόμενων περιοχών NATURA, σημείων σε απόσταση αναπνοής από παραδοσιακούς οικισμούς και κατοικημένες περιοχές ή ιστορικούς χώρους, ως περιοχών κατάλληλων για εγκατάσταση;
  • Γιατί αυτές οι περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες, που συνοδεύουν τις αιτήσεις αδειοδότησης, πραγματοποιούνται κυρίως από ιδιωτικές εταιρείες και όχι από το άρτια καταρτισμένο επιστημονικό προσωπικό των Πανεπιστημίων της χώρας και με ποιον τρόπο ή από ποιο φορέα ελέγχεται η αξιοπιστία των αποτελεσμάτων τους;
  • Ποιες είναι οι υποχρεώσεις των ιδιοκτητών αιολικών πάρκων σε σχέση με την απομάκρυνση των ανεμογεννητριών μετά το τέλος της λειτουργικής περιόδου τους και την αποκατάσταση του περιβάλλοντος;
  • Ποιος ελέγχει ότι εργασίες αποκατάστασης όντως πραγματοποιούνται;
  • Με άλλα λόγια, είναι αυτό στρατηγική και σχέδιο ανάπτυξης, ή απλά ένας ληστρικός τρόπος εκμετάλλευση κοινωνικών αγαθών όπως ο αέρας, το νερό και ο ήλιος;
  • Πως θα μπορούσε ποτέ η “πράσινη ενέργεια” να είναι υπό αυτές τις συνθήκες πραγματικά «πράσινη»;

profit Η προφανέστατη έλλειψη στρατηγικού σχεδιασμού λοιπόν, δεν μπορούσε παρά να γεννήσει ακόμα περισσότερα ερωτήματα, ειδικά σε σχέση με το οικονομικό καθεστώς που επικρατεί στις «επενδύσεις» αυτές.

  • Ποιόν εξυπηρετούν στην πραγματικότητα αυτές οι «στρατηγικές επενδύσεις»;
  • Υπό ποια νομοθεσία καταργείται στην ουσία η συνταγματικά κατοχυρωμένη έννοια της βιωσιμότητας με την αδιάκριτη έγκριση αδειών και την συνεχή παροχή επιδοτήσεων σε εταιρείες του ενός ατόμου, ή σε θυγατρικές των ίδιων βασικών παικτών στον τομέα της ενέργειας, εγχώριων και ξένων;
  • Γιατί παραβλέπονται και αποτελούν δευτερεύον κριτήριο οι πραγματικές ενεργειακές ανάγκες της χώρας;
  • Υπάρχει κάποιος μηχανισμός προστασίας των ιδιοκτητών γης όταν δεν λαμβάνουν τα συμφωνηθέντα από τις εταιρείες για την ενοικίαση της γης τους;
  • ‘Η, για ποιόν ακριβώς λόγο το ιδιοκτησιακό καθεστώς περιοχών απαξιώνεται και αλλάζει εν μια νυκτί;

Προκλήσεις

No to the giant wind turbine plant on mt Atheras Η  δύναμη για αυτό το 16μηνο ταξίδι μας προήλθε από τους ανθρώπους της χώρας αυτής που αποτέλεσαν και το ισχυρότερο κίνητρο, γιατί έχουν πολύ βολικά και επιμελέστατα αποσιωπηθεί. Και αυτή ακριβώς η παράμετρος γεννά το μεγαλύτερο ερώτημα από όλα:

  • Γιατί όλα τα παραπάνω συμβαίνουν ενώ οι Δήμοι και οι τοπικές κοινωνίες δεν λαμβάνουν απολύτως κανενός είδους επίσημη πληροφόρηση;
  • Γιατί οι απόψεις των Δημοτικών Συμβουλίων απαξιώνονται και παραβλέπονται κατά την λήψη των αποφάσεων;
  • Γιατί οι διαμαρτυρίες, οι φωνές των ανθρώπων αυτών αποσιωπούνται;
  • Εδώ κατέληξε τελικά η γενέτειρα της Δημοκρατίας;

Ως ομάδα παραγωγής αποφασίσαμε πριν 16 μήνες να ανοίξουμε τον Ασκό της πράσινης ανάπτυξης στην Ελλάδα και να ξεχωρίσουμε τα ψέματα από την αλήθεια. Το κάναμε έχοντας πλήρη συναίσθηση των κινδύνων που ελλοχεύουν και γνωρίζοντας πολύ καλά τη δύναμη των μεγάλων παικτών στον τομέα της ενέργειας στη χώρα…

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 .Thursday December 1, 2016 - 10:37pm (EEST)


Ακομα κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων


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Hello readers,

everybody is picking olives and this is going to last for many weeks. There isn’t much to say about life here, so let me go on blogging «landscape shots of others». You can read the outlines of this project in  the first part of the series. which begins with a (w) memorial gallery of my own Ikarian landscapes from the glorious past. In my previous entry I got carried away into metaphysics and escapist thoughts but I promise this time I will be more sober. No more rocks and cliffs where only eagles, hermits and crazy Ikarians would take their chances. The landscapes I chose today are smooth and reasonable, at least as smooth and reasonable as an island like Ikaria can be…  😉

The choice was made using the oh! so useful Flickr Search «Ikaria + landscape» (refresh if it doesn’t load) sorted by «relevance» giving results oh! so wonderfully untouristically random and magical almost like a crystal sphere.

Here are the 12 shots I chose: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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This was the third dozen of my landscape shots of others chosen among the not so popular and less known pictures. I thought they deserved to be seen. We don’t live on the beach. We live inside of around these landscapes! So this is it. The fourth part which, God will, be uploaded in the New Year, is going be a surprise!i Wait and see…

to be continued…
Fascination surf

Eleni Ik ❤

Thursday December 18, 2014


κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων


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Mountains around Kampos, Ikaria

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Rediscovering the mountainous secret nature of my island through a series of chosen photos of landscapes -empty landscapes, as I like to call them- taken by others. You may read the basics about this project which is going to be deployed in several blog entries, in my previous post: «the landscapes of others» . After an introductory (w) memorial gallery of my old landscape shots, that set contained popular high quality pictures of rather well known spots of Ikaria. Unlike them, however, these ones are practically unknown. They are pictures taken in obscure locations or at times of the year other than the two crowded summer months. So I suppose they were underrated because they were uninteresting to tourists. Yet, they are also quality pictures and have a lot to say about the island as it evolves through winter and summer, bad and good weather, rolling geography under dark clouds or bright blue skies. They are the unknown landscapes of others, the landscapes of us who love our island and never stop to explore it, us who live there all year long -or at least try. 😥

Eleni in IkariaThe choice was made using the oh! so useful Flickr Search «Ikaria + landscape» sorted by «relevance» giving results oh! so wonderfully and untouristically random and magical almost like a crystal sphere.

Here are the 11 shots I chose: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Ikaria by ASK, on Flickr

Ikaria

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_IGP1736 by Paul Lewis, on Flickr

_IGP1736

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Pezi Sunset by Tragopodaros, on Flickr

Pezi Sunset

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That was the second part of landscape photos from Ikaria with a stress on the mountainous nature of the island. The third part will be more or less in the same style. The land is closing in for winter and everybody is getting ready to pick olives …

In the Olives lies the Income | Eleni's blog in Ikaria

to be continued…

Eleni Ik ❤

Monday October 27, 2014


τα τοπια των αλλων


 

You know me, I am not exactly a romantic lanscapist or an extreme preservationist. Yet I have always been always enchanted by the wild uncivilized and precapitalist 😉 mountain landscapes of my island, I have always wanted to show them and talk about them, so when I finally learned a few things about cameras in the couse of two years I took and posted many pictures in Flickr. Later, when things took a bad turn and for a while Flickr allowed only 200 photos unless we paid for our accounts, I deleted 132 photos. I did that with a lot of regret because though no one could say they were masterpieces, nevertheless they had a personal value: for me they were documents of my commitment, my puzzlement, my many surprises and discoveries. So before I start with this new project, let’s remember the brave days of 2005-2007 through this (w) gallery :

But now, ladies and gentlemen, enough with the past. Let’s see what other landscapists have done! After I have posted τα γυμνα των αλλων it’s time for me to blog and praise τα τοπια των αλλων.

Splash!!!

Splash!!!

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Point K by Nana Agrimi, on Flickr

Point K

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This is only the first part of photos chosen among the so-called «popular» or more accurately, the better known ones. The second part will include lesser known pictures but more close to my heart. Wait and see…

to be continued…

Eleni Ik ❤

 

Sunday September 28, 2014


Final cut: These Mountains Are For Dancing !


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«No, dear friends, our mountains are not «of lesser cultural and touristic value» as it is often sαιd as an excuse by those who aim at their distruction for the purpose of profit. Our mountains are valuable free spaces with wild beauty and open horizons. Besides that we like them and we walk them, we also need them to dance!  Watch us!»

(Quote from «These Mountains For Dancing» in the blog of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria.)

Το σλάιντ απαιτεί την χρήση JavaScript.


Dance and make a point!

Save the free spaces of this world

from speculators! 😡

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Prep: These Mountains Are For Dancing


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Γεια σας

Για δεύτερη φορά φιλοξενούμενος σ’ αυτό το μπλογκ, κλήθηκα από την Ελένη να προδημοσιεύσω μια φωτογραφία από τη μικρή performance που κάναμε πρόσφατα στις κορυφές του Αθέρα και να γράψω δυο λόγια για το νόημά της.

Το δικαιούται, άλλωστε. Άπειρες φορές, τόσο μέσα από τούτο το μπλογκ, όσο και με τις φωτογραφίες της στο Flickr, έχει υπερασπιστεί τη διατήρηση της φύσης και την ακεραιότητα του ορεινού τοπίου του νησιού μας. Ειδικά δε, όσον αφορά τις ανεμογεννήτριες και την απειλούμενη καταστροφή των βουνών μας εξαιτίας τους, ο αγώνας της υπήρξε πολύχρονος, με πολλές μεταπτώσεις, πάντα με φαντασία και αίσθημα, ένας αγώνας συχνά μοναχικός, αληθινά επικός.

Αυτά όμως είναι παλιές ιστορίες. Η προδημοσίευση γίνεται εδώ κυρίως γιατί η Ελένη έπαιξε τον πιο σημαντικό ρόλο στην διαμόρφωση της τελικής ιδέας του happening: να βγούμε στις βουνοκορφές, να παίξουμε μουσική και να φωτογραφηθούμε χορεύοντας!

Τα μέλη και οι φίλοι του Ορειβατικού Συλλόγου Ικαρίας που μεταφέραμε την ιδέα στην πράξη, την ευχαριστούμε θερμά. Με το «These Mountains Are For Dancing» κάναμε μια πραγματικά «θετική διαμαρτυρία» ενάντια σε κάθε λογής «τέρατα» και τερατώδεις ιδέες που απειλούν τα βουνά μας. Περάσαμε ωραία, ωφεληθήκαμε ψυχικά και όπως νομίζουμε, βγάλαμε ένα σωστό αισθητικά αποτέλεσμα.

Θα μπορούσα να πω πολλά, όμως αυτά αρκούν προς το παρόν. Περιμένετε το πλήρες οπτικό υλικό που θα δημοσιευτεί σύντομα στο μπλογκ του Συλλόγου. Εκεί, εκτός από τις φωτογραφίες και βίντεο που θα δείτε, θα ακούσετε και τη μουσική!

Άγγελος Κ.

Ikarian pathman

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