Glaciers, marbles and turbines


.

*, 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. 🐲

.

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

.

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 ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

.

ATHERAS, by angelos ka on Flickr

ATHERAS

…..

.

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


A Day at an Exhibition


.

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.
..
. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .
..
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!
..
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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

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

. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .
'The Scream' by Edvard Munch. It was her idea and that cavity was perfect so we couldn't resist!
.
. . .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.
.
. . .Having done most of the job with the new trail, it was time to try and take one or two good shots of this beautiful wild cove. Naturally sculptured shapes of sandstone make the scenery behind the little wild cove of the previous pictures. The trail runs across these amazing clusters of rocks.

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

. .

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

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

τοπια των αλλων plus +


.

Hello readers!  ❤  ^^’
Erietta’s latest visual commnent in one of my older entries was smashing! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Where do these new young girls come from? 🙄 To be honest, I feel the urge to assemble and post a 2nd part of «Who in The Where» only for their sake! Maybe I will do it later, for example in January or February, when I will have missed summer. Now I have stick to my schedule and to do the last of «Landscapes of others». Only that, to pay respect to the new trend, I have chosen landscapes which are not empty. Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers of my humble blog, please welcome 13 landscape shots celebrating the wild nature of Ikaria, 13 landscape shots which somewhere in their many pixels include beautiful human figures! In one of them I am included too, that was when I was young and wild enough to match the natural surroundings. Let’s see if you can spot me ^^’
Here we go! Go Ikaria! Go little poeple in the landscape! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

.

P1030315 by Chris Brody, on Flickr

P1030315

…..

Summer 2011 by Diamantis Seitanidis, on Flickr

Summer 2011

…..

2potama 2 by angelos ka, on Flickr

2potama 2

…..

Serendipity by ilush, on Flickr

Serendipity

…..

You were bored because you have seen these pictures already? I promise, my next post will be more original!

Follow me up! ^^’

Eleni Ik ❤

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Ακομα κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων


.

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: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

.

 

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


When I am tired of the world


.
.
.

  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

.
.

Woman in Ikaria

(cropped from source)

.

You know, the last thing Ikaria is known for is church life and monasticism. The people are very religious in a natural, casual way, indifferent of formalities, nevertheless always showing a sincere and full respect of higher forces which control our destinies. Whether one believes in the salvation of the soul or not, religion provides consolation because, salvation taken apart, it does speak about the soul while economics do not. And believing in the soul, the existence of a soul, whether this soul is immortal or not, is something very important in the life of the island. Religion also provides occasions for celebration and community gatherings. It also offers an explanation for natural things as well as for «luck» : God’s will. And natural things and lucky or unlucky circumstances are also important elements in the consistence of Ikarian life. To cut this short, we have churches – a lot of big and small churches. They are, so to speak, our guardians, houses of God, houses of the spirit (soul) of the community: «be good and be good to each other» (be good to God).


.
.
Out of the world : Ikaria
.
.

But what about monasteries? Thereupon we are a failure. Although there are a few monasteries, there is no monastic tradition in Ikaria, at least none as strong as in some other islands. In my opinion, besides our natural dislike for discipline and formalities, the most important reason is that the island is poor and cannot sustain monastic communities. The rocky soil produces hardly enough for the population so the Ikarians, even though devout believers, could not afford, so to speak again, professionals in prayer,  experts in salvation. Like everything else in Ikaria, the tending of the soul had to be done by the poeple themselves with the occasional help of an educated priest or solitary monk.


.
.
Mt Atheras, south side
.
.

Yet, there are exeptions. If monasteries didn’t thrive, small hermitages were abundant in the slopes of Mt Atheras. But let’s not think that these retreats were inhabited by anchorites who pursued unification with God like in Mt Athos or Sinai. Though little is known about the lives of these people, it’s obvious to me that they were more or less ordinary men and women who either by some misfortune or simply because of taste, discarded the joys of the marital bed and the comforts of village and family life. They walked away from the world, seeking solitude, entrusting their fate to their labouring hands, to good God and to Mother nature. I am all respect for them. It’s hard to believe that in am island as virgin and wild as Ikaria and in a time when most settlements were of the kind of «lost villages» (see, entry),  there were people who sought even more solitude and peace! Out-of-the-worldness must be some sort of second nature to us. The outer the better, the further the better, the remotest and most inaccessible is the best, ask my friend Nana & co about it!

 

.
.
My illustrated comment in Nana's blog entry : Cozied UP
.
.

Anyway, this entry was not meant to be a dissertation of the religious ethics of the Aegean. I have come to Ikaria for the winter and recently my friends, the explorers of OPS Ikarias, in the course of a project to create a long-distance trail from one side of the island to the other, have been in love with a wild area under the tops of Mt Atheras where according to local legends various groups of monks lived in different periods of time from the 15th century to the 1800s. I saw the photos and I found these landscapes absolutely enthralling.

.


the cliffs under the plateau
view from the trail
South side: Rocks and land erosion two mt tops 1033 alt Big Boulder Hammer Hammer 2

.


General view of 3/4 of the island Agios Theologos high piles tree  through the cliffs to the river waterfalls
.

What made men and women walk out of the world and settle in places like this? What kind of experiences were they after? Were they looking for God? Did they want be gods themselves? Was it because of a practical reason such as piracy, oppression, social disorder and percecutions? Or is it something inherent to the human nature? Escapism? Some people just drop everything and go?.. Is that it? 🙄



.
tree under the wind rock formations 2 dining room of the monks  view to the sea looking back at the heights   General view landscape Cliffs of Ryakas the entrance to the canyon
.
passage 4 the passage 2 rock formations 2 rock formations 5 Rocks in Erifi Afternoon on Erifi mt plateau
.

I have always been too committed to everything I do and to everybody I love to even think about escaping. But as I am growing older, sometimes I am tired of the world and this makes me wonder. Until I sort this out, you take a good look at those rocky wildernesses. Take a good look at those vast views to the mountains above, the sea straight ahead and the skies all over. I am inviting you to find your answer.

  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  

 

 

.

κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων


.

The island

.

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: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

.

Ikaria by ASK, on Flickr

Ikaria

…..

_IGP1736 by Paul Lewis, on Flickr

_IGP1736

…..

Pezi Sunset by Tragopodaros, on Flickr

Pezi Sunset

…..

In the Olives lies the Income | Eleni's blog in IkariaThat 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 …

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!!!

…..

Point K by Nana Agrimi, on Flickr

Point K

…..

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