Blog Review Ikaria 2008-2011 # 7


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I am very interested in reading personal accounts about my island. To keep in touch with the place, media is good but there’s nothing like reading actual people’s impressions and looking at their photos.

This is the seventh part of the list of blog entries about Ikaria that I like. As I said in the forenote of the first part, my ambition was to review, not just blogroll, so I wrote a few words about each blog entry and I picked out pictures and quotes. These quotes I sometimes hid “behind the pictures”.  Move your mouse over to read them.

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This one is from the rich harvest of 2011 about which I wrote in my previous entry. It’s a part of «Michael and Maya’s little blog», MAP adventures.

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Michael and Maya come from the U.S. One year ago in July 2011, following the travelling tradition that has been taking shape in the recent years, the couple stopped in Ikaria on their way from Athens to Turkey and gave the world’s blog readers two containing and greatly illustrated entries:
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«Since we arrived in Ikaria we have been hearing about the upcoming Panigiri in the hilltop village of Arethousa: «Goat, more goat, music, dancing, wine, more wine, and staying up all night. You have to go!» So after watching the US vs. Japan world cup final in a small cafe in Evdilos, we zoomed up a dark windy road on a rented scooter to find a huge outdoor party complete with jaunty live music and 2,000 drunk happy Greeks…»
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The pictures I chose to show you are:
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Panagiri started as a saints-name day in this village and then grew bigger and bigger and now it is a summer season weekly tradition where many people of Ikaria meet and celebrate the night.
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The gentleman selling food tickets spoke English so we were able to procure a half kilo of goat meat, bread, and wine.
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The second one goes…

 

«We are settling into the pace on Ikaria, which is sleepy and slow like a snail. We get up every morning with just enough time to jump in the ocean before the hotel breakfast ends.Regarding scooters: we have seen three different men driving with their dogs on laps with paws on the handlebars, a man and his date eating ice cream cones while riding, and a man that had an entire grilled fish on a large oven pan on his lap while riding up a mountain.

Long and twisty scooter rides have taken us to some fun destinations…«

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The photos I chose are:
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Michael and Maya in Ikaria
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A nighttime Rebetico concert in Karavastamo to follow. Rebetico, according to our hosts in Armenistis, came about with the migration of Turks and Greeks from Izmir after the 1920s. It's at once jovial in the Greek way but with a blue edge.
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Caught a sunset in Nas, overlooking the scattered stones of the temple of Artemis.
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The rocks and sun and sea felt timeless there.
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That was all about Ikaria from Michael and Maya’s little blog. Don’t you find them sweet? I adored them! Other Americans visited two months later, that is in September 2011 and… well, to cut short, they enjoyed the relaxation and the sound of the waves. I am all in for that last!
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It’s summer and I should be doing other things than reviewing and posting. But it has to go like this and get done with wonderful 2011. The next entry will be dedicated to 2012. There’s good stuff there too. Stay tuned!
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Thanks for the new colour and formating codes!
I love them and I hope readers don’t find them too loud.

IF *I am tourist promoter*, so …


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So now that *I am tourist promoter*
let me get busy ! The island’s economy is at stake (Ω Θεέ μου !)
SO…
Ikaria is mostly known for and associated with the myth of Icarus and to some extent for its medicinal (just *warm* if you like) springs most of them located in the village of Therma very near Agios Kirikos, the capital of the island.
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But …  «Life is What is Happening, While We are Thinking of Something Else.»

(J. Lennon)

Here is an extract from Pr A. Papalas «Rebels and Radicals» -Icaria 1600-2000″ (Chapter 7, Widening Horizons, Tourism, pp.317, 318). It is about the very first beginning of tourism in Ikaria in the mid-1970s.

«The class and the number of visitors to Therma did not produce the revenues that other islands were enjoying from tourism in the 1970s. Icarians continued to promote Therma and began to consider ways to attract visitors to other parts of the island. There were proposals to spruce up the interior villages for sightseeing tours, to advertise the forests or what was left of them and to renovate the monuments of the island.
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While Icarians were devising various inept schemes to cash in on the obsession that well-heeled Europeans were displaying for the Aegean, backpackers were discovering Livadi beach between Armenistis and Gialiskari. The locals never held this area in high esteem for they did not regard sunbathing or swimming as a leisure activity. The sandy shore was deserted except for the occasional native following a doctor’s advice to take the sun or sea fro therapy. Bohemian typesbegan to infiltrate a region without hotels or restaurants. They put up tents on the seaside …

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…Gradually cafe owners, who had hitherto catered to fishermen, began to build small family-operated pensions. Nudists established a summer community on the Livadi beaches much to the opposition of the locals. In the summer of 1982, an alliance of farmers, Orthodox priests, and Communist officials attacked the nudists with anti-American slogans and threats. There were no casualties, and a compromise was eventually reached. The nudists retreated to the less visible beach of Nas, and the more conventional tourists settled in the Armenisti-Gialiskari where small lodgings by the late 1980s grew into modern hotels… «

Nas Ikaria in DPGR

You will say that was a typical story. Since the 1970s «a lot of water ran in the ditch» or to be more accurate «a lot of waves crashed on the sand»… 😀

Nas Ikaria 1 2010 Nas Ikaria 2 2010 Nas Ikaria 3 2010 Nas Ikaria 4 2010 Nas Ikaria 5 2010 Nas Ikaria 6 2010

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Ikaria is being rediscovered.

This time not about the beach ^^’

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To say more: the island is being *retrieved*, rediscovered by hikers! Still clubing and panigiria are on and will be on with rough loud music as usual, because we are Greeks, that’s all… Image

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Comments

(2 total)

Hey, «tourist promoter» !
How can you inter-connect all that? I wonder how? *good weaver*
Where did you find the link to the photo behind «infiltrated a region» ? That was very good. There is no other to explain what a «grouvalos» is. And I don’t think it’s something bad necessarily. The flower pot in the foreground says it all …

Monday June 5, 2006 – 09:31pm (EEST)

-> thank you for quoting from that book !
It’s so sober, so well grounded, well tuned and well tempered. At the same time it is a very «crazy Ikarian» book : so much hard and good work for a place with a lot of history and drama but which hardly anyone knows. . .
Do you get what I mean?
-> when «all that» happened in the mid-1970s, I was there and saw it. We spend our summers in Armenistis. It was a clash of cultures and one of my best memories of youth is that I took part in it. My future wife, her sisters and her brothers were among those «Bohemians». They were very respectful though. They made a difference, so I chose the prettiest and I believe I made a difference too, so she chose me as well, etc. etc.

Tuesday June 6, 2006 – 10:15pm (EEST)

 


Eleni in Ikaria, February 06, 2006


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I got tired of having ‘the stupid side of my face’ welcome me every time I want to write in my blog.

So I replaced it with something ‘red hot’.

sunset lighthouse 3

I am still there, of course, included somewhere in the picture
-all in blue, purple and red.
-these are my favourite colours.
Is it serious, doctor?.. ————————————-

The rainstorm of last night took my headache away. There was thunder outside and in my dreams too.

I dreamt I was in Livadi beach and there was a sudden rainstorm. I was a ‘grouvalina’ (!) and I was fighting against ‘the bourgeois’ (ordinary holiday makers) who wanted to take over my camping place (which was under the trees) to protect themselves from the rain. Many things happened simultaneously and I haven’t decided which came first, second, third, so I can’t put them down as story yet.

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Comments

(4 total)

A doctor writes…..hmmm you have identified with the κρινα της θαλασσας, which is emblematic of the vulnerable yet wild (true) side of your nature and there is a conflict with your more public persona – the bourgeoisie, (also represented by the literal «public face» you have grown tired of and deleted), which in turn is seeking shelter from the rain under the darkness of the trees; ironically the rain has been brought down to nourish the lilly part of your inner self, newly discovered in the dry, arid sand. Lots of conflict, symbolised by thunder, all is happening at once, but the lighthouse, a kind of creative dream extension, is there to help illuminate a path to resolution while at the same time keeping you hidden and protected , yet still «within the frame» of the picture; orange purple and red are energy, conflict and anger, but purple promises peace.. So yes, we like the lighthouse….Next…

Monday February 6, 2006 – 10:45pm (GMT)

wow doctor ! what a diagnosis! I’m afraid that my social security will not accept to cover the expence. May I pay you in cash little by little every month?

Tuesday February 7, 2006 – 03:19am (PST)

I understand that barter was always the Ikarian fallback when times were hard…so some wine and honey would be acceptable..

Tuesday February 7, 2006 – 04:47pm (GMT)

Εγώ, Ελένη μου, νομίζω πως είσαι εντάξει και δεν χρειάζεται να πληρώσεις τον γιατρό. Μάλλον φταίει που κάθεσαι για πολλή ώρα πολύ κοντά στο αναμμένο τζάκι.

Tuesday February 7, 2006 – 10:25pm (EET)


lilies in wasted sand


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So here are Angelos’ photos from Livadi beach.
They were taken this morning ! He has also added arrows and labels. He is a very φιλότιμο παιδί.
He thought he would be digging for bulbs but he found grown plants. They’ ve got to be the sea-lilies. The colors do not show well, but A says that the leaves, though they look alike most other lily species, have a slightly different lighter shade, -‘pale’ or salty (this is the word he used). The series starts with a photo (taken from the outside) of the door of the shameful, so-called ‘camping site’ , which in fact is a wasteland full of sights for the fans of the weirdo culture …

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…..never mind about it now and let’s go and see the lilies which grow on both sides of this door.

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This is first sea-lily Angelos encountered. Nothing very spectacular, you’d think and you’d be right.

Everybody has smelt lilies. Could this ‘almost a seaweed’ give the best scent of all its magnificent relatives?

The answer is SALT. What food would be like without it? The same seems to be true with the perfumes of flowers (according to me, but I think not only me).

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1, 2, 3, 4, … many lilies…

Illegal beach bum campers sleep on them in July and August.

I am an occasional beach bum but I have never camped, though I did sit and had a couple of interesting discussions with the inhabitants of that shade in the summer.

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no comments…

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measurements…

Several lilies growing under that pile of dry sea weed.

They will burn them in May I suppose. But lilies are bulbs living a secret life inside the earth. The earth? No, the sand!

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This is a lily and around it there is just sand -you know, sand, tiny crystals, whatever… sand like in Sahara the desert. The beeds are juniper acorns!

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a stong tall loner apart from the others

*%#

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This is exactly the spot where the first real tourists set a tent in Ikaria a looong ago in the mid-70s. They were young Germans, most of them students, most of them from Frankfurt, and they read the philosophy of Marcuse. (according to old local chronicles)
It is believed that in spite of the Weirdo cult, there are still pheromones and echoes and good vibrations there.
I can’t tell you. I hardly ever go to Livadi beach anymore.

Comments

(3 total)

the hippies discovered Ikaria?

Saturday February 4, 2006 – 11:10pm (EET)

Ναι αυτοί ήταν. Το Λιβάδι τότε ήταν ένα δάσος από κέδρους και καλαμιές. Εμείς μέναμε στον Αρμενιστή κι αναρωτιόμασταν τι ήταν που τους άρεσε και έμεναν εκεί ‘στην ξερή άμμο’. Οι πιο γέροι τους λυπόντουσαν λίγο.
‘o tempora, o mores’

Sunday February 5, 2006 – 03:09pm (EET)

The place is not just innocent ‘Weirdo parade’. When I visited last summer, it looked very ‘fascist’… I don’t mean the beach. I mean the old camping-site behind the fence. Whoever made all those crazy contructions and piled all that garbidge in there, must have hated the hip, no doubt.

Let’s squat it, eh?
Να κάνουμε κατάληψη?

Sunday February 5, 2006 – 08:25pm (EET)


Eleni in Ikaria, February 02, 2006


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Ikarian sea lilies

Ο Θαλασσόκρινος

‘Στη στεριά δεν ζει το ψάρι
ούτε ο ανθός στην αμμουδιά,
κι οι Σουλιώτισσες δεν ζούνε
δίχως την ελευθεριά.’

This is from ‘The Dance of Zalogo’, one of my best favourites in Greek folk verse and music.The words say : «a fish can’t live on the land, neither can a flower live on sand, neither can the women of Souli live without freedom.»
(After a battle was lost, the women of Souli ran to the brow of a cliff where they sang and danced this merry-go-round ‘syrtos’ . As they danced, one after the other jumped over the cliff and got killed . The women of Souli were something else -believe me.)

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I started like this because I wanted to connect this entry with ‘contradictions’, remember? Because in Greece there is a flower (ανθός =a real flower with a nice smell and pretty looks) which lives on sand. It’s name is Thalassokrinos (=the lilly of the sea, θάλασσα). I first saw it on Livadi beach, near Armenistis about 12 years ago. There are some dwarf cedar trees there (juniperus?) and people often camp under them in the summer. Then they go away and they leave many ordinary or extraordinary items half-buried in the sand. So when that smell struck my nose I thought it was from a bottle of sun-cream and my first thought was to find the make because I had never smelled anything like it before and I liked it very much. I expected to find some exotic (e.g. American, Australian) brand. But there was nothing like it in the deserted camping site under the cedar tree -only sand and several cigarette butts. The smell was stronger then so I squated and searched with my hands in the sand. Among cigarette butts and odd debris I touched several hard protrusions. They were whitish beige -about the same colour as the sand, and at first I thought they were small peebles or seashells. But they were soft under my touch and of course they smelt divine! I was wirling round the tree like a mad dog then and I went to the other side of it which campers do not use because there are many spurges there. Among them I saw my first fully grown Sea Lilly, a flower I believed it was mythical. Much humbler and modest than the ones depicted in the Minoan frescoes (one called, if I’m not mistaken, Η Κυρία με τα Κρίνα, The Lady with the Lillies) but as proud and princely in odor.
I had discovered a ‘habitat‘.
I came back after a few days and had the luck to see the whole colony in bloom. It was a very windy day though so there was no smell. I didn’t squat nor did I came back on another day, because I didn’t want to attract public attention. I only spoke about my discovery to the woman who owns ‘Atsahas’ taverna (that’s on the side of the hill on the eastern side of the beach). She is an amateur in plants and she knows Livadi beach like the palm of her hand, but she had never heard or seen the sea lillies. Perhaps this is because they come out of bulbs and they bloom for too short. Then, if you don’t know about them, you wouldn’t look under a tree in the sand (washed by the surf in winter too) to find such a flower, when there so many places to look for interesting plants on the dry land.

Soso's Lilies Soso's lilies Soso's lilies Aegean Sea lily

Why don’t those flowers behave right? Well, I think that if they did they wouldn’t smell so divine.
They are the Alkyon sea bird. Why doesn’t it nest on safer ground than those rocks right over the killer surf of the sea in winter? If they did, they would be plain birds (white, brown or black) and they wouldn’t have that shiny electric blue-green-yellow colour. They wouldn’t set an example, there would be no myth connected to them and we wouldn’t be so happy to see them -we, lonely swimmers of lonely rocky coves.

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Have I filled a computer screen? I think I have. So I’ll write no more in my blog tonight. There will be another full computer screen tomorrow.

καληνύχτα σας
εδώ ψιχαλίζει απόψε
και είναι πολύ ωραία.
Εύχομαι και σε σας να είναι
το ίδιο καλά και καλύτερα.

ImageΕλένη

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Comments

(4 total)

Yes, sometimes beauty emerges only through hardship and grief; sometimes through tears comes a clarity of vision. What does not kill me makes me stronger, so they say Eleni.

Wednesday February 1, 2006 – 02:45pm (PST)

I know the spot. What do I win if I find the bulbs and send you a photo?

Thursday February 2, 2006 – 12:51pm (EET)

Do I have to tell you? I thought you were cleverer.
To find the bulbs is the prize, of course, what else?

Thursday February 2, 2006 – 12:41pm (PST)

You have the North of England branch of Hiking Ikaria utterly intrigued by these sea-lilies….And how often have I been bowled over by extraordinary scents on Ikaria and not traced the source..

Thursday February 2, 2006 – 08:42pm (GMT)