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.

Δεν αγοραζω ουτε τρωω αυτο που σκοτωνει το νησι μου


.~* Το κειμενο που ακολουθει ειναι επισης δικο του
.~* και βρισκεται κατω απο την φωτογραφια.
.~* Εγω το μεταφρασα γιατι του αξιζει.

.~*

αυτο »

μαζικη ανεξελεγκτη κτηνοτροφια

εφερε αυτο »

κυριως λογω αυτου »

που πουλιεται και τρωγεται στα πανηγυρια »

Α οχι δεν εφταιγε η Ε.Ε. και η Ελληνικη κυβερνηση. Αληθεια οτι η πρωτη δεν επρεπε να επιδοτει τις κατσικες κι η δευτερη επρεπε να ειχε καποιο ελεγχο της καταστασης.

Ομως πρωτα και κυρια το φταιξιμο ηταν δικο μας.

Ημασταν ρομαντικοι και δεν βλεπαμε εκεινο που ηταν μπροστα στα ματια μας. Οτι μια αρχαια παραδοση ειχε παρει μια καταστροφικη τροπη. Μια γιορτη ενος χωριου (“πανηγύρι”) οπου το μενου ηταν αποκλειστικα κατσικι και που ηταν προγραμματισμενη να ικανοποιησει 50-100 ατομα εως τη δεκατια του 1970, αναμενεται να θρεψει 4.000 τουριστες και ντοπιους στις μερες μας. Και ενω παλια γινονταν μονο 20-30 τετοιες γιορτες, τωρα εχουμε περισσοτερες απο 100 το χρονο, σχεδον ολες το καλοκαιρι.

Ημαστε Ελληνες. Ή θα ζησουμε με μετρο ή θα πεθανουμε. Επομενως οχι αλλο κατσικι για μενα παρακαλω.

Κατά χρονολογική σειρά σχετικές δημοσιεύσεις σε blogs:

Μερικοί την προτιμούν γυμνή
Ο τρελός λόγος μιας τρελής κατάστασης
Η καταιγίδα δεν ήταν η μόνη αιτία της καταστροφής
Καταστροφές στην Ικαρία: “βιομηχανικό ατύχημα;”
Σαλεμένο Πατατάτο Σώζει Δάση

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Αν ξερετε Αγγλικα διαβαστε τα σχολια κατω απο την φωτογραφια στο Φλικρ
Να κανετε συνειδητοποιημενες διακοπες. .~* Γεια χαρα!


For Reasons of Honour


[στα Ελληνικά]


A Love Story
An Adventure Film
An Initiative of Volunteers

«…and the river -come on, red-haired wife of the priest-
and the river was muddy and the river was muddy,
muddy and turbid, dragging boulders –come on, red-haired wife of the priest-,
dragging boulders off their roots, dragging boulders off their roots,
trees that have been uprooted, dragging a -come on, red-haired wife of the priest-,
dragging a sweet apple tree, dragging a sweet apple tree,
loaded with black plastic pipes!»

(old Greek folk song)

 

[On October 18, 2010 torrential rainfalls hit the western side of Ikaria island causing an unprecedented flushflood which destroyed the vegetation and leveled the rivedbed of the most beautiful mountain ravine of the river Chalares, commonly known as «the river of Nas». Besides that, if not the worst, at least the ugliest result of the flood was the hundreds of pieces of broken plastic pipes used for irrigation purposes, piled up and tangled in every part of the ravine. So, the following spring a team of  volunteers responded to the call of the local Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club (OPS Ikarias) to remove all that trash from the river and let nature heal its wounds as nature knows best. The text below is the chronicle of that huge volunteer project. It was written day after day with a lot of emotion so it’s sometimes difficult to understand. But I hope the photos will help.]

The broken sign at the entrance of the trail in the canyon with piles of branches and trees and plastic pipes on it Uprooted dead pine with pieces of plastic pipes Sad Lina

Day 1: Beginning of December, three from the board of the Mountain Club of Ikaria and other two friends we go to Chalares to see the devastation after the terrible flash flood of October. Shock. A new unknown landscape. Without plane trees, caves, waterfalls, pools. Barren, even river, broad, with a lot of water. And with a lot of light. Merciless, ample sunlight, without shade anywhere. In this light pieces of plastic pipes are seen everywhere –thousands of meters of black pipes of water intake that the river carried and broke. Pipes that shouldn’t be there in the first place, and yet they were; cut in pieces, fortunes wasted, reduced to trash. Nobody was aware that they were so many. We are thinking: we can’t remake the old river, we can’t eliminate the reasons that led to the doom. But we can remove the trash pipes. “But it’s not our business”, “But it will be hard”, “What are we going to do with them?”, “They ‘ll say they needed them. We will get in trouble”. But something like a tantrum has taken over us. We must do something. Let’s do this. Let it be like a gesture. Pick up the trash. For reasons of honor.

 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFDnb_DVAAA7TMk.png on facebook 😉

A dead pine with its roots on its trunk Another strangled pine The leveled riverbed 1 The leveled riverbed 2

From that moment on we call ourselves “Initiative of Volunteers”. Write a petition, collect signatures, apply to the Municipality of Ikaria, step somewhat absurd (“please, let us pick up the trash”). Yet necessary. Responsibility, awareness, reliability, honor. Permission from the Council is granted, a “committee of inhabitants of Nas” supports us, we go for dates and finally the… ANNOUNCEMENT!

 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFDnb_DVAAA7TMk.png on facebook 😉

It's not art. It's trash Burdened and strangled pine Trying to take in the change This used to be a beautiful river pool where hippies swam naked

Day 2:

Good Thursday. K. is expecting a lot of volunteers. He has taken the hubbub on the internet for cash. A. is worried about the weather, the swollen waters, the bad shape of the trail into the gorge. G. is off to Athens. L. shows up smiling with his dog K. -mascot of every dangerous mission- who ‘s smiling too. Early at the rendezvous on the bridge there is a car, we think they are volunteers; no, they were night owls, stopped for some sleep. We meet D. who we until then knew only on the net. Orange overalls “Greek Speleological Society”. We meet K. who we knew not, yet we knew her dog V.! K. is wearing a long raincoat, hood and rubber boots to the knee. Weather rainy, north wind, the river in hissing. G. is in K.’s restaurant in Nas, making sandwiches. E. has sent 150 € for provisions, she hasn’t come herself though. There are not enough hands. We are desperately few. Embarrasment. A., K., L. and D. start picking and bundling pieces of pipes. Suddenly, bam!, the “foreign factor” turns up (“Kalimera!”) -S., J. and little R. from England. Raincoats, leather boots, woolen caps.

Ku the Volunteer in the rain Ro the Volunteer Kan the Watchdog
Si the Volunteer Ju the Volunteer Lef the Volunteer

But we still are too few. A. exhausted (“What are we doing here?”). Little R. asks her mother who is struggling with the pipes, “Mummy, what do normal people do in their holidays?” We laugh. Young D. rides by. She’s studying for exams and she’s taken a break. “Grab a saw, go in” We take a good look at the river, the part that we have cleaned. It’s a river without trash pipes. A river that we had never seen so clean before -even in its best. OK then. We are doing a good job.

Free Chalaris from broken Pipes - Day one Free Chalaris from broken Pipes - Day one Free Chalaris from broken Pipes - Day one
Free Chalaris from broken Pipes - Day one Taking a test - Day one Volunteer Val at Angelolivada - Day one

Hours later at lunch at K.’s there’s lot of good talking. End of Day 2.

Dan the Volunteer Ku the Volunteer Sandwiches and wine for all
Ku Si Ju end of 1st day Heal the wounds Lou the Volunteer

 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFDnb_DVAAA7TMk.png on facebook 😉

Day 3: Good Friday. The Longest Day of the War. Super-Production. Highlights : Two volunteers from Athens! We lost the cook!A young Greek American with family origins from Ikaria joined us. He was in the Navy Seals. He and his girlfriend ripped to work! V. showed up late, already noon, yet she brought with her a platoon of 3 men; they all fought very bravely. Even later came E. (sent by M.) who, however, helped incredibly a lot (honoring the arms of Messaria) with the pipes in the hardest part of the river at the hardest hour of the day. Volunteer G. (honoring the arms of Rahes) was carrying heavy bundles of pipes two by two. A., D. and K. who tied the bundles with wire, grew calluses in their hands. At a certain moment old man V. from Kato Raches who was also picking up pipes and repairing his own, shouted to the team. Though he was only asking to save for him a piece that he needed, his yells alarmed the English. “I think we have a political issue in there…”, they said as they were leaving. On their way back to Nas they run across a rare toad and take a photo! Except broken pipes, the only pieces of trash that we found in the canyon were a car tire, a tent pole and… a bra!

Greek power juice Va the Volunteer Our old handmade dam partly gone.
plane jet Tutti Volontari Mangiare Bene bra or bikini top?

Hours later at lunch at K.’s there’s lot of good talking. End of Day 3.

 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFDnb_DVAAA7TMk.png on facebook 😉

Day 4: Wednesday after Easter. Ungrateful, heavy carrying. Dirty weather. We are very few. K. is already working in the field, unruffled in the rain, she is carrying up bundles from the large Angels’ pool. She loves that place. She wants it to be clean. We are impelled and we get busy. K. is throwing bundles to young K. from one side of the turbulent river to the other. Young K. has freaked out yet manages to grab and carry the bundles. But Ch., a newcomer, ran away as soon as he saw what we were doing. We didn’t see him again. A.’s camera freaks out too, and it jams.

Ya the Volunteer Cook! Ko the Volunteer Di the Volunteer
Ja the Volunteer unaware of the camera Ja the Volunteer aware of the camera The last bundle

Hours later over coffee at K.’s there’s lot of good talking. End of Day 4.

 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFDnb_DVAAA7TMk.png on facebook 😉

Day 5: Sunday. We are nobody! G. comes by K.’s place, he finds A., then the other G. comes by, they have coffee, they recruit two tourists and later they find another two, they all go to work, and… miracle of miracles, magic power of casualness…

the job is done!!! 🙂

Making a flight of stonesteps in no time At the river bridge in Nas Out of the river and to recyclement
Di the Volunteer in a clean river

The End

In Nana to agrimi's blog: '2 photos from a future without goats and floods'Request: Just now the river is (almost) clean of trash to the beach of Nas. No other pipes must be cut and removed by anybody under pretext that “they are trash” or that “they are illegal”. The pipes that remain in the river are functional. They carry water to the farms and the village of Nas, therefore, until the area is properly connected to the public network, they must be respected. Any damage to them, will cause trouble. To anybody who would like to help the nature of the river to reborn faster, we suggest planting olianders, local river plants that are found everywhere and can be planted easily any time of they year. Also, the goats don’t like them and they don’t eat them. Thank you very much.

 

For the volunteers

Angelos K. Grav


On the Harmful Effects of Wine☺


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☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

to young blood>>
>>> if combined with mountain air,
goat boil, violin music, plane leaves,
herbs, stones and dust. Langada Festival,
August 15 2007. All photos © Spiros Staveris,
starring some of my friends. I am almost never
in Ikaria in August and I hope that you can see the reason!

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☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

Το σλάιντ απαιτεί την χρήση JavaScript.


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)