Ikaria in August – Instructions for Use


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Hello readers!
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!!
! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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   ^^’ 😀 ❤

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ΑΣΠΙ: Ικαρία τον Αύγουστο - Οδηγίες Χρήσης

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«Welcome friends

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».»

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Camping in AntiMykonos

«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.»

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Panigiri in Langada: The harmful effects of wine ☺

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Photo from our friend Shana's myspace: Shana on the bus in IkariaTransportation

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.

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In Nana's blog: Camping solutions : Όλα Τέντα τον ΑύγουστοAccomodation

«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.»

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PinakidaNasTrash

«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.»

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In my blog: The problem with our festivalsVillage festivals

«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.»

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oops!The roads

«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.»

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In Nana's blog: Riding the Jumping GoatsThe sea

«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.»

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In my blog: The fog in the Aegean is purple!The mountain

«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.»

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In my blog: food, pebbles and headstandsFood and local products

«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.»

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«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!

ASPI website

(*) Aftonomi Sispirosi Politon Ikarias is an independent party in the Municipality of Ikaria. It was founded in 2010. Webpage: aspik.gr Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/290700171092825/

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p.s. the last part was powerful, wasn’t it? I am celebrating those words with a slideshow of related pictures from my blog. Goodbye for now. Have a great summer! Let’s hope that Greece will make it through and give the world a lesson! ^^’
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Ikaria, Friday 17 July 2015

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The Two Sides


Panigiria :: Kirchweihfeste in Griechenland Maison Ikaria 01

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Dear readers, hoping that you are familiar with my idea of presenting selected material about Ikaria loaded on the internet by bloggers, photographers and writers, I am proudly presenting to you today in an interesting collation the works of two women photographers, Kerstin Hehmann from Germany and Isabelle Gressier from France. Unlike Zdeněk Senkyrik from my previous entry, whose photos are carefully set with an emphasis on landscapes, Kerstin and Isabelle come with ‘snapshots‘, the one of happy people who dance in various summer festivals and the other of silent buildings, isolated or deserted houses in wintry landscapes. It was my fancy to put Kerstin and Isabelle’s very dissimilar photos side by side in this entry. I wanted to make a point and I am very satisfied of the result. I hope that you too, my dear readers, after a little bit of thought, will be able to see the connection.

Panigiri Gialiskari 02 Maison Ikaria 02

raches 04 Maison Ikaria 03

Raches 07 Maison Ikaria 04

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Raches 08 Maison Ikaria 05

Piperi Ikaria 01 Maison Ikaria 06

Tsifteteli 11 Maison Ikaria 07

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Langada 17 Maison Ikaria 08

Langada 20 Maison Ikaria 09

Langada 21 Maison Ikaria 10

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Langada 24 Maison Ikaria 11

Langada 25 Maison Ikaria 12

Langada 26 Maison Ikaria 13

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Agios Dimitrios 06 Maison Ikaria 14

Raches 09 Maison Ikaria 15

Raches 12 Maison Ikaria 16

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Langada 27 Maison Ikaria 17

Raches 03 Maison Ikaria 18

Ladies 05 Maison Ikaria 19

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Dear readers, you haven’t grasped the connection yet? Here’s another dozen of collated shots 😳

Raches 15 Maison Ikaria 22

Langada 18 Maison Ikaria 23

Langada 22 Maison Ikaria 24

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Sitting lady Maison Ikaria 26

Gialiskari 06 Maison Ikaria 27

Langada 29 Maison Ikaria 28

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Does this picture by Kerstin of a valley lost in the mountains which doesn’t see a living soul for months and suddenly it’s stuffed with cars and people for no apparent reason, help you understand? I suppose not 😳

Langada 01

Dear readers, this is stuff to talk about for hours and maybe also make a book of. It’s our beloved ikarian enigma and I won’t bother you with it anymore.  But before I let off, allow me to suggest to you to read the following parts of an interview by Nikos Dayandas, the maker of  «Little Land», about his experiences in Ikaria. Our friend Elina found it, chose the best parts and added them in a comment under my entry about this great documentary. Here they are translated in English. This interview does not solve the riddle of «The Two Sides», yet it’s a few steps to the right direction. It’s one of the best and shortest descriptions that I have ever heard or read about life on our island.

That’s all from me for now, goodbye. The micro goes to Nikos ^^’

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Τι ν’ αυτό που το λεν’ Ικαρία;

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«Going there I realized that the island was full of young people who were indeed non-Ikarians or they were Ikarians who hadn’t been born or lived in Ikaria.»

«There is no local who doesn’t do two or three jobs at the same time; from a little garden near his or her house to the beehives at some distant hillside; from a sour cherry orchard in a field to the sheepfold in some place near.»

«It’s given that they work very hard. They just have this particularity that they do everything in their own time, everyone in his own clearly personal understanding of when is the right moment to do something.»

«When you are there, you do get the feeling that things really are a bit slower. You are surrounded by a strange calmness, everything is peaceful, the people are mild too. In Crete, for example, Cretans are intense characters. Cretan music is fast, their drinks are very strong. The Ikarian culture on the other hand is different, milder. It’s the sound of the little violin, their dance is a slow circular dance, they add water to their wine…»

«When you arrive there, your first impression is, first of all, the nature and its wildness. You see right away that the place hasn’t been developed

«You, know, because I have studied archeology, the Ikarians in many aspects remind to me of the Ionian civilization, they have almost ancient Greek tendencies. Everything they do, their pace and their activities are «all in good measure«. Or like a granny says in the film, life goes like a circle from good to bad and back again. This is, let’s say, the Heraclitean «everything flows«. The way they see things is founded on some basic ideas which are deeply rooted in Greek philosophy, even though they aren’t themselves necessarily aware of the fact.»

and the best (according to Elina and of course I agree!)

« … Ikarians also had another particularity in their society. The island has always had a liking to Communism and because the local communists had a very hard time with persecussions and exiles, after democracy was restored in 1974 the people started to reward them with mayoral posts. This is the political dimension of the mysticism of the place. So for several decades you had KKE partisans fixed in public posts through which European Union funding came and every time they said: «Leave it. We won’t take it!» They wrote all that on their balls, something that may have seemed criminal at that time, however today you can say that they may have been saved exactly because of that. Because it’s a place that hasn’t changed

 

😛


The day we took over the mountains!


νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλήν σου, ἐν εἰρήνῃ·
ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου.
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Why am I chanting the Canticle of Symeon? Why am I feeling so relieved? 😀

Because I who dropped from the sky in the beginning of winter of 2006 and discovered, among many other things, the amazing wealth of the mountainous hinterland of Ikaria and since then never stopped talking about it, insisting against the walls of indifference and ignorance, fighting against the dogma that the mountains are good only for rubbish dumps, free-grazing goats and perhaps several dozens of gigantic turbines on top of them all, I finally lived to witness the revolution. Two years ago when Angelos announced the closing of the trail network because of lack of support, I wished so hard that something happened and things took a different course. And there it was! The people of Ikaria are taking things in their hands! The news appeared in the Ikarian e-magazine ikariamag last week in an article under the title «How Ikaria… takes the mountains!». I found that was worth translating and blogging about it. Though I know it may seem to you a rather dry account of events strewn with place names that make no sense, yet to my ears it was music.

Most of the photos in this entry came to me through my spies in facebook from the groups: a) Ορειβάτες Πεζοπόροι Ικαρίας, b) Καθαρίζω την Ικαρία, and c) Αυτόνομη Συσπείρωση Πολιτών Ικαρίας. The links open to pictures in Flickr.

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How Ikaria… takes the mountains!

Eventually, as time goes by, the mountains of Ikaria cease to be considered inaccessible and they reveal their greatness more often. Thanks to the initial longtime effort of a few stubborn dreamers, more and more local people are discovering their beauty, while more experienced hikers do bolder things or create new routes. Finally, last weekend the action came to a peak. The map below shows the trails followed, cleaned or traced by four different groups of people who were active in our mountains during these two days.

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ikaria everybody hiking weekend map

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In red color we have marked the progress of the first group of local hikers who started from Agios Dimitrios in Pounta on Saturday afternoon. After they crossed Zizokampos and Erifi, they came to Agios Isidoros from where they took the trail to Karkinagri. Once at the shore, they spent the night in the cove of Kalou near Trapalou. On Sunday morning they took the old broken-down dirt road along the coast and finally reached Manganitis.

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teachers hikers Ikaria

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In pink color you can see the long route from Cape Papas to Cape Drakanon taken by a group of people from Rahes who since long are dedicating their Saturdays to hiking. Most of them aren’t young anymore, yet their physical condition is so good that they decided to perform the crossing of the entire Ikarian ridge within two days. They spent the night in Ai-Stathis and on Sunday afternoon they reached Drakanon where they put out their weariness in the shallow and warm waters of the cove of Ai Giorgis. Another pleasant surprise there.

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ridge walk Ikarians 2  ridge walk Ikarians 1

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In the same area, earlier that morning, residents of Faros village and several volunteers had taken up to clean and repair the trail that had been abandoned for years, leading to the church of Ai Giorgis and the beach further below. The operation included picking up and carrying the garbage from the coast. Meanwhile signboards are being prepared for the wider area of Faros which stays without signage for years. These signs will be painted by the students of the elementary school.

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Το σλάιντ απαιτεί την χρήση JavaScript.

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In blue color is shown the most difficult part of an ambitious project taken up by the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria. On Sunday they visited the area of Ryakas searching inside this impressive tubular canyon for a way out on a trail to Selini and Agios Theologos in Geli close to the mountain tops. They had already made their preparation, they achieved what they wanted and in a short while they will be ready to announce the crossing of Ikaria widthwise from south to north. When this is completed, hikers will be able to admire one after the other the two most beautuful canyons of the island, Chalares and Ryakas, on a single hike from Nas to Manganitis.

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OPS Ikarias explore Ryakas canyon

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In green is shown the old traditional lane from Xylosirtis to Kampa which was closed and covered with vegetation for ages. At the initiative of the municipal party «Aftonomi Syspeirossi Politon Ikarias» and the participation of several villagers the difficult job to clean this lane started on Sunday. With other similar projects running at the same time in different parts of the island, baring unforseen, the beautiful lane from Xylosirtis to Kampa will be ready within a month.

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The article ends there, but the action keeps on. It seems that there is always a new thing of this kind going on in Ikaria every weekend. If you are interested, get in touch with the right people and get involved. The best is that these actions are not sponsored by coorporates or funded by either the local or the central government. These actions happen and they will go on happening because the people want to take over their mountains! They want to work together to do something, no matter how small this may be, for the good of the island and for their own good as well. As the slogan in one of the pictures says,

«None of us can do everything, yet each of us can do a small thing. All of us put together can do many things

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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p.s. for the record, these are some of my first hiking adventures and discoveries in Ikaria back in 2006
How I love my blog!

According to the local tales, people built houses like these in places like these to escape from pirates, slavetraders and Ottoman tax collectors. It’s probably more complicated than this, but ...  The lost village adventure

...I discovered a trail yesterday. It’s actually much more than a trail or an intervillage lane. It’s an old all-stone-paved a few km long mule track, what we’d call a highway today. It used to connect the villages...

  A path and a poll

I walk ( I hike, as they say ), I wander on foot. That’s what I do all day. My hips ache. My lungs sometimes ache too...

  I walk, I hike, I wander.

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Reblog : Περίπου το 30 π.Χ.



  Δόξα! Δόξα!
Σήμερα Πρωτη του Καλοκαιριου και ενω οι λέξεις-κλειδια που οδηγουν στα μπλογκ μας μαρτυρουν ότι παρα πολλοί ανθρωποι ψαχνουν πληροφοριες για καμπινγκ στην Ικαρία, εφετος η αγαπημενη μου Νανα δεν νοιαζεται για «τις αναγκες του κοινου ενοψη του Αυγουστου» (♦). Φευγει πιο περα, μακρια. Δινει το στιγμα της, δημοσιευοντας το…  


Περίπου το 30 π.Χ.

. «Εδώ λοιπόν που λέτε είχαμε εκλογές και κυκλοφόρησε κόσμος και αν και δεν δυσαρεστήθηκα με τα αποτελέσματα, δεν την γλύτωσα και μελαγχόλησα όπως πάντα το παθαίνω με την πολλή πολιτικούρα. Ευτυχώς όμως γελάσαμε με το … (διαβαστε περισσοτερα)

Με τετοιο πνευμα, τρελη διαθεση και πολλη δουλεια…

ΚΑΛΟ ΚΑΛΟΚΑΙΡΙ!!!


(♦)Παρολα αυτα, αγαπημενοι αναγνωστες, επειδη δεν θελουμε να γινουν ποτε ξανα

http://worldwideeyes.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/freecamping_stiker.gif?w=315&h=221 αυτα τα πραγματα
η προταση μας για να κανετε καμπινγκ στην Ικαρια βρισκεται στο

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Blog Review Ikaria # 4 Special Edition 1947


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 fourth 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.

However, this is a special occasion. The «blog entries» I am going to review for you are from the times of handwriting and the photos are scans of old black and white pictures most often taken with smuggled in KODAK cameras. It’s the times when Ikaria was an island of mass exile: 1947-1948 in the peak of the Greek Civil War.

I am dedicating this post to the memory of my grandfather on my father’s side, who I hardly met. My motivation was to blow a horn of courage to today’s Greeks and in particular to my friend Nana, the light of my eyes, who recently farewelled Athens and moved to Ikaria.

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The story of the exile in Ikaria is best described in Greek language by

KOKKINOΣ ΦΑΚΕΛΟΣ

The entry related to Ikaria is «Τόποι Εξορίας – Ικαρία«

Of the many old pictures in this article I have chosen the following four

And in English inside the outstanding site of the

based in the small remote island of Ai Stratis which was also an island of exile during the same period. The related to Ikaria entry is : «Civil War: a tragedy for all Greeks«, the first part: «1944: Liberation and renewed political conflict«. Ikaria never became a Prison or a Camp subject to military discipline. From this very enlightening article which is unfortunately not available any more, I was able to saved only the following document:

Souvenir of Ikaria, 7.10.1947. Exiles at Ayios Kirykos, Ikaria: Trifyllis, Kalokairinos, Avgeropoulos, Spyros Garezos. Archive of Maria Garezou.

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And now some professional photos by Stelios Kasimatis who during the exile found his subject:

I am copying 4 photos from the excellent

https://islgr.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/6f1fa-25ce25b525cf258025ce25b925cf258325cf258425ce25bf25ce25bb25ce25bf25cf258725ce25b125cf258125cf258425ce25bf.jpg
 

Εύδηλος λιμάνι Εϋδηλος καίκια

Πλοίο Εύδηλος Λιμάνι

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They were wonderful, they had a high moral, they believed they could change the world. Rest in peace. Dreams never die and though we can sometimes be in the dark for a very long time, nothing stops progress.

🌞

Ανεμογεννήτριες αλλά και δάση βελανιδιάς


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 press for Greek

«I like wind turbines and yes, I can accept a few in Ikaria but I also want a lot of forests with oaks»

I had said once, oh poor innocent me, what an illusion! I should have known better! Under current conditions of tribal invasive capitalism, that cannot be done!

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😞 😞 😞
Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria

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So I’ve changed my mind! The company’s plan is monstrous and disastrous for our island. I have copied and translated the petition against it and I am asking everybody to sign it!


Wind turbines and Ikaria: How a blessing turns into nightmare

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria In July, 2011 the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy granted permission (RAE 877/11 / 15.07.2011) to the company IKAROS ANEMOS SA (affiliate of Mytilineos group) to install 110 mammoth 3 MW wind turbines on 28 square kilometers of Mt. Atheras in Ikaria island. The permit states that the turbines will be installed in the following sites of the ridge of Mt. Atheras of the Municipality of Ikaria: «Vigla – Kapsali – Podilia – Ypsonas – Kasmianos – Provatokefalas – Roukounas – Sarantiadon- Erifi – Koutalopetra – Varka – Pappou Logari – Seladia – Megalofos – Siamaki – Kliratia – Stasousa – Papoutsokriftis – Anavathres – Ranti – Stavri – Pounta – Pr. Ilias – Kako Katavasidi”. Their maximum height will be 150 meters and their wingspan will be 90 meters. The permit is expected to be valid for 25 years with a prevision for renewal for an additional 25-year time (50 years total).

After the issuance of the permit by RAE [15/07/2011] two legal proceedings against it were submitted: 1. by the Municipality Ikaria, following a unanimous decision of the City Council on 30/07/2011 to proceed against the RAE decision. 2. by Mr. Ilias Gianniris who also filed a proceeding to the Minister’s office (AP 5590 / 02.08.2011).

Public appeals against the wind turbines were issued by: 1. The NGO «Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation” 2. The Municipal faction «Laiki Syspeirosi Ikarias» (LAS Ikarias) 3. The Municipal faction «Autonomi Syspeirosi Politon Ikarias» (ASPI) 4. The «Kinisi Politon Evdilou» 5. The regional party «Eco Wind in the North Aegean Sea».

Some say that such investments (wind turbines) can close down a lignite mine. However, the same investor (Mytilineos) has publicly declared his interest in the lignite mine of Vevi (near Florina, northern mainland Greece) for 300 MW!
(Source: news.kathimerini.gr)

Case record

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria In the 1980s the National Electric Company (DEH) installed and operated seven 30-meter-high wind turbines in “Firi Aspa” above Ikaria’s capital, Agios Kirikos. Although they were very close to the main road, their aesthetic impression was positive. They looked like familiar technological constructions. They were capable of covering 12% of the energy needs of the island and they were in full function especially in August when energy consumption reached its peak.
To cover its own energy needs Ikaria does not need the new wind turbines.
The maximum capacity of the thermoelectric plant in Agios Kirikos is 12,5 KW, while a wind turbine installed by a private near the village of Perdiki produces an additional 600 KW.
The maximum estimated demand for electricity in Ikaria is 9 MW and that only in peak season (10 days around the Celebration of the Assumption in mid-August).

Effects

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria To apply the investment in discussion and have 110 wind turbines planted on the crests Mt. Atheras, the whole length of the ridge will have to be excavated, as seen in examples from other areas of Greece. Huge trucks will be needed to transport the parts of a 3 MW turbine, therefore, large roads will have to be built on the mountain.
Each 3 MW wind turbine weighs up to 380 tons without counting the weight of the foundations. These will have to be extremely strong. Each one will require an excavation of at least 16×16 meters large and at least 3 meters deep, as well as leveling and clearing of at least 2000 m2 of land around each turbine. For one-hundred and ten such foundations, the total of land which will be used for the investment is estimated to 220.000 m2!
One utility building will be needed for each wind turbine.
Finally, each wind turbine requires an average of about 14 km of cables on utility poles or in underground lines to connect the turbine to the substation. This means even more excavations on a length of many kilometers.
A large-sized building will be needed for the substation. This will be located near the shore at the point of connection with the undersea cable which will carry the electricity produced by the turbines to the mainland (Attica).
In the spots where the wind turbines are planned to be installed there are several protected areas NATURA2000 (SAC and SPA). (Source: communitywalk.com and WWF: oikoskopio)
On the other hand, if the investment respects the protected areas, including the forest of Ranti, it is estimated that the space left will be sufficient for only 13 out of the scheduled 110 turbines.

The natural and cultural wealth of Ikaria is seriously threatened

In my blog: 'Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny' The 110 turbines will be installed in fragile ecosystems and large areas of importance for bird life. The giant turbines set in rows on the ridge of Mt. Atheras will be visible from miles away. Their sight will drastically alter the unique insular landscape which is considered to be one of the greatest cultural assets of the Aegean islands.
The sites where the turbines are planned to be installed present several valuable features for Ikaria:

  • The unique ancient forest ecosystem «Forest of Randi»
  • The environmentally protected areas (NATURA 2000-HOS)
  • Areas of great cultural importance and long-aged historical value (Pounta, Kako Katavasidi, Papoutsokriftis, Erifi, etc.)
  • The famous historical pathways stretching on many kilometers around and across the ridge of Mt. Atheras
  • The famous stonewall barriers, the most important of which runs along the eastern part of the ridge
  • The precious water sources along and between the mountaintops

All these will be flattened for the sake of a private investment on public/municipal land (and perhaps pieces of private land as well), aiming at a profit for 25 or 50 years and making Ikaria looking like a giant porcupine sailing at sea.

Will there be benefits?

In my blog: 'Image from the flashflood of October, 2011 in Ikaria The famous countervailing fee which will be reaped by the Municipality of Ikaria is estimated that it will not exceed 1.7 million euros a year (K. Theophylaktos, information event about the project in Rahes, Ikaria, 08.22.2011).
Let us now compare this benefit with the cost of the disastrous torrential rainfall of October 2010 on the road network of Ikaria. A lot of the damage was caused by flooded secondary dirt roads letting out on the main network. The total cost of the damage was estimated to be of the order of 13 million euros.
Nobody knows how many such heavy rainfalls would occur over the next 25 or 50 years and how much damage they will cause. If the 110-wind-turbine project materializes in Ikaria, the clearing and flattening of the land for the foundations and the building of the roads will create immense surface water runoffs which will be added to the ones which caused the floods of October 2010.

Information

In my blog: 'Sites of the planned 110 wind turbines in Ikaria To fill the information gap about the 110 wind turbine project in Ikaria, several gatherings were held in Rahes, Evdilos and Agios Kirikos by the Aftonomi Syspeirosi Politon Ikarias (ASPI) in August 2011. Unfortunately, the Municipality Ikaria, although they filed a proceeding against the investment, did not call the people to a special information gathering on the subject. Instead, they are in contact with the investor and they are holding discussions with him.
The people of Ikaria, the Ikarian community in general, as well as the visitors and lovers of the island do not have sufficient information on the effects of the planned massive project. Before we find ourselves in front of predetermined choices, we should react now.
Sign by pressing the SIGN THE PETITION

GoPetition, ΙΚΑΡΙΑ: ΥΠΟΓΡΑΦΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ 110 ΑΝΕΜΟΓΕΝΝΗΤΡΙΩΝ (we sign against the 110 wind turbines on Mt. Atheras in Ikaria

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The final signed document will be as follows:

The undersigned, individuals and associations, are opposed to the installation of 110 wind turbines of total 330 MW on Mt. Atheras in Ikaria.
This project, if applied:

  • will turn Atheras into an industrial zone for a length of over 27 kilometers
  • will mean mass works of road building, excavations and land clearing and leveling for the foundations, transport, installation and maintenance of the turbines, as well as for the necessary utility poles, cables and buildings
  • will increase the vulnerability of Ikaria to the process of desertification and the consequent flashfloods, as the works will create open ground surfaces of tens of square kilometers
  • will destroy the Forest of Randi and other important wooded areas
  • The famous stonewall barriers, the most important of which runs along the eastern part of the ridge
  • will destroy a large part of the protected areas (NATURA2000 – Habitat of European Interest) located in western Ikaria as well and the PA located between Pounta and Kako Katavasidi
  • will destroy the habitats and nesting sites of the birds of Ikaria, which according to the Greek Ornithological Society, are of great importance
  • will reduce the vital productive areas of the inhabitants and downgrade the aesthetic value of Ikaria for several decades
  • will dramatically alter the landscape as the turbines will be placed in rows along the highest tops of the ridge and will be visible from everywhere
  • will drastically reduce the rising popularity of the hinterland of Ikaria to vacationers and it will cancel the strong potential of Ikaria for mountain tourism (hiking, mountain climbing, cultural touring) which tones up the economy of the small mountain villages

We believe that this investment is of a colonial nature and stands contrary to the interests of the island because:

  • it ignores the local people’s will
  • it is planned and developed without transparency, sharing of information and communicating with the inhabitants and the authorities of the island
  • it offers vague quid pro quos, as the current financial offer of the investor to the Municipality and the local community may be subject to change at any time or may not exist in the future, particularly under the present economic conditions in Greece
  • it is unrelated to the energy needs of Ikaria and aims only at the profitability of the investor
  • it flagrantly violates the principle of proportionality, as an island which needs an annual amount of only 9-12 MW is asked to contribute to the country’s energy objectives for the year 2020 with the excessive amount of 330 MW produced by this investment
  • it does not take into account the 25-year or 50-year economic loss from the delivery of tens of square kilometers of the mountain to private interests. Specifically, the proposed deal does not take into account the natural disasters eventually brought by the disruption of the hydrological cycle as well as the long-term effects on the economy of the island (depreciation of property and losses in the domains of beekeeping, sustainable animal breeding, food gathering, mountain tourism, etc.)
  • finally, because no one can guarantee that, after the expiry of the investment (that is, after 25 or 50 years), the natural environment will actually be restored and that the 110 wind turbines, together with their 110 reinforced concrete foundations, ancillary buildings and kilometers of cables will be removed and shipped out of the island at the expense of the investor

We are calling the Municipality of Ikaria to:

  • not accept this colonialist investment plan
  • not accept negotiations for siting in any location within the perimeter of the Forest of Ranti and other protected areas
  • to take action in finding and applying appropriate economic, social and environmental energy solutions compatible with Ikaria, possibly participating in joint-form enterprises by local investors in the fields of e.g. geothermal power and small sized RES

The signatures under this petition do not authorize anybody to accept possible future offers by the investor. Any further discussions on the matter should start from zero basis.

Sign by pressing the SIGN THE PETITION


 .Thursday August 19, 2011 - 10:37pm (EEST)


Legends about Ikaria : THE RED MYTH


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THE RED MYTH

(an interview with Doubting Thomas)

Old communist man proudly singing songs

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Let’s cut this short. Are Ikarians anarchists and commies?

– Impossible to x-ray minds. All I can judge upon is what I see. And all I’ve seen on the island is small private property owners, farmers, shopkeepers, craftsmen, journeymen and many jacks-of-all-trades.

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But all three Mayors of the island are supported by the Communist Party!

– I happened to meet them. I saw three mild and complaisant middle-aged gentlemen. If they had long beards and wore black frocks they would be like clergymen. And like clergymen they deal with the problems: they talk long and discuss. As Doubting Thomas I appreciate discussions very much. Evenmore when there is wine involved.
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Which by the way happens to be red.

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– It’s also very strong and sometimes too rough; as strong and rough as the natural profile of the island.

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Speaking of the natural profile of the island, isn’t it true that in the mountains of Ikaria you may meet old people who speak like bolsheviks?

– It’s true that I’ve met some old farmers who spoke like Bolscheviks. But the question is : do they behave like such? I doubt so. The bucolic surrounding just didn’t fit. The bolsheviks I met were all regular churchgoers, for example. And that’s how I met them: in church. I saw them and listened to them from my icons in church. I was puzzled on how honnest they were; so, to shed some light onto the matter,  I read «Rebels and Radicals», a book on the recent history of Ikaria. xxx xx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx   I was very disappointed. I didn’t read anything about bloodsheds. There was a lot about starvation, migration, deprivation, but only a few rebel acts. In a book with a red cover and a hot title, I expected an occasional massacre, a couple of mass executions, prison camps, bloody uprisals. Yet there was very little -if none at all. Given that Ikaria was involved in one way or another in every major event of the last two centruries, at a certain point I got suspicious -as if the writer had supressed information. Not that he actually did. What I mean is that I was surprised not to find a lot of violence through the pages of that book.

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hammer under sickle by angeloska on Flickr

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How do you explain this?

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– I’m not here to explain. My job is to doubt. I thought we had agreed that this interview would not follow a «cause – effect» course.

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Oh sorry, Mr Thomas; I forgot myself.

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– Don’t apologize. I understand your need for explanations. So here is a hint: «when elephants quarrel, ants suffer».

[xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxa  the red hammer & sickles and the black «Smash Capitalism» slogans all over? Somebody would say t xxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx  violent ants.
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– Is anyone scared? This is the question. Bankers and industrialists never visit; nor are there any resident bankers and industrialists. Who are these slogans supposed to -allow me the expression- scare the xxxxxx out of? If you ask me, I must see confiscations of private property, collectivization of the land, community-run hotels and restaurants, ban of free trade and profit, replacement of forests with sovkhoze plantations, hydroelectric dams; or show me some tourists who got  xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxx  Only then will I see Ikaria as a Red Rock.

 by fliegender  by fliegender Ikarians land on the moon (ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 013) by angeloska Ikaria, Griechenland September 2007 by Steunerin on Flickr

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This is scary! As far as I know nobody wants to do these things in Ikaria -for real at least.

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Seeee?.. It’s a Legend !.. Somehow your island, the name, the landscape, the wine, has the inherent ability to generate this type of myths. You must be aware of this and take measures. Now with the globalization [xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxx  turning more and more xxxxx xxxxx to the left, you will have more tourists xxxxxx xxxxxx.
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Measures? Like what?

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Keep the prices low; build campings; look after the nature. This Red Rock thing is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx[ xxxxxxxxx people want to believe it -for the be-best, or the wo-worst. So it’s up to you. You can make it work for your own good.

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Oh Mr Thomas, you are so cunning and practical!

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– Of course I am. I am a saint! Have you forgotten?

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(F[xxx ! This interview was censored as soon as I uploaded it. The reason is that [xxxxxxxxxxxx . The   [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  are responsible for this. xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx I am very sorry about it. Read through behind the black tapes using your imagination. That’s what’s all about, isn’t it?)

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Girl inside Thorns by egotoagrimi  Athina Sk.


Comments

(2 total)

I had an uncle exactly as you describe. His family used to be well-off in the times of prosperity when the islands had trade with the Asian coast. But when I met him he was just a poor farmer. He dreamt of the coming of the worldwide revolution that would unite everybody equal etc. When we had a family reunion in Ikaria, they sent us kids away after lunch. Then my father and my old uncle sat down in private and counted the possibilities…
I evesdropped many times to know what they were talking about. It was deadly boring. Yet I was impressed by their knowledge of the world politics. This was in the middle of nowhere … you know where. My uncle was the sweetest little man. And the palms of his hands where like a stone out of labouring the earth all his life.
The world revolution never came. But my uncle died (falling off a fruit tree) thinking that it was about to come. He saw around and found that conditions were improving. People were coming and going, there was more money, cars, telephones, etc. This was enough for him. In fact the «world revolution» he dreamt of… he was in it already 😀

Thursday February 22, 2007 – 10:49pm (EET)

KKE in Seychelles beach, Ikaria typical story :: thanks for adding 🙂

Friday February 23, 2007 – 12:57am (PST)