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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☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

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Piercing through an ancient forest


Trail of the Elves # 1

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simonsterg Pro User says:

This looks like an enormous achievement, angeloska! It looks like there has been a lot of chopping! (At least you had elves to help you!)

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isl_gr Pro User says:

@ ‘simonsterg’ : if you enlarge the image, you see on the footer it reads «Lothlorien College Graduates» !!!
@ ‘angeloska’ : x x x x x x x x

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angeloska Pro User says:

You are giving me new strength!
In return here is a small part of the story. This trail was almost an imaginary one, featuring only in an old Italian map of 1943 and in Elenis imagination and *unusual sources* (her old neigbours’ tales). The distance was about 2,5 km cutting through deep tall makia. We started cittung from both sides, one day from the east and the other from the west, with no more sense of direction but the zig-zag flow of a rivulet running next to the alleged path. The hard evidence whether the path existed, as well as my extreme worry was if the two tunnels would eventually meet someplace. They DID! I felt like opening a champaigne bottle.
Posted 6 months ago. ( permalink )

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simonsterg Pro User says:

That bit about the 1943 italian map sounds sort of romantic § – a hint from an odd old source – ideally you should have lost the map – kind of like a Borges tale, you know the sort of thing…
And you have made this perhaps imaginary path into… a REAL ONE – a Second Eupalinos! ¤ Champagne corks ought to be flying!
footnotes:
§ not that Eleni’s imagination isn’t also, of course, romantic – and the *unusual sources* very likely accurate…

¤ if that’s hyperbole it’s just in a celebratory way – not an attempt at irony (which I dislike)

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angeloska Pro User says:

I lost the map! As soon as I found it I lost it! I had only one glimpse of it. Then a veil of secrecy came and covered …
Eupalinos? I had thought of him. He used stereometry and trigonometry. He was given an awful amount of money too. But Eleni’s way is the low-budget one: trust your senses.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(Nana says:) Maybe this is a stupid question, but why did you start cutting one day from the east, one day from the west? Why haven’t you done it one way only? And avoid the risk of the two tunnels not meeting?

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angeloska Pro User says:

(love to talk technicalities with you, *thorn-walker*)
I have many reasons to cut from both sides :

1st) I usually hit the paths from as many sides as I can. Although people know more or less about my business, they still may get suspicious if they see me driving too often and stopping long in a desert place. So I sometimes take a path from one end and sometimes from another. It looks more normal if I am seen going someplace once or twice a fortnight instead of once a week.

2nd) This particular path was looong! When we got into the thick, deep and dark, at a certain point I lost my self-confidence. (That’s about when Eleni wrote in that last message of hers in the hiking group that I should not give up the chainsaw.) So we drove a long way round and started cutting from another place: a glade with a stony ground where the path was easy to see. Conveniently, this place was not far from a road, so we didn’t have to walk long to get back from work.

3rd) Regardless of the above, it really had to be done from both sides. With the Komatsu (*good machine* -lol:) I could have butchered through the maquis on a straight line and created a way through. But I don’t make way-throughs; I make paths. And I’m always tryng to find the original ones. Because my walks are inside nature and history as well. When the two ends connected (so to say, automatically), I was sure that I hadn’t just made an opening through. That was an ancient path used by the elvish old inhabitants of Ikaria.
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§ § § §
And because I have explained so thoroughly, here is question for you:
I have a permission from the Forest Service to open the paths. In fact, more than permission, it is an encouragement based on the general principle that there should be paths in the forests. They serve as fire zones, they say, and this is correct. Yet for most people this means that firemen are able to unreel their hoses and put out a fire in the heart of the forest. But there is also another reason why a path like this is a fire-zone.It prevents fires. Why, Nan? You are still a good mechanic, aren’t you?

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Konstantinos Mentzelopoulos Pro User says:

Congratulations! It looks wonderful and I can imagine how hard it must have been. Warmest regards from Tilos island, Konstantinos

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(Nana says:)

Here I go…
(We are between friends, are not we? Nobody is bothered. Hope so.)
(Γειά σου Κωνσταντίνε!)
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An archaic forest as this, is an alive organic and very complicated system : : a *good machine* which (to work well) needs a temperature control system. In spring when temperatures rise considerably in Greece, there is still water, the system is watercooled. Afterwards in summer, when there is little water but there are cool winds from the sea, the system shifts to air-cooled (like some car engines fit for both normal and desert conditions).
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So, your tunnel *αγγελούκο* helps in the air-cooling, lowers the temperature of the organism and therefore prevents fires. Your tunnel is an air-duct; functions like the pipe of a ventillator. Είναι ένας αεραγωγός. Brings from the sea and spreads through the cool breeze inside the forest and (w/o entering into a lot of technical details) this makes a big difference.
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Because I have a feeling that you are kinda sorry for the chopping off all these tree branches, just think that what you did with the mini-Komatsu, was being done in the past by the ancient animals, like the deer (dama-dama), the wild goat (capra aegagrus) and the wild pig (sus scrofa). They made scars in the forest for the good of the forest. Now, unlike the animal’s, your scar is straight; ok, never mind; let’s put the blame on gaddem Euclides!
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What’s the orientation of the tunnel? N to S? NE to SW?
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simonsterg Pro User says:

Wow!! It’s so sexy when it gets technical!
How ’bout a graph to spice it up even more… (never mind that it’s from across the sea on Kerkis.) Do you see? «overheating in the cushion» – HOT STUFF! – someone should make a (straight line) path through that thing!
(incidentally, I see Tilos has it’s very own Astragalus on flickr – but I can’t locate any photo with the tags astragalus and ikaria. – it must be just that I’m not searching properly…) 😉

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angeloska Pro User says:

zzdoing!!! I am dazed -:)) Aχ Nana when you want…
(Just wait… I will edit this tomorrow morning)l

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isl_gr Pro User says:

Even more dazed u should be at my friend Nana when u know that this analysis comes right out of a smoked turnery in Petrou Rali str, Athens.
filakia
Eleni

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Tragopodaros says:

I lost MY map somewhere in there last year! In fact three maps I had specially copied and enlarged in Manchester; such was my struggle to hack a way through to PIGI, they fell from my pack.

Here’s another reason for the path to be cut from both ends – so that the people living at either end both feel they have a new path that TAKES them somewhere and don’t see it as an invasion from the outside world.

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angeloska Pro User says:

For years hikers who stayed in Evdilos and Kampos on the coast (point A) and saw the mountains of Rahes (point C) on the west, were asking for a direct way to make it up there without having to walk on the coastal road as far as Armenistis (point B) and from there climb to Rahes (point C). At a certain point I realized that what they were asking to follow was a cut-trough on the ypotenuse of the right triangle (A-C). I like ypotenuses. They are good options to a square static world. And indeed these are the ways invaders follow.
(But of course to make a succesfull invasion, I needed an invitation and a promise for an orgy on plenty of fried good Ikarian potatoes from Perameria.)

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Nothing to add except that «the orgy with plenty of good Ikarian potatoes from Perameria -panfried a la Belge» took place at last!

Monday September 3, 2007 – 08:34am (PDT)

The potatoes were delicious and all and so was the company but… on the next day I met Lefteris (the boy with the chainsaw in my Flickr photos) who had walked the trail and he told me that it needs a lot more work. Who is going to do it? Am I chasing a chimera?p.s. should I declare it a «nude hiking trail» ? <tease>

Tuesday September 4, 2007 – 03:39pm (EEST)

Βeautiful to the point of causing pain.Tuesday September 4, 2007 – 01:14pm (PDT)

AKK : Of course you are chasing a chimera. But your gift is that you are able to make other people chase it too; so it becomes real. Nana did the stalking and I visualized a story (in a story). I met people who walked it and …oh my friend, they were sober people, and they had …hallucinations!
«from an…» : «Βeautiful to the point of causing pain». That’s a perfect definition of a chimera -:)) I’m noting this down.p.s. «nude hiking trail»? whatever, but don’t shout it over the roofs. I don’t like «bears» -:lol:- and neither does Nana.

Wednesday September 5, 2007 – 10:54am (PDT)


Legends about Ikaria : The Forest of Radi


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~That’s a beautifully wiggly forest!~
❤ ❤ ❤

Το Δάσος του Ράντη

  

About an old magic forest and the footpaths

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Hello, readers! The above is in my Flickr and dates from over a year ago. When I discovered this forest I was 25 years old. It was awesome and so dense that we got completely lost. So lost and exhausted that we started crying! It was an unforgetable experience because it is thought to be practicaly impossible to get lost in a medium sized island. Whatever, it took us hours to get out of there. Let not this beautiful photo be a memorial. Because right now…
I don’t know who advises people (the Greeks in particular) who are coming to hike in Ikaria, not to follow the marked paths but instead, go looking for the Forest of Radi. Maybe it’s on some website (where they advertise stuff they have no idea about, just to show off). Maybe they get it from shopkeepers and hotel owners (who may drop “Radi Forest” in a trivial way to oblige a tourist). Maybe it’s on one of those new guide books that are based on hearsay and contain impractical “tips”.
‘Cause the truth is that until recently there was no Radi Forest!
Or to put it better –there is a forest and an area called “Radi”. But there was no more or less safe way for a newcomer to go there. Not only the place was far from main roads, villages and towns; not only the trails are vague and unmarked but also –very unfortunately- there are many goat trails that lead nowhere. Especially in August and September the forest is dusty and dry and there may  also be some caterpillar “itching powder” left from last June.
So, in spite of how attracted you feel at the sound of a magnificent term, resist it. Don’t go unprepared or you won’t find it, so hidden and mysterious it is! Try to locate and follow the trail marked by the Hiking and Mountain Climbing Association of Ikaria, which starts from the village of Petropouli and ends in the village of Frantato. For me this forest means a lot.
I want you to discover it in the proper way. I don’t want to hear anymore people telling me “We couldn’t find the way and, anyway, it was nothing. Just trees, as good as any…”
Here is their map. If you click on the image you will be transported to the home of the map in Google maps. Try it! It’s worth it! It’s a great piece of work!
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Look for the “Dasos tou Ranti” in any other time of the year except August. For example, winter is the best season. (Forests are “storehouses” of winter, like the sea and the beaches “storehouses” of summer.) You may either start from Frantato or Petropouli and the trails is marked with orange dots, colored metal plates and cairns. This is the best and safest way to see this legendary ancient forest.
Good luck!
Until then, take a look the pictorial archives…
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Όσα έχω προσπαθήσει να γράψω σε 1000 e-mails


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Όσα έχω προσπαθήσει να γράψω σε 1000 e-mails, η Judy και ο Simon, συνόψισαν. Τους χρωστάω ευγνωμοσύνη. Σήκωσαν ένα βάρος από τη ράχη μου. Από δω και πέρα όταν με ρωτάνε, «Τι τρέχει πια με αυτήν την Ικαρία, που βρίσκεται και πώς πηγαίνει κανείς εκεί;» θα τους δίνω αυτό το σύνδεσμο. Ουφ!
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IKAΡIA

 Όταν ακούγεται η έκφραση «παραδοσιακό Ελληνικό νησί», ο μέσος Ελληνόφιλος φέρνει στο μυαλό του εικόνες από κάποιο γραφικό λιμανάκι με γύρω-γύρω ταβέρνες, μερικά γαϊδουράκια και τίποτα άλλο εκτός ίσως από κάποιο ερημικό μοναστήρι μακριά πέρα στους λόφους, κανένα παλιό ερειπωμένο χωριό και αραιά και που κάποιους μικρούς οικισμούς κρυμμένους σε απόμερους όρμους. Φυσικά μπορείς να τα βρεις όλα αυτά στην Ικαρία. Ωστόσο, καθώς -ευτυχώς-υπάρχει πολύ λίγη από τη λεγόμενη «τουριστική ανάπτυξη», πολλοί επισκέπτες παθαίνουν πολιτιστικό σοκ στην πρώτη επαφή τους με το νησί. Κατεβαίνοντας από το καράβι, νιώθουν πως βρίσκονται σε μια εντελώς διαφορετικού τύπου Ελλάδα. Πράγματι, όταν έφτιαξε την Ικαρία, ο κατασκευαστής κατάστρεψε τα σχέδια, πράγμα το οποίο βρήκαν πολύ βολικό οι υπερήφανοι και ανεξάρτητοι Ικαριώτες,που δεν πολυσκοτίζονται για τους τουρίστες, που αν όμως τους δούνε σανκαλεσμένους, τους ανοίγουν διάπλατα την καρδιά τους. Επί αιώνες η Ικαρία ήταν γνωστή ως μια από τις πιο φτωχές περιοχές της Ελλάδας, και, όπως συμβαίνει συχνά σε τέτοιες περιπτώσεις όταν τα υλικά αγαθά είναι ελάχιστα, η κουλτούρα του τόπου περιέχει δυσανάλογα μεγάλη ποσότητα φιλοξενίας –με την έννοια που η Ελληνική γλώσσα δίνει στη λέξη: «αγάπη προς τον ξένο».

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Από το καράβι η Ικαρία εντυπωσιάζει και δείχνει απειλητική με τον όγκο της, ενώ από τα νοτιοανατολικά φαίνεται γυμνή, απόκρημνη και βραχώδης. Αυτή όμως είναι μια συνηθισμένη παρανόηση. Λίγο να ταξιδέψεις πιο μέσα στην ενδοχώρα και βρίσκεσαι ανάμεσα σε δασοσκέπαστους λόφους, που ανεβαίνοντας καταλήγουν στις βραχοκορφές του όρους «Αθέρας», γυμνές, άγριες εκτάσεις, ωστόσο με ανάμεσά τους διάσπαρτες -ιδιαίτερα στο κεντρικό τμήμα της οροσειράς- πανάρχαιες συστάδες από πεύκα και μικρές βελανιδιές.

Γύρω από τα χωριά που είναι σκορπισμένα παντού στα βουνά, υπάρχουν αγροί όπου φυτρώνει ό, τι μπορεί να βάλει ο νους του ανθρώπου από φρούτα, καρπούς και λαχανικά –δέντρα φορτωμένα με καρύδια τον Οκτώβρη, βερίκοκα της ξακουστής τοπικής ποικιλίας τον Ιούνιο, και βέβαια, στο νησί που διεκδικεί τη γέννηση του Διόνυσου, υπάρχουν αμπέλια παντού. Σχεδόν κάθε σπίτι και κάθε ταβέρνα φτιάχνουν το δικό τους κρασί από ποικιλίες σταφυλιών που βρίσκονται μόνο σ’ αυτό το νησί, ενώ παράλληλα υπάρχουν και τρία πιο εξελιγμένα οινοποιεία που εμφιαλώνουν εξαίσια κρασιά, άσπρα και κόκκινα, των οποίων η φήμη όσο πάει και αυξάνει –από σταφύλια που προέρχονται από οργανικούς αμπελώνες.

Είναι ένα αδάμαστο, άγριο νησί κι οι θάλασσές του συχνά είναι το ίδιο, γι’ αυτό χρειάζεται προσοχή στο κολύμπι. Όμως για να παραθέσουμε τα λεγόμενα γνωστού Ικαριώτη, «αν θες να μάθεις αυτό το νησί, πρέπει να κοιτάς από τη θάλασσα προς το εσωτερικό». Έχει δίκιο. Αν και είναι αλήθεια ότι οι παραλίες της Ικαρίας είναι από τις καλύτερες στο Αιγαίο, δεν πρέπει να αμελήσει κανείς να γνωρίσει την ενδοχώρα. Αν σας αρέσει το περπάτημα, υπάρχουν αρκετές πεζοπορικές διαδρομές που ξεκινούν από τα θέρετρα του Να, του Αρμενιστή και του Γιαλισκαριού. Είναι πορείες που θα ικανοποιήσουν τόσο τους κυνηγούς της περιπέτειας, όσο και τους λιγότερο έμπειρους πεζοπόρους. Όσο για τους πραγματικά σοβαρούς ορειβάτες, μπορούν να δοκιμάσουν τις δυνάμεις τους σε κάποια μακρινά μονοπάτια που διασχίζουν οριζόντια και κάθετα από άκρη σε άκρη τα βουνά του νησιού.

Οι παρατηρητές των πουλιών και όσοι αγαπούν τα φυτά και τα βότανα θα ευχαριστηθούν με το παραπάνω –τι θα λέγατε ας πούμε για τον εξαιρετικά σπάνιο Σταυραετό που φωλιάζει στις νότιες ακτές; Ή για το μοναδικό τοπικό είδος Ορχιδέας; Αλλά και οι εραστές της αμμουδιάς θα χαρούν να τεμπελιάζουν στις παραλίες Μεσαχτή και Λιβάδι, μόνο λίγα λεπτά από φιλόξενα, άνετα δωμάτια –ή αν νοικιάσουν αυτοκίνητο, θα αναζητήσουν ερημικές ακρογιαλιές, πολλές από τις οποίες δεν βρίσκει ποτέ ο μέσος επισκέπτης, καθώς είναι κρυμμένες σε άγριες χαράδρες όπου τρέχουν νερά σε όλη τη διάρκεια του καλοκαιριού. Όσοι αγαπούν το καλό φαγητό, το κρασί και τις γιορτές δεν χρειάζεται να ψάξουν αλλού. Αντίθετα με ό, τι συμβαίνει στο μεγαλύτερο μέρος του Αιγαίου, ο τόπος αρχίζει να θυμίζει όλο και περισσότερο «Ελλάδα» καθώς προχωρά το καλοκαίρι και κύματα Αθηναίων εφορμούν για να πραγματοποιήσουν την καθιερωμένη ετήσια εισβολή τους στο νησί. Έρχονται για να βρουν παραδοσιακά εδέσματα με γεύση σπιτίσια, φρέσκα ψάρια, λαχανικά χωρίς χημικά λιπάσματα και φυτοφάρμακα, καθώς και το ευρέως διαδομένο Ικαριώτικο κατσίκι του οποίου το κρέας αποτελεί το κεντρικό πιάτο στο πανηγύρι που οργανώνεται σε κάθε χωριό τη μέρα που γιορτάζει ο τοπικός άγιος. Ένα πανηγύρι μπορεί να αρχίζει οποιαδήποτε ώρα στη διάρκεια της μέρας, αλλά συνεχίζεται πάντοτε μέχρι οι πρώτες ακτίνες φωτός της αυγής να διασπάσουν τους ατελείωτους κύκλους των χορευτών που χορεύουν στους έξαλλους ρυθμούς της τοπικής μουσικής. Αν καταφέρετε να μάθετε λίγο τα βήματα του «Ικαριώτικου», του μοναδικού «σπειροειδούς χορού», το νησί θα έχει αρχίσει να διεκδικεί την καρδιά σας. Αν και για να γίνει αυτό, θα πρέπει να έχετε πιει πάνω από δυο γουλιές κρασί Ικαριώτικο, δυνατό και γλυκόπιοτο, που συχνά το σερβίρουν σε ανακυκλωμένα μπουκάλια της μπύρας.

Είναι ένα νησί που προσκαλεί για εξερεύνηση και την επιβραβεύει. Γεμάτο θαύματα, φτιαγμένα από τη φύση ή από τους ανθρώπους, όπως ο καταπληκτικός Πύργος του 5ου αιώνα π.Χ. που εποπτεύει τις ακτές του Φάρου, ή η μικροσκοπική εκκλησία της Θεοκτίστης που έκτισαν μέσα στο δάσος κάτω από ένα θεόρατο βράχο, όπως τόσα άλλα τέτοια κτίσματα στην Ικαρία, για να την κρύψουν από τις επιδρομές των πειρατών.

Ζώντας επί πολλούς αιώνες κρυμμένοι στην ασφάλεια του εσωτερικού του νησιού, οι Ικαριώτες συχνά περιγράφονται ως συνεσταλμένοι, όμως διαθέτουν μοναδική αίσθηση χιούμορ, ζωντάνια και κέφι. Αν ανοιχτούν και σας δείξουν συμπάθεια, δεν θα είναι γιατί ξοδεύετε χρήματα, αλλά επειδή είναι περήφανοι για το νησί και για τον τρόπο ζωής τους και θέλουν να τα δείξουν, απλά όμως και τίμια, συνεχίζοντας τη ζωή τους κανονικά –ανοίγοντας διακριτικά τον δρόμο στους επισκέπτες να ανακαλύψουν, αν θέλουν, την Ικαρία μονάχοι τους και να μάθουν να κινούνται με άνεση στο παράξενο περιβάλλον της. Ίσως τελικά φεύγοντας, να μην έχετε καταλάβει τι είναι η Ικαρία -λίγοι μπορούν. Όμως, είναι ένα αίνιγμα που θα σας τραβάει και θα ξαναρχόσαστε συχνά και πυκνά.

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(Κείμενο της Judy Meetham και του Simon Corble

– Μετάφραση από τα Αγγλικά: Α.Κ.Κ.)

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Comments

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Πλάκα-πλάκα, κι εσύ είσαι «συνεσταλμένη«…

Saturday August 18, 2007 – 06:38pm (EEST)

όου! ευχαριστώ -:))) ξέρεις –

Monday August 20, 2007 – 10:31am (PDT)

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What I have written in a 1000 e-mails


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What I have written in a 1000 e-mails –
2 members of our parea, Judy and Simon, synopsized. I am grateful. By writing this text for a small travel agency they took a great burden off my back. From now on, when I am asked «What’s hot about Ikaria, where is it and how can I get there«? I’ll just send them the link to this blog entry. Ouf!
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IKARIA

When the phrase ‘traditional Greek island’ is used; the average Grecophile will conjure up images of an atmospheric taverna-lined harbourside, a few donkeys and very little else except perhaps the odd monastery in the remote hills, a ruined village and a few tiny settlements dotted around secluded coves. You can find all this on Ikaria, and yet, perhaps because there is mercifully very little by way of “toursity” development, many visitors get an initial culture shock when get off the ferry boat to find themselves in what feels like another kind of Greece altogether. When Ikaria was formed, they threw away the book and the Ikarians have kept it that way, proudly independent, not particularly bothered about tourists, but with an open heart to all their guests. For centuries, Ikaria was known as one of the very poorest regions of Greece and, as so often seems the case, those cultures with the least material wealth have a disproportionate amount of filoxenia – as the Greek word describes hospitality, (literally, “guest-love”).

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From the boat Ikaria looks imposing, daunting and perhaps somewhat barren from your first prospect of its South and East; but this is a common misconception. Travel inland and within a short distance you are amongst the tree-covered hills, before moving upwards and out again to the high, dry and dramatic summits of the Atheras Mountains, which in the central zone are covered in pine or ancient patches of stunted oak forest. Around the scattered villages are fields growing every conceivable fruit, nut and vegetable – trees laden with chestnuts in October, justly-famed Ikarian apricots in June, and of course, on the island birthplace of Dionysus, vines everywhere. Almost every household and every taverna makes its own wine from Ikarian grapes unique to the island, while two more sophisticated wine producers bottle superb wines, white and red, with a growing reputation – and all from organic vineyards.

It is a wild, untamed island with seas to match at times, so care is needed when swimming, but as an eminent Ikarian is quoted as saying, “to know this island is to look inward from the sea” and he is right. True, the beaches are some of the most wonderful in the Aegean, but the interior is not to be missed. If walking appeals to you, there are many hikes starting from the resorts of Nas, Armenistis and Gialiskari; walks which will satisfy both the adventurous or the less experienced walker; the really serious hiker can even attempt a couple of trails which traverse the island, mountains and all.

Birdwatchers and botanists will find enough to satisfy them many times over – how about the extremely rare Bonelli’s Eagle, which breeds along the West coast? Or Ikaria’s very own species of Orchid? Beach lovers will be happy to laze on the sandy beaches of Messachti and Livadi, minutes from the friendly, relaxed accommodation – or, with car hire, there are drives to secluded coves, many of which are never discovered by the average visitor, set in dramatic gorges, running with fresh water all through the summer. Lovers of wine, food and parties need look no further; unlike so much of the Aegean, the place starts to feel more and more Greek as the summer advances and waves of Athenians launch an annual invasion. They come in search of traditional dishes with a real “home-cooking” feel; freshly-caught fish, delicious organically-grown vegetables and the ubiquitous Ikarian goat, whose meat forms the central dish at each village panagyri – the festival to celebrate the local saint’s day. A panagyri can start at anytime of the day, but will always go on until the first rays of dawn bring an end to the endless chains of dancing to wild Ikarian folk music. If you can manage the steps of the Ikariotiko, the unique “spiral-dance”, the island will truly start to claim your soul; though it will be essential that you have more than a taste of Ikarian wine, often served in recycled beer bottles and as strong as sherry.

It is an island that invites and rewards exploration; full of wonders, natural and man-made, such as the extraordinary 5th Century BC tower that guards the coast at Faro, or the tiny church in the woods at Theoktisti, built under and enormous rock, like so much in Ikaria, in order to hide it from the raids of ancient pirates.

Keeping themselves safely hidden over many centuries, the Ikarian people are often described as shy, but have a humour and spirit that is unique. They will befriend you, not because you are spending money, but because they are proud of their island and wish to promote it and their way of life, simply and honestly, by carrying on as normal – gently paving the way for visitors to
discover Ikaria for themselves and to feel at home on such unfamiliar territory. You may not go away understanding what Ikaria is all about – few do; however, it is an enigma that will draw you back time and again.

(Text by Judy Meetham and Simon Corble)
.

Comments

(5 total)

Thanks for putting it on your blog El & thanks Angele for passing it on. It was a great pleasure for us both to write it. xxx

Wednesday August 8, 2007 – 10:07pm (BST)

I didn’t pass it on to her! She blogged it as soon as I put on the link in the hikingIkaria group yesterday evening! Being a co-moderator, she could see what the new link was right away. Grabbed it in the air, so to speak. I have the same problem as her, but not so much. Eleni is far more «international» and well connected -:lol

Thursday August 9, 2007 – 08:22pm (EEST)

Yes indeed! As a co-moderator in the hikingIkaria group I was notified about the addition of the new link and when I saw what it was, oh what a relief, I blogged it at once. 1000 e-mails – I mean it! It has become bothersome -nuissance.
THANK YOU JUDY !!!

Thursday August 9, 2007 – 01:43pm (PDT)

J. and S. are right. The Ikarian dance entered the new milleneum as a «spiral dance». Let’s face it. I will draw a sketch of the steps of the new dance in a blog entry.

Sunday August 12, 2007 – 02:29pm (EEST)

Το μεταφράζω Ελληνικά. Θα σου το στείλω και θα το ανεβάσεις, οκ;

Tuesday August 14, 2007 – 08:29pm (EEST)


Here, Let Me Stand


Ikaria 231
Εδώ ας σταθώ. Κι ας δω κ’ εγώ την φύσι λίγο.


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mountain ash2005 says:

What a beautiful shot of a peaceful morning….

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simonsterg Pro User says:

coO0ool!
Is that mist rolling down the side of Kerkis?
How does it seem so close?

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(added notes)
the poem where the Greek title is from goes on and says something like «… in the morning hour everything looks beautiful and BIG.»

«όλα ωραία και μεγάλα…»

‘mountain ash’ did you recognize the poem and the poet?
Alexandria? sweet gay guy? eeh?

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simonsterg Pro User says:

…aha! (seeing notes) – now I feel foolish – I had wondered if you had suddenly found a telephoto…

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mountain ash2005 says:

I don’t know the poem El, but I have seen early mornings like these – mainly when I am leaving the island, so they are always poignant and very beautiful. And everything seems big, and it is impossible to believe that this is being left behind…. (I will try and find the poem now!)

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Tragopodaros says:

I am lost for words at this one; it has all of Ikaria for me….

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cheeseontaoist says:

Excellent picture, it dwarfs all my pictures of the same subject….

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angeloska says:

@ you have a sure foot ! How high up you stood there (to repeat a comment on Ikaria 233) ? Why does everything look so beautifully distorted?

@ » Εδώ ας σταθώ κι ας δω κ’ εγώ τη φύσι λίγο.

Θάλασσας του πρωϊού κι ανέφελου ουρανού

λαμπρά μαβιά και κίτρινη όχθη. Όλα

ωραία και μεγάλα φωτισμένα.

Εδώ ας σταθώ. Κι ας γελασθώ πως βλέπω αυτά

(τα είδ’ αλήθεια μια στιγμή σαν πρωτοστάθηκα)

κι όχι κ’ εδώ τες φαντασίες μου,

τες αναμνήσεις μου, τα ινδάλματα της ηδονής.»

Sooo cool El … From all the people ONLY YOU could call the poet K.P. Kavafis a «sweet gay guy» !!!

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mountain ash2005 says:

Morning Sea

Let me stop here. Let me, too, look at nature awhile.

The brilliant blue of the morning sea, of the cloudless sky,

the shore yellow; all lovely,

all bathed in light

Let me stand here. And let me pretend I see all this

(I actually did see it for a minute when I first stopped)

and not my usual day-dreams here too,

my memories, those sensual images.

Constantine P. Cavafy

I didn’t connect to Kavafis the other evening, but I should have picked it up from your comment El. Anyway, I found a translation….perhaps not an accurate one, but it still fits your picture perfectly.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

@ simonsterg : I tell you the islands are like a mountain range sunk. Didi you know? They say that the caves of the prehistoric man are now under the sea.
@ trag : it’s because your land base is in Armenistis and this is a ‘bye-bye’ picture as ‘mountain ash’ pointed out.
@cheeseontaoist : can’t beat a Lomo ! I just found myself in the right spot the right time.
@ angeloska : 1) sure have a sure foot ! What would I be doing in Ikaria if I didn’t… 2) And I’d call Seferis «fat moody guy», ok? What’s your problem?
@ mountain ash : This is one of my most very best poems ever. Kavafis was a 100% urban poet. This is the only verses he wrote about nature, that it was like a vision to him and still the most real even if it lasted for a few secs. (the translation is somehow ‘puritan’ -there should be a better one)
@ everybody : THANKS A LOT

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Tragopodaros says:

No, its much more than that for me – you have captured the heights and depths and mysteries (hidden in the folds) of the island.

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Tragopodaros says:

Yes, «puritan» is an interesting term to use about a translation, but actually, Ashy, it is possibly TOO accurate. O Trag will now be inspired to do his own…at…some…point.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

Now I know that cavemen strolled between Atheras and Kerkis, stopping off briefly to sketch a mamoth in the valley, I feel better.
But this is a side salad because…
►►►
live translation of poetry is happening on this page!
►►►
will it be loud and brash or louche and limpid??
►►►
watch this space!

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Tragopodaros says:

And keep watching, as patiently as the poet.
Posted 14 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

see if you can give a close translation to the «indalmata tis idonis» (idols/visions/models of physical/sensual pleasure ?) and I’ll be down on my knees.
I *really discovered nature* an early morning long ago as I was out and escaping from a lover’s bed who I had idealized too much.

I like to think that *sweet gay guy* had probably found himself in the same situation with a boyfriend down in Alexandria in the 1910s. He left the room and *wow* what did he see? dawn in the gulf of Alexandria !

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mountain ash2005 says:

so it signifies a different kind of leaving too – but also new beginnings. We’ve all been there….

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Tragopodaros says:

Here, let me stand. Let me stand here awhile
and see for myself this natural world.
The morning sea, a cloudless sky,
the glistening blue, the yellow strand.

All so perfect, vast and bright.

Let me fool myself I see all this
(for in truth, I saw it all at once)
and not those things imagined, here:
my memories, the baubles of indulgence.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

░░░░░░░░░
loud applause
░♪░░░░♪░░
Posted 14 months ago.

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mountain ash2005 says:

Bravo Trago!! I knew you would rise to the challenge….. You don’t disappoint, & your version far outstrips the other.
Posted 14 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

… and you posted it in the small hours… did ‘baubles of indulgence’ come in a flash or were there lots of screwed up balls of paper and empty beer bottles on the desk? Whichever, Atheras and Kerkis bow down and underwater Mammoths trumpet!
(but will girl s be satisfied??)
Posted 14 months ago.

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angeloska says:

from me too, Bravo Trago !
Posted 14 months ago.

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Tragopodaros says:

We’ll just wait for El, then.
Posted 14 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

pls make some room here friends; this is a shot taken a month ago with Trag in my mind and loaded tonight again specially for Trag. Take it *da man* and drive it to the clouds :-)) x El

Ikaria 234

P.S. *da man* or *ye da man* is an abbreviation of a friendly *you there man* (like the Greek, ρε συ). I learned it from the Africans in Athens and Pireus. Like they, so do I use it for my equals and friends to show them my affection, respect and admiration w/o sounding like a pompous *malakas*
Posted 14 months ago.

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Tragopodaros says:

Okay, thanks El that is the best gift you could give….wish I had taken this shot.

Thanks all. I did the whole thing inside half and hour, but had to wait until the wee hours to get enough peace. The baubles bit was about ten minutes and yes a few crossings out, but no screwed-up paper.

I feel like I have hijacked El’s page now…
Posted 14 months ago.

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mountain ash2005 says:

Not hijacked, just complimented.
Posted 14 months ago.

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angeloska says:

complimented indeed – because El doesn’t like garbidge and wrecked cars unless they are piled or parked orderly, or I don’t know how, like in:
www.flickr.com/photos/isl_gr/96890349/
Posted 14 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

no, no, it’s ok. It’s just that I didn’t have a boy brother. But I can understand the art in *broken dolls on piles of rags* very well.
Posted 14 months ago.

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Peppetta says:

Mount Atheras: the cloud maker.
I rimember in a perfect blue sky day the clouds appear on the top of the highest peak, coming from nowhere.
A kind of magic?
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

*the early bird catches the worm*
(missed you Pep; I was looking through your favorite pics just yeasterday. Very Good taste and not too much *glamour photography* -though an Italian -lol)
Posted 13 months ago.

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Peppetta says:

I misssssed you too El
thank you dear but …what a shame! there are too much naked women pictures in my favorites!
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

Oh, I didn’t mind ‘Pep’. I’m not going to make a scene on you here ((in front of all the people). Let’s just stand and watch the nature, as the poet suggests, shall we?
Posted 13 months ago.

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Peppetta says:

I LIKE nature!

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after a yellow goat pested land, you give us sapphires! your favorite gems and colors -:))

Tuesday July 31, 2007 – 11:44pm (EEST) Remove Comment

Ωραία τα ζαφείρια, αλλά πειράζει που ο Καβάφης κι εγώ δεν τα πάμε καλά;

Wednesday August 1, 2007 – 06:37pm (EEST)


Worse than Wild Fire


The Athenians are depressed and angry and bitter about the loss of so many trees on Mt. Parnitha. Take comfort ’cause there is something much worse than wild fires. And that’s the loss of the earth itself!!! Take a look at
THE DEATH OF A FOREST, A RIVER, A MOUNTAIN
Κυρίες και κύριοι, με λύπη μου και ντροπή σας παρουσιάζω
το Θάνατο ενός Δάσους, ενός Ποταμού, ενός Όρους.

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rockyrunnerbird Pro User says:

What happened?
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

too many goats !
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

I’m just wondering why my friend «peppeta» added it in his *favs*. Is it because it reminded him of his fellow countryman Antonioni’s film «Zabriski Point»?
(those who don’t know, type «Zabriski+point» in Google images)
Because something that’s utterly bad can turn into good.

Posted 13 months ago.

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Peppetta says:

Somebody like it naked
Even if I love Antonioni, I added it in my favs becouse I love dry, naked, mediterranean landscapes. This place remind me of my thirsty land. Puglia too can be so dry. Desert is coming and this beautiful shot is screaming it loud. And, last but not least, there’s too much eros in my favs, I need some tanatos to balance it.
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(me too likes it naked but not too dry ’cause it hurts -aooch!)
I doubt you have so many mad starved and thirsty goats in Puglia or Bari and the rest of the coastal towns would be flooded or gone thirsty to extinction. Goats should not be subsided by the E.U. On the contrary they should be totaly banned. It was a good idea some 7000 y. ago but not anymore. The same is for hunting etc.
I’m not going to have children in some kind of «our-own-Ethiopia» and loose them in a land and rock avalanche afterwards.
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

What’s that about having children?
That sounds like a good idea – I’m sure they would grow up to be ‘The Man / Woman who Planted Trees’.
Posted 13 months ago.

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angeloska says:

‘El’ : I’m sure the E.U. bureaucrats have no idea. They should be sent tons of photos like this. Brave of you to have posted it. The worst disasters happen gradually and silently and in places hardly anybody visits or takes notice.

‘simon’ : are you speaking of the famous ‘cartoon’ film with the man who planted oak nuts? Or about that modern German artist who did the same for real and as art? Or the cartoon is inspired from that artist? Do you know?
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

I have a very slim volume called ‘L’homme qui plantait des arbres’ by Jean Giono, first published in 1953, about a man who planted acorns…
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

-> Jean Giorno’s is the script of the cartoon, actually a 10′ b&w classic masterpiece.
-> «the German artist» was Joseph Beuys. Not just «a German artist». Buys was BIG in Conceptual Arts universally. See www.tkffdn.org/partner/beuys/partners.shtml
and
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Beuys.
The particular artwork is «7,000 Oaks for Documenta 7»

NOTE: Beuys was a Stuka plane pilot during the war. Doesn’t this photo remind of craters from bombs?
Posted 13 months ago.

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angeloska says:

ααα, εσύ κορίτσι μου δεν πιάνεσαι με τίποτα…
Τι μια φορά «οικολόγος», την άλλη με τα Στούκας.
Κάτσε λίγο ήσυχη να ηρεμήσουμε κι ότι είναι να γίνει, ας γίνει…
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

*prits***
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

hi el!
my class of 6 year olds are learning about the forest now, yes, Bouconne itself…
– can I print this («all rights reserved») picture out to show them?

I got hold of that cartoon of The Man Who Planted Trees and we watched it.
I am contemplating some kind of drama…
Posted 3 months ago.

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angeloska says:

I saw «The Man Who Planted…» on TV ages ago. My son who was 6 then, was very excited. If I remember well, it’s based on a true story from before the war. There is a similar story about a woman who planted oaks in Ikaria. They called her ‘Lunny’ Maria Sarantaina.
Posted 3 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

I think «The Man Who Planted…» is fiction, but you do hear of people that have in fact done it for real. I’m glad Ikaria has one! Are there trees there still? Or is the story vague? Or have the goats got there??
Posted 3 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

The story of Lolo-Maria Sarantaina is clear and true. I think that many of her oaklings died because there was war and famine and she had no strength to climb the mountains to water them. She was believed to be mad in her time but now they have raised a small stele in her memory.

*** btw, did you know that there is a league of jet pilots who plant trees because they feel bad about the greenhouse gases caused by jet flights?
Posted 3 months ago.

Σχετικά/Related

http://www.flickr.com/groups/ikaria/pool/tags/desertification

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Εκτός από την Αιθιοπία που πολύ σωστά αναφέρεις (που το θυμήθηκες;), λίγοι γνωρίζουν ότι αυτός ήταν ένας από τους λόγους που καταστράφηκε η οικονομία της γειτονικής Αλβανίας. Οιτσελιγκάδες εκεί ήταν από τους βασικούς υποστηρικτές του Εμβέρ Χότζα. Εξαιτίας της αποψίλωσης των δασών και της ελεύθερης βόσκησης, η ύπαιθρος ερημοποιήθηκε τόσο ώστε ακόμα και τα περίφημα Κινεζικής κατασκευής υδροηλεκτρικά φράγματα γέμισαν άμμο και σταμάτησε η παραγωγή ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος. Αυτή τη στιγμή η Αλβανία όπως και η Ελλάδα είναι από τους μεγαλύτερους εισαγωγείς ζωοτροφών.
κτλ. κτλ. κτλ.

Wednesday July 25, 2007 – 06:23pm (EEST) Remove Comment

Greece is burning, England is floading, the south and the north, the extremes are getting extremer.

Friday July 27, 2007 – 03:03pm (PET) Remove Comment

@ ‘Leo’ : maybe you are right; but for me who travel a lot because of my work and family, I am used to these extremities. In case you are right, let’s see this as an extra motivation for us to eliminate the wrongs in the environment and in our socities.

Sunday July 29, 2007 – 12:46am (PDT) Remove Comment

Και φαντάσου πως όταν έγραψες το blog ήταν μοναχά η αρχή….Δεν θα συμφωνήσω με τον ΑΚΚ πως η ελεύθερη βόσκηση είναι αιτία των καταστροφών. Οταν υπάρχουν αρκετοί βοσκότοποι υπάρχει φυσική τροφή για τα ζώα. Οταν οι βοσκότοποι μετατρέπονται σε βιλλίτσες και τσιμεντοποιούνται νομίζω πως είναι πολύ χειρότερη η καταστροφή……

Tuesday July 31, 2007 – 11:05pm (PDT) Remove Comment

Ειναι και τα 2. Και καμια 20αρια παραγοντες ακομα. Δεν υπαρχει καμια ελπιδα . Τουλάχιστον οχι απο μας του λογογραφους. Μονο το agrimi ξερει και δινει το στιγμα (σημα;) του μελοντος. Αν δεν τη τουφεκισουν για περδικα, εννοειται.

Wednesday August 1, 2007 – 01:28pm (PDT)