Musical Yards ♪♫♬ Μουσικές Αυλές


One good thing about music,
when it hits you, you feel no pain.
[Bob Marley]
.Woman dancing in Ikaria

What do I know about music?
I know more than you ever thought, dear readers.
Perhaps because my mother was Italian, perhaps because music has been for me a good way to soothe a temper often volcanic, or just because I have strong lungs and throat, I have always sung and I think that my singing is not completely unacceptable to a trained ear. I’ve never had a musical education, and yet during a year or two of my crazy young days I could sing folk songs and jazz music from Hungary – and all that in Hungarian, oh yeah! 😀

What I cannot do, and that’s a life fact, is to dance.
All I do is jump and kick and dangle and that’s a pity because I love Greek music and all the music of the countries around Greece and that music is (90% of it) associated to dancing. So, I listen to it, sing it, but all the dancing is done within me.
What to do? Nobody is perfect.
This was just a soppy introduction. Bloggers are expected to write a couple of soppy things before getting into the subject, aren’t they?
Forget it.

😖

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Musical Yards, homepage The subject here is the Music Seminar of Ikaria («Μουσικό Σεμινάριο Ικαρίας») also known as Musical Yards («Μουσικές Αυλές») and Musical Fireplaces («Μουσικά Τζάκια»), a long course of lessons, workshops and concerts organized by a small group of young Ikarians in the village of Christos Ráches every February and July.

Students dancing the Ikariotikos at the big party in the end. .

You would say, what’s big about it? There are several prestigious and popular music seminars taking place in Greece, the most known ones being in Mount Pelion and Crete. Why a seminar in Ikaria? What more does it offer? And who are this “small group of young Ikarians”? It sounds like one more boring folklore festival. At best perhaps a more sophisticated, DIY generational “panigiri”. Nothing new here.

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.This year's Musical Yards poster

Oh no, readers! Everything is new here! The seminar’s webpage does not explain very clearly the novelties of the event, so I have decided to say a few more things about it. For example, everything that goes around the Musical Seminar of Ikaria is hand-made, home-made and ever-evolving.

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Everything about the Seminar is countless hours of unpaid collective work done by local resident volunteers without support from the authorities, without sponsors and with only some help from few small hotel owners, car rentals and bus drivers.

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Playing music after the classes late in the eveningThe most remarkable thing about it is that they don’t have art directors, managers, public relations, don’t have «connections». Totally independent and willing to pay the price for this, all and all these guys have is each other and the support of their community. All and all what they want is to do it. And by some magic trick, they do it.

But how? What’s the trick?

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The trick is, first of all, dear readers, that it’s not a “big event”. Only capable of hosting a rough maximum of 200 students, the center of everything is the large yard of a countryside chapel near the village of Traditional violin classChristos.

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Several classes take place under the oak trees in that yard, while other classes are hosted -guess where?- in the yards, patios and spare rooms of the surrounding family homeBabis Papadopoulo's musical composition and orchestra classs in the neighborhood. Hence, the meaningful name of the Seminar («Musical Yards»*), a name which does not only signify the location; it says a lot about the character of the event.

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It also shows Exercises at the course of singing and vocals the support it receives from the village community, not to mention that, in my opinion, it’s a great way to say «thanks» to the owners of the homes where the classes take place.

(* The same houses, plus/minus some, during the wintertime Seminar turn into Musical Fireplaces. Cool!)

The Seminar's camping site in Ai Giannis. .

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No buses, no traffic, everything is nested in nature, including the participants themselves, around 1/3 of which choose to accommodate themselves in the campsite set by the organizers near the church.

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Secondly, “the small group of young Ikarians” is no other than the environmental, political and cultural association “Citizens’ Movement of Ráches Ikaria” («Κίνηση Πολιτών Ραχών Ικαρίας»), a 20yearold group still and always active in various fields (see my 2 footnotes down below).

At the course of musical instrument construction. .

None of them are idle or leisured patrons of arts; on the contrary, all of them are ordinary working people, faces that you see in the streets on their way to work in the morning.

Song writing course with Thanassis Papakonstantinou

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But there is an unseen difference: in spite of their smallness, in spite of their very limited financial resources, these people care! Moreover, they have skills and experience. Even though none of them are graduates of the Conservatory of Vienna, they know how to make things go right.

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.Evgenios Voulgaris, the lute teacher

Thirdly, the teachers! If anyone ever thought the Music Seminar of Ikaria is some kind of groovy thing, just a glance at the list of teachers is enough to change their minds. Each one in his or her own music, mostly the Oriental, traditional Greek or Balkan genre, as far as I can tell, they are the best among the best!

How come?

Singing course 3. .

Because these teachers trusted the organizers and they liked the concept. Some of them even, who come again and again every year, have proved to be truly committed to this event. They brought along their own students, they helped the organizers with valuable advice and in general, they did a lot to improve the Ikarian Seminar and Guitar lessongradually establish it in the agenda of musical education in Greece.

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Against the tourist legend that no serious work can be done in Ikaria because everything is unfocused and relaxed, the Papadopoulos and Siotas in one of the concertsclasses are as demanding and as strict as anywhere in a city environment. Besides this, every  year the teachers, to show their understanding of the concept of the Seminar, offer three evening concerts which are open to everybody. Arranging themselves in small groups in these concerts, the last of which always blows up to a big party, they play for hours without being paid.

The teachers playing at the big final concert. .

A large audience from all over the island gathers to attend that last concert in the Yards and all the money collected is used for the causes of the Citizens’ Movement, the first of them always being the preparation of the next seminar.

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The goal of the Seminar:

«Culture, communication, living together and playing music, teaching and being taught, knowing each other and having a good time too».

Yeah, we know, we know…

I know you know but I don’t think you know everything.

Singing course 1So, let me elaborate and add a few throughts of my own. They are strictly personal -although I don’t think I am totally wrong in what I am going to say. It’s no coincidence the Ikarian Music Seminar “Musical Yards” started in 2012. That was the terrible year when the Greek economic crisis peaked. That was the year of suicides, the year of social cannibalism when everybody blamed each other for the crisis and the dept.

Singing course 2. .

In several occasions during that year, Art, and more particularly Music, did a lot to keep Greek society from breaking apart. To say the least, Music, and more particularly Greek (traditional and post-traditional music), reminded to us that in spite of our differences, we can still love the same songs and can still sing together.

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.Tsambouna - Aegean island bagpipe

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Because 2012 was a bad year for Ikaria too, this was, in my humble opinion, the reason why the Citizens’ Movement, instead of some other activity, chose to put their bets on music. After all music plays an important role in the life of the island.

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One out of four mostly younger inhabitants play a musical instrument, one out of three is an excellent dancer and absolutely everybody loves to go out to places where there is live music – no matter Spaced percussionistwhat kind, no matter how good. So, why not invite other musicians to the island, not just for a concert or two, but to stay longer and share their art?

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To cut this short, against all odds, with crisis on one hand, and the love for music on the other, without any support from the authorities and no sponsoring, the first Musical Seminar of Ikaria was crowned with success.

Careful listener. .

Although small at that time, Musical Yards was a pool of forgetfulness and forgiveness, a pocket of equality and fraternity, a refuge for the young for inspiration and hope, a spot where music was played, taught and performed without interruptions or interferences – other than the song of the cicadas on those old oak trees in the hospitable churchyard of Ai Giannis.

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The course of the lute behind the churchIt is still like this and now – 2018 – is their 7th year!
Who would have thought!

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Composer and singer Thanassis Papakonstantinou in the concertLast year I was there for only one day but that one day, as I was guided around by a friend, was enough for me to witness all of the above. The Music Seminar of Ikaria is cultural and social barrier breaker and meltdown. I think everybody involved in musical education – and I dare say all education- have something to learn from the way things go during its course.

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Trumpet!I support Musical Yards with all my heart!

😍

Eleni

💗

.Chapel altar window, Pablo Picasso (unsigned), Ikaria, round about 1620 😉 Partying in the Seminar Music ♪♫♬ bubbles in the air .

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June 15, 2018

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Except the first taken by kikiller all photos featuring in this article belong to Musical Yards. They can be found in the files of their website and their page on facebook. © All rights reserved 2012-2017.

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The little house in the desert


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………The place ^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐
On the wuthering heights of Ikaria 305 by Eleni Ikanou on Flickrmount Atheraς in the center of a sandy plateau surrounded by windswept round boulders lies a tiny cube-like building with a chimney on its flat roof. This is «To Spitaki tis Mamis» (the little house of the midwife), or «Saint Panteleimon Mountain Refuge», as the marble plate in the wall next to the door says. Built by a kind woman in 1960 for the benefit of all mountain walkers, Spitaki tis Mamis, despite its miniature size, is a mountain shelter properly speaking, not associated to a church or mountain chapel, as it is usual in Greece, but built hiking-wise at important crossroads in a location where a hiker cannot possibly miss. This makes Spitaki tis Mamis, if not the oldest, undoubtedly one of the oldest mountain shelters in the Aegean islands. With my own ears I have heard about the lives it has saved through the years. On the chimney there was a fog bell to guide lost souls in the mountain and inside, as if by a magic hand, it was always provided with firewood, cooking pots, lamps and lamp oil, coffee, sugar, rice etc.
It was a place that wrote history.
However and in spite of all that, in the course of events and new road building in the 1990s Spitaki tis Mamis was forgotten and fell in oblivion. As a result, today -57 years after it was built- it’s in very bad shape: cracked walls, no door and window and a roof almost ready to fall in.

………The project ^^’
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Last month, answering Announcement by OPS Ikarias on Google+: 'We are in the pleasant position to announce that our request to the Municipality of Ikaria to grant permission to repair on our own expences and volunteer work the derelict mountain shelter to a request made by several local associations, Spitaki tis Mamis was declared by the Town Council as a cultural monument – standing reminder of the times when there were no roads and cars in Ikaria and the only way to travel from one part of the island to another was by walking long hours across uninhabited, mountainous landscapes in rain, snow or fog. Following this desicion, the Town Council granted permission to the interested parts to repair the old shelter and adapt it to modern needs. As they said, that would be done on the own expences and voluntary work without help from either central or local government…
Volunteers going to work in the wilderness on dream project…?
Oops! I know that! I must help!

………My involvement ^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Dear readers, the purpose The oldest mt. shelter in the Aegean islands by angelos ka on Flickr of this article is to advertise the aforementioned project and call for funding and support. To do so I can’t find a better way than to show you a set of 16 photos taken many years ago on a hike along half the length of the mountain ridge. That great, mind and soul filling, two-day trip would not have been possible if Spitaki tis Mamis didn’t exist.
In the middle of that desert of rocks, sands, ferns and srubs, although abandonned and broken, it was still there marking the way, connecting the present with the past. It still said «Hello, I am here for you». I want it to be repaired. If not for any other reason, because of an experience I will never forget. Many years ago when I was single and young, while lying in my sleeping bag on its old cracked concrete roof, still warm from the sun, Nightsky over the mountain shelter in Ammoudia, IkariaI gazed at the biggest and brightest summer night sky I’ve seen in my life!

……… The pictures
^^’
………⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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On the path inside Ranti Forest

On the path inside Ranti Forest

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Walking on the ridge and leaving the forest behind

Walking on the ridge and leaving the old forest behind

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A typical Ikarian rock house on the way to Rahes

A typical Ikarian rock house on the way to Rahes

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Checking the map in the sunset. Got to reach that mountain shelter before nightfall

Checking the map in the sunset. Got to reach that mountain shelter before nightfall

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Unpacking inside the tiny mountain shelter

Unpacking inside the tiny mountain shelter

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The fireplace!

The fireplace!

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Sunrise on Ammoudia plateau, alt 860 m.

Sunrise on Ammoudia plateau, alt. 860 m.

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On the road inside Erifi plateau in the morning

On the road inside Erifi plateau in the morning

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In view of forested uplands

In view of forested uplands

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Hike across barren wastelands

Hike across barren wastelands

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In view of the southern coast at last

In view of the southern coast at last

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Walking down to Karkinagri on a beautiful stone paved lane for a while

Walking down to Karkinagri on a beautiful stone paved lane for a while

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Old houses built on steep ground in the historical part of the village next to a very violent mountain torrent

Old houses built on steep ground in the historical part of the village next to a very violent mountain torrent

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Climbing down along a mountain stream near Karkinagri

Climbing down along a mountain stream near Karkinagri

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source

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That was all from me for now. You can read the official account of the project at this link. For donations, as well as for extra hands, you may write to opsikarias2008@gmail.com and/or kinisi.politon.ikaria@gmail.com. I will keep you up to date for further developments.
Follow me up! ^^’

Eleni Ik ❤

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Saturday, June 6, 2017


Back home for Christmas


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dream steamer

Γεια σας 🙂
βρισκομαι στην Ικαρια και δεν αντεχω παρα να γραψω στη γλωσσα του τοπου, δηλαδη στα Ελληνικα. Ειναι χειμωνας, εποχη για παλιες ιστοριες. Ομως δεν μου βγαινει να σας πω μια δικη μου γιατι ειμαι πολυ κουρασμενη.
^^’
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Για την Ικαρία του 1978-80 στο 'Πύραυλος των Υπογείων' του Βασίλη Ηλιακόπουλου με τίτλο: 'Back Home for Christmas'Αντι για μενα λοιπον, καλυτερα να διαβασετε το γραπτο του Βασιλη Ηλιακοπουλου απο το μπλογκ του που λεγεται «Πυραυλος των Υπογειων» και εχει τιτλο: Back home for Christmas. Απο τις πρόσθετες φωτογραφιες μερικες ειναι δικες μου και οι υπολοιπες ανηκουν σε γνωστους και αγνωστους φιλους απο το Flickr. Με αυτες τις προσθηκες προσπαθησα να αποδωσω εικονικα, αν και χωρις να δείξω προσωπα και παλιες καταστασεις, παρα μονο σκηνες του τοπιου, κατι απο την κλειστη και τραχεια, ομως τοσο θερμη και οικεια σε μενα, το περαστικο πουλι, ατμοσφαιρα που περιγραφει ο Ηλιακοπουλος.

Back home for Christmas

Armenistis Ikaria winter wave

«Έχω βρεθεί καταχείμωνο στην Ικαρία, τότε που οι λιγοστοί κάτοικοι λουφάζουν περιμένοντας να περάσουν οι δύσκολες εποχές. Αγριεμένος ο καιρός, τρία μέτρα ψηλή η θάλασσα, ορμάει με πάταγο στην προκυμαία και η νύχτα προμηνύεται όλο βουητό και αντάρα. Ο Αρμενιστής, ένα παλιό ψαροχώρι, εκτεθειμένο στους βορεινούς καιρούς, δεν κρατάει το χειμώνα πάνω από τριάντα ανθρώπους. Όσοι δεν κάθονται γύρω από τη σπιτική φωτιά μαζεύονται στον καφενέ, τραβούν τα παραθυρόφυλλα και τις ξύλινες πόρτες που μαστιγώνονται από θαλασσινές ριπές. Παλιοί ναυτικοί και μετανάστες που γύρισαν ύστερα από χρόνια στην Αμερική, βολεύονται γύρω απ’ τη σόμπα, ψήνουν κάστανα και πίνουν ρακί.»

Armenistis Ikaria winter calm with a bird on a rock

«Ο μπάρμπα-Δημήτρης, ο Κόχυλας, ο καφετζής, άρχοντας της λιτότητας, αράζει σ’ έναν πάγκο στη γωνία, χωμένος σ’ ένα βαρύ δερματόδετο βιβλίο που αν κανείς κάνει τον κόπο και πλησιάσει, θα διαβάσει: “Απομνημονεύματα του Στρατηγού Σαράφη„. Η γυναίκα του, η κυρά-Μαρία, όρθια στην άλλη γωνία, στην κουζίνα, τηγανίζει ψαράκια που τσιτσιρίζουν στο τηγάνι της. Ο καφενές τρίζει από την επίθεση των καιρών και όσοι είναι μαζεμένοι γύρω από τη σόμπα ξαναμμένοι από τη ρακή, το ρίχνουν στη συζήτηση για τα καράβια που έπιαναν παλιά στην Ικαρία.»

Armenistis Ikaria winter storm and rainbow splash by Wim De Weerdt on Flickr

«Το μεγάλο ερώτημα που ρίχτηκε στη κουβέντα, είναι: “Πότε ήρθε για τελευταία φορά το Μιμίκα Λ. στον Αρμενιστή„. Ήταν το ’47 ή το ’49; Για όσους δεν ξέρουν τι λαός είναι οι Ικαριώτες, πρέπει να πω ότι είναι πρωτομάστορες του καλαμπουριού και των ιστοριών. Όταν άρχιζε ο Στρατής ο Αφιανές ερχότανε μια στιγμή που βρισκόσουνα, χωρίς να το καταλάβεις, κυκλωμένος από παντού να τσαλαβουτάς μέσα στο τραγελαφικό και το παράδοξο. Κι όταν σηκωνότανε όρθιος ο Σταμάτης ο Κόχυλας, ο μεγάλος αδελφός του μπάρμπα-Δημήτρη, που ’χε κι αυτός έναν μικρό καφενέ πάνω από την προκυμαία, κοντός, ξερακιανός, αργομίλητος, τότε απλωνότανε νεκρική σιγή. Κι έπειτα, τα καλαμπούρια. Οι Ικαριώτες μπορούν να πειράζουν ο έναν τον άλλον για μια ολόκληρη νύχτα. Το κάνουν σαν ένα παιχνίδι που γυρίζει γύρω-γύρω κι αυτός που αρχίζει θα δεχτεί με τη σειρά του τα πειράγματα των άλλων. Άντρες πλατύστερνοι και βαριοκόκκαλοι, γέρνουν πάνω στην καρέκλα και με μάτια που λάμπουν από περιπαικτική διάθεση αμολάν το καλαμπούρι ενώ με τα χοντροδάχτυλά τους τρίβουν το κάστανο και ταυτόχρονα περιεργάζονται μία το θύμα και μία τις αντιδράσεις της παρέας. Ώρες-ώρες ο καφενές σείεται από τα γέλια. Πότε ήταν λοιπόν, το ’47 ή το ’49; Ήταν πριν από το γάμο του Τάσου του Φραγκούλη ή τότε που ο Τσαντίρης ο γέρος γύρισε από το Σικάγο και είπε ότι θέλει ν’ αφήσει τα κόκαλά του εδώ πέρα στα χώματα τα πατρογονικά.»

Eleni in Ikaria, February 08, 2006, thalassograph 2

«Όποιος δεν καλοθυμάται γίνεται αντικείμενο γενικής θυμηδίας. Μετά η συζήτηση προχωράει στα παλιά καράβια. Το Προπολεμικό «Φρίντο» που έκαιγε κάρβουνο, το «Παντελής», το «Δεσποινάκι» και η «Μαριλένα» πρώην «Κωστάκης Τόγιας». Μετά ερχότανε το «Μυρτιδιώτισσα» η «Μιμίκα Λ» και τα ιταλικά: ο «Κολοκοτρώνης», ο «Καραϊσκάκης» και το «Έλλη». Καράβια, φαντάσματα καραβιών που πέρναγαν σαν παλιές γκραβούρες μέσα απ’ την κουβέντα τους.»

Lighthouse in Armenistís by Ralf Moritz on Flickr

«Αλήθεια, τι απόσταση από το “Μιμίκα Λ.„ μέχρι το “Αιγαίο„! Κι από το Ο/Γ “Αιγαίο„ στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του ’80 ως τα σήμερα, τέλη του ’90. Παλιά σιδερένια βαπόρια με στρογγυλές πρύμνες, μυτερές πλώρες και ξύλινα καταστρώματα. Παστωμένα με άσπρη λαδομπογιά, με δερμάτινους καναπέδες και ξύλινες επενδύσεις. Το “Αιγαίο„ παλιό και ταλαιπωρημένο διέσχιζε το Ικάριο, βυθιζόταν με την πλώρη μέσα στο κύμα κι όταν σηκωνότανε πάνω από την ίσαλο γραμμή έβλεπες τα μίνια και τις ξεφλουδισμένες μπογιές του. Οι Ικαριώτες όμως ήταν βαθιά δεμένοι μ’ αυτό το πλοίο. Τους έφερνε στον Πειραιά μ’ όλους τους καιρούς κι από κει πίσω στο σπίτι τους. Γέρνανε στις κουπαστές και αγναντεύαν το νησί τους καθώς το καράβι έπλεε κατά μήκος του για μια ολόκληρη ώρα γιατί είναι ένα εξαιρετικά μακρόστενο νησί η Ικαρία.»

Hand by Eva Devriendt on Flickr

«Όπως το πλοίο έβγαινε από τον Άγιο Κήρυκο και τράβαγε δυτικά παραπλέοντας όλη τη νότια πλευρά του νησιού που την δέρνει το Ικάριο δείχνανε ο ένας στον άλλο με το δάχτυλο, και ονομάζανε με το όνομά τους, όλα τα χωριά, ένα, ένα. Γέροι με χοντρά τζην και καρρώ πουκάμισα φοράγανε εκείνα τα παλιά αμερικάνικα γυαλιά με τον μαύρο σκελετό που έδιναν οι αμερικάνικες κοινωνικές υπηρεσίες, το αμερικάνικο ΙΚΑ, στη δεκαετία του ’60. Στις πλάτες τους κρεμόταν ο γυλιός φτιαγμένος από δέρμα κατσίκας με το τρίχωμα προς τα έξω. Γυναίκες μαντηλοδεμένες, νύφες, γαμπροί, παιδιά.»

ikarialandscape by Gabriela Sofia Flores Schnaider inside album Ikaria on Flickr

«Διακρίνανε τα χωριά το ένα μετά το άλλο και στο τέλος πια τον Μαγγανίτη και μετά το Καρκινάγρι, που κρέμονταν πάνω στον απόκρημνο βράχο. Ξεχώριζαν το δρόμο που χρόνια τώρα πάσχιζε, με τις μπουλντόζες και τα φουρνέλα, ν’ ανοίξει η ΜΟΜΑ για να ενώσει το νησί. Κι όταν προσπέρναγαν το ακρωτήριο Παππάς, με τον φάρο του, τότε ήσυχοι πια κατέβαιναν στα σαλόνια του καραβιού και παρέες-παρέες άνοιγαν τα φαγητά με τα κεφτεδάκια και το ψωμοτύρι και τραβάγανε κοντά τη νταμιτζάνα με το κόκκινο Ικαριώτικο κρασί.»

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Τι ωραιο κειμενο! ^^’
Καλε μου αγνωστε αναγνωστη αν θελεις κι ενα οχι για τη θαλασσα αλλα για το βουνο της ιδιας ή πιο παλιας εποχης, διαβασε στο μπλογκ της Νανας το:

Ήμεσσαν τρεις ψυχεροί ελόου μας…

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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Κι αν θες τη γνωμη μου, πιστευω οτι και σημερα πισω απο το τσιμεντο, τα μηχανηματα και το τουριστικο πασαλειμμα επικαλυμμα, κατι δυνατο απο ολα αυτα υπαρχει ακομα.  ❤

Ελενη Ικ.
Ικαρια, 27 Ιανουαριου 2016

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food, pebbles and headstands


Delicious simple food cooked by a Greek Mum all home made the cheese , bread , herb pie and very very tasty peas and broad beans cooked in a fabulous way slowly with fennel and extra virgin olive oil. I'm even loving the table cloth. It's all good learning lots and being well looked after. The pebbles found at Therma beach here in Ikaria, are a stone collectors dream! The small bay collects and holds these wonderful little gems, so that they can be found when beach combing.

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Dear readers,
it was my name day and I was planning a relaxed, unambitious post about the wonderful things an English couple who live in Ikaria do with pebbles from the beach, when all of a sudden the famous Jamie Oliver, after his visit to the Chiapas last month, landed on the island to look into our cooking and shoot scenes for his next show!!! I am still and always a bad cook (my only improvement has been towards safety but unfortunately not towards taste) so don’t be afraid, I am not going to go crazy about recipes. I do think, however, that the island has a wealth of natural, healthy foods and natural and healthy ways of cooking. But I am not going to go crazy about that either. This was planned to be a relaxed, unambitious post, and a relaxed, unambitious post it is going to be. I’ll just push Nik and Stef’s stones a bit to the side and make room for a few pictures of Ikarian food from Jamie Oliver’s instagram, plus a few shots with heavier stuff taken in Ikarian restaurants by adamansel52, a ‘food tourist’ who toured the island last month. Move your mouse over the photos to read the descriptions. Scroll down to find a surprise. Nothing to do with food! It’s just another Ikarian summer drawing near!!!

🙄 ^^’

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Learning how to make Trahana from this loverly lady Maria. It's a very historical healthy whole grain cracked wheat cooked with goats milk soured and dried in the sun it's something very special and central to there diet. Delicious! A massive thank you to all the wonderful people of Ikaria that I met and worked with. this island has really touched my heart it's so natural and such a special place I can't wait to go back. The colours and textures are something to behold, and the variety of stones found I have not seen anywhere else. Quartz, banded agates, granite, jasper, and many more are found here.

A beautifully simple Greek salad the classic way with juicy tomatoes, olives and crumbly feta! Proper bold flavours and super fresh ingredients. The stones come from the sea of course, and also they get washed down from the mountain range on the island, if you go and look at the cliff faces near the beach you can see these very stones jutting out from the mud and rock; fascinating!

Cooking delicious wild herbs greens and pumpkin to be rolled in filo. Yum! Since I started beachcombing for colourful pebbles, sea glass, terracotta pottery and other surf tumbled delights, I learnt a few techniques that might help a beginner to this wonderful past time; and thought I would share them with you.

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Ikaria 288 At Therma Nik and Stef from England have a business beach combing for anything that can be used to make jewellery, selling it online then shipping it all over the world.

Ikaria 200 Here I will be talking about all the wonderful stones, minerals, sea glass and other oddities that I find where I live on the Greek island of Ikaria.

Ikaria 175 Beach combing here is unlike anywhere else in the world, and is a stone collectors paradise! There are many beaches here full to the brim with all different types, colours, and textures of stones; the only limit is how many you can carry!

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Taverna in Therma. The fish in sauce with salad and with bread was 8 Euros. I could have eaten spaghetti Bolognese for 5 Euros! The half litre of wine was 3 Euros. But at payment time she only wanted 10 Euros. All fresh, all local produce. With a fantastic sea view. I found these beautiful mustard colour beach pebbles whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria yesterday. But what type of rock are they...any ideas??

Ikaria 229 A lovely selection of substantial sized beach stones I found whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria a couple of days ago. The colours are amazing.

Ikaria produce on my kitchen floor. Wine, honey, olive oil, mountain tea, herbs, soaps, cosmetics. About half of it unlabeled, given to me as presents. A mix of wonderful beach finds from Therma beach in Ikaria, sea glass, pebble candy; and a sea shell! If you look along the tidelines, this is what you can find.

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Αρέθουσα #here #forever #ikariamylove #daysinikaria #gipsylife by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Seychelles Ikarias. I believe in the good things coming ☀ #daydreaming #behappy #headstand #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram

Seychelles Ikarias ☀ #happy #grateful #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Κυπαρίσσι #headstand #islandlife #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram

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Sofia’s headstands in her: «Days in Ikaria» on instagram ^^’ ^^’ ^^’
Nik and Stef’s etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/thermalstonedesign ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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No Gas Til Tuesday (2)


_Blog Review Ikaria 2012 # 10 The Explorers (1b)_

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Hello readers!

I hope that some of you are by now familiar with my idea of reviewing a selection of blog entries about my island. I also hope that my most faithful followers have read «No Gas Til Tuesday (1)» -the first part of selected entries from an entire blog dedicated to living in Ikaria written by jandcfox. Jackie has been undoubtedly the best of that category of bloggers who I have decided to name «Explorers». Don’t misunderstand me; there have probably been a lot of people who have taken risks and had many interesting adventures in Ikaria. The difference with Jackie is that she shared her experiences with the world. And she did this through a well-written and frequently updated blog wonderfully enriched with many great pictures!

I am a mother of three and a teacher by trade. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and now, my family lives in Lancaster, PA. For the next year we are going to live in the village of Karavostamo, Ikaria, Greece. My philosophy on life? Check things off of your bucket list! What are a few things on my bucket list? Speak greek fluently Live in Greece Enrich my children’s lives

We are in the middle of September so time falls right for the second and last part. It is about living in Ikaria «off season» when the island empties from tourists, visitors and relatives; that is, living in the Ikaria of the all-year-long residents, which, some say, is The True Ikaria

What was it like? Has she won the bet? See for yourselves. Read my selection of blog entries of Jackie in Ikaria, September 2012 – June 2013

(As always, a selection of the blogger’s own words appear when you move your mouse over the highlighted links and photos. VERY USEFUL TO HASTY READERS!)

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Until Next Year! Και Του Χρόνου!

Indeed, these people have set a good example. Yes, a good example.

How unlike me, that’s all I have to say, and that says it all.

Note : As I have said many times before in my reviews, comments and credits should be adressed to the bloggers, not to me! As far as I am concerned, all I want is to send more readers to these amazing people -my explorers. All I wish is that my choices are good.

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No Gas Til Tuesday (1)


_Blog Review Ikaria 2012 # 9 The Explorers (1a)_

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Are done with the longevity thing yet? It seems so. At least I didn’t hear they wrote «WELCOME TO THE ISLAND OF LONGEVITY» on the wavebreakers or the air control tower. I think the noise is dimming to something like «Ikaria is a special, ancient and very natural island» -something that makes more sense, don’t you agree? No problem with anthropologists, it’s been ages since we boiled one in our cauldrons…

cauldron

Yet, in my opinion, our «special, ancient and very natural island» calls more for explorers.

Our explorers are usually careful not to project their own realities over a place and many are those who devote a lot of time and energy to search every pocket and fold. Our explorers take risks. Some of them too, the most admirable, share their adventures with you and me on the web. That kind of people I had in mind when I started this set of blog entries. Thinking about it, I could have just reblogged, but no, I said. I believed that my first champions, Danae, Ikaroia, Jernej and Johanna, deserved more than to recommend a link and perhaps also decorate it with a sample photo. Since then, several tributes have been paid and now, five years after, the experience has expanded. Don’t ask me how, yet it’s a fact. Some of of my explorers have chosen to live on the island!

Dear readers, today I am proudly presenting to you Greek/American Jackie, author of nogastiltuesday, who decided to leave the States with her three children and live for one year in Ikaria, the island where her father was born and has a home.

I am a mother of three and a teacher by trade. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and now, my family lives in Lancaster, PA. For the next year we are going to live in the village of Karavostamo, Ikaria, Greece. My philosophy on life? Check things off of your bucket list! What are a few things on my bucket list? Speak greek fluently Live in Greece Enrich my children’s lives

Don’t say you weren’t puzzled by the strange name of her blog? The explanation is in one of her first entries, also pinned also at the top of her home page. The point is that instead of being daunted by that good example of «greek ways», she was challenged and some years later she came looking for more. She came to understand. Explore and understand the land, the people, the culture, the nature, everyday life, the four seasons, the weather, the language and so much more. Explore, understand, appreciate and teach her three adorable children to appreciate as well.

I am a mother myself so I am familiar with the task. However, I shouldn’t identify and add my personal touch. I’d rather let Jackie speak on her own through the entries of her wonderful blog that I chose for you in today’s review.

«No Gas Til Tuesday» comes like a diary. In an experiential and direct way, Jackie writes often twice and three times every week and that over a period of several months! And I am not counting the bulky comment exchange under each entry! It would be impossible for me (and probably for WordPress) to load all the entries I have chosen in one page. Perforce I have divided the material in two parts: The first part (1a) is Summer 2012  and the second part (1b) includes Autumn, Winter, Spring and part of Summer 2012-13.

As always, a selection of the blogger’s own words appear when you move your mouse over the highlighted links to the pages as well as over the photos.

There we go through Jackie’s Summer 2012 (1a) :

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Let this very touching entry be the last from Jackie’s blog for now.

She has talked there about two feelings that I am afraid I know too well.

The Greeks have invented the richest and most beautiful words for them:

Mελαγχολία and Νοσταλγία.

I could write an essay about the topic here and now, yet WP started to jam on me. I’ve got to go. See you in a few weeks with more No Gas Til Tuesday.

Note : As I have said many times before in my reviews, comments and credits should be adressed to the bloggers, not to me! As far as I am concerned, all I want is to send more readers to these amazing people -my explorers. All I wish is that my choices are good.

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I’m learning to cook …SOUFIKO


Soufiko

SKILLET MEDLEY OF EGGPLANTS AND ZUCCHINI, IKARIAN STYLE
-a soul warming country dish-
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3 to 4 long thin eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices

Salt

1/2 cup olive oil

4 to 5 medium onions, peeled, halved and sliced

2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds

3-4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, and sliced (with juice)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

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1. Douse the eggplant slices generously with salt and let them sit in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse them thoroughly afterward, drain and pat dry:

2. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion slices. Stir to coat and soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the skillet and stir gently to coat with oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Season with garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, lowere heat to low, and let the vegetables cook slowly until they are soft and have almost fallen apart, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the cover, season with oregano, and cook the mixture down until pan juices have almost evaporated, another 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

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MY Image NOTES:
1. No mumbo-jumbo! This genuine Ikarian dish was recorded by Diane Kochilas and published in her book «The Food and Wine of Greece -More than 250 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands of Greece»,1990, St. Martin Press, New York. The author cites her source, a certain Argyro from Rahes Ikaria, who I assume, is the photographer Christos Malachias wife.
2. Unfortunately we couldn’t have all the ingredients fresh out of an Ikarian garden as Diane suggests. Eggplants and zucchini we bought from the market at a rather high price because their season is past. We were able to find good natural tomatoes though, and Nana is always well provided with excellent olive oil from Crete.
3. The recipe worked! No big deal. It was easy -much easier now for me because I don’t smoke and don’t go absent-minded and talk about this and that and miss the right timing.
4. For a wine to go with Soufiko, Diane suggests an Ikarian muscat or ordinary Retsina. But we said that any good wine is good. I had half a glass of beer and it was fine.
5. We didn’t serve it with rice (pilaf) as the author says. It would be too vegetarian and we have hard-working men in the house. So Nana put half of the Soufiko in a pan and scrambled eggs in it. It was «Soufiko-Scrambled Eggs» and the boys loved it!
6. Bread is essential.

bon appétit
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Comments

(4 total)

So the boys loved it? Soufiko with eggs was the only Soufiko I knew. We put slices of sausage or lard in it too.
Diane is a friend and Argyro is a relative. Your assumption about her was correct.
Oh yes… Bread is ESSENTIAL.
What’s for next week? What about a pie? What about pork with fennel? This is my favourite Ikarian dish. There is no fennel here now but you may find some in Athens.
Μμμμ… yum… Χοιρινό με Μάραθα : our own fricassée

Saturday November 11, 2006 – 10:20pm (EET)

Does Diane still run her Villa Thanassi? I met her a few years ago and had a lovely meal there – I have her books and the best Greek (some say only!) recipe I do is based on her spanakopitta!

Saturday November 11, 2006 – 11:43pm (GMT)

PS The Soufiko sounds wonderful. I am inspired to try this also. Will let you know how I get on, minus the sausage and lard – sorry Angele, I’m a veggie!

Saturday November 11, 2006 – 11:45pm (GMT)

Hi Jude! I’m happy that you were interested. But it has to be extra-extra good olive oil. All these Greek «ladero» (cooked w «ladi» =olivoil) dishes are based on this.
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saucage slices and lard? bliah…
Pork with fennel is a good thing though. Yes it can be like a «fricassée» -the scientist here says…

Sunday November 12, 2006 – 03:50am (PST)