Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 3 ➕


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Hello readers!
This is obviously the third part of the second part and the first part. But in this post there is a big [[]]! Because as I was browsing through Instagram to choose some last pictures from Ikaria to show you, I looked again at a picture I had added in PART 1 and I realised that it wasn’t just one random holiday snaphot. More pictures followed and all of them belonged to a story – a story written in a blog!
But first things first. Take a look at my last 50 selected grams from Ikaria and then scroll down to read my English translation of Virginia’s «Sobre una mujer sola en una playa». As you will see in the end, I have reasons to cherish very strong personal feelings about it. But far besides that, what matters more is that I find her adventure and more importantly the way she describes her adventure the best to this moment, most edgy and wonderfully dramatic example of the attitude I’ve spoken about in Part 2:

«Enjoy and respect. This is the new DIY generation who are not looking for ready-made things but for the true experience, for whatever that takes.»

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Note: I have displayed the pictures randomly and democratically all same size. None of them (including the ones inside the Virginia’s story) have been downloaded but embedded into this post directly from the source. All rights reserved by the respective owners © 2012-2017
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Αν δεν κοιτάς εκει που θες να πας, θα πας εκει που κοιτάςΗ Έλλη χαμένη στην ΙκαρίαΤι να πειςΣεϋχέλλες ΙκαρίαParadise islandΣτο φαράγγι!!!!Take me back - 8.9.17 - secret νας IκαρίαChilling and reading ξεμαλλιασμενη ας χελλDancing the IkariotikosUnknown woman in a panigiriOrange sky in Nas IkariaIs this even real life?'Then I was young and unafraid. And dreams were made and used and wasted'Hot like the sun, Wet like the rain, Green like the leaves, Life is a game.le chien etait adorable...Because sometimes lying under trees and walking barefoot on the earth is the most spiritual thing you could ever do in your life. To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miraclesSwam some more, climbed up rocks and claimed them as our ownJai Guru Deva Om'I was overlooking the heights and I felt somewhere in between...'Ikaria island summerIkaria-kerame CityRevolution starts from each of usMy bedroom - Feels like home - Gypsy hearts forever - Exoria stin ikariaΙκαριες - Rηξικελευθες πτησειςAmphitrite in Kambos, Ikariaνιώστε το βράχο - IkariaThe Cave in Seychelles beach, IkariaWaking up in Manganitis, IkariaO TarzanAnd the living is easy in IkariaAlceste in IkariaPeaceful naked moments in Nas IkariaSummer days in Aris river, IkariaΗ ζωή του camper: Τρώγοντας πάνω σε ενα φρισμπιSometimes in the wind of change we find our true directionGommorna på lägerΣαλτάροντας...Ikariarelax stressfree sea girl nas ikaria copertoneIkaria you stole my heartSorelle nella naturaSorelle nella naturaLine up......Find me where the wild things areIkaria, summerambianceΞυλόφουρνος του ΓεραλήWith my fav personRaches, Ikaria

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😌 😌 😌
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«Sobre una mujer sola en una playa»
(About a woman alone on a beach)

«Later that evening, we were sitting there and I could hear a church bell from the Orthodox church around the corner. My ear followed the sound there and back, there and back, my eye trailing the distance to the church in the dark. I asked my aunt if she was awake. She stirred in her chair and said yes, she was. I said, how did you make it so long. She asked what I meant. I said, there are so many years. How can you be alone so long. She said she didn’t know.»
[Jesse Ball, How to Make a Fire and Why]

La aurora de los dedos de rosa, diria Homero

«Last year with Adrián we decided to take a trip. He asked me where I wanted to go, and I told him that for some time I had in my thoughts the island of Ikaría. He wondered why. I do not know, I told him. He asked me again: what is there? Nothing, I said. It is an island where there is nothing. He told me, that’s an answer.»

«He asked me again: what is there? Nothing, I said. It is an island where there is nothing. He told me, that’s an answer.»

Ese dia fue muy largo y muy dificil y muy hermoso y a la noche dormi adentro de un mausoleo en un cementerio a unos metros de la playa

«There was a turning point in the trip and it was the day of the monopati. By then I already had severely infected soles of the feet. I think about the precise moment, a few days before, in which the blisters that almost completely covered the metatarsals broke and I still get goosebumps. I remember it with my head but I also remember it more with my body, it was a burning like I had never felt before, I felt it break, tear. And if walking most of the day with a heavy backpack on my back, sleeping little and feeding mainly on the figs and grapes that we found on the way, it was already difficult, every step I took with the blisters open and beginning to become infected was a torture.»

Aυτά τα δέντρα δε βολεύονται με λιγότερο ουρανό...

«There was a turning point in the trip and it was the day of the monopati.»

«We spent the night in a forest on the outskirts of Raches and the next morning we started walking very early. In the course of the day we had to descend an altitude of nine hundred meters extended along twenty kilometers by mountain road and reach the coastal town of Karkinagri, at the south-western end of the island. We had no choice. Between Raches and Karkinagri there was absolutely nothing, no food, no water, no shelter, no firm terrain to camp, only a narrow monopati that descended sinuously and abruptly down the mountain.»

El punto mas alto, justo antes de encontrar el monopati

«The first challenge was to find the mentioned monopati. The map of Ikaría that we had pointed out as villages what we, upon arriving, discovered that they were only scattered houses, many of them abandoned (one night we camped inside one, it was the night that I really thought I was going to die, that until then everything had arrived, but that is another story).»

El bosque de espinos

«After walking for a few hours we arrived at what we hoped would be a town, where we expected to replenish our water and ask for directions for the rest of the way, but all we found was a half-demolished farm in which a very old man milked a goat. He approached us with the wooden bucket full of warm, steaming, perfumed milk. The milk had a pregnant smell, cloying, a bit repulsive. I was dying to try it, I felt that my body was asking for it while the man told us that in his youth he had been a sailor and had been in Buenos Aires. French fries, he said in Spanish. His dogs barked at us with fury. We asked him about the monopati and he indicated where to go.»

La pequena iglesia de San Isidoro, en medio de la montana

«Later we heard voices and followed them and in the middle of the forest we found a neat land with an orchard and a house made of a container. Under a tree a group of men and women talked and worked. We asked them about the monopati and as Greeks as they were, they invited to come in, unconditional hospitality is practiced even in the depths of the forest, especially there (if a Greek refuses philoxenia to a stranger in the middle of the forest and there is no one to witness it, do the Erynias overwhelm him?). They served us a strong and delicious coffee (we had not had coffee for days, we had not done many things for days, like bathing) and they invited us with figs from their garden dried in the sun.»

Un claro en el monopati

«The owner of the house, about forty or forty-five years old, had grown tired of life in Athens and had exchanged it for that rectangle of land on which he lived most of the year, growing his own food and reading the classics, receiving friends during the summer. He was a serious man, serene, a man who spoke slowly, beautifully. The beautiful Greeks are truly beautiful, slender and proud, with marked features and deep wrinkles of expression. Beside him, Adrian, with his blond curls and his upturned nose and his reckless speech, looked like a teenager.»

A mitad de camino entre Karkinagri y Manganitis

«We continue advancing and at the highest point of the mountain, in the middle of a thorny forest, an enchanted forest, the most beautiful I saw, we found a tiny church and sitting at the door a shaggy man, the caretaker. Hour after hour and day after day he would sit there, alone, in silence. We asked him about the monopati. He showed us the way. He himself is walking up and down on it every several weeks to get provisions from the town. We were reassured by this concrete reference that the monopati existed and it was not far away.»

El desayuno en la taberna de Manganitis

«Finally we found it and the descent was slow and difficult. My feet were in deplorable condition, I felt the stockings alternately wet and stiff, as blood and pus sprouted and dried. We walked slower and slower, and Adrian became impatient. He advanced alone and he waited for me later, feeling solicitous and confused. We got lost several times. The monopati at times became so narrow that it was easy to mistake it with openings that appeared naturally among the vegetation. Several times we took the wrong direction. We opened and closed gates. We climbed trees and stones. We crossed a dry river in a valley.»

«It had been a difficult day for two people who knew little of each other, who began to glimpse with a mixture of rejection and compassion into the miseries of the other and to remember their own miseries, those that one tends to forget when there is no witness around, when conveniences and routines camouflage them a bit.»

La playa de Manganitis al atardecer donde la mujer y yo nos acompanamos un rato (en el momento exacto en que la foto fue sacada)

«Around four in the afternoon we arrived at the town. We hated it immediately. Ikaría does not receive too many tourists, but the few that were there were there. We ate something quickly and decided to continue on our way and spend the night in [Manganitis], a nearby town. We resumed the march in silence. It had been a difficult day for two people who knew little of each other, who began to glimpse with a mixture of rejection and compassion into the miseries of the other and to remember their own miseries, those that one tends to forget when there is no witness around, when conveniences and routines camouflage them a bit.»

La playa de Manganitis al amanecer, despues de la noche en el mausoleo

«We arrived at [Manganitis] at sunset, and the place was a dream. A tiny village, quiet, no more than fifteen houses. A warm tavern in the shade of a vine. A bay of white stones, turquoise waters. A small church and a cemetery near the edge of the sea (where we would spend the night, sleeping in one of the mausoleums between candles and coffins, but that’s another story). A group of men and women swam naked. Adrian also undressed and got into the water. I sat on the still warm stones of the shore and soaked my feet. The salt water washed my blood and the pain worsened first and then it started to ease up a bit. The group of bathers left and the beach was deserted.»

Χρόνια πολλά Ελλάδα

«It was almost dark when a woman in her fifties appeared. Adrian had swum away, and we seemed to be alone on that silent beach at the end of the world. She took off her clothes and got into the water. She swam for a long time and then came back to the shore and wrapped herself in a towel and stayed there, looking at the water until it was completely dark. Then she got dressed, took her things and left.»

Manganitis desde la altura, camino a Seychelles

«All this preamble is to say that last night I thought about that woman. Many times, I think about that woman, and last night was one of those times. I was in bed and was cold (because the days are warm and sunny, but still cool at night) and I began to rub my arms and legs with my hands to warm me up. And I do not know why that gesture made me suddenly feel very aware that I am alone. That I brought myself to this bed in the house of strangers in a city in another hemisphere and I am responsible for giving me heat, I am both the injured foot and the salty sea that heals, the woman alone and the woman alone who looks at the woman alone.»

TEXT: ΤΡΕΙΣ ΜΗΝΕΣ: «Sobre una mujer sola en una playa»
PICTURES: Virginia Rech on Instagram
Virginia Rech on Instagram

** «Monopati» («μονοπάτι» in Greek) = footpath, a more or less narrow trail usually across nature or rural land.

*** There is a slight confusion with placenames. To all evidence the final scene of the story takes place in «Trapalou» instead of «Manganitis» which is a relatively large village located much further to the east.

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AFTERWORD:
Was it I the other woman alone? The woman alone who was looked at by another woman alone in that cut-offMy Ikaria book cover by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr place and moment? Yes, perhaps it was I. I turned fifty last year. And as often as always I like to swim in remote, quiet places at dusk. Thank you Virginia. All Virginias of this world, thank you!!!

So long and take care
Eleni

 

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Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 2


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Hello readers!
This is the second part of… well, the first part.  How these two successive posts came about is a long Greek story. It’s the story of the young travellers to Ikaria in the summer. It’s all loaded on Instagram. Enjoy and respect. This is the new DIY generation who are not looking for ready-made things but for the true experience, for whatever that takes.
I have displayed the pictures randomly and democratically all same size, but I can allow myself to say that my favorite is a portrait of a sweet young woman with a caption in Greek, which means:

«When you are hungry but still pose»

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Note: None of the 100 pictures seen below have been downloaded but embedded into this post directly from the source. All rights reserved by the respective owners © 2012-2017
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Nostalgia is a Bitch obsessed by shadow and a tree Who needs a hotel room? Travel tip number 22: Make friends with the locals My commitment to all Ikaria is also known for their naturally radio energized springs Ikaria relaxing endless view '15 Ikaria 41 Αυγούστου στο νησί Ikaria views Ikaria mother and daughter Hang Loose Ikaria Ikaria let me take you home Ikaria This is me turning my back to the gram & unplugging a bit Σκέψου κάτι που σε ευχαριστεί για να αρχίσει καλά η ημέρα Πάμε μαζί κι ας μας λιθοβολούν, κι ας μας λεν αεροβάτες.. Ο δρόμος είναι η χαρά Ikaria beautiful chest piece Unconditionally Ikaria Περα στου χωριου τη βρυση.. Probably swimming with some killer fish Φήμες λένε ότι πέρασαν χάλια Οταν πεινας αλλα ποζαρεις Adventures green tent Karkinagri οτοστοπ Για τα πανηγύρια! We were hitchhikin down that road when... Live in the sunshine and drink the wild air Endless (summer) Ikaria γεια χαρα αντιο Nighty night from Ikaria Ikaria, Nas Οικογενειακές στιγμές στο νησί Born to be wild Ikaria, Nas Μην σταματας οταν κουραστεις. Σταματα οταν τα καταφερεις! happy Langhada, Ikaria van life Ikaria, dam Σαπισμααααα I know i want to travel with you.I was lucky to meet you girl! My__ σκουπιδεολε paddle surf Ikaria Surf School Last dose of freedom ~ΛΑΓΚΑΔΑ~ Faros Καπως ετσι απλα Λαγκάδα παρανταις ικαρια Secret place ikaria waterfall οταν βρισκεις το καλυτερο σποτακι για τη σκηνη σου και κοιμασαι μεχρι τις 5 το απογιομα These pesticide-free fresh-from-the-tree mulberries are firing my orthorexia No internet connection. The wind the sky the moon and the stars instead. Nas, waterfalls Middle East Realness I really just want to be the warm yellow light that pours all over everyone I love Ikaria, August 2017 Nas beach Summer fun Συ μπαξες κ γω φυντανι , να σ'απαρνηθω δεν κανει gazin' the travelers Ida in the chapel of theoktisti Λαγκάδα: Το καργιώτικο γουντστοκ Σεϋχέλλες blythe doll Ikaria μονο αγαπη ρε Sunrise hiking motorbike I’ve been grindin outside all day with my niggas Summer Tip no2: go to HaveFunLand το ζούμε επικίνδυνα στην Ικαρία Καρότσες και οτοστόπ Ασκητική ζωή Raxounia Ikaria surf school Οι αμφίδρομες οι αντιδράσεις θα με φάνε Σειχελες Ικαρια Τιμή στους αλύγιστους της ταξικής πάλης Το απόλυτο οτοστόπ You are the life itself livin it Teaching them some style Να ρθει το καλοκαίρι να ξυπνάμε πάλι έτσι Billion star hotel girls on trip

 

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Mesakti
Finally, the last picture: that was taken by Georgia, a local photographer last February. IIkaria 040n the previous post Nana said I like to connect with the past. This is only partly true. I connect with the past and the past connects with me. That girl there looks as if it was me standing on that spot when I took this historical picture long long long ago, back in November 2005!!!

So long and take care
Eleni

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Adventures, Fun & Attitude: Selected grams from Ikaria ♥ Part 1


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Hello readers!
Now, don’t think I have betrayed Flickr but as it goes, from the side of Ikaria at least, sometimes the pictures fail in edge, spontaneity and personal touch. It’s no wonder my friends lately don’t add pictures from Flickr in their comments on my posts. They seem to prefer Instagram and I think they are right. Flickr is fine for the large picture and it’s jaw-dropping what you can sometimes see in there, but for the small picture, the snapshot, the ephemeral, subjective thing, Instagram, coming with all its smart filters and tricks, seems to win the game. No wonder (again) why it’s so popular with the under 30s. And these under 30s are the ones who flock together and liven up Ikaria in the summer. Are you guessing it already? You guessed right. Forget the introduction. This article is not really about photography. It’s about these under 30s. Cheers to their generation! All the spirit I love and cherish, they got it! And certainly a lot more!
Go, go, go, young travelers to Ikaria in the age of crisis!
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Note: None of the 100 pictures seen below have been downloaded but embedded into this post directly from the source. All rights reserved by the respective owners © 2012-2017
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Pura Vida rocks ~αιωρούμενα όνειρα~ dionysus Lemonasana (Lemon pose) Bottoms up for glass walls and red onesies vacation trip Ikaria ikaria sunsets beat η ντροπή δεν είναι δουλειά Nas, Ikaria Spending my day in ikaria Actually...they're for making raisins! Απλώνουμε της σταφίδες. Look what we discovered on our adventure Ikaria Φωτεινουλι Pizza fun Όταν κόβεται το ρεύμα... Τα όργανα μπαίνουν στην πίστα! we climbed that cliff just to put him in the riskiest place possible wtf am I doing here?? Peace & love I'm waiting summer camp Mesakti beach Sleeping mode Little brother makes big sister smile Εvdhilos, Ikaria, Greece Ikaria memories, sun and rocks Karkinagrion, Ikaria, Greece woodstock Ικαρία Μεταξύ τσίπουρου και πανηγυριού my girl sea sun beach Snapshot during Bouldering in Ikaria Road Trippin' Καλοκαιρινος best job in the world, best place on earth win win Nas, Ikaria *** Magic hour colors Nas Beach, Ikaria tbt to the best days of my life Nas Ikaria I love June in Ikaria Listening stories from the nature... Kalimeresss surf surfboard happiness reasons to visit greece Malakes Ganesha's reincarnation Faros Beach, Ikaria On the Road following the Greek's hippie trails Πανηγυρια I am happy out here. Messy hair, dirty feet & wild water on my skin. Ola kala Mesakti beach Goodbye friends, part 2 Σεϋχέλλες, Ικαρία Lady of the hot springs Εκείνο το καλοκαίρι opa_opa mousaka tzatziki zorbas greece Ikaria pinkpanther beetle 70s Studying the map Nas, Ikaria αγνατευοντας την θαλασσα Mooning the moon Female... the meaning of the word! Find truth in madness Look Ma No Veil To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles. There is peace full. There is wild. I am both at the same time. holidays spam day holidays spam day Ikariotikos dance suns out guns out gypsy style Seychelles, Ikaria, moon eclipse Μου 'χουν πει σ' αγαπώ με το στόμα, με το στυλό, με το πληκτρολόγιο.. Με τα κύματα ήταν η πιο ωραία μου φορά! Ikaria Reflecting on how incredible 2016 was to me. Ready for this years adventures. Throwback when uber in Ikaria wasn't an option... Ikaria 2016 Paradise Some of the best memories are made in flip flops I miss those days.. Άλλες νύχτες Chilling... Chilling... The naked beauty of this world is undeniable. Latvia is cold and wet. Get me back here with her!! Σεϋχέλλες, Ικαρία Ikaria Surf School τροχόσπιτο ikaria camping Seychelles, Ikaria Νας, Ικαρία Λαούτα και βιολιά mountain Ikaria Not a usual photo siga siga, file mou, you are in ikaria siga siga, file mou, you are in ikaria

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Go ahead to Part 2 😊

 


Wind-bound in Nicaria, circa 1740


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 Old stone shelter near Langada in Ikaria
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Hello readers!
I don’t expect this long article to become too popular. It’s just that several modern-day Ikarians show a lot of interest in knowing as much as they can about the more recent history of the island and they are usually very disappointed. Compared with other islands of the Aegean Sea, there is so little to say about Ikaria! No glorious battles, no illustrious rulers, no forts and fleets, no trading towns, no towers, cathedrals and famous monasteries; only mossy stonewalls and old thrifty houses scattered in the ravines, the valleys and the forests in the hills.
Εxcept one Greek Orthodox clergyman in the 17th century, no other educated person from East or West felt the urge to visit the island and write an account. If I’m not mistaken, the first book about the history of Ikaria appeared in the middle of the 20th century. Until then, there was no big narrative but only countless little stories told by the fireplace; persistent little stories which by force of repetition, became local legends; local legends some of which today, by force of time and culture gap, may sound like wild fairy tales.

Imaginary depiction of Charles Perry's ship wind-bound under Cape Papas in Ikaria
Neverthelss, there were some short descriptions of the life in the island during the Obscurity («Αφάνεια») as we like to call in Ikaria the first hard centuries of the Ottoman occupation. These were written by the very few European travelers who touched at our rough, inhospitable shores, often by chance or accident. In Pr A.J. Papalas’ book «Ancient Icaria» I found a reference to one of these documents, which, although brief and trivial, capticated my imagination. It is by Charles Perry, a wealthy medical doctor from England who travelled in the Levant from 1739 to 1742. After visiting Egypt, Perry sailed from Alexandria to Athens. On his way across the Aegean he visited and described the islands of Cos and Patmos. But after that island, as he was heading for Mykonos, his ship was caught in a storm and was forced to drop anchor in Ikaria.

Old settlement in Karkinagri Ikaria I liked Perry’s account. Reading his one and a half page about his accidental visit to Ikaria, I felt the genuine puzzlement of a man of the Century of Lights for the unwelcoming, extremely mountainous environment of the island and his also genuine astonishment (and contempt) for the attitude and the way of life of its inhabitants. But, most of all, I liked his account for a more personal reason: through the eyes of the good old British doctor, I saw some places of western Ikaria which I know very well, such as Karkinagri, Agios Isidoros and Langada, looking as uncanny and wild, as if we were talking about a remote, unfriendly rock in the middle of the South Pacific!
I found that very exciting! In my mind it fitted in with the other tales of my island and their mixture generated cores for several imaginary storylines! Maybe some day I’ll sit down Drawing of Imaginary Ikarians fiesting in the 18th century and write a similar story, this time not from the side of an enlightened European physician, probably wearing a powdered wig, but from the side of the «wretched, almost naked and savage» Ikarians!

😌
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Wind-bound in Nicaria, p.484 «We spent three days in Patmos, not disagreeably; and the fourth in the morning we set sail for Myconos; but the wind, which was otherwise pretty favorable, grew slack, next to a calm; so that it was with much-ado, with what wind we had, and the help of our oars, that we reached the west end of Nicaria in two days. We much lamented our hard fate, that we should thus long want a wind at such a favourable (for it) crisis of the year, it being near the Autumnal Equinox.
However, that night, about an hour after sunset, even whilst we were reproaching the malice of our stars, a fine gale sprang up. We failed not to embrace it immediately, and we went driving on, Jehu-like, with our sails full of wind and our hearts full of joy: But alas! How frail and transitory are human hopes and happiness, especially upon the sea? Within an hour after, the wind turned against us, and blew a storm; so that we were forced to change our course, and to seek shelter under a rock at the west end of Nicaria, which we did not attain, however, without much difficulty and danger.»

Wind-bound in Nicaria, p.485 «Here we lay wind-bound four nights, and above three days; during which irksome interval we amused ourselves in the best manner we could with fishing: But after we had spent two days without other recreation than fishing, that sport grew dull and tedious; and whilst we were looking out for some sport and divertissement, kind Providence (of its grace and favour) sent us the glad tidings that about a mile off, on the side of a high rocky mountain, there was a spring of excellent water, which was resorted to by great number of partridges. Upon this intelligence, (which we got the third day of our detention there) we immediately got ready arms and ammunition of all sorts, as well for the belly as the barrel -such as bread, butter, cheese, salt, pepper, wine, glasses, etc. We marched on directly, (flushed with the hopes of new game) with uncommon ardour, or rather avidity; and we were well recompensed our pains; for we passed that day very agreeably.
The mountain (though in general very steep) admits a sort of level in that place; and the spring of water issues out of a rock, in a very convenient and delightful spot, where nature or chance has formed a sort of grot, large enough to receive and accommodate a dozen or 15 persons. This natural grot (if we may so call it) is covered over, and secured against the weather, by a large flat stone of about 24 feet in diameter: This rests upon and is supported by other stones on all sides, except to the eastward; where, being open, it presents to view a sort of alcove. Here we passed the whole day (which but for that retreat would have been tedious) very agreeably -reclining upon the bed of our grot, with the water trilling along close by us, whilst our partisans upon the hunt for partridges, wild goats, and the like, of which they brought us in good store.»

Wind-bound in Nicaria, p.486 «There are some few inhabitants on this island, but those almost naked and savage, seldom seeing or conversing with any of the human species, except those of their own isle. The second day after we put in there, we sent out some of the mariners a shooting for us, who pursuing their game to the north side of the mountain, met with some of the natives. These were so affrighted at sight of strangers, that they fled from them with precipitation; but our people calling after them, and telling them they had brought them bread and corn, they at last prevailed on them to stop, and come to a party with them. These poor wretches, being at length persuaded of our good intentions, came to see us aboard our vessel, and afterwards brought us good store of grapes and meat. We were really at a loss to guess where they found those things; for the whole island, so far as we could see of it, is the most miserable, barren rock that ever was seen.
The 4th day, towards noon, the wind changing in our favour, we set sail for Myconos, which is 40 miles distant from the westernmost point of Nicaria. This (as it is to be supposed) is a run of about 7 hours, with a good brisk gale…»

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Pages 484-486 from Charles Perry’s book, «A View of the Levant», which I have arbitrarily named «Wind bound in Nicaria», can be found in Google books

Modern books about the history of Ikaria:

Pr A.J.Papalas 'Ancient Icaria' on Amazon.com A presentation of the Greek translation of Pr A.J.Papalas 'Ancient Icaria' in my blog In my blog a rather personal and enthusiastic presentation of Pr A.J.Papalas 'Rebels and Radicals', a book about the history of Ikaria after 1670

Comments on this article are very welcome!
Ελενη

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His island of freedom


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Eleni on Mavri rocks

Hello readers! 🙂
how long has it been since I last wrote a blog review properly speaking – that is, to review something written by someone I don’t know? I think the last one was about Jackie Fox, the Ikarian/American who posted a whole series of wonderful articles about her life in Ikaria during the year 2012-13. Jackie published on WordPress so it was easy for me to spot her and connect to her blog articles. The same goes with my present blogger. He is in WordPress where he keeps a blog which he calls: «Dorken at large – Outings in search of personal freedom». I like him so here I am, hard-working, cool blogger Eleni, I am blogging about his doings in Ikaria!
As I always do, I will let him speak on his own. But before that,
just let me say only two things: a) Dorken comes from Izmir, a city geographically and historically associated with our islands. It’s so close and so big that in some winter nights when the clouds are low I can see the glow of the lights of his city in the east! b) Some Turks like Dorken, also like a lot of people who come from the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, incarnate the legendary Oriental Oral Narrator – in simpler words, they know how to tell a story and capture the listener!
Go Dorken, speak about my island – your island of freedom!
😊

As always in my blog reviews, if you click on the pictures you see in this article you will be directed to the full posts in the source. There you will find more photos with a few words for each. As you will see, I have borrowed some quotes from Dorken’s posts.  Goes without saying that I am solely responsible for my choices.

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Dorken’s Ikaria : Foreword

Foreword: 'I was one of those kids who loved looking at maps. We didn’t have Google Maps back then, but there were mighty world atlases and we had one of those at home. I would place it on the floor and lose myself in it. I would travel from country to country, mountain to ocean. I was always mesmerized by the map of the Aegean Sea. Perhaps because it was home, perhaps because hundreds of islands scattered across my big blue sea would allow me to create thousands of fantasies in my head, it was a magical map. From his terrace, my grandpa would point out the mountains rising from the sea several miles away and say...'

«…but then, there was another island. One that was somehow magical, and for no special reason. One that I picked for myself, my fantasy island, my island. When I told the name, very few people would have heard of it, even though it was so close to where we lived. In my child’s mind, I would be the king of my island and my own civilization. I would declare my independence lying on the floor of my bedroom, lost in the map. It was years later, when I started reading about it, I was surprised to see that my island was of the same mindset, that it had actually declared its independence in 1912, had its own flag, its own anthem, even if it had lasted for only five months. Yes, that was definitely my island…»

Dorken’s Ikaria: Day 1 – Arrival

Day 1 Arrival: 'Getting to Ikaria is no easy task, I’ll tell you. Despite being one of the largest of the Aegean islands, it seems to be somehow left out of the grid. Although it is clearly visible from the Turkish coast, it is easier to get to Mykonos or Santorini then Ikaria. Well, I hope it will stay that way. The day started early. At 6:30, I was on the bus to Kusadasi. I was sure I had a solid plan – funny me. As there are no direct boats to Ikaria from Turkey, I first had to reach Samos, from where fer-ries run to Agios Kirykos, the administrative centre of Ikaria, couple of times a week – Yes, you cannot just go to Ikaria whichever day you feel like, you have to plan!'

«Getting to Ikaria is no easy task, I’ll tell you. Despite being one of the largest of the Aegean islands, it seems to be somehow left out of the grid. Although it is clearly visible from the Turkish coast, it is easier to get to Mykonos or Santorini then Ikaria. Well, I hope it will stay that way…»

«The entertaining bit of the trip though was to overhear (ok, not overhear, simply listen, yes I like lis-tening to others’ conversations, shush!) twenty something Istanbulites discussing which beach clubs they should go to in Samos. I’m not going to get into details, but I will tell you this much: some of the Turks really have the wrong idea about the Greek islands. They get on the boat to Samos or Chios thinking they will find the same boom boom – fuck me – boom beach clubs they go to in Cesme or Bodrum, and then they are heavily disappointed. Aegean islands, perhaps with the excep-tion of Mykonos and Santorini, is about peace and tranquillity, and very very good ouzo…»

«.So here I am, sitting on my wooden throne on the beach, adoring my kingdom. I just had the most delicious grilled squid and am on my third glass of white wine. Stars are shining, there’s a gentle Greek tune coming from the back, and the sound of the waves from the front. There’s a brave woman going for a swim. Life is good. So far, I love my kingdom.»

Dorken’s Ikaria: Day 2 – Agios Kirykos

Day 2: 'Mornings of any Aegean trip has the same theme: wake up (preferably not too late), instead of jumping under the shower, jump into the sea, sit at a café, have a bite, have a coffee, and another coffee and another one. Why should today be any different? An insight to travelling in Ikaria: public transport on the island is virtually non-existent. There are two buses...'

«Mornings of any Aegean trip has the same theme: wake up (preferably not too late), instead of jumping under the shower, jump into the sea, sit at a café, have a bite, have a coffee, and another coffee and another one. Why should today be any different?»

«Ag. Kirykos is a nice island town (town – village – town? whatever), but nothing spectacular. Nice cafés by the coast to enjoy your book. Few pebble beaches around – not very comfy, but the sea is much warmer than in the nearby islands of Samos and Chios. Nice people. Yeah, that’s it. Summary of the day: swim, have coffee, read book, walk around, have more coffee, plan the next day, have another dip in the sea, and another coffee – yeah that’s really it.»

«Although Greece gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1827, East Aegean Islands still remained part of the empire. In July 1912, the Ikarians said that they had enough with that and revolted under the leadership of a chap named Ioannis Malahias. The Ottomans had their own prob-lems like World War I, so as a result, Free State of Ikaria was declared an independent country on July 17th. Of course, it wasn’t the easiest of times. And with no dowry, no money, no family background, Ikarians had to be glad to be annexed by Greece only five months later in November. To this day, Ikarians are extremely proud of those five months and all around the island, you can see more Free State flags than Greek ones. The flag has a dark blue background with a white cross in the middle – basically Swiss flag turned blue.  🙂 »

Dorken’s Ikaria: Day 3 – Chalares Canyon, Nas, Armenistis

Day 3 – Chalares Canyon, Nas, Armenistis: 'The alarm started ringing at 7:00 am and I got out of the bed at once. The sun was slowly rising over Fourni putting a big smile on my face. Try to wake me up so early during the work week and God knows what I’ll do to you, but today I have a mission: I’m gonna claim the mountains of my island! I had bought stuff for today’s lunch from yesterday evening. All I needed was bread. At this hour, there are only two places open in Therma: the bakery, and interestingly enough, the thermal baths. As you would guess from the name, Therma is known for its thermal baths and you can see oldies in white bathrobes...'

«To get from the south to the north of the island, you have to go up and down the high mountains that run like the spine of Ikaria. The view on both sides is simply breath-taking. One has to be care-ful enjoying the view while driving in Ikaria though. The roads are all very narrow – at some points to the degree that two cars cannot pass at the same time. On one side of the road, there are rocks and on the other side, cliffs several hundred meters high and more rocks at the bottom. Not to worry, you are more likely to come across a goat than a car while driving on the island anyway.»

«I arrived at Nas, at the northwest end of the island towards ten o’clock. Nas is a very small village with a few hotels and restaurants that took the healthy-trendy line. Everything here is organic, healthy, super food and stuff. It’s not difficult to imagine people doing yoga on the beach at sun-rise, which I’m sure they do.»

«Ikaria has an unbelievable amount of well-marked and well-kept walking trails – one might say bet-ter marked and kept than the roads themselves. The one I was going to try today was starting at Nas and following the river along the Chalares Canyon. As the trails are never ending, I decided to walk as long as I found reasonable, then return back either using the same route or some alternative path.»

Dorken’s Ikaria: Day 4 – Evdilos, Kampos and around

Day 4 – Evdilos, Kampos and around: 'The northerly autumn winds begun caressing Ikaria this morning. The sun is still strong, but you know that it is not going to last long. Colors of the season started showing themselves on the trees at higher altitudes. It is the best time of the Aegean. The first activity of the day was a leisurely hike. After covering my feet with band-aid – I am kinda starting to see the wisdom in socks with sandals thing, but not in this lifetime – I decided to take the dirt roads going up from Kampos. It was not going to be anything difficult like yesterday’s, just a few hours of sightseeing really. The roads gently ascend the hills passing by farms and vineyards. After a few dead ends, I seem to have found my way. In any case, if you get really lost lost, just walk down till you meet the sea, not that hard.'

«The northerly autumn winds begun caressing Ikaria this morning. The sun is still strong, but you know that it is not going to last long. Colors of the season started showing themselves on the trees at higher altitudes. It is the best time of the Aegean.»

«The roads gently ascend the hills passing by farms and vineyards. After a few dead ends, I seem to have found my way. In any case, if you get really lost lost, just walk down till you meet the sea, not that hard.»

«As the altitude increased, bushes and olive trees left the scene to pine forest. At the end, I reached my destination point: Theoktistis Monastery. It is really a small monastery this one, but sitting on top of the mountain, the view is well worth the climb. There is a small church at the very entrance with your typical Greek icons and what not. As you climb a bit more though, you come across an-other tiny church which drops your jaw. Imagine that there’s this big rock on the ground, then they built block walls on it, and then using what mythical creature god knows, they placed a gigantic rock on top of it all to serve as a roof. Walking around the church, you realize that the roof bit is ac-tually a massive rock cantilevering out of the mountain. They just built a block wall in between the two rocks. Okay, now it makes sense. It’s a tiny tiny church by the way, the door is barely a meter high or so, you really need to bend down to get in.»

Dorken’s Ikaria: Day 5 – Manganitis

Day 5 – Manganitis : there are no words here, just photos. The words are in the description of the 6th day.

«The south coast of Ikaria is rugged, harsh, so rocky that in most places depriving the trees of the least bit of soil to hang on to. This makes it very difficult for humans to settle, but it is a playground for the goats. These steep hills also shelter some of the most beautiful, tiny, isolated beaches you can find on the island, of which, Seychelles Beach has unequivocal reputation.»

«Here’s another interesting note about Ikaria: After the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 between the nationalists and the communists, the Greek government used Ikaria as an exile location for the de-feated commies. Some 13,000 people affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, KKE, were sent to the island. Considering the current population of Ikaria is just 8,500, you can well imagine the impact of this relocation on the island’s political demographics. And which party do you think wins all the elections on the island today? Yes, you guessed it right :). Even today, the island is referred to by many Greeks as the Red Rock. It is funny though, Ikarians are also very devout Orthodox Christians. Nowhere else have I seen communism and religion going so much hand in hand, but then again, Ikaria is not just any place.»

«…the highlight of the whole day, perhaps the trip, was the tiny, beautiful, under-stated Manganitis village. With houses overlooking the vast blueness that is the Aegean and the cutest little harbour, this fishing village offers the real isolated Greek island beauty in one’s imagination. And the deli-cious Ikarian ratatouille cooked from vegetables grown by the owner of the taverna himself in his backyard, accompanied by a glass of Mythos… for some people, there is heaven, eden, paradise to go to; for the likes of me, there is Manganitis.»

Dorken’s Ikaria: Day 6 – Departure

Day 6 – Departure: 'The south coast of Ikaria is rugged, harsh, so rocky that in most places depriving the trees of the least bit of soil to hang on to. This makes it very difficult for humans to settle, but it is a playground for the goats. These steep hills also shelter some of the most beautiful, tiny, isolated beaches you can find on the island, of which, Seychelles Beach has unequivocal reputation. Here’s another interesting note about Ikaria: After the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 between the nationalists and the communists, the Greek government used Ikaria as an exile location for the de-feated commies. Some 13,000 people affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, KKE, were sent to the island. Considering the current population...'

«Today, I will have a few beers and enjoy my book until the Dodekanisos Seaways hydrofoil takes me to Pythagoreio in Samos, from where I will board the boat back to Kusadasi. I have one and a half hours between the two boats, I hope the connection will be less dramatic than the last one.»

«I have to express my gratitude to the amazing island of Ikaria, for treating me like the king that I am and allowing me to reign over it for six long days – much longer than many mighty nations tried to do. It would be unwise though to outstay my welcome, for I know that the spirit of Ikaria is all about freedom. I will surely miss this red little rock of mine and who knows, perhaps one day…»

«Autumn winds increased their strength over Ikaria today. Gone are the long, warm days of the summer. Whether you like it or not, change is on its way. Things are about to get different, and different we will have to embrace.»

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Come again Dorken! Maybe your ancestors and my ancestors were related! Maybe they were friends!
Let’s be friends too! 😊

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💠 💠 💠
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👩 Eleni

September 20, 2016

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Ακομα κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων


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Hello readers,

everybody is picking olives and this is going to last for many weeks. There isn’t much to say about life here, so let me go on blogging «landscape shots of others». You can read the outlines of this project in  the first part of the series. which begins with a (w) memorial gallery of my own Ikarian landscapes from the glorious past. In my previous entry I got carried away into metaphysics and escapist thoughts but I promise this time I will be more sober. No more rocks and cliffs where only eagles, hermits and crazy Ikarians would take their chances. The landscapes I chose today are smooth and reasonable, at least as smooth and reasonable as an island like Ikaria can be…  😉

The choice was made using the oh! so useful Flickr Search «Ikaria + landscape» (refresh if it doesn’t load) sorted by «relevance» giving results oh! so wonderfully untouristically random and magical almost like a crystal sphere.

Here are the 12 shots I chose: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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This was the third dozen of my landscape shots of others chosen among the not so popular and less known pictures. I thought they deserved to be seen. We don’t live on the beach. We live inside of around these landscapes! So this is it. The fourth part which, God will, be uploaded in the New Year, is going be a surprise!i Wait and see…

to be continued…
Fascination surf

Eleni Ik ❤

Thursday December 18, 2014


κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων


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The island

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Rediscovering the mountainous secret nature of my island through a series of chosen photos of landscapes -empty landscapes, as I like to call them- taken by others. You may read the basics about this project which is going to be deployed in several blog entries, in my previous post: «the landscapes of others» . After an introductory (w) memorial gallery of my old landscape shots, that set contained popular high quality pictures of rather well known spots of Ikaria. Unlike them, however, these ones are practically unknown. They are pictures taken in obscure locations or at times of the year other than the two crowded summer months. So I suppose they were underrated because they were uninteresting to tourists. Yet, they are also quality pictures and have a lot to say about the island as it evolves through winter and summer, bad and good weather, rolling geography under dark clouds or bright blue skies. They are the unknown landscapes of others, the landscapes of us who love our island and never stop to explore it, us who live there all year long -or at least try. 😥

Eleni in IkariaThe choice was made using the oh! so useful Flickr Search «Ikaria + landscape» sorted by «relevance» giving results oh! so wonderfully and untouristically random and magical almost like a crystal sphere.

Here are the 11 shots I chose: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Ikaria by ASK, on Flickr

Ikaria

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_IGP1736 by Paul Lewis, on Flickr

_IGP1736

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Pezi Sunset by Tragopodaros, on Flickr

Pezi Sunset

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In the Olives lies the Income | Eleni's blog in IkariaThat was the second part of landscape photos from Ikaria with a stress on the mountainous nature of the island. The third part will be more or less in the same style. The land is closing in for winter and everybody is getting ready to pick olives …

to be continued…

Eleni Ik ❤

Monday October 27, 2014