Vasilios Mesitides, our host, turned out to be the first Greek to travel around the world by bike.Literally by bike, which meant 14 months 54000 km through 40 countries on 4 continents. Its the stuff of movies what he did yet he went on about it so casually while cooking us a delicious asian stir-fry (we try to limit our amazement at this point).
Thursday, September 23, 2010
This was the only thing about Kozani everyone was right about: Coal-powered electrical plants. Its true that there are many surrounding the city but not too near from it. We went to visit one and tried to gain access into its premises - to no avail. A bit frustrated we walk back to the car and meet a worker on his way out. It makes us consider the many other dimensions of the phenomenon of power plants. Theres the dimension of work/jobs that provide for thousands of families, theres the dimension of energy that is being utilized by the city, by people who work, students, hospitals, machinery. Its a big web that binds everybody, even without you knowing. Sustainability is still ideal and should be aspired and performed in all possible ways but on top of that, theres the great challenge of educating people out of their dependency on the machinery that binds them. For that to happen, it will take some more time, more efforts, more experience.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We didn't know much about Kozani except that it was home to coal-powered electrical plants with air heavy of smoke and the clothes you hang to dry end up covered with soot, and basically, it is nothing of real interest for any foreigner or local - as told by some of the Greeks we met. Now that isn't exactly the most inviting description for any place but anyway, we looked forward to meeting Michalis, our host, a mechanical engineering student.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
"Did you expect it to be like this?", Fra often asks me this question whenever we go to a new place and although my answer is often no, because I hardly expect anything and prefer to be surprised than disappointed, I did have an expectation of Meteora and it wasn't met. Instead, it surpassed everything I could have conceived in my brain and it was so powerful that it hit straight through me and made my soul grow. Grow and grow and grow! Wait a minute, I have a soul? Its a miracle.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Two different places in one day.
Lamia - progressive city, small streets, big appetite, home of Nikos Tsonis, politician of the socialist party who agreed to be interviewed and offered to host us for a night. After taking us for a walk around town and shaking the hands of almost anyone in the streets, we learned quickly the importance of community, or at least connections, in any system of power.
Thermopyles - with its receeding shoreline that vaguely reminded us of Sumeria and Mesopotamia, grand cities of antiquity now transformed into the desert land of Iraq, we began to ponder how it would be in several decades to a century. Back in 480BC in this same spot 300 men from Sparta fought with thousands (nay, a million! -according to the little history plaque on site) of Persians. Now, there are olives covering the hills among ruins of an acropolis that probably fell after centuries of erosion, earth quakes or just the decaying effect of time and forgetfulness. We went all the way to the top and marveled at the unusual land and water formations unique to Greece. Its still absolutely stunning.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
4 days in Kythnos turned out to be much more than we expected. After the initial shock (met with a slight feeling of doom that can only be compared to being at the mercy of gods), we went in and flowed with the flow anyway. Foreigners don't often ponder their ignorance which, in our case, was exactly the case. However, this seemed to work out extra well as we went from adventure to surprise each and every single day. The landscape and its bare furnishings was clearly not the end of the story. All the people we met, the places we walked and swam to with its little nooks and corners, witnessing the light bounce off our cheeks and on the hills, changing colors and smelling different smells, tasting different tastes - just so many things have touched us, shaken us from not abiding to the law of "Do not Judge a book by its cover".
Experience like this makes you happy about being wrong sometimes. It makes surprises all the more surprising.