Tag: Macedonia

  • Aliakmonas’ estuary - Albanian shepherd in the wilderness

    Alone in the wilderness for 18 years.

    His Albanian name is Ali, but the Greeks call him Alexis. He comes from Librazhd of Albania and has been living in Greece for 18 years, most of which at the estuary of the Aliakmonas river, where he grazes sheep. He works in the heart of a biotope under conditions of absolute wilderness and solitude, away from people but close to birds and other wildlife.

  • Ano Skotina, Pieria - Intensive nature worship courses

    He teaches children useful skills.

    "In the morning, we collect  oregano, wood and other materials to process in the workshop. Then someone plays the flute in the forest and we close our eyes and walk along a path between two ropes following its sound".

  • Doiran Lake - A self-taught borderline guard

    Doiran Lake, the ultimate blue. The village of Doiran ahead and FYROM in the background.

    “Unfortunately my father’s name was Giannis and not Vardinogiannis (a Greek tycoon), that's why I live up here in the wilderness. I have four children, but none of them chose the cattle farmers profession, because the money we make selling one kilo of milk is not even enough for a small bottle of water. It’s not only that merchants sell the milk four times its original value, they also take the butter out of it and the only thing left is the water”.

  • Doirani lake - Charming but decadent

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    "Until 1986 we all used to swim in the lake along with our children, we didn't even know what the sea was like. People used to come from nearby villages on carts, tractors or on foot, to swim and fish. The waters were very clean, there were no sewage or trash, both Greeks and Yugoslavs were very careful. During World War I, English soldiers used to wash their wounds in the lake's water, because they believed it was thermal water and it would heal their wounds".

  • Doirani lake - Unaffected world

    30 doirani limni anepafos kosmos

  • Estuary of Loudias river - Mussels with crumb

    Theodore Photopoulos pulls up the mussels and cleans them from the seaweed.

    "Mussels are sensitive to temperature change. The heat kills them and the cold delays their growth. The 'kokoretsia' (the rope where the mussels are grown) must reach the bottom of the seabed, so that crabs can go up and eat the spawn that covers the mussels and clean them. Crabs weigh over 400 grams and have claws that can cut a whole fish in the middle".

  • Katerini - Passion for pigeons

    A diver pigeon. When it grows up it will dive downwards from great heights, making a buzz.

    “When I was in primary school, I saw a neighbor training pigeons. He called them divers, because they used to fly very high and dive downwards. I liked the show and the buzz they made as they were heading down. A moment before they reached the pigeon house they opened their wings and slowed down. Some didn’t make it and got killed on the paved road”.

  • Katerini, Pieria - Abstract beauty

    43 paralia katerinis afairetiki omorfia

  • Katerinoscala, Pieria - Pilot leader of the pack

    He owns 500 animals and birds and treats each one of them as a unique entity.

    "When my daughter got A in primary school I gave her a Cocker Spaniel as a reward. That was when my great love for animals was born. After a while I bought German Shepheard’s, Rottweilers, Labradors, Yorkshires, cats, hens, doves, gooses, peacocks. I also bought an estate so that they would have enough space to live”.

  • Kerkini Lake - A wildlife refuge

    The environmental “paradise” of the regional unit of Serres. The majority of the people living in the lakeside villages consider the protection of the wild birds and animals a personal affair. The development rhythm of the area is mild so as not to disturb the frail ecosystem. Cow and buffalo herds roam the lands around the lake. A boat-ride in the lake with a "plava" (a type of boat with a flat bottom) is a unique experience.

  • Kerkini lake - Carpet of water lilies

    Kerkini lake - Carpet of water lilies

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  • Kerkini lake - We all eat from the same plate

    He has been showing tourists the 'magic' of the lake for decades. His tours are like a rite of passage.

    "When I go fishing, pelicans are also fishing close to my boat. Once, I heard a strange noise and turned my head to see a peculiar image. A pelican was trying to swallow a fish, but it was big and the half of it was still hanging out of its beak. The tail looked about a foot long, so I deducted that it was a big fish. I jumped into the water, waded through the mud, grabbed the bird and pulled the fish out of its mouth. It was too much for the pelican, he couldn't swallow it. And I had needs... A couple of hours later, I sold the fish in the village and earned 3.500 drachmas. It was a good amount of money back then".

  • Kitros, Pieria - Her soles are burning

    Kitros of Pieria - Her soles are burning

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  • Litochoron, Pieria - Shoes made of pure leather

    There are still some devoted customers who keep ordering shoes from traditional shoemakers. "At first I used cowhide (red and black leather) to make strong shoes for mule riders. They had nails in the soles so as not to be worn out too quickly. Then I used to make sewn shoes as well, which were fashionable for grooms. Nowadays there are still some aficionados who insist in ordering sewn shoes. They seem to like them and pay good sums of money for them. In the last few years though, I was hardly making by with my job, as the price of leather shot up because of the appearance of industrial shoes. From 30 drachmas per kilo it reached 15 euros and counting".

  • Litochoron, Pieria - The saddle can't be withstood by all animals

    The last saddler of Litochoron fills a saddle with rye straw."Like all men don't wear the same size of clothes, animals need different kinds of saddles as well. In the previous years, animals used to get sweat and hurt by heavy loads. The animals experienced poverty just like people did. People couldn't get enough of food, how were they supposed to feed their animals? Few people used to feed them, the rest of them just left them in their fate, wandering in the mountains looking for food".

  • Lofos, Katerini - You never get enough of Olympus

    42 lofos katerinis den xortaineis na vlepeis ton olympo

  • Loudias River Delta - A beautiful and endangered wetland

    The delta of Loudias River is a place of wildlife and primitive beauty, which is why it has been included in the Ramsar Convention and the European Natura network. This is where some rare species of birds and animals find shelter and reproduce. As it is near the national highway Athens - Thessaloniki, it is being severely threatened by human corporate interventions.

  • Megalochori, Serres - The buffalo's fatty milk

    Buffalos are rare in Greece and they're mostly bred in the north of Serres county.

    "Being a shepherd means no feasts and holidays, that's why young boys can't stand it. It is financially rewarding, but it is very binding. My son is a linguist in Serres and my daughter an accountant in Thessaloniki, there is no way they would ever consider continuing my work. The herd will exist only as long as I do".

  • Mount Athos - A day in a monastery

    Vatopedi Abbey. Its beauty can't be disputed.

    Α day in Mount Athos begins and ends in the church. Monks move along like shadows in the dim light, singing hymns that have been perfected after years of repetition. In monasteries, monks work hard in order to exercise their faith, take care of the huge and old buildings but also to feed the thousands of visiting worshipers whilst always being available to listen to their pain or joy.

  • Mount Athos - First impression

    Docheiario Monastery. One of the most imposing buildings of Mount Athos.

    Every morning of every season, Ouranopolis port at Chalkidiki is crowded by men waiting for the ship that goes to Mount Athos. That's where the end of the "modern" world is; beyond this point there are no highways and no limos. Only narrow paths. The boat that leads to Daphne passes near desolate and peaceful coasts, like the ones that existed in the old times, without massive buildings and factory chimneys.

  • Mount Athos - Painful departure

    Zografu Abbey. Like a drawing near the sea.

    The boat returning from the Mount Athos glides in the sea like a sled on snow. Minute by minute the mountain is left behind, looking like like a step that unites heaven and earth. In the passengers' eyes, monasteries don't look like imposing and massive buildings anymore, but like calm shelters.

  • Mount Athos - The veil of truth

    Mount Athos - The veil of truth

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  • Olympus - German hikers comment on the Greeks

    The view of Pieria’s plain from mount Olympus is breathtaking for the climbers.

    "Based on Greek mythology and the ancient statues we thought that Greeks would be thin and fit, but instead we saw many overweight people and especially children. We were impressed by the beauty of the Greek women, but they would be much more beautiful if they controlled their weight".

  • Paliampela, Pieria - Like the old jar makers

    He makes whistles just like the ancient Greeks used to.

    "In order to understand an art you have to study its roots. That is the reason why, on numerous occasions, I travelled to Thrapsano of Heraklion Crete, the “centre” of pottery from the ancient times. I also went to Margarites of Rethymnon where I had the chance to study under Nicholaos Kavgalakis, also known as Mastrokavgalakis, a great craftsman and a good man willing to talk to me. Others don't answer questions fully. I was trained to Charokopio, Vounaria and Compoi of Koroni, under George Aggelopoulos. There they make jars using only local soil and in a completely primitive way. They don't even use a wheel. The jar doesn’t spin around in front of them, the craftsmen go around it”.

  • Poroi, Pieria - Who would come up here in the mountains?

    He does a honest primordial job and produces pure meat and milk.

    "What do I think when I shepherd my goats? I think of wolves and the possibility of them eating my goats, and wonder where I might find a shady place to rest, what else? Last year the wolves ate eight of my goats and a dog. Once I saw the goats jumping around in fear. The wolf had bitten one of them on the neck and was getting ready to eat it, but the dogs intervened and saved it. Another time, I was lying under a fence when I heard a noise. I stood up and saw a wolf standing frozen in its spot. I was scared to death and by the looks of it so was the wolf. I yelled loudly and it ran off, but then it circled to the back of the herd to eat the animals. They always do that; they are smart".

  • Prespes Lakes - Magnificent though abandoned

    Beautiful lakes at high altitude and among high mountains.

    "It is easy to have a child, but it’s difficult to raise it here. When I was young I worked as a shepherd, then I was drawn to the sea and became a fisherman due to poverty. I raised my children with my one and only boat until they could leave and search for a better future elsewhere”.

  • Salt pit at Kitros, Pieria - A paradise for birds and photographers

    Salt corrodes everything and creates the illusion of absolute stillness.

    During one of our visits to the Kitros salt pit in Pieria, a pintail (type of duck) was flying over our heads, ceaselessly quacking. At times, it flew so close to us that it hit the top of our heads with its beak. We then realized we had accidentally come close to its nest and its ducklings and was trying to drive us away. We felt like rude intruders and sheered away.

  • Thessaloniki - Blues is the truth

    Their concerts are unique.

    "I used to be naive and romantic. I thought that through music I would be able to share the pain and the joy with my friends, but I was disappointed. Some people use music as a weapon and they fight amongst themselves. We don’t want any part of this. We close our eyes and sing, not looking at the cameras when they turn towards us".

  • Thessaloniki Seafront - Vast and peaceful

    The seafront of Thessaloniki is vast and viewed as a relaxing haven for residents and visitors. The inland of the city is modern and lively, yet the beach remains peaceful and seems unchanged over time. Those who have lived in Thessaloniki even for a couple of years always fondly recall their walks on the seafront.

  • Vegoritida Lake - How long can this paradise resist?

    The residents in Arnissa complain that the lake's fish are getting fewer and fewer.

    "The carps aren't biting today; I have been standing here for hours, but I didn't catch any. You wouldn't believe what a great meal they make, cooked with some potatoes and onions. It is like stew, delicious. Anyway, I won't leave empty-handed, I got some butterflyfish, and I hope they are enough for a decent meal for my family".

  • Vidronisi, Small Prespa Lake - Inhabited only by birds

    A boat passing near Vidronisi agitated the birds.

    The residents of the villages around Prespes tell a story about the creation of the lakes. "Once upon a time, in the middle of the fields there was a big drinking fountain, from which people got the water for irrigation. One night someone forgot to switch it off and the water flooded the fields. That's how the lakes were created and they will never run dry because the fountain in the lake bed can't be turned off".

  • Volunteer Action Team of Pieria - Evolving into a powerful movement

    Despite the fatigue due of distributing a hundred tons of potatoes, the team morale thrives.

    "We first thought of starting the Volunteer Team in 2007, after the summer fires in the Peloponnese. After a while we created a team of voluntary fire protection, to keep an eye on the forests and inform the Fire Department if we saw a fire. That's how our idea came to life and we decided to name it: I give my day to the forest".