Tag: People

  • Kifissia, Athens - He sings about the achievements of Kolokotronis

    Father Chris Kyriakopoulos is a great musician.

    "The songs about Kolokotronis touched my soul without me noticing it. Everyone used to sing in my village and in my home too. My mother used to say: In the evening we'll go visit your uncle and you can sing for us. I’ll pay you five cents for your performance. If my silence and embarrassment didn't go away she would tell me again: You better sing, otherwise I will have to give you ten cents".

  • 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”.

  • Nicosia, Cyprus - A patisserie in the Dead Zone


    In Nicosia, Cyprus there is a traditional patisserie next to the fortification sacks and barrels that separate the free from the occupied part of the city. Its owner is Thodoris Disios, from the Greek village Kria Vrisi in Giannitsa.

  • 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”.

  • Athens- They are optimistic and are staying in Greece


    So many young scientists are abandoning Greece for a better future abroad that it is actually newsworthy when Greeks decide to stay and invest in their homeland.

  • Ritsona, Euboea - The heart aches when you play the ney


    George Apostolakis makes a reed musical instrument, called the ney, in his workshop in Ritsona, close to Halkida. The ney produces a warm and hoarse sound. It has its roots in the Near East and gives Greek traditional music a special quality. 


  • Nomikiana, Sfakia, Crete - Rebel priest

    Strong- willed, courageous and with a child-like innocence.

    "How stupid can those who govern us be? They've ruined this country. It pains me to say it but unfortunately that's the truth. We are importing most of our products from other countries, while the local produce remains unsold. Even in Loutro of Sfakia, a very small village only accessible by boat, imports its honey from Argentina".

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) - Pages of Hellenism

    They returned to Constantinople to save the Evening Post, the historical Greek newspaper.

    Eighty six years have passed since the Greek daily newspaper "Evening Post" was first released in Constantinople. Along with the Turkish Cumhuriyet, they are both Turkey's oldest newspapers. The Evening Post used to sell 30,000 papers, which was more than the Turkish newspapers used to sell, as the Greeks were numerous and they used to read a lot, due to their high educational level. Nowadays it sells 600 papers, 90% of which are being sold in Constantinople and the rest of them in Greece. As the number of the Greek-speaking families in Constantinople is equal to the Evening Post's circulation, this newspaper could be easily included in the Guinness Book, since it's being read by the 99,9% of its potential readers.

  • Saint Paraskevi, Amari, Crete - The last saddler

    Nobody asks Costis Fountoulakis to make saddles any more. His art has become obsolete.

    Costis Fountoulakis started learning the art of saddling a horse near Georgis Tsachakis in Saint Galin, who had 5-6 employees back then. But during the German Occupation, when the Englishmen started bombing the Germans at the port, his mother was afraid that her boys would be killed and took them to Apodoulou village, in the inland of the region Amari, in order to save them. That is where saddler Nicholas Rizikianos had his shop, and Costis Fountoulakis immediately started to work there as an intern.

  • Manolis Rasoulis - Love lasts forever

    Lost in the darkness: one of his concerts in Saint Fotini in Amari of Rethymnon Crete.

    Manolis Rasoulis used to travel a lot to explore the world and write music. We are close friends and fellow travellers in some journeys and found out we have a common artisitc purpose. He had his pen and I had my camera to express the world and people's lives. We met for the last time a few days before he died, when he was reciting a prologue during a music event for Manos Hadjidakis at the haunt of "Ianos" bookshop. "When one loses limits one must take measures" he said among other things to the audience, referring to the economic crisis that's plaguing our country.

  • Raki (tsikoudia) - Cretan spirit

    Raki is being produced by the use of very old methods, without the help of any modern device or technology.

    When you knock on someone's door in Crete a smiling face comes into sight saying: "Welcome, have some raki". Offering raki is like an invitation to a more intimate approach and communication among people. Especially people who take part to the production “ritual” of the drink reach high levels of comradeship.

  • Vouvas, Sfakia, Crete - He writes under the shadow of the White Mountains

    He writes about the history of Sfakia and its people under a mulberry tree.

    "I have written fifteen books and four more containing articles I wrote and were published in newspapers. I don't try to publish all of them because I couldn't sell more than twenty or thirty. I am satisfied with giving a photocopy to my children and some friends".

  • Santorini Island - Fisherman and lutanist

    He often plays the lute on his boat and his son Antonis accompanies him with his violin.

    "I don't fear the sea at all and the possibility of me drowning never crosses my mind. Whenever I can't see the sea, even from afar, I feel afraid and think I'm dying. I was once taken to Panagia Sumela church inMacedoniaa and I hardly managed not to go crazy in the mountains. I suppose that Holy Mary saved me".

  • Ostrakina, Arcadia - I was born in the snow

    He flattens the snow on the ski slopes of Maenalus mount with his tracked vehicle.

    "My father is passionate about mountains and snow. Since I was a forty day-old baby he used to carry me on his shoulders and take me to the highest tops of the mountains. My mother didn't agree with that, but she had patience, she couldn't do otherwise. So I have the same passion. Even my wife was tested before I married her, she had to love the snow and learn how to ski".

  • Livadi, Elassona - Welcomed by the Vlachs

    She'd rather keep living in the village near her friends than move to the city and live with her children.

    "Gkini vinish, tsi phatsi?" (welcome, how do you do?). This is the Vlach greeting Stella Kratsiotis used as she welcomed us into her home. "Gkini, voi hits gkini?" (fine, how are you?), answered my Vlach friend, who set up the interview with Stella. 

  • Elati, Gortynia - Enchanted by the mountain

    He is charmed by the trees and the unrivalled variety of their branches.

    "I studied economics and my dream was to work with agricultural associations, but I ended up being an accountant in a plumbing association. I didn't like this job, I didn't like Athens either, and I was always looking for a chance to leave. I couldn't feel free in this city, I couldn't assimilate the images and the messages, and I was totally lost. When I became 28 years old I realised that I had been walking the wrong way and decided to reset my odometer. I was done with education and I was done with the jobs that didn't offer any meaning to my life".

  • Pyrgos, Santorini Island - Fava beans and "feredinia"

    He digs and makes a cave to keep his wines.

    "I dig with a pickaxe and make a cave in which I keep my wines. Among other elements, Santorini's soil contains pumice stone. The pickaxe I use is slightly different than the standard ones; it was specially made by a Roma blacksmith. The island's caves remained intact after the catastrophic earthquake of 1956; they're safe and cool. The day before yesterday the temperature in my concrete garage was 29 degrees Celsius while in the cave it was only 19".

  • 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".

  • Santorini Island - Vine growers for thousands of years

    The door and the window were opened just for the photo shoot, because the light harms he wines.

    "My father produced 80-100 tons of wine per year until 1974 and it was all sold to the French. We used to call it "mourouka" and they called it Bordeaux. We used to carry the wine on 100-200 animals loaded with four goat sacks each. We took them to Fira coast, where we poured the wine into barrels. Afterwards, we used to wash the sacks with sea water in order to protect the leather".

  • Kapsia, Arcadia - He doesn't use pesticides in his Vineyard

    Mantinea's plateau has has vineyards since antiquity."I leave the keys on the door so that my friends can get in. I don't care if a stranger gets into the winery and takes one or two kilos of wine. I liberated myself from this stress; I don't even need a dog to protect me. I once had one who used to bark and scare people; that's why I gave him to a friend".

  • Athens - Bending the light

    He handles the light being focused on subtle details.

    “I woke up one morning and found a small camera next to my pillow, a gift from my uncle who was a photographer. I immediately went out and took photos of the neighbourhood. I remembered that film is light-sensitive, so I entered a closet and unfolded it, thinking that this way I will get to see the pictures. But I wasn’t able to see in the dark so I opened the closet's door a little, but still I couldn’t make them out. Completely disappointed, I headed to the neighbourhood photographer, in Heraklion of Crete. I showed him the unfolded film but instead of photos he 'treated' me to a rude gesture. He teased me relentlessly for years, even more so when I became a known photographer”.

  • Athens - Communication with the olive tree

    She adores the olive tree because it is a hard and not easily harnessed kind of wood.

    "Since I was a child, olive trees used to remind me of ancient crowns. It was a long time untyil 2004, when on the occasion of the Olympic Games, the Academy of Athens asked me to make two wedding wreaths out of olive branches. They wanted to expose them in the "In Praise of the Olive" exhibition which connected the olive tree to birth, marriage and death".

  • Vrilissia, Athens - Old style threads and wool store

    Always kind and helpful.

    "A man once came to rent our store and told us: I'm going to make it into a café, it will be modern, I'll even put some marble. I'm going to rent it for two million drachmas. But we didn't accept. We have owned the store since 1947 and we are emotionally attached to it. Besides, if we left it what would we do to pass the time?"

  • Ioannina - Carving the silver

    He keeps the art of silverware alive since he was a child.

    "I'm not a gold-silversmith, just a silversmith. Since my youth I didn't like school, maybe it was because of the way teachers treated and punished us. In 1971 I went to Athens and apprenticed for two and a half years near a craftsman from Ioannina. I remember him advising me: Put 70% of artistry and 30% of manufacture. He was right, if I put 100% artistry I wouldn't find a buyer, but if I cared more about the manufacturing process I wouldn't keep the art alive".

  • 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”.

  • Eleusis, Attica - Greece has been always inside me

    Amateur fishermen spending their time fishing in Eleusis

    "One of the many reasons why I love Greece is the sea. It's a pity that my motherland Armenia doesn't have seas. I enjoy fishing on Sundays; it's more like a hobby to me. I don't see why I should stay at home. When I do it, I find myself running errands for the women."

  • Keratsini, Piraeus - Guided by the stars

    Saint Nicholas port in Keratsini.

    "The nicest feeling for me is to travel alone in the morning, because that's when I can get away from my problems. It is wonderful for me to see the lighthouses and estimate the place where I am standing. Every lighthouse blinks in its own way, each one unique. Even though I have a GPS I don't use it, I prefer finding my way by trial and error. At nights I look at the sky, I see the Southern Cross and orient myself".

  • Syrrako, Ioannina - The last shepherd

    Tolis the shepherd rears rare breed sheep, known as "komisana".

    "I don't even have the time to go to Ioannina for a coffee. I'm occupied with the animals 24/7; if I abandon them they will abandon me as well. I'm not a civil servant, so I have no vacation time. The prime minister has more free time than I do". 45 year-old Tolis Psochios is the last shepherd left in the historical Syrrako, which is located on the slope of Peristeri mountain in eastern Epirus, at ab altitude of 1,200 meters.

  • Amari, Rethymnon, Crete - First the voice and then the lyre

    His name will someday be written in capital letters in the musical history of Crete.

    Ever since he was a child, lyre player Manolis Diamantakis, from Fourfouras village of Amari, Rethymnon, had an inclination to music. The only problem was that he had neither a lyre nor a bow. In the beginning, he made a makeshift lyre out of pear tree wood, with strings made of leather straps. He used horsetail hairs for the bow and struggled to play.

  • Tripolis - The adventure of Kolokotronis's bones

    The statue of Kolokotronis in Areos square of Tripolis.

    The tomb of Kolokotronis is in the 1st Athens Cemetery, but his bones were transferred to Tripolis in 1930 by Eleftherios Venizelos himself. There wasn’t a Greek who didn't kneel before the horse drawn carriage that carried the bones of Kolokotronis from Athens to Tripolis. Eyes welled up and hearts beat fast. Kolokotronis's bones were placed in a crypt at the base of the Heroes Memorial of 1821, which is in Areos square in Tripolis. This spot was considered sacred and every year, on March 25th, residents used to lay wreaths and organize memorials for The Old Man. Unfortunately, though, in 1942 Italian conquerors defaced the square.

  • Mantinea, Arcadia - He caresses moschophilero

    He has a limited production, but it's pure and exquisite.

    “Every night, after the sunset behind Maenalus Mountain, the wind stops blowing and extreme calm surrounds us. The only sounds that can be heard are those made by little frogs living in the lakes around. On Sunday night, the ribbiting mixes with the sounds of the cars from far away, as they return to Athens.”

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) - He reads books all the time

    Someone offered him an AEK scarf,  a football team in Katerini, and he sees it as a treasure.

    Vasilis Lamprianides is lives at the Baloukli Greek nursing home in Constantinople. His room is clean as a whistle and filled with books and Greek dictionaries. He went to Greece in 1977 and returned to Constantinople in 2005 to spend the rest of his life there. He is not abandoned in the nursing home, on the contrary; he lives in a decent, well-staffed environment with the Greek hospital's doctors just a door away in case of emergency.

  • Levidi, Gortynia - Preserving the face of Kolokotronis

    The creator of the Arcadian Museum of Art and History next to the plaster cast of Kolokotronis's face.

    Theodore Kolokotronis died in Athens on February 3rd, 1843. His remains were laid out in a church in Athens, so the public could pay its respects. While the great general was on his deathbed, an unknown artist casted his face. This way, the facial characteristics of Kolokotronis, also known in Greece as the “Old Man of the Morea*”, were salvaged. This historical and valuable cast is kept at the Historical and Ethnological Museum of Athens.

  • Symi - Underwater for four minutes

    All houses are traditional and pastel-colored at Symi.

    In 1912, the Italian warship Regina Margerita reached Karpathos Island and released its anchor. However, the chain got loose fell into the sea along with the anchor.  The Italian admiral who was on the ship immediately asked for the help of the local people on the island.

  • Santorini Island - He enchants with his violin

    He carries his violin with him even when fishing.

    “I play music many hours a day. I start in the morning with the violin and then I go on with the piano. During the summer I stop for a while to swim and then I play the violin again”. Antonis Prekas from Emporio of Santorini is the son of the famous lute player Kyriakos and the grandson of the great violinist Antonis.

  • Halandri, Athens - Twelve hundred articles about Kolokotronis


    "I never accepted any payment for my work from a journal or any other printed material. It is unthinkable for me to get paid for writing about Theodoros Kolokotronis”. Nick Papageorgiou spent 30 consecutive years writing about incidents from Kolokotronis's life in the local newspaper "Gortynia". Papageorgiou, a self-taught historian and journalist has written 1,200 short stories about the so called ‘Old Man of the Morea’ to date.

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) - Hunkiar beyendi

    Her house has Greek touches and everything is perfectly placed within it.

    "We can see that Hellenism is fading out but we won't leave. It's hard to leave behind something that works for you and rebuild your life from scratch. Besides, even though we were spoilt as children, we are also taught how to stand on our feet during hardships. We are not only 'fair weather' children".

  • Trieste, Italy - He adores Pericles and roast lamb on the spit

    From a village of Crete to multinational Trieste.

    Myron Lagouvardos, from the village Apostoloi in Rethymnon, studied pharmaceutics in Trieste but preferred to permanently live there, because he was charmed by its beauty and multicultural character. He never thought he was going to like being a pharmacist. He preferred to open what was to be a marvellous Cretan restaurant. Many of his cooking ingredients come directly from Crete and they are very popular to his customers, many of whom are famous Italian politicians and artists.

  • Livadi, Elassona - Only their teeth were white

    They constantly groom and shoe their horses, because these animals help them earn money.

    After the wildfires of 2007 in the Peloponnese, Greeks anxiously awaited the forest workers who barricaded the slopes of the burnt mountains with tree trunks. They were viewed as saviours. But how many people wondered where they came from and how they learned this job?

  • Leonidio, Kynouria, Arcadia - The oldest Greek shop

    Many things are being sold in the store, even authentic national costumes made by the owners themselves.

    "My great-grandfather was traveling from Crete and because of the rough sea, the ship stopped at Maleas Cape of South Peloponnese. He lived a big adventure that he used to talk about all the in the following years, he used to talk about it so often that we gave him the nickname Maleas. That is why I am also called Maleas".

  • 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".

  • 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".

  • 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".

  • 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”.

  • Mimis Domazos - Fuelling our dreams

    Typical confrontation in the court.

    "I used to think I would never stop playing football. Even as a player for Panathinaikos I used to play in the streets every morning and in the championship court in the evenings. My mind used to get more tired than my feet did. I had to be skilful, pass to Antoniadis, and avoid the strikes. When I returned home after the match I had to be left alone for about an hour, so that my mind could get some rest".

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) - My passion helps me hold on

    Dimitris Fragkopoulos, a great Greek.

    “The old stories, the ones about past glories and Emperor Constantine Paleologos, we’ve heard them all being narrated in conferences in Greece and we’ve understood them well. The issue is what we are going to do from now on in order not to become extinct. The Greeks of Constantinople who permanently returned to Greece ask us why we haven’t left too. We don’t like this question. Did we ever ask them why they left? We justified them, we understood them, we felt their pain, but let us not be judged in the end”.

  • Elati, Gortynia - He sings rare songs about Theodoros Kolokotronis

    He sings some rare songs about Theodoros Kolokotronis, which have never been recorded in vinyl discs.

    Into the deep fir forest of Maenalus, which looks like a jungle, there's the small village called Elati. One of the ten residents left in the village, is Leonidas Zafeiropoulos, the man who has raised a flag portraying Theodoros Kolokotronis at the entrance of his shop.

  • Constantinople (Istanbul) - We are the salt of the City

     Turks learning Greek dances. There is a great interest about Greek arts in Constantinople.

    "I was born the year the Turks invaded Cyprus. It was all black back then. I grew up in my father's grocery store on Imvros, among spices, dried red peppers and okras threaded on small ropes. I kept my Greek nationality". Musician Stelios Berberis came to Greece in order to study economics and learn traditional music under Domna Samiou. When he finished his studies he came back to Constantinople.

  • Livadi, Elassona - The mule driver’s tyranny

     His love for horses kept him in his village.

    "We're talking about poverty here. Do you think that horses don't eat much? How am I supposed to feed them? Each one of them eats a tone of barley per year, not to mention the hay. Three thousand euros isn't enough for me to buy a horse, plus five hundred for the saddle and the leads. The cheapest chainsaw reached the price of a thousand euros. All these years, I only have a tyrannical life to remember, and nothing else".

  • Tripolis - He enlivens the wood

    He makes money in an honest way, using his chisel and he promotes a scarce art that tends to disappear.

    "As a young man I worked at a traditional woodcarving laboratory in Athens with a good salary of 20,000 drachmas per week, but I stayed there less than a year, because they didn't care much about the details. I got a job at another lab for 6,000 per week, where they didn't like mindless working. I preferred earning less money and learning more about the job. Today's young people make something and want to immediately make money out of it; they don't care about learning by other people's experience".

  • Kessariani, Athens - Taming titanium

    She spends at least forty hours of hard work to make a jewel out of titanium.

    "Some time ago I was introduced to a 70year-old woman. When she held my hand she said: What is this ring that you're wearing? I like it very much. Would you wear a ring like that? I asked her. Definitely yes, she answered. Old women usually wear brilliants and golden jewels, but she had a strong personality and was attracted by the titanium ring".

  • Kouroutes, Amari, Crete - I stayed here to be a blacksmith

    The blacksmith

    If you stop to ask for directions formation when passing through a village of Amari, you will definitely be invited to drink a glass of "raki" (local strong alcoholic drink). Georgis Sarris, from Kouroutes village, is a blacksmith. His shop is on the public road and when a traveler stops to ask him something, Georgis always insists of treating him to something from the nearby coffeehouse. The café owner has placed a bench on the sidewalk, where the blacksmith and his friends sit and gaze at the tops of Ida mountain, which is there, right in front of them.

  • Ellinika, Kea Island - He gives life to their solitude

    He loves all animals without exception.

    “My school is not here, it’s in another village called Kato Meria. It’s 3-seated and has 19 children. We have three teachers, Mrs. Effie, Mrs. Zapheiroula and Mrs. Dionysia, the headmistress. My village has no other children except for me and my sister, whom I can’t stand because she’s really young and keeps screaming”.

  • Athens - The colours of Faith

     The hagiographer's palette, that turns blank walls into Saints' memorials.

    "The priest in my village, Plikati of Ioannina, used to paint icons. I made a Virgin Mary with his help, which I later showed to my hagiography teacher Nikos Stratoulis, in Athens. When he saw it he asked me: What do you want to be, a painter or a hagiographer? I was confused; I didn't know what to answer. What if he didn’t like my answer and told me to take a hike? I told him that I wanted to become a hagiographer in order to please him. He looked at me with a satisfied look and told me: Come again on Monday and wear some old trousers, so you don’t get dirty on the scaffold. Who knows where I would be now, if I had told him I want to be a painter".

  • 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.

  • Vizari, Amari, Crete - From Tahiti to Crete

    Some marvellous wooden chessboards.

    "I asked which the most southern place in Europe is and they told me about south Crete. I was looking for a nice place to live, where it would be warm and sunny all year. I was dreaming of a home away from the city, which would be near a natural spring and surrounded by trees. The first house I found had no electricity, only a fireplace in the corner. I had to light a fire every morning in order to make a coffee, but later I bought a camping gaz from the village's store".

  • Saint Paraskevi Church, Amari, Crete - A Priest with attitude

    The priest is devout and strong willed.

    Kyriakos Litinas is a priest at Saint Paraskevi's church in Amari, a province of Rethymnon. He is very likable among his fellow villagers and a family man, who struggles as much as his people to make do. The village residents are few and it is hard to say if they can even fill a small church. Calliope Kanakakis has been the village chanter for many years. This role is usually assigned to a man with a deep voice, but there was nobody, so Calliope took over.

  • Saint Ioannis, Amari, Crete - He hided Antonis Brilakis during the dictatorship

    He has framed all of his memories in his home at Agiannis village. At the small square's café of the village Agiannis (Saint Ioannis) in Amari of Rethymnon we met Zacharias Dandoulakis, a pensioner, who used to shelter Antonis Brilakis, the unforgettable left party's fighter, during the dictatorship. Even though their political beliefs were totally different, he was hiding him for 17 months and he finally helped him to escape by plane and go abroad, with a different name and passport.

  • Gorgopotamos - Living under the bridge

    The train nearly passes over the miller's house.

    " 'Why are you crying father,' my children once asked me when we had gone to Athens. 'It's not that is crying, it's my eyes because of the dust and the gas', I answered. I stayed in the hospital for 40 days and I couldn't even drink water. I don't like water from tanks and in nylon bottles. I couldn't wait; I wanted to go home beside the river as soon as possible. When I first came to live here I was bothered by the sound of water, but then I got used to it. My grandchildren don't like it here because they feel lonely. They don't even ask how the watermill works. They only care about the dogs; they are constantly gathering bones to feed them".

  • Stemnitsa, Gortynia - A house like a museum

    3 870

    “The spruce we burned in the fireplace gave out sparks. That's why we carpeted our wintry room with “saismata” (thick cloths made of goat fur) -they don't catch fire if a spark falls on them. The grandparents slept on a high mattress in the corner of the room and on low mattresses on the floor next to them were the beds of the grandchildren. The married couple would sleep in the bedroom with the baby. When it grew up it moved to the winter room, so that the next baby would take its place next to its parents”.

  • Livadi, Elassona - Daring vlach cooks


    "We used to stay at home all the time, we didn't know any cafés or other places to go out to. We've only finished primary school, but we often talk to well-educated people at work. We learned to cook from our grandmothers and mothers. Important people come here to eat. A convention took place in our village a few years ago and we made a buffet for about a thousand persons. We used to be 130 of us women in the association, but only eight of us remain".

  • Chios - The tree we used to hurt

    A mastic tree forest in Chios.

    Director Dimos Avdeliodis, creator of unique movies about life in the mastic villages of Chios, amongst which “The tree we used to hurt” is a sensitive and modest artist. He believes that the beauty of his homeland is not only hidden in images and photographs, but in the relationship between people and nature as well.

  • Kerasia, Plastiras Lake - The mind and the eyes are being cleansed

    Riding on the lake bank is a unique experience.

    "My name is Chris Zampouras, but people here in Plastiras Lake know me as Zampetas. I decided to live here when I saw an advertising leaflet with pictures of the lake. I started a farm with horses, cows, semi-wild bunnies, sheep and other animals. I have Thessalian horses, which is the best race after the Arabian horses".

  • Lagadia, Gortynia - Carving maple

    At night he thinks about what he is going to carve the next day.

    "I have been carving wood ever since I was a boy. What designs do I make? Whatever crosses my mind. At first I used to make ladles and canes, but then I was often asked to make more ashtrays and troughs. At night I think about what I am going to make in the morning. My wife wants me to stop, but I work because I want to be able to offer my grandchildren potato chips every day. I work on Sundays, even if I earn nothing. It helps the time pass; I don't even understand when the morning or the evening comes".

  • 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".

  • Symi Island - The history of diving machines


    Sponge man in a diving suit connected to a diving machine (Folklore Museum of Symi).Around 1865-70 Fotis Mastoridis, a seaman from Symi aboard an English ship, saw how shipwrecks are pulled up from the bottom of the sea at the Cape of Good Hope. A diving machine used supplied air to the diving suit via a rubber tube. The machine was operated by two people, who rotated an iron wheel connected to a pneumatic drill. That was when the Greek seaman came up with the idea to use this machine to collect the sponges around the Island of Symi.

  • 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".

  • Syros Island - Delights in joy and sorrow

    Syros, the Queen of Cyclades and delights.

    “Every morning Mr. Stavros used to come to our shop around the time when we were cutting the delight on the pans. He used to take the remains from the edges and put them into buns he'd bought from the bakery in order to sell them to the factory workers. Mr. Stavros kept the rolls hot inside a little transparent, glass chest and a drawer filled with burning coal”.

  • Symi Island - Photographs hanging on tenters

    Symi has about 3,000 listed and well-preserved houses.

    “I’ve been photographing people visiting the island for 44 years. Back in the old days no more than 10 tourists per day came from Rhodes to Symi. The last couple of years, however, thousands of them come to visit. They stay for an hour and they leave again by boat. I hurry up to have them photographed as soon as they reach the harbour and instantly print the photos. I place the photos on benches for them to see as they leave and buy them as souvenirs. I also get some help from my son Michalis, who is a photography school graduate. Since he was 8, he has been hanging pictures on tenters with me”.

  • Symi Island - Legendary fishing and mailing boats

    Symi is the most beautiful port of the Mediterranean, with a great tradition in the construction of fishing and mailing boats.

    "I once used to work as an engineer in a trader braccera of 150 tones. It was called "Saint Spyridon" and belonged to Dimitris Mpinotsis. It had a Greek "Axel" engine with power of 120 hp and we used to route Rhodes - Symi - Piraeus with eight miles per hour. It was a real wooden sea boat, thirty metres long".

  • 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".

  • 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".

  • Missolonghi - In love with the lagoon

    The lagoon of Missolonghi offers magical images.

    “I met a girl walking near the lagoon and asked her to go on a boat ride on my gaita (small boat with a sail). We didn't have motors back then, only the sail and the “floko” (a smaller sail at the front of the boat). A light northwestern wind was blowing and she sat on the stern and started singing with her beautiful voice. “On the magical sand a woman embraced with her beloved fisherman. He's drunk with joy, both of them are, in the scarlet sunset...” she sang.

  • Thermo, Aetoloakarnania - I was born in a gorge

    Aetoloakarnania has many villages which are mostly almost deserted and abandoned.

    "Why do you take pictures all the time, what is it that you like here? Do you like the mountains? Do you think that you'll never find these stones anywhere else? Why are you in a hurry, do you fear the wilderness? At least here if you shout, people on two mountains will hear you; in Athens nobody will hear you shouting if something happens to you".

  • Nafplio - The wise shiner

    Bourtzi, the trademark of Nafplio

    “A judicial officer serving in Nafplio once came to my shop, but he didn't mention what his occupation was. In order not to ruin the dye I was making, I had to keep him waiting for a few minutes and he got angry. ‘Do you know who I am’, he told me, ‘I am the public prosecutor’. ‘And why should I care, I am the shoeshiners' prosecutor’, I answered. He was impressed by my prideful answer, and from that moment on he became a costumer and a friend of mine”.