Local Heart, Global Soul

September 1, 2014

This Is A Place Where People Toiled For More Than Just A Daily Wage…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One thing that the deep shadows inside the church at Kissos  could not hide, was the mind numbing detail of the alter.

My eyes were in overdrive, the sheer scale of the detail was too much to take in, in just one visit.

I think  if you were to make a detailed photographic study of it all, you’d be there for a lot longer than you bargained for…

…certainly photographs are no substitute for the human eye, because nothing except seeing them in person could every do these artworks justice.

There are more icons recessed and framed by the decoration, some are painted, one or two are in the shiny metal work of yesterday’s post, but all are beautiful.

The carved pieces cover everything else in sight, columns, frames, background areas, the supporting bases, all of it are inundated with patterns: flowing vines, flowering blooms, swirls, twirls, circles, squares and far too many to mention or display here.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The extreme low light in general, coupled with the strange situation where certain parts of the church were in deepest shadow whilst small  adjoining areas was in brilliant sunlight made for strange reactions from my camera, it was almost as if it couldn’t figure out how to even out the extremes and try as I might, most of my photographs of this area of the church were completely out of focus.

The ones that where left were I think worth showing so that you could get the general idea, the sheer overwhelming volume of decoration and detail, and around the church there were also other objects that I felt deserved a little spotlight of their own.

This is the post where I tidy all of these items into one post, detail in extremes of scale, from one end of the spectrum to the other…

It inspires me, I adore it all… but no photograph will ever prepare you for the feeling you get then looking at craftsmanship on this scale. This little church on the Pelion peninsular is a place where people toiled for more than just a daily wage, creative genius, skilled minds and hands all combined to produce a place that has emotion, exudes peace and tranquillity and is restful for the human soul. Many levels of detail are here, all of them amazing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

August 31, 2014

Iconic Bling?

Filed under: Art,Greece,Kissos - Church,Pelion Peninsular,photography — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

I’m sitting in the church in the village of Kissos, on the Pelion peninsular in Greece. Regular readers will know that I love detail so it will be no surprise to learn that after gazing at, and daydreaming about the amazing decorations on the ceiling, I find something at the base of one of the pillars that grabs my attention.

It looks like an icon, but at the same time not, because I always assumed that icons had to be painted, and this one seems to be stamped as an image into (silver?) or some sort of metal.  As I have seen previously with painted icons, the most detail is generally reserved for the face and area around the head of the person in the image, and this trend is followed in the metalwork icon as well.  Beautiful… captivating, let’s get a closer look.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

August 30, 2014

The Sermon? Eh…? Um…. Sorry, I Was Somewhere Else…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post where Family Kiwidutch are visiting the village of Kissos on the Pelion peninsular in Greece,  I have waited for my eyes to adjust to the dim light inside the church and made an amazing discovery.

There are beautiful paintings on the ceiling and walls of the church. I try and take some photographs but quickly conclude that  biggest obstacle in capturing a decent photograph is… me.

I’m standing, none too steady with crutches and this situation is one where only the stability of a tripod would result in a decent photograph.

My solution is somewhere between the two, I can’t carry  tripod around so don’t have one to hand, but there are chairs in the church so sitting down will have to be the next best thing.

I’m a photographer who hates taking photos with the flash, I think it flattens out everything and obliterates atmosphere and depth, but on this occasion I was forced to use the flash because it was the only way to even give a glimpse of the detail you could make out with the naked eye.

Asking someone who has COPD  and severe asthma to hold their breath is a big ask, so even with sitting down and doing my best to hold my breath as I squeezed the shutter button the results were less than perfect, but you get the general idea.

This is yet another occasion where no amount of photography will compensate for actually standing in a place and drinking in the sights with your own eyes, there was so much to see here that I didn’t know where to start, and not for the first time I found myself wishing for a longer camera lens that would allow me to zoom in for maximum detail.

Alas I made do with what I have and will be happy with that.  I did have a naughty thoughts though: I wonder how many parishioners over the centuries have sat in this church and had their thoughts drift far away from the sermon as they gazed heavenward and studied the artwork above?

I confess that if this was my local church, that after a few years  I would definitely have intimate knowledge of the ceiling decorations and all the details and stories painted on the walls and shamefully little recollection of anything the priest said from the pulpit !  I’m sure that the priest would silently look at me, with a look on his face of  resigned despair… “there goes that day dreamer again, who apparently only comes here to look at the artworks“. Dear priest, I would have tried to listen I assure you, but how do you complete with the compelling voices of creative souls of centuries gone by?  They call attention to their beautiful designs and for me I’m captivated by their siren song every time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

August 29, 2014

Stepping Into Old And New, There’s More Here Than Meets The Eye…

Filed under: Greece,Kissos - Church,Pelion Peninsular,photography — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m stepping inside the church in the village of Kissos, on the Pelion peninsular in Greece.

Even though it was the last week of October back in 2012, the day was sunny and very warm. On the outside of the building down each of the long sides runs a very deep veranda, formed by a low roof.

The main effect of this is that the inside of the church is cool, dark and almost gloomy in places. Small windows let in strong light in areas, but in general, once stepping inside I was forced to pause and let my eyes adjust to the dimness of the light.

The church is packed with detail, you almost don’t know where to look first,  but two things catch your attention first: the extensive renovation under way evidenced by the scaffolding and internal bracing within the church that allow viewpoints from certain angles but not from others, and the strange mixture of very old and very new, best evidenced by the brilliantly coloured modern stained glass in the doors though which I entered, and the icons that would be seen close by, probably newer than they first appeared but with ancient influences.

Once my eyes adjust to the gloom, I start to become aware that there is far far more to this place than first meets the eye…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 28, 2014

Design, Colour And Texture … Getting Up Close.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The date was October 2012, the place was the tiny village of Kissos, Greece, the reason was because it was the half term school holiday and because our in-laws who have a holiday home on the Pelion peninsular had been telling us for years how amazing this area of Greece was.

So have every other friend and relative who’s visited here before us.

They were not wrong.

This area of Greece is a long long way from towering apartment blocks and streets jam packed with all night clubs and bars, and long may it continue to be so.

This is magical beautiful original Greece, and the magic once again is in the detail.

This is architecture of the sort I adore, there is care, attention and detail that goes far further than the piecing of the structure together so that it stands up.  The doors, the windows, even the grave stones are decorated. You know me by now, I adore detail….  so here it is, the ornamentation, the close-up in all of it’s designs, colours and textures.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 27, 2014

All Different Styles But Surprisingly It Works!

Filed under: Kissos - Church,Pelion Peninsular,photography — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve arrived in Kissos and it doesn’t take long to find the place that our brother and sister in law have recommended we see.

It’s a church, and the first order of the day is to explore the outside.

The building is beautiful,  stunning stonework and turrets at the back, a tall bell tower on another and at the front and sides, a massive overhanging roof with ornate wooden beams underneath that gives deep shade and shelter from both the sun and the rain.

This roof creates a sort of gallery below it and proving that it must surely be a welcome resting spot, there are long  solid, smooth wooden seats on the walls all the way around.

It’s several styles merged together and even though they seem very different when looked at separately, they seem to also work well as a whole. The area around the church is on several levels and belies the fact that the village is perched on a steep hill, we go to the edge of the terraced area and there’s a medium sized wall protecting us from the steep drop down into the valley, where since it was October 2012 when we visited, some of the trees were starting to show their autumn colours.

Within the terraced area there is a tree with a huge gnarled base, so massive that Himself  had to lift both kids up so stand on parts of it for a photograph, the tree truly dwarfs them. Certainly both of my offspring find plenty of  opportunities to play and let off some steam…  But enough of the outside, there is so much more to see…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 26, 2014

Choose Your Bendy Road To Kissos…

Filed under: Greece,Kissos,Pelion Peninsular,photography — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are about to get back on the road again, this time to the little village of Kissos where once again there is something to see that has been recommended by our brother and sister in law.

Naturally the only way to get there is to tackle to winding roads again, but at least we’ve had a decent break at  Damouchari  port  (where the blue arrow is on the map) and the kids have expended some energy by galloping down to the bay’s end and all over the larger rocks.

Fortunately for me, Himself spots the end of the small private road that he didn’t want to drive down earlier, and realising that the walk back was going to be far too difficult for me and seeing that we have the place to ourselves, he sprinted back up the hill, collected the car and drove back down to collect me and the kids.

Now it’s time to brave the bendy road and make our way onwards…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 25, 2014

Fifteen Minutes Of Fame Can Last A Long Time…

Inside our restaurant at Damouchari port where a part of the “Mama Mia” movie was filmed, there are naturally a few mementos of their fifteen minutes of celluloid fame. This post is a photographic look at that moment that this bay was probably the busiest it’s ever been…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2014

Choosing You Meal Is Never Usually This Personal…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post about us ordering lunch at a restaurant on the bay of Damouchari port, I feel I need to be a little more specific about how the ordering system works when you arrive as the tourist season is ending and are the only customers for lunch.

Yes, the menu was presented to us, but not in printed format as is normally the case, but  ‘in person” (as it were) because we were invited right into the  kitchen to take a look at what was in the pots on the stove.

It was with big smiles that the menu was explained,  we see the chef throwing in bay leaves by the handful, there is slow cooked beef,  chicken being prepared and all with plenty of enthusiasm.

It’s very rare that customers can choose their restaurant meal directly from the stovetop…

Of course during high season and during busy times this wouldn’t be possible, but  for me it’s a chance to sneak a peek at a professional kitchen and take a look  “behind the scenes”. Outside there are baskets if vegetables, and of course, in due course our meals were served to us at our able outside.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 23, 2014

The Boat and The Motorbike Are Not For The Kids, And We Gain A New Best Friend…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have found Damouchari port on the east coast of the Pelion peninsular, where some of the scenes for the Hollywood  movie “Mama Mia “were filmed and on one side of the bay there are a few restaurants, the first of which appears to be open.

A perfect spot of lunch, so we make ourselves comfortable at a table that overlooks the bay and check out the menu.  It’s a short menu with a choice of only three or four items because we visited here in October of 2102 and the main tourist season was well and truly over.

While we wait and the children check out the surroundings, I take photographs of  the outside our beautiful eatery in the fantastically warm October sunshine. Little Mr. and Kiwi Daughter are quick to point out two beautifully made wooden children’s rocking toys, one is in the shape of a little “Mama Mia” boat and the other is in the shape of a motorbike: both children looked disappointed that they were far to big to enjoy a ride on them.

I find some thick rope that I take photographs of for sketching purposes sometime in the future and by the time I’ve finished taking photographs of that, we find we have been befriended by the restaurants cat who no doubt has already sized us up and weighed up his chances of gaining a win in the tid-bit stakes once out meals arrive. Our “new best friend” waits  patiently… he knows what’s coming soon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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