Local Heart, Global Soul

September 19, 2014

Getting The Shots Without Getting Shot…

Filed under: GREECE,PELION PENINSULAR,Volos — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s one thing that is rather different about Volos airport in Greece, and it’s a complication that the flying tourist doesn’t usually have to think about.

There is a military base next to the airport and photographs from the plane are strictly prohibited.

My sister in law said that even flight attendants on the planes coming in and out will insist that passengers to delete photographs and in a worst case scenario, you could even get your camera confiscated.

The area around the airport is also therefore sensitive territory, so when I saw my first ever fields of cotton plants and wanted to stop to take a photograph, Himself was understandably nervous.

When I first spotted the cotton on the way in, we were tired after the flight and we had a long drive ahead of us, so there was no chance to stop, but on the way back I convinced Himself that if we stopped the car for a single minute on the road leading to the airport it would be highly unlikely that the Greek air-force would in that time detect our position, evaluate us as enemy combatants and launch a missile to take us out.  Indeed if that were true then woe-betide any unsuspecting tourist who got a flat tire, or any kid desperate for a road-side pee pee in the bushes. …. trousers down… ploof! gone!!!

The silliness of my scenario makes Himself agree to a stop for a photograph on the way back to the airport, but only if I  agree not to get out of the car, so I took the photo out of the rolled down window. I get some photos as we drive past, and when we stop one of the watchtowers from the military base is partly visible in the background. My next photographs were taken of the end of the runway as the plane lifts off the ground, and then the plane banks sharply and Volos comes into view below us.

Very soon after that we can make out the outline of the Pelion peninsular, and once we leave that behind, a series of Greek islands as we head south. The cloud then got the better of us and as we climb we get completely surrounded by it. No one shot at us in the car and none of the flight attendants have confiscated my camera so I can sit back and enjoy the flight home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

September 16, 2014

Dipping Into Autumn…

Filed under: GREECE,PELION PENINSULAR,PHOTOGRAPHY,Volos — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in Greece in October 2012 the temperatures have been in the high 20’s Centigrade  all week and the kids have been enjoying swimming at the beach almost every day.

We can barely imagine that back in the Netherlands temperatures are hovering around freezing and that the days are shorter back home.

Now we are making our ways towards Volos airport, but our in-laws have told us that we will be making a stop first and we should just follow them.

Now the surprise is to be revealed:  we turn down a little side street and find ourselves at a  quiet stretch of beach.

It’s one that’s a mixture of sand and small stones, deep and not to easy to negotiate on crutches.

I make it as far as a conveniently placed bench whilst the surprise is revealed: our in-laws have allowed enough time not only for us to have dinner before our flight home, but also a final swim. A little further down the beach is  little booth, it’s  changing room and my nephew and brother in law disappear down there with Little Mr to get changed, whilst Himself and I hold up a large towels and Kiwi Daughter does her  lighteningly quick change under cover.

In no time at all  four of them are in the sea: and even though we visited in the autumn, the water hadn’t yet lost it’s summer warmth and they had a great time. It was nice to break the winding curves of the car journey with some fresh air, for the kids the chance to burn off some energy was most welcome  after being cooped up in the car. In the end the hands of the clock moved all too quickly and we had to get them out and changed, but it was a brilliant idea and much appreciated…

(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)

September 15, 2014

Volos, Pastries, And A Drive To A Surprise…

Filed under: GREECE,PELION PENINSULAR,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The first time we took the road to Volos we did so in rapidly descending darkness and then into the night.

This time, on our way back to the airport we get to see what we missed for most of the journey on the way in.

I’m curious about the many little shrines  along the route, they are difficult to get photographs of but I do my best…

…even the bus stops are typically Greek with their tiled roofs, as are the variations of Greek houses, apartments in larger towns, many displaying the Greek flag from their balconies.

Along the way the kids start suffering hunger pangs so we stop at a bakery and pick up a pastry to tide us over until dinner time.

As we pass though Volos itself, a sign on a building tells us that the temperature is still 20 C, even though it’s already early evening.

Our in-laws lead the way in their rental car, we follow in ours, they are leading us to a good place where they say they have a little surprise in store so we are busy wondering what is coming next…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 14, 2014

A Short Stop That Is A Tasty Treat…

Filed under: Argalasti,GREECE,PELION PENINSULAR,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Anyone who is a serious foodie will understand my fascination with the beautiful shapes, colours and textures of fresh fruit and veggies.

Back in October 2012  we visited Greece, and on the day we were leaving, our in-laws said that we would be stopping in Argalasti  to visit the local market before we left.

It’s a market that sells clothes and household goods under large shade covers, but all around the perimeter are stalls selling fruit, vegetables and locally made goods like soap, jams, chutneys , soups and pickles.

The temperatures are still very warm, around 26 C but it’s a welcome stop along the way as we stretch our legs and get some fresh air and explore the market.

As usual with thing like fresh peppers grown far away from glasshouses, they not only looked beautiful, they also smelled amazing too.

We are flying back with Ryanair,  an airline that’s tough on excess baggage so selecting a few things to squish into our suitcases has to be dome with care. Luckily our in-laws have spare baggage space because they bought renovation tools from the Netherlands that they are leaving at their holiday home in Platania, on the Pelion peninsular so we can treat ourselves to some home made preserves and locally grown and dried herbs like oregano.  I could of course have browsed for ages but all too soon we are back in our respective cars and winding our way towards Volos.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

September 13, 2014

Stashed All Ready …And Waiting To Be Inspired

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that I love patterns, and not only that, that I love patterns in the strangest of places: street stones, drain covers and tiles to name just a few.

This post is pure indulgence for myself: it’s also a reference “inspiration”  file for my future drawing efforts because I used to be able to draw trees really well and now that I’ve not been drawing for years and years I’m struggling with a subject I once found easy.

Olive trees are amazing, there are so many shapes and so much texture to their trunks, some are truly bent and twisted, contorted with age and they are a pattern lovers dream.

I used to be able to draw leaves better too, so there are a few inspiration photographs of those too.

That the  moment the strong morphine based pain relief I’m on for my foot injury affects my  concentration levels badly, so of course does pain so I rarely draw now, but I  live in hope that better times are ahead in my recovery and when that moment arrives my inspiration files will be ready and waiting here on my blog and all I will have to do is open these posts and pick up my pens. On Greece’s the Pelion peninsular in the village of Platania the oranges and olives are already starting to ripen and some are already for picking. All the colours and textures are recorded … so in the meantime I am building up my inspiration files,  need a photograph of gnarled tree bark? Plenty here to choose from…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

September 12, 2014

Instant Artworks, … Just Add Water!

Filed under: ART,GREECE,PELION PENINSULAR,PHOTOGRAPHY,PLATANIA — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At our dinner at Spiros’s  restaurant in Platania Greece, back when we visited in 2012, I mentioned that our party were offered extra Ouzo on the house after our meal and we made a slow walk back to our accommodation so that Himself could partake for once without worrying about driving us back.

I needed to have a few little rests along the way so took my time and attempted a little night-time photography.

I’m certainly no professional photographer and previous attempts have been rather hit and miss to say the least.

It’s not to say that this wasn’t any easier: I took roughly one hundred photos and got only about a quarter of them in focus (the biggest reason digital photography is brilliant).

Tomorrow evening we will be busy packing and getting ready to go to the airport, so tonight is my opportunity to try and catch the lights on the water from the fishing boats and from the built up are around the bay. I like that although the lights look white at first glance, their reflections in the water come out multi-hued.  Instant artworks: just add water!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 11, 2014

A Greek Spread And Lots Of Fun Near The End Of Our Stay…

Filed under: GREECE,Greek Cuisine,PELION PENINSULAR,PHOTOGRAPHY,PLATANIA — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are back again, joining our in-laws for dinner at Spiro’s restaurant in Platania on the Pelion peninsular in Greece.

The usual medley of Greek favourites are there and it’s relaxing sitting in the balmy warmth that has a surreal feeling because you can’t imagine that this is still a part of Europe at the end of October.

But in 201 it was, the kids are getting away with the bare minimum of vegetables as usual, sharing out the only favourite available which was the cucumber  (but ha ha …unbeknownst to them all the parents present are vowing to remedy that upon immediate return to the Netherlands)… children, your broccoli, carrots and peas await you yet.

Our holiday is nearing it’s end, just one more full day and then it’s back to the crueler climes of  the beginning of a Northern Europe again. Once again Himself scores my dessert, how he and my brother in law can polish off so much of this teeth wrenchingly sweet stuff I’ll never know, but they both love it as much as I detest it. More power to them!

My brother in law takes a break from dessert to help Spiros  fix a computer problem and in return Spiros joins us from the kitchen for a Greek chin wag with out in-laws and an impromptu photo shoot  with us, some teasing about having to go home and some extra little bottles of Ouzo as an after dinner aperitif.  We end up walking slowly back to the holiday accommodation so that Himself can enjoy the gifts without having to step behind the wheel. I’d still prefer the little fish as cooked on Palio Trikeri Island with the  pickled walnut dessert from Promiri but this meal is the best we’ve had outside those, and with the added chatter and laughter we enjoy our meal a lot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

September 10, 2014

Peaceful, Inspiring, Spiritual, Beautiful Places…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still in the little church in the village of Platania, on the Pelion peninsular in Greece where the detailed painted icons and decorations are so many that they fill more than one blog post.

Apart  from my apparent obsession with candles in my last post (aren’t they amazing? … or is it just me who thinks they are?)

These icons intrigue me because at first glance they look like rather simple, stylised images, but in fact they are more than that and the more you look the more detail you see.

I’m assuming that they are the “portraits” of Saints, and once again they are not only beautiful images to be admired and remembered from this trip, they are also here as part of my inspirational art file…

…after all, who would’t be inspired after seeing such detail?

It’s my last post from this little church but one thing is sure, if you are ever visiting Greece and have the opportunity to visit a little church like this yourself, then do take the opportunity, they are peaceful, inspiring, spiritual, beautiful places that enrich the soul on many  levels.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

September 9, 2014

A Picture (Or Two) Is Worth A Thousand Words…

There is a beautiful church in the little Greek village of Platania, on the Pelion peninsular. Like the other little church I visited in Kissos, it is packed with beautiful artworks. Portraits in hammered silver panels, or icons and paintings, the colours are vibrant and the images stunning.  Another photographic post  that shows the truth of the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

September 8, 2014

You Couldn’t Hold A Candle To The Decoration In Here…

The date was the last week of October  2012, the place was Platania on the tip of the Pelion peninsular, Greece. Even though autumn is fast approaching and the leaves on the trees are turning russet and stating to fall, the temperature is still in the mid-twenties centigrade and we have the luxury of being one of the last tourists of the season and the village is deserted and quiet. I’m visiting the local church in Platania, it’s small but beautiful… This is a photographic post that takes a step inside and demonstrates once and for all my obsession for the “little” things in life… like candles…

(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)

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