FMcDowell

A space for projects related to my being - past, current and coming.

This Is Sparta

Kategori: Greece, Travel

 
After leaving the Southern Lights I got the opportunity to stay a while in Sparta. This I gladly did - for who in their right mind would not wish to adventure in such a historical part of the world? I put on my exploration boots, swiped on my exploration apps and brought an extra exploration sweater, because it could get a bit nippy after dark.
 
Unlike Ancient Sparta, modern day Sparta is not a duomonarchic, austere, elitistic bunch of spear waving, child throwing, warmongerers - it's actually not to unlike other medium sized Greek towns. But if you follow the sign above they'll hand you a cool helmet and a shiv, and point you in the direction of the weekly enemy city state.
 
 
I had walked quite a bit along the streets of the town, when I suddenly came over the bend of a road and could see the first peaks of Taygetos through the distant mist. Although a misty day they were a quite impressive sight. (My phone seems to have doubled the amount of mist though...)
 
 
There was a football game happening inside the stadium. Outside a child kneeled by the statue of Leonidas. Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe the child made the game happen through intertelekinetic contact with the spirits of old...
 
 
In the garden of the archeological museum, old broken things.
 
And headless petrified women guarded the entryway.
 
 
I passed the local endless pit, close to the main plaza, where they seemed to be having some sort of political deliberation.
 
 
 
And the Laconian shield. I find it very beautiful in its simplicity.
 
 
 
Church of Sparta - day and night.
 
 
 
Day two I took the small country road leading west, toward the mountain.
 
 
The Taygetos range lay covered in clouds, the higher peaks behind the first row just hinted with their presence in the fog.
 
 
Not all Spartan houses were spartan in design. I passed several homes of rustic charm and others of even quite extravagant build.
 
 
Yet other stood derelict and overgrown.
 
 
And after having walked to the foot of the mountains, I found my way back to my base along a broader road. Leaving the slopes and peaks of the mountain to my imagination, and for coming days.
 
 
 

The Shipwreck

Kategori: Greece, Travel

Today I decided to combine my Greek studies with my first Greek poem. It might be quite good! I'm not sure because I don't understand it fully myself, which often is a sign of brilliant works of poetry. I bring you - The Shipwreck. Enjoy!
(And google translate is your friend here)

Το Ναυάγιο
 
 
Περπατούσα στην ακτή όταν είδα μια μικρή σκάφος
Ήταν μικρότερο από ένα λαγό, αλλά όχι το έδαφος
 
 
Μου είπε να έρχομαι πιο κοντά, πιο κοντά και ακόμα πιο κοντά
Δεδομένου ότι δεν είχα τίποτα άλλο να κάνω, ήρθα πιο κοντά
 
 
Τοτε φωναξε στο προσωπο μου, και όμως φωνάζει:
"Για οποιον στον οριζοντα του μπροστα βρεθει περηφανος να στεκει"
 
 
Δεν καταλαβαίνω τι σημαίνει, γιατί δεν μιλώ ελληνικά
Αλλά κοίταξα μέσα και είδε περίεργα τα πράγματα βάρκα
 
 
Και υπήρχε πολύ νερό, όπως τραγούδησε στο τραγούδι του
Ότι η πόλη ήταν γεμάτη νερό, νερό παντού
 
 
Άφησα το σκάφος και φώναξα
Το άκουσα να ψιθυρίζει: χα χα χα
 
 

The Southern Lights of Peloponnesos

Kategori: Greece, Sustainability, Travel

 
I have now spent a week on the Peloponnesos peninsula. Here I have been staying with Panos, Sheila and Aggiliki at their eco-project The Southern Lights, an initiative started early this year and that is aiming toward being a hub of sustainability in this southern region of Greece. It is located adjecent to the family company Silver Leaf, that might be the oldest seller of organic food in the country, founded over 30 years ago.
 
In a brightly lit kitchen, my first dinner with the crew - a vegan whole foods buffet.
 
 
 
The days have been filled with garden work of many sorts.
 
 
 
Me and Aggiliki dug out and prepared a raised bed for sticklings of trees that will be planted during the food forest permaculture workshop that will be held here next month.
 
I helped Panos to clear out an area where their first natural building will be constructed soon. A six meter in diameter wooden dome that will become a sleeping quarter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It took us some hours with axes to sever the roots enough for the tractor to be able to pull it out. Well grounded those orange trees.
 
 
And many hours have I walked among the citrus fruit fields to prune the unwanted shots. A large portion of the old orange trees have been cut low to the trunk and grafted with different types of citrus fruits, seven different types including orange, lime and mandarins. Some trees even carry fruits from multiple of the different sorts. I've started to distinguish the different smells of the branches, lime trees are my favourites.
 
 
 
 
 
We've been out to the hills surrounding the village of Karyes, half an hour north of Sparta. Here we found some grand mushrooms and wild apples for the dinner table.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Masterchef Hana makes those grand mushrooms even grander. A feast from the forest!
 
 
And a few days ago the dog Fluffy got introduced to the lands. Here she is seen taking a rest after having chased two cats up into the same tree and guarded them from outer threats for three hours.