Saturday, September 1, 2012

Athens through the eyes of other people

I recently moved in Athens. When I say "recently" I mean like "a year more or less". I know exactly how much I've been here, because I count each day, but I prefer to say "more or less". My feelings about Athens are mixed, and that's obvious, since I haven't posted anything here for a long time. But maybe other people can do that for me.

That's why I asked a friend to write a piece for my blog, and he did. You probably want to know more about the author, but I'm not going to give you any more information than he does in his piece. So, this is his take on Athens. Enjoy:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Morocco through sliding photography (a new concept?)

Here is a video from my last visit to Morocco, about a year ago (remember?). It contains some of the many blury pictures I shot while moving.
Sometimes you can see the possibility of a good picture, but you don't have the time or the camera to make it true. While in a car in Morocco, I thought "hey, my cell phone can shoot pictures and they don't have to be stable. I'm not going to publish them or anything, I will shoot them just to remind me the moment". So, I started shooting everything I saw. Some of these pictures turned out stable, but I didn;t find them nearly as interesting as the distorted ones. Distortion in time, space, geometry, motion, the prevalence of colors over the shapes and the bluring of the insignificant details give to these pictures an unintented but wellcomed quality.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Symi: please, don't go

I travel a lot, but only a few of my travel stories make it here. Sometimes, I'm too bored to write, or some places are unworthy of their own story. There is also a third category of non-posts. It contains the places that are too nice and beautiful to share. I wrestled with the idea of placing Symi, a small island at the South-East corner of Aegean sea, to that category.

Symi is wild, dreamy and romantic, an ideal destination for summer tourists who seek a place to relax and recreate. The coast consists of small but deep bays with clear waters in various shades of blue (creating a sense of “dreamy”), the mainland is covered with dry stones, pine forests and monasteries (thus the feeling of “wild”) and the entrance village (Gialos) is unique, architecturally speaking at least (and extremely romantic).

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Trip in Fez (Fes)

Every person occupies some time and some space. This unique area identifies each one of us. It's our mark in the time-space continuum. Maybe it is insignificant and finite, but it's your time and your space and nobody can take it from you. Of course there is an exception: when you travel by train, you have to give up some space and a lot of time.

We spent up to 33 hours in various trains and about 5 or 6 more in train stations waiting for other trains to arrive. Sometimes, when you tell the story to your friends back home, the whole train station situation sounds adventurous, but in fact it is very annoying and dull. That's how people learn to play boring games like scramble. You have to play a game while waiting at a train station. We carefully considered many board and card games to finally choose an oral word game, in order to fit with the oral tradition of Morocco (and also because we didn't carry any boards or cards with us). I don't know the name of this game, but the rules are easy: one person chooses a letter, another person chooses a category, and then everyone takes a turn. While we are in a “turn”, the player has to find one unique (a.k.a. not said by anyone else earlier) word that starts with that letter and belongs to that category. For example “Food starting with a K” might include “Kamel” or “Kous kous”, as we soon discovered (K and C sound very similar, as has been noted before).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marrakech: Dirty but colorful

Europe is like an old, big, beautiful house with a garden, old furniture, family portraits, books and precious objects. Each object, each corner, each square cm of dust is related to an old story of glory and family pride. Sometimes the past has been modified to look better, but there always is an interesting past. You need more than a whole life to explore the old house and you have been born there, you 've lived your whole life in this building (and the garden).

One day you decide to open the front door, just to have a look. You push your head out, in the (not so clean) air and you stare at the amazing sight: this is the outside wall, just a tiny part of what is outside your Europe. It feels so different and alive. It's not about the stories you 've heard, it's about what you are seeing right here and now. What are you going to do next?

We decided to push our head out of the European front door, just to have a glance. Europe has many front doors, e.g. We could go to Turkey through Greece, or we could travel to Rusia. We chose Morocco, a country that is really close to Spain and Portugal, at least geographically. Morocco and its neighboring countries share a lot of cultural and historical elements, and since most of us had seen parts of Spain and/or Portugal, we thought it wouldn't be a huge shock. We just needed somebody to push as out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nisyros, The Monkey Island of Aegean Sea

Mandraki is the gateway to Nisyros island (and Volcano)
Long long ago I promised to my happy few readers a couple of posts about the Netherlands and London. You need to know that I usually keep my promises, but for me the word “usually” is roughly evaluated to 60%. And I 'm usually right on these calculations, ergo 60% of 60%, you do the math. The truth is I have all the photos and the memories, but I never took the time to write them down. These trips are stacked at the bottom of the list of my past trips I promised to publish here but haven't yet. Because this time I'm going to tell you about Monkey Island (aka Nisyros, Greece).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amsterdam unmediated

If you follow my posts, you already know that I am the type of person who likes to experiment with recreational substances. It's the kind of substances you can legally purchase and use in Amsterdam and only in Amsterdam. I'm not into any addictive type of stuff, I just like to get stoned now and then, that's all. I would do it more often if it wasn't illegal in the place I live. Imagine how hard it was for me to walk around Amsterdam and still resisting the temptation of a good joint!

This is not the first time I visit the Capital city of Netherlands which is built on the delta of Amstel river. Amsterdam is a big port, although it is not built  on the Atlantic coast, but at the inside of a well protected bay. It is built in chronological layers of building, that create an amphitheatric shape, with the Dam square being at the center. The Dam is not just the central square, it is also the oldest part of the city. As a rule of the thump, the longer a buildings distance from the Dam, the older it is. Of course, there might be exceptions to this rule, but I don't care enough to find out.