Τρίτη, 25 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

New letter to my dad

Christmas day.
I am not as loyal to this blog as I used to be. I used to write almost everyday. And now I write a couple of posts every month.

It's on my mind all the time. I am thinking about the new letter I want to write to my dad. A new letter to thank him for everything he is. Two years ago I wrote him a letter. I knew he did not read it back then. This time I know he will read both letters. And he will understand both of them.

So.

Dear dad.

Thank you. Thank you for being so patient with me. Thank you for disagreeing. Thank you for the loving, understanding environment you provided for me when I was a child. Thank you for keeping the door open for me. I knew the door was always open. And that is what gave me the courage to do every crazy thing I could think of. I knew the door was always open. To return.

You always wanted me to be strong. And I was. You wanted the best for me. And I did not always choose what was best for me. You wanted me to be fearless. Independent. And I was scared. Dependent. And I denied it. You wanted me to use my knowledge and strength. And I did not. People saw the outside. The package. The package was just this. A package. My soul deep deep inside was hurting.

Whatever I did in the past was an accumulation of images, adventures, experiences. With or without you. Mostly without you. I was the big girl. I could do it alone.

The time has passed. We both left the edges and we came closer to the middle. The middle is nice, safe, warm, loving, understanding. I'm so grateful we managed to find the middle before you check out. I am listening. You are listening.

And this time is not about approval. It is about two equal adults discussing. It is about sharing. It is about accepting. It is about listening.

Thank you.

Σάββατο, 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

This quiet happiness...

December. Nine months in this city. This city that keeps giving me thrills and joys. I used to hate this city. I was 17 and the world was ahead of me. It was normal.

Now I'm back here. I'm different and so is the place. I keep meeting new, wonderful people. I miss my friends in Athens. But I'm here now.

This crisis business will either work positively or negatively. There are two kinds of people.

One kind sits and adores its misery, indulging in worst case scenarios and blaming everyone else.

The other kind is perpetually searching for a deeper meaning, finds light in the dark, creates from ashes.

This city is giving me good photographs. And lots of inspiration. One day, I saw my friend Sophia's photos. She had taken her photographs and put them as cover to some notebooks. It was a really great idea. And I took permission to do the same. My photographs haven't been used for a long time and it was time to do something about it. I worked on it, made samples, got help from a graphic designer and made them. The result pleases me and I have already sold many. If you want to know more about my new notebooks, check out my artifacts website here.

This crisis blessing - as I prefer to call it - has made many young, talented, inspired people to come back to their roots. The more we are, the more change we will bring in the city. We are educated, we have travelled and we have the strength to make some changes. Sometimes I can feel the magic sparkle when I meet someone who has just arrived or is here for a year or so. The sparkle of recognition. The sparkle of someone who probalby feels the same. A sparkle that we can make into a fire. This fire might burn the old. I am a dreamer. I believe that this town I used to hate can be transformed into the town I love. The town I will always have as a base between my travels.

I am quietly happy.

Δευτέρα, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2012

art, soil, theatre, colours

I have so much to say!

A couple of weeks ago I became a teacher for kids! One painting class, two craft classes. I was supposed tο teach art history, but I knew I would not keep the attention of 10-year-olds for two hours unless they created something while I talked to them. My subject was mr Vincent van Gogh... 

Painting class was easy. They saw "The Starry Night" and the "Vase with Sunflowers" and tried to copy them. In the mean time I asked them at least one hundred times for his name, his place of birth and other little trivia which were easy to remember. It became our little shouting poem! It amazed me how they grasped the colours and even surpassed the great dutch master in brushstrokes... I was so nervous, I forgot to take pictures...

The following week I was going to teach the craft classes. Mr Vincent again. I was terrified. A group collage of the sunflower painting. The class had to cut, colour, paste their flowers and paint the final background. One hundred times the mr Vincent poem. We just about made the two hours and all I was left with was a bombed class! I had to wash everything and tidy up after the storm! In truth I didn't mind! I had so much fun! The result was a bit intimidating and weak just like I was! Such a mirror! 

The next day I was less scared. This time they had to do a group collage of the starry night. I was ready. I separated them in teams. One team had to do the stars, the other the waves on the sky and a third team the tree in the middle. This time I was calmer, had learned the mr Vincent poem veeery well - we repeated it one hundred times... Once more, both classes amazed me with their sense of colour and understanding of hues. The result was simply breath-taking and I do hope they had as much fun as I had. This time I asked them to help me tidy up, wash the brushes and pick up their chairs. I'm kinda falling in love with teaching!

Next month it's Picasso month. I have to find an idea for the craft classes. They will be bored if they do a collage again... I am open to suggestions!

before
after
after two months
The other thing I have been doing for the past two months is a small garden in the back of the block of flats I live in. When I moved there, I saw these HUGE flower beds and I thought about all this free soil that had to have food grown in them. I planted parsley, dill, two kinds of lettuce, coliflower, broccoli and rocket. All this, next to the 2 big rose trees that where already there. I think the roses felt really happy because as soon as I cleared the soil from the weeds and started watering them regularly, they gave me the most amazing roses to cut and keep in my house! My little plants are growing and I find peace of mind when caring for them...

 Finally, I enrolled to the town's amature theatre classes. Every weekend I will be exploring the wonders of theatre - I'm not a newby on stage, but I've never done theatre before...

Meanwhile I enjoy the winter temperatures and the bright November sun that shines every morning! In my walks with Freeda I take wonderful photos... All these reds and oranges, all these trees and vines losing their foliage... Autumn is such a magic time of the year! 

Mind you, I do all these wonderful things which do not require money. The theatre classes cost me 30 euros per year and the seeds for my plants reached the astronomical amout of 10 euros. 

The classes I teach give me enough to get by. The gallery work is still voluntary and requires a lot of time and effort... I think I'll try and reduce the hours I spend there... On the other hand, I have so many wonderful things to do and I meet so many wonderful people!

Life is a wonder!

Τρίτη, 6 Νοεμβρίου 2012

on words and silence

Words we say.
Words we don't say.
Words that have another meaning.
Words camouflaged as feelings.

There comes a time when you have to feel beyond the words you hear. And this is very tiring. I wish each and everyone of us had a way of using words sincerely, honestly. I wish this was taught to everyone from a very early age. But we haven't. We want to say something and then we say something else. We want to communicate and we make humorous remarks. We are jocking when we want to say we're not feeling very well. We say angry words when we want to say "please listen".

Silence. There is comfortable silence. There is awkward silence. There is the silence filled with joy and understanding. There is the silence which is filled with unexpressed feelings. Weird energetic chemistry about to explode.

How do you treat words?
How do you feel in silence?

I have been wondering about this for a few days.

Σάββατο, 3 Νοεμβρίου 2012

do not leave your blog without posts...

It's good to have blogger friends, you read their posts and you get the feeling you want to write too.
Except you don't always have a subject.
No.
You have too many subjects and you don't know where to start.

This past week was spent near nature. Near the sea. Away from my life. I was blessed with good company. I was blessed to be able to do it. To travel. To see landscapes from the buses' window. I love passing landscapes. Different colours every season. This time it was red and orange and all the hues in between. I even got to see the sea. We forget the sea. I wish I could live next to the sea and see it's colors all winter long. See how she changes with the seasons.

That does not mean I do not work. I had to prepare for my next lecture in art history. I literally get lost in Renaissance images. I am re-learning all the religious games between the Popes and the Protestants. The propaganda behind the masterpieces. I think my mind is mature enough to filter through the information. When I was younger I did not grasp all the sociology-philosophy behind the imagery. It is more exhiting these days!

Hope your days are bright and filled with love!

Τρίτη, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2012

travelling in the city, working, living

 Weather report. Grey sky, temperature down.

My need to travel is there. I try to remind myself I have decided to do it according to a plan. I am going to do it when the time comes. Like a small child I am impatient. Slow down kid, you will get your sweet sooner or later.

These days teaching takes part of my time and I enjoy it more than I thought. The more you do it, the more you relax and give out your true self. I am lost in the stories of the past, the anecdotes of art history, I try to make my class interesting and not dry. They seem to like it. At least I like it. I'm so greatful for that chance I got!

I'm also a volunteer in a gallery. It's not easy being a volunteer anymore. But... It keeps me busy. It gets me out of the house. But... I need the money. But... I can't work for free. But... I can't use all that knowledge and time and not expect something in return! All the "but s" are there. I try not to moan. Everything is my choice. I know my worth and I'll do it for as long as I please.

There is no internet in the gallery. So I sit down and write my book. Listen to music. Not many visitors yet, so I get a lot of time alone.

For the last couple of weeks I take care of a stray. He is very much like Freeda. Black with white toes and chest. He is young but a giant. Every morning he welcomes us in the park and they play like dogs do. I'm so glad Freeda has a friend! The rest of the dogs do not play, they are just strays, afraid of people, afraid of other dogs... but he is different, a sweetie, a real getleman. I hope I find him a home so I get the chance to see him every once in a while. Otherwise he might just dissappear and I will not know where he went. For the time being, I take care of him and I feed him.

My days are fine, busy and wonderful.

Κυριακή, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2012

travellerlina revisited

When my teacher, Jonah, told me three years ago that my purpose in life is to be a traveller, I took the term "traveller" quite literally. For two years I named a blog travellerlina and set out to travel literally, no matter what the cost.

I did not hear my frends' voices who were saying that there is another meaning to travelling: travel gracefully through the coincidences and the deeds of life in a more general way.

Three years later, I come to consider and reconsider "travellerlina" the difficult name I have chosen for myself and no one can pronounce properly!

We are - I am - in constant movement. Life drives us here and there, we "travel" through the days and the months and the years... Whether we like it or not, we are not the same; moment after moment. Whether we get on a plane to fly somewhere or just day-dream looking at the ceiling, we are still on the move.

I still don't know what that teacher meant and I don't know whether I'll ever get the true meaning of his words. The one thing I have gained, though, is that I see eveything I do, every choice I make through the "travel" prism.

I always have my camera at hand. I am an eternal "tourist-traveller". In awe of my neighborhood. In awe of my city. I try to see everything as fresh and new as I would a foreign country. And believe me, there is beauty in the city I once thought as boring and ugly. I used to go through Athens trying to see it as a tourist would. And it gave me nice litte surprises always.

We are all travellers through life. So we may as well enjoy the process!

Σάββατο, 6 Οκτωβρίου 2012

the day tears came

A few months ago I wrote this post and felt like reading it once more.

Today is a difficult day. A day of crying. A day of looking back. A wonderful sunny day filled with anger and tears. It might be the stars above. It might be my period. Whatever it is, I feel like shit.

 I guess this too, will pass.

Can I dedicate this day to moaning?
Am I allowed to cry because I don't see light?
Six months without a job.
One tiny job - the art history job - with it's only prospect being fininshed in a month because of lack of interest.

Where the fuck is my laughter today? Where the fuck is my strength? Where the fuck are my dreams and imagination?

It's all because of expectations. I had many expectations and they are all crumbling down. Today. I was expecting to get a job, to be payed for my fucking knowledge. But I am a coward. It's too scary to be paid for what you know. There is a little devil inside who says I can't make money for something I like doing. I was expecting to be independent, do as I please. Get a bloody driver's licence.

There are so many people out there these days who feel the same. Am I picking up on the feelings of mass consciousness? Am I picking the saddness and despair?

Expectations are the worst thing that can happen to you. You attach on your expectations and when they don't get fullfilled, you dispair.

Who bloody cares?

Here I am. Moaning publicly. I could stay silent, don't expose my hurt feelings. Think this too shall pass. But this is me. Don't read if you don't want to. I cannot be constantly happy. Tears are on cue for everyone. At some point.

I'll go walk my dog. Sit on a bench and think.
Hope your day is better than mine today.

Πέμπτη, 4 Οκτωβρίου 2012

...

I do owe the readers an update on my teaching.

It went really well. I was very nervous, but I liked talking to the people, disscussing with them. My chosen subject was the portrayal of women through the centuries. I found this amazing video on youtube and we kicked off from there. It was interesting to know the students, all five of them. aged from 33 to 85. My class should have at least 8 people to continue, so October will be spent waiting to see if more people will come.

However, I have decided to have fun while it lasts. At the end of this month I will also teach the children. It will hopefully be another happy and creative experience.

I don't feel very creative these days either. This seems to be one of these weeks where "the wave" as I like to call it, wants you to sit down and do nothing.

So I'll sit and do nothing and still enjoy it!

Κυριακή, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Teaching

 An empty post can be so intimidating sometimes...

You think about your blog and then you just drift off reading other people's stuff. You read all these interesting articles other people wrote. Just to avoid yourself and what you have to say.

So, having nothing in particular in mind, I'm throwing my words in my blog.

September's harvest has been rich.

I am nervous about my first class tomorrow. Me, teaching History of Art. Me, being the teacher. It is not the first time, but it is the first "formal" time. In front of adults. Who will probably be older than me. What have I got to teach them? Long time ago I waived my art history knowledge. Now I have been called upon. To remember all my knowledge. To read again, to find interesting anecdotes to share.

I remember how anecdotes kept my interest more than actual dates. I remember loving the teachers who made me think - look - make my own decisions. This is the teacher I want to be. The one who will engage my audience. The one who will make them love the paintings. The one who will make them LOOK at the paintings. Leonardo Da Vinci, Boticelli, Titian, Mattisse, Bonnard, Dali, Picasso... all these names mean a lot to me, but will I be able to share this love with others?

Art History is supposedly a difficult subject. Meaning it is theory. It is not DIY, sit down and create. But I am a practical person. I want to integrate theory into an active dialogue. All this will be done while my laptop betrays me. It overheats and turns off. It's the bloody full moon.

In my experience, everything will go wrong and then, in the last minute everything will be ok.

Now that I shared all the moaning and groaning, I can relax and enjoy the process. My subject for my first class is women and the way they are portayed over the centuries. My second class will be men, my third will be children, my fourth will be dogs and so on. I will also listen to the needs of my students and form my classes according to their needs.

Deep inside I do feel I have to offer.

Let's see how it goes....

Wish me luck!

Πέμπτη, 20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

The Tap Experience

Creativity alert!

I don't know what's happening to me. There is a tap that opened and has flooded my heart, my soul, my senses... It is the tap of inspiration.

I have started writing a book. A book that I stoped writing because of Antonis's illness. I remembered it about a month ago. My small note book got lost. I left it back in Sifnos. So, I started all over again. And it's simply too much fun! I love it!

Have you ever thought of your creativity as a water tap? You keep it closed and look enviously at other people's taps flooding their lives. You read their interviews and look at their work. Slowly, you turn your tap on, just a tiny little bit. It just drips. One drop every day. The water is not enough. The bucket underneath the tap is still empty. You turn the tap a tiny little bit more. You are scared. What if the bucket fills up? What are you going to do with all this water? Steadily you turn the tap more and more. Your bucket is full, ready to water your garden plants. Along the way you meet peoplle who encourage you to open your tap a little bit more. You feel they want to drink your water.

It is a slow, but wonderful experience. Let's call it "The Tap Experience"!

So, let your tap open. Miracles will follow. Wet miracles! Ha ha ha!

Have a good day, love yourself for what you are, forgive yourself for what you were.



Σάββατο, 15 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

On relationships

Listening to the rain. The first rain of the fall. The rain makes you want to stay inside. Makes your crave for a hug. Makes you crave for someone to stay in bed with. The rain makes you want to stay in and write. Or drink coffee and read articles on the net.

The rain reminds you of the winter that is coming. The winter you tend to forget, when it's 40 degrees outside for two months non-stop.

Wet soil smells lovely. The sky is gray but colours are vibrant.

The time has come for me to want something like a relationship. For the past months I have been declaring. I love being alone. I am in love with me. I can do it on my own. How very convenient... How very un-true.

Sometimes you lie to yourself. You declare there is only you. And I can see women, strong women out there not committing. They say they cannot find anyone to think alike. They crave love and they are chasing dreams. Dreams of sweaty bed sheets. With the one you love so much. The one who has the body you know every inch of.

All my life I have been balancing between being in a relationship and not being in a relationship. What is better? What fills you the most? I don't think I have the answer yet. Being alone now, makes me think I do want someone to share my achievements with. Back when I was in a relationship I wanted to be free to do whatever I chose. I wanted to be alone.

What do I dream of? I dream of the "Big O" (a tale by Sel Siverstein, watch it here)
Am I a Big O? I certainly feel like one. I don't have a missing piece. I don't "need" anyone. I want a Big O who will roll with me at ease. Who will not "need" me.

We go about in life. We try this and that and the next one. The Universe is giving us choices. We take a step right. And then we turn left. And then straight again. And backwards. Forward. Right. Left. Straight... so on. We move perpetually, change choices and goals. We love, we taste, we live. Alone, in relationships, then alone again, then in relationships... What do we learn? Who will be next? Is it going to stop when you find your "Big O"?

Τετάρτη, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Fall 2012: a new era begins

So...

The exhibition went well.

There where a lot of things to worry about. The wooden frame broke on the day we were supposed to set up the exhibition. I decided not to get angry or worried. It got fixed on time. We set up and all the friends were there to support us...

In the weekend a lovely lady had her perma-culture seminar so I ended up spending the whole day in nature with wonderful people talking about sustainability in crops and gardens. One of my favorite topics!

The exhibition is now finished and I'm involved in new, exhiting projects!

The artist's community invited me to teach art history, one adult class and one children's class! I don't want my class to be a boring theory class, I want it to be thrilling and engaging. Both adults and children will be able to play and create. Be inspired by the Renaissance superstars, the Dutch masters even the American painters of abstraction! It's going to be so much fun! I do hope people come to my classes...

My other love, the love for languages is hopefully make me some money. I'll teach english...

Plus some book presentations by friends who have recently published their books. I'll be glad if I can bring some cultural stir in this small town of mine...

It's going to be an exciting winter with a lot of new experiences.

I can't wait!

Πέμπτη, 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

The fine line, will you step to the other side?

Lately I have been thinking about this fine line that separates one from being an art lover to being an artist. One moment you look at a great painting in a museum. Then, one fine day, you decide to paint or sketch. You read books like a maniac. And then you take a pen and start writing your own story. You appreciate nice photographs on the internet. And then you take your camera and go out of the door and start photographing.

It takes courage and determination to step to the other side. You are scared. You have second thoughts. You don't like the results. But you keep on doing it. You embrace the mistakes. You forgive yourself for all the wrong sentences you wrote, all your brushes' bad strokes, all the blurred images your camera took.

There comes a moment, that whatever it is you created, asks to be exposed. It becomes a creature on its own and wants to be appreciated. It shouts, it wants to get out of the closet and the drawer you have hidden it. You must listen to it. You should really give it a chance. Send your poem to that poetry competition. Create a blog to write. Whatever. Get it out there. Find someone who will get it out there despite your fear.

The next stage is even harder. You might get approval for what you created. You might get the first prize. You might even get money from what you created. You want to run and hide. Of course you can run and hide. But you might as well embrace your success.

Yes, there will be ones who will critisize you. "You could have done it THIS WAY". Yes, but this is MY way. Bad comments usually come from people who do not dare step out of their comfort zone and actually create what hides inside them. You must endure the criticism. Draw some strength from inside. Artists are sensitive creatures. They want to run and hide.

I wish people could be more sensitive with artists. The artist has put his heart out there. The artist had chosen to step out of the comfort zone.

These are my stages. I have gone through these stages. I am now the artist. Fear used to be predominant, but I guess pride is stronger now. I feel more confident. Today my bags, my bracelets, my tobacco pouches are going to be exposed. For the first time. I will be selling my own creations.

Lets see how it goes...

Τετάρτη, 5 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Thoughts...

I have been away for a few days. 
I have watched the impact of my interview from a distance. 
This time there were no big lights, big words, big... anything. 
Just simple, human reactions for a human condition.

It was subtle and quiet. 
Like my mood lately. 
A lot of people appreciated it. 
Many commented on it. 
I even made some new friends because of it. 

My artifacts are going to be exposed for sale in an exhibition. This is my main project right now. I'm really exhited and hopeful. 

Life goes on...

Τρίτη, 21 Αυγούστου 2012

Κυριακή, 19 Αυγούστου 2012

An interview on the way

skyros 2010
I was so overwhelmed when a reader friend asked me for an interview!

Looking at the questions I could not believe the depth of them, he was really reading me all this time and he thinks people might be interested in my story...

I have battled with this for these two years. Who will want to know what my life looks like, what I've been through? The joys and the darkness, the tears and laughters...

This interview made me go back and read it again. Read my - two year old - diary. It made me think. It was  not just the travelling, it was all my thoughts, all my decisions, all the inner adventures of my psyche and  - of course - my photographs. Talking with myself really, no censorship, not caring if anybody cares to read. I do care of course and there are some loyal frends in this blog, the same way I am loyal to the blogs I love. There are some talented people out there, writing, always writing, not giving up on their talent.

Tuscania 2010
I got exposure once again back in 2010 and I'll get exposed once again once this interview is published.

There is a mixture of fear and excitement inside my head and heart.
Do all bloggers feel like this?

Anyway, I'll see how this goes...

Have a good day!

Δευτέρα, 13 Αυγούστου 2012

Out of the ordinary

Out of the ordinary. That is what I always wanted in my life.

I was always seeking an extraordinary life. The life that can give you powerful emotions.

Sometime ago I thought that the extraordinary needded to be filled with anger. I needed to be angry to achieve the extraordinary. I thought that was the driving force I needed.

But later I realised that anger is not needed for the extraordinary. It comes peacefully like a little spark. And  then it becomes extraordinary. It builds slowly. It takes passion to build. Not angry passion, but rather a simmering, sizzling, underground passion.

You know it is the extraordinary when it is filled with beliefs and no's. But you still go for it. It is filled with difficulties and dangers. But it's burning.

And you want to get burned. You just feel it is part of a real life. A life filled with insecurity and change.

This is what I want my life to be. Out of the ordinary...


Κυριακή, 12 Αυγούστου 2012

Right now.


You sit and think.

All your life has brought you to this moment. This exact moment.

What do you feel right now? Who do you think of?

Every small or big decision you ever made, brings you here, now.

Are you happy? Are you sad? Are you in love with someone?

Summer rain. The smells of summer rain. The coolness in the air. I am content and grateful for  this exact moment. I am alive and well and I can enjoy the present moment. What have I done? What will I do? It does not matter. All that matters is the  - wet - now  I am experiencing. The lightning right now. The thunder right now. The drops of rain. They are powerful and I can listen to them from a house. I don’t want to get wet. I just want to stay here in the present moment, lying down, listening to the rain.

Once the rain stops I’ll experience another now. I will experience all the now’s from now on.

Πέμπτη, 9 Αυγούστου 2012

 August is quiet.

Been on the beach four times, the littlest I have been in years.

It is a different, interesting summer, without the conflicts of last year in Sifnos.

I have been meeting new friends, I have been having interesting conversations and, yes, I am flirting.
Enjoying life, enjoying the hot weather.

Bonding with my family. Forgiving.

Not much to share at the moment exept these two wonderful pictures from the beach...


Κυριακή, 5 Αυγούστου 2012

Day 4 & 5: Randa - Zermatt - Tash - Milano - Athens

It is really difficult writing about a cold place like Switzerland when the greek August sun is burning. 

It is also difficult to write about a trip that finished two weeks ago.

But I might as well finish what I started.

So.

Sunday morning was nice and sunny. 

Breakfast, a car ride with Elena to Tash and two trains to Riferlalp for the conclusion of the seminar. Matterhorn was still there, eternally there. 

One more day on these majestic mountains. A little spaced out by the knowledge I had to process in such a small period of time. A little spaced out by the lack of oxygen at such an altitude. Still really really enjoying the fact I was there.

The Intensive finished around 2 in the afternoon. The sun was shining bright and one more time I felt like sitting on the grass. This time I took my shoes off. The grass was so welcoming! I ate my sandwich and sunbathed until I felt my scalp burning. My friends slowly scattered. I wanted to be alone. I had learned there is nothing to fear. I had learned so many things! 

Where I was sitting I found a gift. A stone carved like the Matterhorn!

Once I remained alone, I decided to walk aroud a bit. Get to know the environment of the Alps. It was really colourful. All these little flowers, all these little pine cones! I took some home for my friend as a gift. Abundance in its true manifestation. How can all this fit into one post?? I guess I'll let the photographs speak for themselves...





 When I felt I was filled with the colours and fragrances of the mountain, feeling a little dizzy from the sun, hoping it was not a sunstroke, I took the train back to Zermatt.

I hadn't really walked around the village, so I was curious to look around.


Once you get away from the central street, you can find small, quiet alleys with nice looking homes and hotels. When I heard the sound of water running, I started walking what sounded like a river. It was a river indeed. 

It was wonderful to see how the Swiss have tamed the waters and built the village around them. Respect. That is the right word. Respect for nature and it's ways. The waters here are curiously white, milky white, like the melting snow has coloured the water with its whiteness... 

Tired of walking, bought my gifts - chocolate, what else - and headed back to Randa. 

I wanted to go and see the river which was close to my hotel. In reality, I was curious to put my hand in the water and see its temperature. All rivers here are completely inaccessible. It might be because they are dangerous. Still, I was curious. 



My walk to the river proved very complicated. I had to cross the train tracks and a high speed motorway. After walking back and forth for quite a while, I did find my way to the river. I was so tired of walking around, I almost quit trying. When I finally made it there, I was dissapointed. No way of checking the water's temperature. The river banks where really high up and the river itself looked ver intimidating. It seemed deep and very furious. So I sat down on the soil and just looked at it. And listened to it. The water was rumbling and glowling. I loved it. 

It looked like it was going to rain soon, so I returned to the hotel. 

I had enjoyed the day and it was time to say goodbye to these mountains. 

Monday morning I woke up at 6 as per usual. I had my capuccino ouside. The thermometer ouside the hotel said 5 degrees. VERY COLD. I had already started missing the greek summer. 

The plan was to meet everyone in Tash at 11. A bus would drive us to Milano for our 6 o clock flight. I had plenty of hours ahead of me to have a big breakfast, drink 3 capuccino's and sit around in the cold admiring the sunlight as it lit the mountain tops. I could not get enough of this landscape!  





Instead of sitting around in Randa doing nothing, I decided to go earlier to Tash, to walk around and see what it was like.

Maurizio offered to drive me there, so we had a little chat. Such nice people they are! I was treated like family and I'm sure all of their guests are treated equally like family. Next time I come to Zermatt, I'll stay at their hotel again...

Tash was a simple, traditional Alpic village. Wooden houses, the river, all coming out of a fairytale, starring Heidi. Bright, shining sun and cold weather.

As I was walking, I discovered the best fairytale garden I have ever seen. Miniature farm, lots of miniature animals, gnomes, miniature water mills with miniature inhabitants! The garden was flooded with flowers! I will be eternally grateful to whoever made this fairytale garder...Here it is:



I spent almost 2 hours in Tash. After the garden, I visited its spectacular waterfall and wondered around the alleys.

Until it was time to say goodbye to the Alps.

The trip back to Milano was still really interesting. I took hundreds of pictures from the bus, trying to capture the moments, these last exhiting moments.

We had asked the driver to make a change in his schedule. Instead of stopping in the usual big industrial cafes of the autostrada, we asked to stop in a small village to eat gelato, the infamous italian ice-cream. And we did. Gelato is one of my favorite things. The italians know how to make ice-cream. Period.

After the gelato experience we ended up driving next to one of Italy's bigger lakes, Lago Maggiore. Full of luxurious hotels and tourists who where bathing in these lakes. I personally hate the idea of swimming in a lake, but I guess I come from a different culture....

 This was pretty much the end of the trip.

Back to a hot hot hot Athens. I felt like stepping into the oven!

Still, I was really glad I came back to the summer!