The news item in today’s (19 January 2012) wires was very brief.

The watchman of the decommissioned (moored in the area  of Elefsis) vessel “Claudia M” (Italian flag)  died of a heart attack, at the age of 56.

"Claudia M"moored in the Sicilian port of Trapani, sometime in 2010

There is no mentioning of a name.

The dead man remains anonymous.

We do not know his nationality.

All the details that are ususally reported wehne someone dies, are missing.

Seaman's Book

Except of his age and his employment.

Do the details matter after all?

A seaman’s life is exposed to the huge risks created by the Sea and force of the Elements.

Most of the time seamen’s deaths are reported, they have been caused by naval accidents while the ship was en route to somewhere.

In Claudia M’s case, the ship was already decommissioned. Moored outside the port of Piraeus, near Elefsis.

The man most likely died surrounded by boredom, by the relentless pressure that Time puts upon us when we have all the time in the world and absolutely nothing to do.

Apparently, the watchman was  alone on board.

It is likely that he called for help, prior to departing from this futile world.

Officers of the Greek Coast Guard boarded the vessel, and transferred the man to the nearest hospital, where he was confirmed dead.

Claudia M in Livorno, in 2009

I write about someone’w death and I do not even know his name.

I do not even know the “good” things that he did, or even some of the “bad” things.

It is common when we escort someone to the outskirts of life as we know it, to refer to the “significant” bits of his life, his personality, and so on.

Obviously I cannot do that, as I know nothing about the man.

But I do not feel that I have to.

To mourn the loss of a human life it is not necessary to evaluate this life , assess it, criticize it, and make the whole thing worth it.

There is no “worth” in Death. There is not “ethical side” in Death.

Nikos Kavadias

Death cannot be counterbalanced by the things that the deceased did, or by the traits of his character and personality.

Death is not concerned about great losses or lesser losses.

Death does not count or weigh the good and the bad.

Death ignores and detests discrimination.

Death is the Great Equalizer nd the Master Annihilator.

And it is because of the equivalent powers of the Sea, that every Seaman has a special relationship with Death. They build this relationship during the long hours, the long days, the long months in the vast territories of the blue and grey waters. And they carry it with them everywhere they go. Until they make the last trip.

Dedication: This post is dedicated to the memory of Seaman Nikos Kavadias, who sailed for the Beyond on the 10th February 1975. 

Today’s post is food for the body and soul, images from Venice’s seafood market in Rialto.

Rialto Fishmarket in Venice

I love fishmarkets!!! As you can tell from a sequence of posts already dedicated to them!!!!

No words or explanations or arguments are necessary.

Red Mullets - Barboni - Μπαρμπουνια

Alici - Γαυρος

Sardines - Sarde - Σαρδελλες

Sardines - Sarde - Σαρδελλα φιλετο




Monkfish - Rana peskantrice - Πεσκανδριτσα


Eel - Anguila

Swordfish - Pesce Spada - Ξιφιας

Skate - Razza - Σαλαχι

Skate - Razza - Σαλαχι

Sole - Sogliola - Γλωσσα

San Pietro

Scorpion Fish - Scorfano - Σκορπινα


Scallops - Canestrelli - Χτενια

Scallops - Capesante - Κοχυλια του Αγιου Ιακωβου

Cuttlefish eggs - Latti di seppia - Αυγα σουπιας

Small cuttlefish - Seppioline - Σουπιτσες

Cuttlefish - Seppie Grosse - Σουπιες

Small Octopi - Folpi - Χταποδακια

Octopi - Piovra - Οκταποδες





Soft Venetian Crab


Squilla - Canocce

One icy morning in December, I flew with Tarom Airlines, the Romanian National Carrier, from Bucharest’s Otopeni Airport to Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos. This is a sequence of images through the glass of the airplane’s window.

Temperature and weather conditions at the Ottopeni Airport, at the time of departure:  -1 C, clear skies, frost on the ground.

Otopeni Airport, de-icing the airplane

The airplane reequired de-icing due to the frosty conditions.

Otopeni Airport, Ground service personnel

Ground service personnel

Otopeni Airport, de-icing truck

The de-icing truck

Otopeni Airport, after the de-icing shower

At Otopeni, after the de-icing.

Taxiing at Otopeni Airport

Taxiing at Otopeni

Otopeni Airport, terminal building

A fuzzy view of the terminal building at Otopeni Airport

Airborne, over Romanian Land

Airborne, over Romanian land

Airborne, over Bulgarian mountains

Airbrone, over Bulgarian mountains (it is NOT the sea!)

Airborne, over Northern Greece

Airborne, over Northern Greece

Airborne, over Central Aegean Sea

Airborne, over Central Aegean Sea

Airborne, near Evoia

Airborne, near Evoia

Landed at Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos


Flaps down and taxxing

Flaps down and taxiing

Weather conditions at the Athens Airport at the time of landing: clear skies, 10 C, dry conditions.

All photos were taken with my mobile phone, a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini. A handy and mighty device!

Surf and Turf: Lunch at the Bar of Hotel Metropole, Venice, Italy

Σάββατο, 5 Νοεμβρίου, 2011

Hotel Metropole is one of the hospitality jewels in Venice. This I knew before my last visit to Venice. What I did not know was that for two years now they serve some real food dishes (not only sandwiches and salds) in the bar of the hotel every day of the week from 1230 to 1430. Taking into account that the famous gourmet restaurant of the hotel (with two Michelin stars) does not serve lunch except on Saturday and Sunday, the bar is a practical solution for a visitor who wants to have lunch.

Hotel Metropole, Venice

The Hotel commands a fantastic position on the promenade of the “Riva degli Schiavoni”, a few meters away from St. Mark’s square.

Lunch serving area of the Bar at the Hotel Metropole

The Bar is located on the ground floor, on the left side as you enter and before you reach the reception. It has beautiful wooden panels which are used as displays for the owner’s collection of objects.

Being in Venice, it is proper to start with the surf side of the menu.

Gamberi "in saor" - Hotel Metropole, The Bar

Gamberi (prawns) “in saor” (sweet and sour). A delightful appetizer. The prawns are seared for one or two seconds, literally, and then served on a bed of cabbage and pickled red onions, with raisins and raspberries (lamponi). On top the chef placed a few finocchio leaves. The flavor combinations are incredible! And if you do not have all the rest, go and get prawns and taste them with raspberries.

Prawns "al saor" detail - Hotel Metropole, The Bar

The red onions are pickled and caramelized, adding the mild sweet and sour background to the taste of the prawns.

Cod with asparagi and potatoes with mustard sauce - Hotel Metropole, the Bar

Merluzzo is “cod” of the Adriatic Sea. It was served on a bed of mashed potatoes with mustard seeds, and asparagus.

Cod - detail

The Merluzzo was seared on the side of the skin for a couple of minutes in very strong fire, that made the skin crispy and the flesh juicy, firm, and succulent. The fish was served with fresh oregano and dill. Wonderful execution!!!

We now move to the turf side of the menu: Italian Delicacies are the first chapter.

Prosciutto crudo di Sauris is the prince of this dish of mixed cured meats. Sauris is a locality near Udine, where this tender and tasty prosciutto crudo is produced. It tasted like it has more character than the prosciutto di Parma.

Soppressa di Valdobbiadene

Salsiccia del Veneto (deer and pork)

Speck di Alto Adige. Perfect balance of salty and sweet. When the pig has had the proper food, the fat is sweet and flavorful.

Salame del Piave

The silky and full of flavour “Veal Carpaccio (di Manzo)” completed the tasting experience.

After the qualitative parts of the food, it is time to come to the value for money summary. Not only is the food of top quality, not only is the service excellent, the value for money of the Bar’s Lunch Menu is unbeatable, the best not only in Venice, but in most of Italy!!! But please please please, keep this little secret to yourselves.

The Sea – Η Θαλασσα

Δευτέρα, 3 Ιανουαρίου, 2011

C.D. Friedrich - Monk by the Sea

And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us onward with bellying canvas,
Crice’s this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.
Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,
Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day’s end.
Sun to his slumber, shadows o’er all the ocean,
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water…
Ezra Pound, Canto I

C.D. Friedrich – Moon descending on the sea

«Ήδη ὁ ήλιος, επιφανεὶς ακόμη μίαν φοράν, έκλινε προς την δύσιν. Ήτο τρίτη και ημίσεια ώρα. Και ὁ ήλιος εχαμήλωνε, εχαμήλωνε. Και ἡ βαρκούλα του μπαρμπα-Στεφανή, με το ανθρώπινον φορτίον της, εχόρευεν, εχόρευεν επάνω εις το κύμα, πότε ανερχομένη εις υγρὰ όρη, πότε κατερχομένη εις ρευστάς κοιλάδας, νυν μεν εις την ακμὴν να καταποντισθή εις την άβυσσον, νυν δε ετοίμη να κατασυντριβή κατά της κρημνώδους ακτής. Και ὁ ιερεὺς έλεγε μέσα του την παράκλησιν όλην, από το «Πολλοίς συνεχόμενος» έως το «Πάντων προστατεύεις». Κι ὁ μπαρμπα-Στεφανής εστενοχωρείτο, μὴ δυνάμενος επὶ παρουσία του παπά να εκχύση ελευθέρως τας αφελείς βλασφημίας του, τας οποίας εμάσα κι έπνιγε μέσα του, ὑποτονθορύζων: «Σκύλιασε ὁ διαολόκαιρος, λύσσαξε! Θα σκάσης, αντίχριστε, Τούρκο! Το Μουχαμετη σου, μέσα!» Κι ἡ θειὰ το Μαλαμώ, ποιούσα το σημείον του Σταυρού, έλεγε το «Θεοτόκε Παρθένε», κι επανελάμβανεν: «Έλα, κ᾿στὲ μ᾿! Βοήθα, Παναΐα μ᾿!» Και τα κύματα έπληττον την πρώραν, έπληττον τα πλευρὰ του σκάφους, και εισορμώντα εις το κύτος εκτύπων τα νώτα, εκτύπων τους βραχίονας των ἐπιβατών. Και ὁ ήλιος εχαμήλωνεν, εχαμήλωνε. Και ἡ βαρκούλα εκινδύνευε ν᾿ αφανισθή. Και η απορρώξ βραχώδης ακτὴ εφαίνετο διαφιλονικούσα την λείαν προς τον βυθὸν της θαλάσσης».

Αλεξανδρος Παπαδιαμαντης, Στο Χριστο στο Καστρο

Emil Nolde – North Sea

“Through thunder and storm, from distant seas
I draw near, my lass!
Through towering waves, from the south
I am here, my lass!
My girl, were there no south wind
I could never come to you:
ah, dear south wind, blow once more!
My lass longs for me.”

Richard Wagner, The Flying Dutchman

Emil Nolde – The Sea

“Driven on by storms and violent winds,
I have wandered over the oceans –
for how long I can scarcely say:
I no longer count the years.
It’s impossible, I think, to name
all the countries where I’ve been;
the only one for which I yearn
I never find, my homeland!”

Richard Wagner, The Flying Dutchman

Max Beckmann – North Sea

Night sea journey
An archetypal motif in mythology, psychologically associated with depression and the loss of energy characteristic of neurosis.The night sea journey is a kind of descensus ad inferos–a descent into Hades and a journey to the land of ghosts somewhere beyond this world, beyond consciousness, hence an immersion in the unconscious.["The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par. 455.]Mythologically, the night sea journey motif usually involves being swallowed by a dragon or sea monster. It is also represented by imprisonment or crucifixion, dismemberment or abduction, experiences traditionally weathered by sun-gods and heroes: Gilgamesh, Osiris, Christ, Dante, Odysseus, Aeneas. In the language of the mystics it is the dark night of the soul.Jung interpreted such legends symbolically, as illustrations of the regressive movement of energy in an outbreak of neurosis and its potential progression.

The hero is the symbolical exponent of the movement of libido. Entry into the dragon is the regressive direction, and the journey to the East (the “night sea journey”) with its attendant events symbolizes the effort to adapt to the conditions of the psychic inner world. The complete swallowing up and disappearance of the hero in the belly of the dragon represents the complete withdrawal of interest from the outer world. The overcoming of the monster from within is the achievement of adaptation to the conditions of the inner world, and the emergence (“slipping out”) of the hero from the monster’s belly with the help of a bird, which happens at the moment of sunrise, symbolizes the recommencement of progression.["On Psychic Energy," CW 8, par. 68.]

All the night sea journey myths derive from the perceived behavior of the sun, which, in Jung’s lyrical image, “sails over the sea like an immortal god who every evening is immersed in the maternal waters and is born anew in the morning.["Symbols of the Mother and of Rebirth,"CW 5, par. 306.] The sun going down, analogous to the loss of energy in a depression, is the necessary prelude to rebirth. Cleansed in the healing waters (the unconscious), the sun (ego-consciousness) lives again.

(Source: Lexicon of Jungian Terms)

Panayiotis Tetsis - Sunset

Βγάζει η θάλασσα κρυφή φωνή —
φωνή που μπαίνει
μες στην καρδιά μας και την συγκινεί
και την ευφραίνει.

The secret voice of the Sea

enters our heart

it moves and rejoices it.

C.D. Friedrich - Wreck in the Sea of Ice

Τραγούδι είναι, ή παράπονο πνιγμένων; —

το τραγικό παράπονο των πεθαμένων,
που σάβανό των έχουν τον ψυχρόν αφρό,
και κλαίν για ταις γυναίκες των, για τα παιδιά των,
και τους γονείς των, για την έρημη φωλιά των,
ενώ τους παραδέρνει πέλαγο πικρό,

Is it a song, or the complaint of the ones that sunk? -

the tragic complaint of the dead,

whose shroud is the cold foam,

and cry for their wifes and their children,

and their parents, and their empty nest,

while the bitter waves batter them,

C.D. Friedrich - Sea of Ice

σε βράχους και σε πέτραις κοφτεραίς τους σπρώχνει,
τους μπλέκει μες στα φύκια, τους τραβά, τους διώχνει,
κ’ εκείνοι τρέχουνε σαν νάσαν ζωντανοί
με ολάνοιχτα τα μάτια τρομαγμένα,
και με τα χέρια των άγρια, τεντωμένα,
από την αγωνία των την υστερνή.

and pushes them on to sharp rocks and stones,

tangles them in weeds, pulls them, pushes them,

and they run as if they were alive

with eyes scared wide open,

and their hands tense, spread,

full of the tension of death.

Κ. Καβαφης, Αποσπασμα απο τα Αποκηρυγμενα, Ικαρος, 1983

C. Cavafy, Excerpt from the Denounced Poems, Icaros, 1983

(The interpretation in English is mine)

Nikolaos Lytras – Boat with Sail

«Όχι! Όχι! Δεν βρίσκεται η χαρά στην άλλη όχθη μόνον! Είναι εδώ, μεσ’ στις ψυχές μας, μέσα σε τούτες τις καρδιές, είναι παντού για όσους μπορούν να σπάσουν τα δεσμά των, αφού και μέσα μας ο ήλιος ανατέλλει και δείχνει την πορεία μας παντού όπου πηγαίνει, φως εκ φωτός αυτός, πυρσός λαμπρός του υπερτάτου φαροδείκτου, που όλοι τον παραλείπουν οι άλλοι, του φαροδείκτου, σύντροφοι, που είναι ο ουρανός!»

“No! No! Happiness does not exist only on the distant shore! It is here, inside our souls, inside these hearts, it is everywhere for those who can break their chains, as is the sun that rises inside and guides us wherever we go, light out of light, a shining torch of the supreme beacon, which we tend to forget, the sky! ”

Έτσι ελάλησα και κάθε αμφιταλάντευσις απέπτη απ’ τις ψυχές μας. Η αγαλλίασίς μου στους άλλους μετεδόθη, και, όλοι, κοιτάζοντας τον ήλιο, πετάξαμε τα σύνεργα της πλοιαρχίας – χάρτες, διαβήτες, εξάντας και φακούς – και αρπάζοντας τους σκούφους μας, εμείς, οι ναυτικοί εκ ναυτικών, τρέξαμε στο καράβι μας (το λέγαν “Άγιος Σώζων”) και όλοι, φλεγόμενοι από την νέα μας πίστη, χωρίς πλέον να ψάχνουμε το “πού” και “πώς”, τα παλαμάρια λύσαμε και υψώνοντας τα πανιά μας, αδίσταχτα σαλπάραμε με μια κραυγή:

«Κύριε των δυνάμεων μεθ’ ημών γενού».

Thus I spoke and every doubt flew away from our souls. My uplifting was transferred to the others, and all, watching the Sun, threw out all the instruments of navigation – maps, compasses, sextants and lenses – and snatching our caps, we, the mariners, the mariners of mariners, run to our ship (it was named “Saint Saviour”) and all, burning in our newly found faith, without any more searching for the “where” and “how”, we released the mooring lines and raising our sails, sailed without hesitation with one cry:

“Lord of the powers be with us”.

Ανδρεας Εμπειρικος, Οκτανα

Andreas Empeiricos, Octana

(The interpretation in English is mine)

‘God, he said quietly. Isn’t the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea. (Πλεων δ’<ε>) Epi oinopa ponton (We’re sailing upon the wine-dark sea). Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks. I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother. Come and look.’

James Joyce,  Ulysses

Note: Homer’s “πλεων δ’επι οινοπα ποντον επ’ αλλοθροους ανθρωπους” is in-scripted on The Iron Footbridge in Frankfurt. It is therefore fitting to conclude with a poem of Frankfurt’s famous son,

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.


SILENCE deep rules o’er the waters,

Calmly slumb’ring lies the main,
While the sailor views with trouble

Nought but one vast level plain.

Not a zephyr is in motion!

Silence fearful as the grave!
In the mighty waste of ocean

Sunk to rest is ev’ry wave.

Goethe 1795

Happy Travelling!

Happy New Year!

Το παρον αποτελει ταξιδιωτικον χρονικον. Λιγο πριν τα Χριστουγεννα εξορμησα στην Τοσκανη για να δω τον φιλο μου τον Νταριο και να προμηθευτω τα αναγκαια κρεατικα για το μετα-Χριστουγεννιατικο τραπεζι με το οποιο εδω και 19 χρονια τιμω τον κουμπαρο Εμμανουηλ και την κουμπαρα Μαρια, τους οποιους ενυμφευσα στις 26 Δεκεμβριου 1991.

Ο Νταριο ειναι χασαπης σε μια κωμοπολη της Τοσκανης, το Παντσανο, και με τιμα με τη φιλια του απο το 2003.   Παρολον οτι ειναι διεθνης φιρμα, ειδικα στις ΗΠΑ οπου η κοινοτητα των σεφ Ιταλικης καταγωγης τον λατρευουν, ο Νταριο μενει πιστος στη δουλεια του, ανοιγει το μαγαζι του καθε μερα στις 9 και το κλεινει στις 2 το μεσημερι. Αποτελει γνησια ενσαρκωση του αρτιζανου τη Αναγεννησης και οταν γνωριστηκαμε μου απεκαλυψε: “εγω Νικο δεν ειμαι Ιταλος, ειμαι Ετρουσκος”. Στον Νταριο εχω αναφερθει και σε προηγουμενο αρθρο μου τον Αυγουστο του 2009.

This is a travel report of my last visit to my friend Dario, in Panzano, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy. A fe w days before Christmas I found a couple of days to cross the Adriatic, drive to Panzano and visit with my friend, who supplies me with the best meat products. Dario is a celebrity butcher, especially in the USA, where the community of chefs with Italian origin swear in his name. In spite of his celebrity status, Dario remains true to his vocation. He opens his shop at 9, and closes it at 2 every day, rain or shine. In his web site he proclaims: “Io sono un artigiano”, i.e. “I am an artisan”, and what an artisan he is!

Το δρομολογιο ειναι απλο. Πατρα – Ανκονα με το πλοιο, ενα απο τα αγαπημενα μου Σουπερφαστ, γευμα και διαμονη στην περιοχη κοντα στην Ανκονα για μια βραδυα, και την επομενη μερα μεταβαση στην Τοσκανη μεσω Περουτζια, διασχιζοντας εξ ανατολων προς δυσμας την ιταλικη χερσονησο, με αυτοκινητοδρομους που τρυπανε τα βουνα της χερσονησου πλειστες οσες φορες και μηδεν διοδια.

The travel plan is simple. Patras – Ancona on board one of my favourite ferrys, Superfast, arrival the next day and lunch at one of the restaurants near Ancona. Overnight stay in the Marches area, and the next day crossing of the Italian peninsula from east to west. The route takes me to Panzano via Perugia.

Φθανοντας στο λιμανι της Πατρας, στην Ηρωων Πολυτεχνειου, αντικρυσα για πρωτη φορα το κυμα των μεταναστων που εχει κατακλυσει την περιοχη του λιμανιου. Ενα πληθος μεγαλο, πανταχου παρον, αφημενο στην τυχη και την κακοτυχια του. Σκεφτηκα τον εαυτο μου στη θεση τους. Αφραγκος, αστεγος, βρωμικος και ελεεινος σε μια ξενη πολη, τι θα εκανα;

Arriving at the port of Patras, I saw for the first time the “wave” of immigrants who are stuck in the city and spend their time moving around the port area. The crowd is big, left to its misery and fate. How would I feel feel if I were in their position? Not well at all!  In spite of the obvious things that need to be done, nothing is done to ease the burden off the unfortunate people’s backs and eventually resolve the problem.

Ελαφρα συννεφια, αερας ελαχιστος, η προβλεψη για το περασμα απεναντι στην Ανκονα καλη. Το τεραστιο Σουπερφαστ 11 ειναι σχεδον αδειο. Τα περισσοτερα φορτηγα και ΙΧ θα μπουνε στην Ηγουμενιτσα. Χαζευω τα προσωπα των ταξιδιωτων. Οι περισσοτεροι ειναι φορτηγατζηδες, και απο ο,τι ακουσα υπαλληλοι οδηγοι, οχι ιδιοκτητες. Μαλλον ειναι καταδικασμενοι να κανουνε Χριστουγεννα στο δρομο, δεν προλαβαινουνε να γυρισουνε για τα Χριστουγεννα.

The weather was mild for December, a few clouds, light wind, temperature around 10 degrees centigrade. Superfast XI is almost empty. Most of the trucks and passenger cars will board in Igoumenitsa. I look at the travelers’ faces. Most of them are truck drivers, employees of firms rather than owners. It is too short a time for the Greeks to return home for Christmas.

Οι προβλεψεις επαληθευτηκαν. Ο διαπλους καλος, η θαλασσα ηρεμη, και η θερμοκρασια ηπια. Αρκετη υγρασια στην ατμοσφαιρα ομως.  Η Ανκονα ντυμενη στα χειμερινα χρωματα ειναι πιο σοβαρη, σχεδον επισημη. Καθως πλησιαζουμε την αποβαθρα για να δεσουμε, θυμαμαι οτι στην Ανκονα μεγαλωσε η Teresa Iginia de Marsanich,  η μητερα του μεγαλου Ιταλου λογοτεχνη Alberto Moravia.

The weather forecast came true. Very smooth sailing, calm seas, mild temperature. Due to the south winds, there is a lot of moisture in the air. Ancona welcomes us dressed in its winter colors. As we approach the pier, I remember that Ancona was the hometown of Teresa Iginia de Marsanich, the mother of the great Italian novelist Alberto Moravia.

Στην πρωτη στροφη για να βγω απο το λιμανι βλεπω το χιονι. Εδω και τρεις μερες αρχισε να λυωνει, παραμενει ομως και ηταν πολυ!

On the first turn to exit the port area I See the pile of melting snow. Three days ago they had heavy snowfall!

Η πρωτη σταση στην διπλανη πολη παραλιακη πολη της Σενιγκαλια, επανω στην παραλιακη λεωφορο. Το τοπωνυμιο ονομαζεται η Παναγιτσα του Ψαρα, και εχει αυτο το μικρο μνημειο . Ακριβως απεναντι, βρισκεται το ομωνυμο εστιατοριο του σεφ Μορενο Τσεντρονι. Για την επισκεψη μου σε αυτο εχει προηγηθει το σχετικο αρθρο.

First stop tot he neighboring town of Senigallia, on the avenue that runs along the Adriatic coast. The spot on the photo is called “Madonina del Pescatore” as the small monument testifies. Across the road, Moreno Cedroni, one of the most talented Italian chefs, offers you delicacies of the sea (and not only) in his restaurant with the same name. My visit to the restaurant is reported in the relevant post

Ολοταχως τωρα στο αγροτουριστικο καταλυμα “Tenuta San Marcello”  στους λοφους 30 χιλιομετρα απο την Ανκονα. Η περιφερεια ειναι η Marche, μια απο τις σχετικα αγνωστες τουριστικα περιοχες της Ιταλιας. Κι ομως, παρολο το χειμερινο χρωμα, το αγροκτημα ειναι υπεροχο!

After a delightful lunch I head straight to “Tenuta San Marcello“, an wine producing farm up on the hills west of Ancona. Marche, the region of ancona, is not a touristy area, but I love the landscape and – of course – the wine!

Η Πασκαλ και ο Μασσιμο, καλλιεργουν αμπελια. Πριν το 2008 κατοικουσαν και εργαζονταν στο Μιλανο, επαγγελματιες και οι δυο. Καποια μερα ομως αποφασισαν οτι η ζωη στην μεγαλη πολη του Βορρα δεν τους παει. Ο Μασσιμο καταγεται απο το Μπαρι, και εβρισκε τη νοοτροπια των Βορειων εντελως ξενη προς την δικη του. Πουλησαν λοιπον τα παντα και κατεβηκαν στο Σαν Ματρτσελο, οπου και αγορασαν το αγροκτημα. Εβαλαν τα λεφτα τους, δανειστηκαν και απο την τραπεζα, κι εφτιαξαν το καταλυμα.

Pascale and Massimo grow vines. Before 2008 they were professionals employed in Milan. One day they decided that urban life is not what they want to do for the rest of their life, and left. Massimo comes from Bari and found the culture of the North alien to his own. They sold what they owned and bought this agricultural land with a farm building in the area near San Marcello.

Το αγροκτημα διαθετει απλετους χωρους και ειναι ηδη δημοφιλες. Η Πασκαλ μου ανεφερε οτι παρολα τα καλα, δεν υπαρχει ακομη ενα πλαισιο προστασιας του αγροτικου περιβαλλοντος. Προσφατα ενα γειτονικο αγροτεμαχιο πωληθηκε σε εταιρεια που θα αναπτυξει φαρμα φωτοβολταϊκων! Για καποιο λογο δεν μπορω να διανοηθω κατι τετοιο να επιτρεπεται στην Τοσκανη!  Η Πασκαλ και ο Μασσιμο θα προσπαθησουν να μπλοκαρουν την εγκριτικη αποφαση, και δεν μπορουν ακομη να πιστεψουν οτι ενω η αδεια δοθηκε απο την Ανοιξη, κανεις απο τους ντοπιους στο Σαν Μαρτσελο δεν τους ανεφερε κατι. Το εμαθαν κατι τυχη το Δεκεμβριο!

In its first year of operation the residence is already popular and very comfortable for the visitor. Pascale told me that in spite of the nature of the local economy, there is still no framework of protection of the agricultural environment. A few months ago, an adjacent plot of land was sold to a photo-voltaic company, to build a relevant “farm”. As she was talking, I could not help thinking that such a permit would not be given in Chianti!   Pascale and Massimo will try to block the permit, but are stunned by the fact that during the months that have elapsed since, none of the locals has told them anything about it, and they had to find out by chance.

Πισω στα παραγομενα κρασια. Το λευκο σταφυλι ειναι Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, και το κοκκινο Lacrima di Morro d’Alba . Και τα δυο ειναι τοπικα και δεν καλλιεργουνται σε αλλες περιοχες της Ιταλιας. Το κυριως καταλυμα ειναι μια επισκευασμενη παληα αγροικια.  Ευχαριστω Πασκαλ και Μασσιμο, ελπιζω να σας ξαναδω την Ανοιξη!

In any case, they produce great wine, one red, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, and one white, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Both grapes are local and I am already impressed by both. Thank you Pascale and Massimo, hope to see you in the near future!

Καθ’ οδον απο Σαν Μαρτσελο προς Παντσανο. Λιγο μετα την Perugia  φτανω στο Lago Trasimeno τη μεγαλυτερη λιμνη στην Ιταλικη χερσονησο, κατα τι μικροτερη απο την λιμνη Como.

It is now time to go to Panzano. A few kilometers after Perugia I have Lago Trasimeno on my left. It is the biggest lake of the Italian peninsula, a few square kilometers smaller than Lake Como in the North.

Η γεματη λοφους περιοχη Chianti, που παραγει το ομωνυμο κρασι, ειναι ενα φυσικο τοπιο που διατηρειται με θρησκευτικο ευλαβεια απο τους Τοσκανους. εν θα δεις φωτοβολταϊκα εδω! Και φωτοβαλταικα μεν δεν εχει, εχει ομως αρκετη ομιχλη και χιονι στην ακρη του δρομου.

The Chianti area, producing the wine with the same name, is a natural environment preserved with religious fervor by the locals. No chance of seeing photo-voltaic panels in the middle of the vineyards in Chianti! But I can see snow on the sides of the road and quite a bit of fog, even though it is already mid day.

Η κωμοπολη του Παντσανο στην καρδια του Κιαντι, ειναι ο προορισμος μου. Το μαγαζι του Νταριο ειναι στο κεντρο της πολης “Παλαιο Κρεοπωλειο Τσεκινι”.

Panzano is my final destination. On top of a small hill in Chianti, Panzano is the small town where Dario Cecchini has his butcher shop, “Antica Macelleria Cecchini”.

Δεν υπαρχουν τα πληθη των τουριστων επισκεπτων του καλοκαιριου. Ενας δυο ντοπιοι, μπαινουν και βγαινουν. Ο Νταριο ειναι μονος του στο μαγαζι. Η γυναικα του Νταριο, η Κιμ πεταξε το πρωι για Σαν Φρανσισκο και θα γυρισει σε ενα μηνα. Μετα την υποδοχη που οπως παντα ειναι εγκαρδια, παραδιδω στον Νταριο το δωρο που πηρα για την Κιμ, και εκεινον. Το βιβλιο του φωτογραφου McCabe Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land, 1954-1965.

There are no tourist’s crowds today in the shop. The clients are locals. Dario is attending the shop alone. His wife Kim flew the same morning to California to see her parents. After exchanging the first greetings, I present Dario the present I got for them. McCabe’s book of black and white photographs Greece: Images of an Enchanted Land, 1954-1965.

Οσοι δεν το εχετε δει, δειτε το στο συνδεσμο που εχω προς την Αμαζονα. Αξιζει τον κοπο. Για μενα ειναι ενα βιβλιο που πρεπει να εχει καθε Ελληνας (οχι εξ αιματος, αλλα εκ πολιτισμου).  Ο Νταριο ειναι ενθουσιασμενος. “Μου θυμιζει το ταξιδι μου στην Ελλαδα των Συνταγματαρχων το 1970″ μου λεει.

Those of you who have not had a chance to see this book, have a look at it using the Amazon link. For me it is a valuable book that should be on the book shelf of every Greek (not by blood but by culture). Dario loves it. “It reminds me of the Greece I Saw back in the 70′s” he says.

Μια πελατισσα τελειωνει τα ψωνια της και ο Νταριο μου τη συστηνει. Ειναι η Μυριαμ, μια γυναικα απο την κωμοπολη. Μολις ακουει οτι ειμαι Ελληνας, ανοιγει την τσαντα της και βγαζει μια φωτοτυπια με το ποιημα του Καβαφη “Ιθακη” αποδομενο στα Ιταλικα.

A woman finishes her shopping and Dario introduces her to me. Her name is Myriam, and when she hears that I come from Greece she opens her purse and pulls out a photocopy of Cavafy’s Ithaca, translated in Italian. The culprit is Dario, who loves Cavafy and indoctrinates all of his friends and clients.

Και τωρα ωρα για δραση! Ο Νταριο αρχιζει την ετοιμασια της Αριστης, που ειναι χοιρινο ρολο με μυρωδικα της Τοσκανης, που θα ψηθει στο φουρνο.

And now, action time! Dario starts the preparation of Arista, which is rolled pork pancetta with Toscana spices.

Το πρωτο βημα ειναι αβαθεις επιμηκεις τομες στο δερμα, για να μπορεσει να τυλιχθει το κρεας.

Cut the skin on the long side so that the pancetta can be rolled.

Στο δευτερο βημα αλειφεται το κρεας με πολτο σκορδου.

Spread garlic pulp on the inside.

Το τριτο βημα περιλαμβανει θυμαρι και αλατοπιπερο.

Sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper.

Το τεταρτο βημα κλεινει την ετοιμασια με αφθονο δενδρολιβανο.

Finally, be generous with rosemary.

Τελος, τυλιγομε, δενομε και συσκευαζομε  για το μακρυνο ταξιδι. Ο Νταριο βαζει στο κουτι κι ενα βαζακι με αλατι, πιπερι και μυρωδικα της Τοσκανης, που νοστιμιζει ενα καλο κομματι κρεας χωρις να “σκοτωνει” τη γευση του και τα αρωματα του.

Roll, tie, pack neatly, for the long journey back to Greece. Dario adds a vase with salt, pepper and Tuscan spices, that add taste to the meat without overpowering it.

Η Αριστη της Τοσκανης εχει και μιαν ιστορια να τη συνοδευει. Το Ιανουαριο του 1439 μεταφερθηκε στη Φλωρεντια η Συνοδος της Φερραρα αναμεσα στη Δυτικη και την Ανατολικη Εκκλησια. Την Ανατολικη Εκκλησια εκπροσωπουσε αντιπροσωπεια της οποιας ηγειτο ο Πατριαρχης Ιωσηφ ο Δευτερος.

Arista of Tuscany, as the dish is known, has a legend following it. In January 1439, the Council of Ferrara between the West and East Christian Churches, was moved from Ferrara to Florence. The Eastern Church delegation was headed by the Patriarch Joesph II.

Σε ενα γευμα που παρεθεσαν οι Φλορεντινοι στους μετεχοντες, περιελαβαν την Αριστη. Αφου δοκιμασε ο Πατριαχης Ιωσηφ, κατα την παραδοση  σηκωθηκε, και ανεκραξε “Αριστος!” Εκτοτε το χοιρινο αυτο ρολο αναφερεται ως η Αριστη της Τοσκανης.

The hosts presented the Patriarch with a meal that included Arista. After the Patriarch tasted it, he rose and pronounced in a loud voice “Aristos”! meaning the best in Greek. Ever since, the dish is called “Arista Toscana”

Ο Νταριο οπως παντα ειναι και ενας εξοχος οικοδεσποτης, οποτε δεν μπορω να αρνηθω τρια απο τα εξαισια εδεσματα που ετοιμαζει καθε μερα στο εργαστηριο του.

Dario is in addition to everything else a great host, so after the preparation of the Arista, it is time to have a taste of his recipes.

Sushi del Chianti

Sushi del Chianti.

Αυτη η δημιουργια του Νταριο ειναι – οπως ολες – η αποθεωση της απλοτητας και της ποιοτητας της πρωτης υλης. Μοσχαρισιο κρεας αριστης ποιοτητας εχει κοπει με το μαχαιρι (ποτε απο τη μηχανη του κυμα) και αναμιχθει με ελαιολαδο και μυρωδικα ισα ισα για να σπασει η ευθυγραμμη γευση του κρεατος.

Raw veal cut with knife to a smooth soft pulp seasoned with slat, pepper and spices, with a touch of lemon zest.

Tuna (Tonno) del Chianti

Tuna (Tonno) del Chianti.

Εδω εχομε την αλλη ακρη της κλιμακας, χοιρινο μαγειρεμενο σιγα σιγα μεχρις οτου σχεδον λειωσει, και αποκτησει αυτη την υφη του τονου. Ειναι μια συνταγη που τη βρηκε ο Νταριο στην παραδοση και την επανεφερε με τον δικο του τροπο.

Dario found this traditional recipe and improved on it. This slowly cooked pork meat really tastes like tuna!

Cosimino (Meatloaf)

Cosimino (Meatloaf).

Το ρολο απο χοιρινο κιμα ειναι μια αρμονια αρωματων, αφου ο Νταριο εχει βαλει ολη του την τεχνη να φτιαξει κατι εξαιρετικα νοστιμο.

And the famous meatloaf, a real delight!

Ολα τα καλα ομως εχουν το τελος τους, κι ετσι ειμαι παλι στο δρομο για την επιστροφη, αφου υποσχεθηκα στον Νταριο οτι θα επιστρεψω τον Αυγουστο.

As always in life, the good things do not last very long, it is time to go, having promised to Dario that I will be back in August.

Το υπεροχωτατο Σουπερφαστ 11 δεμενο στην Ανκονα, ετοιμο για το περασμα απεναντι. Μονο που δεν ηξερα οτι ειχε 10 μποφωρ μεχρι την Κερκυρα. Μετα το τρελλο ταρακουνημα η Ηγουμενιτσα νυσταγμενη ακομη μας υποδεχεται.

The superb Superfast XI ready to sail from the port of Ancona. The only thing I did know was that there were winds of 10 in the beaufort scale from Ancona all the way to Igoumenitsa. After all the crazy dancing on the waves, Igoumenitsa greets us.

Με τρεις ωρες καθυστερηση, ταλαιπωρημενοι και κουνημενοι για τα καλα, φθανομε στον Κορινθιακο .

With three hours of delay, shaken and stirred like a good James Bond Martini, we enter the Corinthian Gulf.

Ο αερας δεν ειναι τοσο εντονος, και η θερμοκρασια ειναι στους 15 βαθμους.

The winds are now between 6 and 8 on the beaufort scale, and temperature around 15 degrees.

Τελειωνει η επιστροφη με το τελευταιο σκελος, Πατρα – Αθηνα. Ο δρομος σχετικα αδειος, ειναι πια παραμονη Χριστουγεννων. Το μαγειρεμα και το τραπεζι της Αριστας ακολουθουν σε επομενη αναρτηση.

I am almost there! I only need to travel the 221 km from Patras to Athens. The road is almost empty, the weather is fine. The preparation of the “Arista” meal will follow in a separate post.

Ευχομαι τα καλυτερα σε ολους του περαστικους απο εδω, το ατελιε που τοχουμε βαφτισει.

I wish to all the visitors of the blog a Happy and Creative New Year!

Αργα ή γρηγορα, ολοι μπαρκαρουμε μια μερα. Αλλοι για πολυ, αλλοι για λιγο, εως οτου ερθει η ωρα για το τελευταιο μπαρκο, που το κανουμε ολοι, ο καθενας μονος του.

Ο Νικος Καββαδιας ειναι απο τους μεγαλυτερους συγχρονους Ελληνες ποιητες και συγγραφεις. Σε αυτη την αναρτηση ξεκιναω απο μια μερα που μπαρκαρησε και περιδιαβαινω στη “Βαρδια”, το αριστουργημα του.

Nikos Kavadias, is one of the greatest modern the Greek Poets and Writers. This post starts from a day he sailed from Piraeus on the “Acquarius”, and wanders in his novel “The Watch”.

Ηταν Κυριακη, 17 Μαϊου 1974, οταν ο Καββαδιας, 64 ετων τοτε, γεννημενος το 1910, συναντησε φιλους του στο Τουρκολιμανο για μεσημεριανο φαγητο. Στις 4 το ιδιο απογευμα μπαρκαριζε στο κρουαζιεροπλοιο “Υδροχοος”, οπου ηταν Ασυρματιστης Α’. Ο φιλος του Ηλιας Παπαδημητρακοπουλος τον πηγε στην αποβαθρα για να μπαρκαρει.  Ο Καββαδιας ειχε ολα του τα ταξιδιωτικα ειδη σε μια μικρη βαλιτσα της “Αιρ Φρανς”.

Η φωτογραφια αυτη στην αποβαθρα πριν το μπαρκο λεει παρα πολλα. Ο Καββαδιας δεν ειχε πια αναγκη να ταξιδευει. Ειχε φιλους σχεδον παντου, και ποικιλους. (Ειρησθω εν παροδω, ο Καββαδιας ειχε μεγαλη αγαπη για τη ζωγραφικη, και πολλους ζωγραφους φιλους, αναμεσα σε αυτους ο Χατζηκυριακος Γκικας, ο Μωραλης, αλλα και ο μεγαλος Εγγλεζος ζωγραφος Λουσιαν Φροϋντ. που του ειχε χαρισει μια ζωγραφια της Μασσαλιας.) Μπορουσε λοιπον ο Καββαδιας να μεινει στην Αθηνα και να περνα μια ηρεμη και ευχαριστη ζωη. Αυτος ομως προτιμησε να μπαρκαρει και παλι.

It was Sunday, 17 May 1974. Kavadias at that time was 64 years old, being born in 1910.  He met with friends in the marina of Tourkolimano, Piraeus, and had lunch. At 4 pm he was sailing with the cruise ship Acquarius, where he was the radio operator. His friend Elias Papadimitrakopoulos  drove him to the port where the photograph above was taken. Kavadias was carrying only one slim “Air France” bag.

Hellenic Mediterranean Lines: Aquarius

Ο “Υδροχοος” ηταν το στερνο καραβι του Καββαδια. Ο ξαφνικος θανατος τον βρηκε στις 10 Φεβρουαριου 1975. Πεθανε μεσα στην Πολη, και οχι στο Πελαγο, και ειχε μια κηδεια σαν των πολλων ανθρωπωπν τις κηδειες.

Το μοναδικο μυθιστορημα του Καββαδια ειναι η “Βαρδια”, που εκδοθηκε το 1954. Για μενα ειναι απο τα κορυφαια εργα της λογοτεχνιας. Μιας λογοτεχνιας του περιθωριου, αφου ο ναυτικος ζει στο περιθωριο της κοινωνιας, εξω απο τα κυρια ρευματα και συμβασεις της. (Ο φιλος και συμμαθητης του Καββαδια στον Πειραια, ο Γιαννης Τσαρουχης, φιλοτεχνησε τεσσερις ζωγραφιες για την εκδοση του 1976, που ο συγγραφεας δεν ευτυχησε να δει.)

Yannis Tsarouchis: Diamandis

Η ζωγραφια αυτη του Τσαρουχη (δημοσιευμενη στην εκδοση της “Βαρδιας” που κατεχω, του 1989) δειχνει ενα επεισοδιο απο τη “Βαρδια”, οταν ο δοκιμος ο Διαμαντης ανησυχει για ενα σπυρι που εβγαλε εκει…. και ξεβρακωνεται για να το δουν και να συμπερανουν τι εχει.

Εχω επιλεξει καποια χαρακτηριστικα αποσπασματα απο τη “Βαρδια” για να διανθησω την αναρτηση αλλα και να διαλευκανω το “μυστηριο” του μπαρκου.

“βρηκα ξενοδοχειο στο….Που αλλου! Αναμεσα στα πορνεια, στα φτηνα καμπαρε, στα μαγειρια. Μια μικρη καμαρα σε σοφιτα. … Πηγαιναν να κοιμηθουν οι δουλευταδες της νυχτας. Φυλακες, γκαρσονια, πορνες, κοκοτες, γυναικες του καμπαρε. Αρπαζε το ματι σου καθως εβγαινες, προσωπα καρβουνιασμενα, ξεπαγιασμενα, κι αλλα που’ χε πεσει το φτιασιδι απο πανω τους, για να μεινει πανου σ’αλλα μαγουλα, ρυτιδωμενα και φαγωμενα απο τον αναεμο και την αλμυρα.”

“Η μανα του δεν εκλαψε. Σε κεινο το νησι οι γυναικες δεν κλαινε ποτε μπροστα στους αλλους. Οταν καις, ειναι σα να γδυνεσαι, και χειροτερο. Κλαινε τη νυχτα, οταν σωθει το λαδι του καντηλιου και τσιριζει η καντηληθρα. Οταν σε πιανει στο λαιμο η μυρωδια του καμενου λαδιου.”

Γιαννης Τσαρουχης: Τεσσερις ζωγραφιες για τη "Βαρδια"

“Βοη της σφυριχτρας, ομιχλη, ζεστη, κουραση, ανακατωνονται.

Γδυσου. Θα σου δωσω για φορεμα το πουσι…Θα πιω αλλο ενα, για χαρη της θαλασσας…Για χαρη της γοργονας που’χω στο μπρατσο μου. Που σαλταρει στη θαλασσα καθε νυχτα και με κερατωνει με τον Ποσειδωνα. Γυριζει το πρωι που κοιμαμαι, γιοματη φυκια και τσουκνιδες της θαλασσας. Οταν πιανουμε στερια για καιρο, μαραζωνει και χανει τα χρωματα της. ..Ενα σπιτακι στην εξοχη. Να κοιμασαι μια βραδια στα δυο χρονια. Διχως γυναικα στο παλι σου. Το πρωι να σαλπαρεις. ..Παλι το ντακα ντουκου της μηχανης, η μυρωδια της λαντζας, η βαποριλα, ο μαγειρας που κοβει τα νυχια του με το μαχαιρι της κουζινας. Βαρδια γιερνε, γιατακι με κοριους, επισκευες, μυρωδια της μοραβιας, πισσα βρασμενη, αποπατοι δεξαμενης, νερο θολο στο μπουγελο.”

“Δεν ειναι η θαλασσα που σκιαζομαστε. Την κουμανταρουμε και μας κουμανταρει. Κανεις δεν ξερει να την ταξιδευει σαν τους Γραικους. Μπουγαζιανοι, Μαρμαρινοι και Μαυροθαλασσιτες. Νησιωτες. Βασανισμενα μουτρα. Χαλασμενα χερια. Γρινιαρηδες και παραπονεμενοι. “

“Οι μεγαλοι δεν κλαινε. Ομως ειν’ ενας κομπος που ανεβαινει, ενας βροχος. Ειν’ εκεινο που κανει τους στεριανους να γραφουν βιβλια και τους ναυτες να σκαλιζουν και ν’ αρματωνουν μεσα σε μποτιλιες καϊκια η να ζωγραφιζουν το κορμι τους. “

“Η θαλασσα στις ακτες! Ολοι οι αποπατοι του κοσμου κατεβαινουν στη θαλασσα. Οι νεροχυτες, ολο το αγκομαχητο της νυχτας. Το ιδιο με τον αποπατο. Ο γιαλος ειναι γεματος σαρδελοκουτια, αποχτενιδια, καρεκλοποδαρα, τρυπια γοβακια. Γιοματος κοριτσια που κολυμπανε και χαιρονται το νερο. Χαρισμα σας…”


γιερνε: διαρκως

γιατακι: κλινη, καταλυμα

βαποριλα: η μυρωδια του βαποριου

λαντζα: δοχειο με υγρα για τον καθαρισμο των σκευων

μοραβια: αντιδιαβρωτικο και αντιρρυπαντικο χρωμα αντοχης για την βαφη των υφαλων των πλοιων

Η αναγνωση της “Βαρδιας” αποκαλυπτει το γιατι ο Καββαδιας δεν εμεινε εκεινο το απογευμα τηε Κυριακης με τους φιλους του στο Τουρκολιμανο, να πιει τον καφε του με την ησυχια του, να παει να κοιμηθει λιγο το μεσημερι, μετα να βγει το βραδυ στην ταβερνα.

Ο Καββαδιας δεν ηταν μονο ενας μεγαλος ποιητης και συγγραφεας, ηταν ΚΑΙ ναυτικος. Το να ειναι ναυτικος ηταν αναποσπαστο μερος του ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙΝ. Δεν γινοτανε να το αποχωριστει.  Η πραγματικη ζωη του ηταν η ζωη του ναυτικου. Στη “Βαρδια” ο συγγραφεας ειναι ενας απο τους πρωταγωνιστες.  Και ειναι πρωταγωνιστης σε ενα κοσμο εντελως διαφορετικο απο τον κοσμο της διανοησης η τον κοσμο τον μεσοαστικο.

Η καθημερινοτητα του ναυτικου ειναι η αναμετρηση με τη θαλασσα. Αυτη η αναμετρηση καθοριζει την καθε πραξη του. Αργα η γρηγορα ολα επιστρεφουν και καταληγουν στο αλωνι της αναμετρησης με την μεγαλη Ερωμενη.

Ο Καββαδιας συγγραφεας ειναι και ο Καββαδιας ναυτικος, αυτα που γραφει τα γραφει εκ των εσω, και οχι εκ των ασφαλων εξω. Ειναι μεσα στην αρενα παλευοντας με την θαλασσα, και οχι στην ασφαλη στερια.

Η γοητεια που ασκει ακομη και σημερα το εργο του Καββαδια ειναι εν πολλοις η γοητεια ενος κοσμου του περιθωριου, που ο μεσοαστος δεν θα γνωρισει ποτε, ουτε και τον καταλαβαινει πολυ, αλλα ειναι ενας κοσμος σχεδον ονειρικος, απομακρος και ξενος.

(Δεν εχω παρε δωσε με ναυτικους, παρα μονο απο τα αεροπορικα ταξιδια. Οταν ζουσα στην Αγγλια, γυρνουσα απο Αθηνα μετα τις γιορτες κατι μερες περιεργες, οπως Πρωτοχρονια, η αμεσως μετα τα Χριστουγεννα, παντα με την πρωινη πτηση της Μπριτις Εργουειζ, που ηταν μισοαδεια. Οι αλλοι επιβατες ηταν κατα κανονα ναυτικοι που πηγαινανε για μπαρκο. Το πρωινο σερβιροτανε οκτω η ωρα το πρωι ωρα Ελλαδος, και ολοι πινανε ουισκυ και καπνιζανε σαν αρπαηδες (εκεινη την εποχη επιτρεποτανε το καπνισμα στα αεροπλανα). Λιγομιλητοι, κοιταζανε καπου εκει εξω, καθως πινανε και καπνιζανε. )

Κλεινω με τους τελευταιους στιχους του ποιητη:

“Μα ο ήλιος αβασίλεψε κι ο αητός απεκοιμήθη
και το βοριά το δροσερό τον πήραν τα καράβια.
Κι έτσι του δόθηκε καιρός του Χάρου και σε πήρε.”

Γιαννης Τσαρουχης: Τεσσερις ζωγραφιες για τη "Βαρδια"


Αναφερόμενος στην καθημερινή ζωή του Καββαδία, ο καθηγητής της νεοελληνικής φιλολογίας στη Σορβόνη Γκυ (Μισέλ) Σωνιέ, γράφει: «Στην καθημερινή ζωή ο Καββαδίας μπορεί να ήταν πονηρός παραμυθάς και ν’ απόφευγε, μαζί μου τουλάχιστον, και, όσο ξέρω, με αρκετούς φίλους, κάθε είδος εξομολόγησης και μερικές φορές ακόμα και σοβαρής προσωπικής κουβέντας, καταφεύγοντας εν ανάγκη στις πιο επιπόλαιες γραφικές κοινές αναμνήσεις μόλις η κουβέντα έκανε να γλιστρήσει προς επικίνδυνες περιοχές […] Στο έργο του συμβαίνει ακριβώς το αντίθετο. Από την αρχή ως το τέλος τα γραπτά του, ποιήματα και πεζά, διέπονται, στο κλίμα τους και στη μυθολογία τους, από μια παντοδύναμη ενοχή. Και στη Βάρδια- κατ’ εμέ η κορυφή του όλου έργου- κορυφώνεται και η ενοχή: ένας κόσμος ολόκληρος σήπεται και καταρρέει. Ταυτόχρονα η εξομολόγηση, ας είναι φανταστική, είναι άλλο ζήτημα, παίζει βασικό ρόλο. Στη «Βάρδια» όλες οι ιστορίες που διηγείται ο αφηγητής ακόμα και η ιστορία που διαδραματίζεται γύρω του κατά το ταξίδι του «Πυθέα» έχουν παρόμοια κατάληξη».

«Εμένα εκείνο που με συναρπάζει είναι το ήθος του. Η ανθρώπινη σχέση σε αυτό το βιβλίο έχει μια μοναδική συνέπεια (…). Εκείνο που ανατρέπει την καθεστηκυία ηθική – και δίνει στην Βάρδια μια άλλη διάσταση σχεδόν πολιτική – είναι το γεγονός πως όλοι αυτοί οι ντεσπεράντος (πόρνες, ρουφιάνοι, λαθρέμποροι, παιδεραστές, τυχοδιώκτες κλπ) δείχνουν όχι μόνο μια καταπληκτική αλληλεγγύη μα και μια συνέπεια κυριολεκτικά απροσδόκητη (…). Θεωρώ τη Βάρδια μέγιστο μάθημα ήθους. Μακάρι να μπορούσε να διδαχθεί στα σχολεία». – Ηλίας Παπαδημητρόπουλος

Η πηγη των ανωτερω παραπομπων και της απρομαυρης φωτογραφιας του μπαρκου ειναι το αφιερωμα “7 Ημερες” της εφημερίδας «Καθημερινή», 1999.

Heidegger-weg (Heidegger’s Path) – Part I

Τετάρτη, 27 Οκτωβρίου, 2010

(according to Heidegger)

“The whole history of philosophy is just an endless variation of the Greeks’ theme ,

which is the theme of the Being itself. “

Jean Beaufret, 1974

This post started as a description of my journey to Martin Heidegger’s hometown and mountain resort.
On the way it changed, it grew.

The physical dimension and elements are now interlaced with a journey through time, and through the philosophical space.

The material outgrew the confines of a  post and I had to split it in two parts, the first ending nominally with the second world war.

This journey is a tribute to the great modern philosopher and his work.

As a man, Heidegger was quite a controversial figure on many fronts. I touch upon some of them, but the post cannot exhaust them or cover them in any way approaching completeness.

Martin and Elfride Heidegger's grave in the Messkirch Cemetery

Εκ του τελους αρχεσθαι.

The beginning is the end.

“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.” MH

Martin Heidegger died in 1976 in Freiburg, and was burried in the cemetery of his hometown, Messkirch.

The beginning of the journey was the small town of Messkirch, in Baden – Wurttemberg, near the Black Forest, where Martin Heidegger was born in 1889.

Heidegger’s father, Friedrich, was a carpenter. His mother Johanna, née Kempf, was a house wife. They were a family of poor means, who could not afford to send Martin to the university. Therefore, they enrolled him to a Jesuit Seminary.

Young Martin did not stay in the Seminar.  In 1909 he “escaped” and went to the University of Freiburg, where he studied theology and philosophy.

In 1917 he marries Elfride Petri who will remain his supporting wife until his death.

Edmund Husserl - Photo courtesy of the Heidegger Museum in Messkirch

From 1919 to 1923 he served as an assistant to Professor Edmund Husserl at the University of Freiburg.

Heidegger developed Husserl’s phenomenology in a new direction. He shifted the emphasis from the meaning of consiousness to the meaning of Breing.  Husserl’s epistemological question “What does it mean to know?” is transformed into the question “What does it mean to Be?” in Heidegger’s conception.

Heidegger opposes the Husserlian claim that a person’s relation to the world and the things in it must be mediated by something in the person’s mind: beliefs, desires, experiences, etc. — what philosophers call “intentional content.” As he puts it:

“The idea of a subject which has intentional experiences . . . encapsulated within itself is an absurdity which misconstrues the basic ontological structure of the being that we ourselves are.”

After Heidegger became a Professor at the University of Freiburg, the relationship of the two men deteriorated and eventually broke down completely.

In 1922 Elfride gave Martin as present the wood cabin (Hutte) in Todtnauberg, where she was going for skiing. This cabin became Heidegger’s refuge, the calm place to go and think, write and meet some people.

In Paul Celan’s poem “Todtnauberg”, written in 1967 after his visit to the cabin, the Sternwürfel, the wooden cube above Heidegger’s well (resembling a Mallarmean die in “Un coup de dès”), is metonymically linked by its star design to the yellow arnica flower, viewed as the Jewish star.

The Cabin in the late October for and snow

In 1923 he was elected professor a the University of Marburg, where he stayed until 1928.

Heidegger turned the Western Philosophy upside down, starting with Descartes, who considered that the human being is a mind located in a meterial body. Heidegger asserted that the human existence is a happening, a process that welds the human to the World.

For Heidegger, there is not mind, body, and world, but Dasein in-the-world, as a ‘unitary phenomenon’.

For Descartes, space is a matter of abstract mathematical coordinates and calculations in which things are located and move about; for Heidegger, space is how Dasein experiences things.

Heidegger’s determination to break out of the philosophical tradition is focused in his attempt to get beyond the subject/object distinction.

In 1924 he met Hannah Arendt, with whom he had an affair until 1926 , when she left Marburg University to go to Heidelberg and study under Karl Jaspers. Arendt is a key person in Heidegger’s life, as she became one of his strongest supporters when he was accused of being a Nazi. She referred to this as a personal “error”.

His next major affair after Hannah Arendt was with Elisabeth Blochmann, who was also studying at Marburg. It must be noted that with the recent publication of the letters between Martin and Elfriede Heidegger in 2005 did it become known that the Heidegger marriage was an “open” one, in that Elfriede likewise had affairs, including one with the family doctor who fathered her first son, Hermann Heidegger.

In 1927, Heidegger publishes “Sein und Zeit”, “Time and Being”, his unfinished masterpiece, and dedicates it to his Professor, Edmund Husserl.

Most of it was written in the Todtnauberg cabin.

In its original design, Being and Time would have two parts, each part comprising three divisions.

As published, the book covered only the first two divisions of Part One.

The third division of Part One is now considered to be covered by the “The Basic Problems of Phenomenology”, and the first part of Division Two by “Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics” (see below”.

Divisions two and three of Part Two are essentially covered by  “The Basic Problems of Phenomenology”.

In this sense, the original design of Being and Time has been completed, albeit in an indirect way.

Within a few years, this book was recognized as a truly epoch-making work of the 20th century philosophy.

In 1928 Heidegger is appointed Professor at the University of Freiburg, succeeding Husserl.

In 1929 Heidegger delivers his important inaugural lecture, What Is Metaphysics

and publishes his famous bookKant and the Problem of Metaphysics.

In the Spring of 1933, April 21, Heidegger is appointed Rector of the University and joins the NSDAP.

Heidegger attending a celebration at the University of Freiburg

On May 3, 1933 he joined the NSDAP party. On May 27, 1933 he delivered his inaugural rector’s address on “The Self-Affirmation of the German University,” whose ambiguous text is frequently interpreted as an expression of his support of Hitler’s regime.

His spell as a Rector is short lived. He resigns on the 23rd April 1934.

He is the first Rector to resign under NSDAP rule.

His inaugural rector’s address was found incompatible with the party line and its text was eventually banned by the Nazis.

In his lectures of the late 1930s and the early 1940s, especially those which he gave during the period in which he was writing Contributions to Philosophy, he expressed covert criticism of Nazi ideology. Heidegger says in the SPIEGEL interview:

“After I resigned from the rectorate, I retreated back to my task as teacher. In the summer semester 1934 I lectured on “Logic.” In the following semester, 1934/35, I gave the first lecture on Hölderlin. The lectures on Nietzsche began in 1936. All of those who could hear heard that this was a confrontation with National Socialism.”

The entrance to the Heidegger Museum in Messkirch

For some time he was under surveillance of Gestapo. He was finally humiliated in 1944 when he was declared the most “expendable” member of the faculty and sent to the Rhine to dig trenches. Heidegger reminisces:

The Spiegel Interview

“In the last year of the war, five hundred of the most eminent scholars and artists were exempted from any kind of military service.19 I was not one of those who were exempted. On the contrary, in the summer of 1944 I was ordered to dig trenches over near the Rhine, on the Kaiserstuhl.” (The SPIEGEL Interview).

I cannot of course cover this issue completely and even more, offer any explanations or assertions to the truth.

A lot of books have been written, heated debates taken place, and this will go on.

In my humble view, there is no doubt that Heidegger flirted with NSDAP in 1933,and failed miserably. He resigned from the Rector’s position and never resumed a position of power or influence. The way he rationalized this is of no interest to me. His work reamined at large untainted by the Nazi rubbish and poison. There are slips here and there, but he recovers quickly and never returns to the fallacies.

The path through the fields in Messkirch

Heidegger was attached to his homeland. When in Messkirch, he would go for a walk in a path crossing the fields, for which the German word is Feldweg.

Today the path is still there, but the bench where Heidegger used to sit and work is gone. Only a label on a tree informs the visitor that the bench was there in the past.

A sign on MH's bench

Messkirch is a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. It is a town that appears to have disowned its son, Martin Heidegger. Heideger is covered by a cover of guilt and oblivion.

“Anxiety as the superlative disclosure leads Dasein to an authentic
awareness of essential finitude of human existence, and hence serves
as the foundation for the possibility of authentic existence in its intrinsic
relation to the anticipation of death.” MH

Paros in the Autumn: Naoussa

Σάββατο, 16 Οκτωβρίου, 2010

Today I start posting photos from my quick autumnal trip to Paros. The starting point is Naoussa, with its beautiful old fishing port.

The old fishing port of Naoussa remains a beauty in any season. The small church of Agios Nikolaos is one of the most picturesque I have seen in Greece.

The colors are clear, almost intense, the nets are covered, the weather outside is rough.  The white wall on the right is Agios Nikolaos’.

A lazy day for the fishing boats, the weather is very windy. The ruined fortress is testimony to the past of the island, when pirates were attacking and the locals were defending.

The inevitable reminder of the link with the Ottoman Empire (Soultana is the name of the boat, and it is derived from the word Sultan, the Ruler, the Emperor in the Ottoman days – Soultana or Sultana is the daughter, or sister of the Ruler – the Queen Mother, ie the Sultan’s mother was called “Valide Sultan”as for the “wife” she had no name, as it were the harem, not a single woman giving the delights to the ruler. The unknown harem meber became a woman with a name only when she gave birth to a Sultan).

Agios Nikolaos’ belfry. This could be the definite post card from Greece. It has the colors, it has the flag, it has the religious symbol, it has the subliminal simplicity and clarity of the Aegean light.

Gone are the fiery summer colors. The port is resting. I like it like this. It is more human.

Gone are the crowds and the chairs. The space has cleared and the simple white structure rests on its own. As it should.

Very few people are around, all of them tourists. The locals have no reason to come to the old fishing port.

Spaace has been transformed. Everything has now its own space to breath.

Little Venice (Zourio) in glorious clouds.

There are more seagulls than people.

With this tranquil image I end the “Naoussa” post. More posts will follow on the village of Lefkes, the “capital” Paroikia and a selection of other spots on the island.

Freud on the Acropolis

Τετάρτη, 22 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2010

On his only visit to Greece, in 1904, Sigmund Freud experienced

brief but unsettling feelings of alienation as he

stood on the Acropolis. Haunted by this experience,

Freud did not succeed in analyzing it to his own

satisfaction until 32 years after the event, in 1936.

In 1936 he wrote to his good friend Romain Rolland a letter, where he tried to self-analyze what happened to him back in 1904 on the Acropolis.

Romain Rolland

Freud had started to exchange letters with Romain Rolland since 1923. The French thinker influenced the father of modern psychoanalysis, to the extent that Rolland’s “oceanic feeling” was featured in the opening of Freud’s “Civilization and its discontents”.

Athens and the Acropolis were not in Freud’s travel plans in the summer of 1904. They(he was accompanied by his brother) were going to visit Corfu. However, while in Trieste, they were advised not to go to Corfu, but instead visit Athens and the Acropolis. Freud narrates:

When, finally, on the afternoon of our arrival I stood on the Acropolis and cast my eyes upon the landscape, a surprising

thought suddenly entered my mind: ‘So all this really does exist, just as we learnt it at school!’”
“. . . the whole psychical situation, which seems so confused and is so difficult to describe, can be satisfactorily

cleared assuming that at the time I had (or might have had) a momentary feeling: ‘What I see here is not real.’
Such a feeling is known as ‘a feeling of derealization’ ['Entremdungsgefuhl' (literally, 'a feeling of alienation')].”

“I might that day on the Acropolis have said to my brother: ‘Do you still remember how, when we were young, we used day after
day to walk on the same streets on our way to school, and how every Sunday we used to go to the Prater or on some excursion we knew so well? And now, here we are in Athens, and standing on the Acropolis! We really have gone a long way!’
. . .
It must be that a sense of guilt was attached to the satisfaction in having gone such a long way: there was
something about it that was wrong, that from earliest times had been forbidden. . . .
It seems as though the essence of success was to have got further than one’s father, and as though to excel one’s father was still something forbidden. . . .
The very theme of Athens and the Acropolis in itself contained evidence of the son’s superiority. Our father had been in business, he had had no secondary education, and Athens could not have meant much to him. Thus what interfered with our enjoyment of the journey to Athens was a feeling of filial piety….”

Sigmund Freud

“I was already a man of mature years [forty-eight] when I stood for the first time on the hill of the Acropolis of
Athens, between the temple ruins, looking out over the blue sea. A feeling of astonishment mingled with my
joy. . . . [M]y astonishment . . . has something to do with the special character of the place. ”
Freud might had the most sincere intention of self analyzing his response to the Acropolis, but his explanations appear to be rather cliche. A man who had deep and rounded knowledge of Ancient Greece and its culture, could not have stayed only at the father -son conflict. Quite obviously the conflict was much deeper and broader. And we will never know enough about it.
Following comments by Despoinarion and Manolis, I venture into an assumption for the further exploration of the issue. The assumption is that the feeling of acute alienation that Freud experienced on the Acropolis is somehow related to his “link” to “Athena”, the goddess.
From the catalog of “Sigmund Freud’s Collection“, I borrowed the following description on the Athena bronze statute that Freud owned since 1914.
Roman, 1st or 2nd century AD, after a Greek original of the 5th
century BC
bronze, 12.5 x 4.5 x 3.8 cm
LDFRD 3007
Collection Freud Museum London
Athena was Freud’s favourite work. When he bought Athena, sometime after 1914, he positioned her in pride of place at the centre of the antiquities on his desk. In 1938, when the Nazis invaded Vienna, Freud and his family prepared to fl ee. It seemed that Freud might lose his entire collection so he selected two works to be smuggled out, to
represent all the collection meant to him. One of those was Athena, the other a tiny Jade Screen (Qing Dynasty, 19th century, not in the exhibition).
Athena was restored to Freud in Paris, when he was en route to London. Princess Marie Bonaparte, Freud’s close friend and a psychoanalyst, had spirited the statue out of Vienna. When the Princess returned it to him, Freud said that he felt ‘proud and rich under the protection of Athene.’
Freud did not treat his artworks as sacrosanct. During the analysis of the American poet Hilda Doolittle,
known as H.D., he picked up Athena and handed it her. ‘This is my favourite’, he said. ‘She is perfect … only she has lost her spear.’
Athena is a masculine goddess. As the protector of Athens, the Parthenon was her temple. She was the daughter of Zeus, his favourite child, born fully formed from his head. She was a fi erce warrior who, with her enormous bronze-tipped spear, helped the Greeks fi ght the Trojans. When Perseus fought Medusa, the snake-haired
monster, Athena assisted, advising him to use her great shield like a mirror because those who gazed into Medusa’s eyes were turned to stone. On her breast, Athena wore Medusa’s image, an emblem of a vanquished force she had turned to her own advantage. Like most of the gods, she had a range of characteristics: in times of peace, she
was benevolent and inspiring, a patron of the arts and a wise, civilising influence.


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