Friday, January 28, 2011

Samos Bouzouki School / Yannis Loulourgas

Tired of wasting too much life time on the beach?
Having the wish to come to lovely island of Samos to spend a different type of vacation, an active holiday?

Are you interested in music, in understanding greek music, and would you like to learn how to play bouzouki ....

... or how to build a greek instrument, e.g. a baglamas?

In addition, experience parts of Samos you never knew or heard of?

The instrument maker, bouzouki player and singer Yannis Loulourgas in the village of Pythagorion has started his "Samos Bouzouki School". With many years of experience as a singer/bouzouki player and instrument maker, he offers first hand knowledge!

"Samos Bouzouki School offers two workshops: ‘Build Your Own Instrument’ and ‘Learn To Play Greek Music'. Depending on your choice, in one week you will learn the process of how to build an instrument or you will learn to understand and play Greek music."

"Meeting people who can convey peace and quietness from within is rare … and can only be achieved when what you do, it isn’t a job, it’s a passion…
Born in Pythagoreio there is only one word that can describe the way Yiannis Loulourgas views life: Music!"

If you want to know what type of music Yannis Loulourgas plays, here is an example with songs from his CD "Rebetika Tragoudia":

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Changing for better?

A comparison of two photos taken of Ano Vathy from the road going down to Samos town. Click on the photos for larger size!

Ano Vathy in May 2004:

Ano Vathy in October 2008:

The long white front without any windows of this new house spoils every photo taken of picturesque Ano Vathy from the west!
With regards to size, in my opinion this building is like a "tank" in comparison to the old buildings.

Here are 4 photos of Samos town and Ano Vathy, taken in lovely May of 2004, with an IXUS 430, a 4 Megapixel camera:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Halcyon Hills: reality check on planned building site

Warning: footage and pictures taken are no computer simulations! You are confronted with reality!

These are some phrases from advertisings over the last 2-3 years for the 'Halcyon Hills' project on the island of Samos:

".....It's rare to find a developer who has taken so much research and consideration into account before embarking on a project. .....
.... The complex is scheduled for completion two years from the commencement of building works. Completion is estimated to be in the first quarter of 2011.
....Construction will start in early 2009, and completion is scheduled for 2011."

Well, alright, lots of announcements and really nice virtual reality videos and pictures ....
Since I didn't have the time in 2009 to visit the area on the south-east coast of Samos, I called several people o Samos and asked them: "did they start the building activities there?" Answer: we didn't hear or read anything, so most probably they didn't start.

So what about a reality check visiting the area? In spring, summer and autumn 2010 I went to the area in the south-east of Samos on a motor scooter to see what was the status of the project on the site planned for the 'Halcyon Hills" resort, between Klima Bay and Akra Merziki.
I couldn't detect any building activities on the planned site!

What I already knew from visits there many years ago and what I found again on these several visits in 2010 was a beautiful and calm, almost silent natural area between Klima bay and Akra Merziki/Mertziki, where normally almost no tourist will go to because only really bad dirt roads lead there. The place looks like a big lake with the high mountains rising above the coast of Asia Minor giving it a perfect frame.

On the narrow shores (large pebbles) in this area you will find the remainders of boats, inflatable dinghies and life jackets of illegal migrants who crossed the strait between Turkey and Samos trying to enter the European Union.

Here are some video sequences I took over there:

So, if you like Samos, the beautiful natural landscapes of this island and the sounds of nature, e.g. waves rolling on the shores of remote small pebbly beaches, you better go there before the british consortium will start the project. Because when they will start, the building activities will change irreversibly and forever this peaceful and calm area, the silence will be gone for sure! The size of the project is like implanting a completely new village in the remote south-east of Samos!

If you don't know about the 'Halcyon Hills' project, look for the site of Barrasford and Bird, e.g. this one. They think and are convinced:
"Samos has a blossoming tourism market but is in need of a truly luxurious five star development to satisfy the demand of the high-end traveller."

Reality check: due to several factors, tourism steadily - and in total significantly - declined on Samos island over recent years. While there is no doubt that almost nobody likes this situation and everybody wants tourism to rise again, so far, I haven't met anyone on the island who would agree or is convinced, that Samos needs a "truly luxurious five star development" for "high-end travellers".

Btw., thinking of a building project at all over there, why not build a much smaller "5 star" (lol!) monastery there, without a marina, where (rich) people can spend some time contemplating in silence trying to get rid of their circling thoughts on how to increase profit and what others (or they themselves?) really need? ;-) ;-)