Dimitrios Manis Photography: Blog http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog en-us (C) Dimitrios Manis Photography (Dimitrios Manis Photography) Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:56:00 GMT Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:56:00 GMT http://dimitriosmanis.com/img/s/v-5/u16615879-o637773487-50.jpg Dimitrios Manis Photography: Blog http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog 120 79 The "Old Man" of Skyros http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog/2018/3/the-old-man-of-skyros Read the full story here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/yOZOMRHB0oHEZ/Read the full story here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/yOZOMRHB0oHEZ/The "Old Men" cover their faces with animal skin

On the island of Skyros in the middle of the Aegean Sea, the sound of

hundreds bells vibrate the old town (Chora) during Apokries

celebrations. The main figure of the island’s celebration is the “Old

Man” (Geros). Brave Skyrians, dress in woolen clothes and animal

skins, dance in the streets with dozens of bells hung around their waist. 

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Apokries is the carnival season in Greece. Celebrated throughout most of the country,

it is the time of the year where ancient myths, mysticism

festivities, and Dionysian ceremonies come back to life. Most of the

festivities have roots back to ancient time—but, in most of the times,

nobody remembers their origin or their original meaning. The

celebration lasts a month, and its final day is exactly forty days before Easter. 

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As the story goes, hundreds of years ago a shepherd lost his entire

herd during a rough winter. His desperation drove him crazy. He hung

the bells form every one of his dead animals around his waist and

danced in the streets of Chora. His wife "Korela" danced around him in

the streets. In the celebration today, was added the figure of the

“Fragos,” an awkwardly-dressed joker who dances around the sad “Old

Man” to cheer him up

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In the early days, the celebration had been popular among the

shepherd’s community on the island—since they had the necessary materials—to assemble

the woolen clothes, bells, and the shepherd’s jacket of the costumes.

Members from other communities would work

with the shepherds for free throughout the year just to be able to wear

the Old Man’s costume during Apokries season. Today, an original “Old

Man” uniform costs from $3,000 to $3,500. 

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The Skyrian people who dress in the “Old Man” costume describe a

mystical experience. They say when they first don the nearly 60-lb.

costume, the weight of the bells isn’t troublesome. However, after an

hour of dancing in the streets the weight of the bells feels double.

Although, after the initial feeling of tiredness, the continual motion, the

sound of dozens of bells, and the hot, thick smell of the animal skin

costume mixed with human sweat bring the participants to a state of

ecstasy where they feel nothing. 

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Skyrian people love their island and they are very strict on keeping the

customs and traditions. During the Apokries you can see in the streets

of the Old Town kids as young as few months old, who barely walk,

and they are dressed as an “Old Man”. This devotion keep this

beautiful tradition alive, and today tourists

from all over the world travel to Skyros, during the Apokries,

just to see the “Old Men” dancing in the streets. 

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Thanks for reading,

Dimitrios Manis

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(Dimitrios Manis Photography) alternative apokries carnival culture customs greece greek skyros tourism tradition travel http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog/2018/3/the-old-man-of-skyros Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:56:19 GMT
Road trippin’ through southern Europe http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog/2016/9/road-trippin-through-southern-europe

(Porto, Portugal)

There are many ways to travel but what I like most is the freedom you have during a road trip. You can go wherever you want, stop wherever you want, stay as much as you want and plan your route accordingly. One of the top trips on my bucket list was a road trip to southern Europe; and last summer I had the opportunity to make it happen. From Lisbon to Florence, 25 days, four countries, 3.500 km, more than 4000 photos.

(Lisbon, Portugal)

I flew from Washington DC to Lisbon, rented a car(s) and drove north along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to Porto, then to north Spain (A Coruna, Bilbao), south France (Toulouse, Montpellier, Cannes, Nice) and finally to north Italy (Florence, Toscane).

(Florence, Italy)

Beautiful cities, interesting people, historic sites and breathtaking sceneries all the way on this amazing route. I enjoyed every moment of this trip and definitely suggest it if you have the opportunity and the time to do it.

La Concha Beach, Santander - Spain

(Santander, Spain)

A couple of useful tips to lower the budget for such a trip, if you don’t mind being a little more adventurous:

First, do not rent one car all the way. When I tried to do the reservation for the rental car, I figured out that (in my case) the price for the car was $550, BUT the fee for leaving the car in a different country was $1500! So, I rented a different car in every country, leaving it at the borders, crossing the borders on a bus or train and, then, renting a new car in the next country. This way my total cost for the rental cars was $720.

Second, be a traveller not a tourist. A nice way to come closer to this feeling is to rent a house through Airbnb, HomeAway, 9flats, etc. Even better, rent a room in a house. I rented rooms during the whole trip and it was the best experience I could ever have. It is not only the lower prices you can get (We – me and my wife – stayed in places for $15-20 per night) but most important the opportunity to stay with somebody who is actually from that city. They live there and can be a great source of information about the area. In my case, I didn’t have any bad experiences traveling this way, instead, in some places I met great people that put their personal touch on my trip and made it even better. (Special thanks to Ame in Lisbon, Jean Marie in Cap d'Adge and Loise in Aix en Province)

Nice, France

(Nice, France)

For the record, gas and tolls during this trip came out around to $500. A very important detail for my American friends is that the best prices were for the smallest car I could get with a manual transmission. Bigger cars with automatic transmission will be quite more expensive, but if you don’t know how to drive manual, it’s not a good idea to learn during a trip like this.

(Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain)

​(Nazare Beach, Portugal)

​(A Coruna, Spain)

​(Montpellier, France)

​(Toscane, Italy)

​(Porto, Portugal)

​(Obidos, Portugal)

In my opinion, and in a very general conclusion, Portugal was the cheapest among these four countries; Spain had the best food in relation to the prices; France is a place that I would love to stay – had a great balance between order and freedom in daily life and Italy had the most beautiful cities and sceneries.

Thanks!

 

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(Dimitrios Manis Photography) Europe France Italy Portugal Spain blog cityscapes landscapes road trip tips travel http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog/2016/9/road-trippin-through-southern-europe Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:07:18 GMT
Washington DC http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog/2016/4/washington-dc Washington DC

National Mall - US Congress

(Photo: US Congress from the National Mall)

 

If you are planning to visit the United States, Washington, DC is one of the cities you must see. The nation’s capital is not only the political hub and home of the U.S. President, but also a beautiful city with dozens of monuments and museums that are free to the public, artistic neighborhoods, nice food and also a long history in Jazz music. 

 

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(Dimitrios Manis Photography) DC District of Columbia Washington blog guide travel visitdc washingtondc http://dimitriosmanis.com/blog/2016/4/washington-dc Sun, 10 Apr 2016 02:46:01 GMT