Tsampounofylaka is the Ikarian name of the ancient Greek bagpipe (also known as thylaki, fylaki or tsampouna). An apparatus storing air, memory, along with delivering musical notes, dance, celebration, and nostalgia. A musical instrument that connects the bacchanalian origin of our civilization with our pastoral lives. After all, the wine and the goat are the two feet on which the whole Ikarian civilization stands on.

Since I was little I remember a photograph of my mother and her friend, Kotsana, at Chalika. Both wore closs skirts and had their hair in braids, looking like actresses out of an old Greek film. What a great fashion, such beautiful girls!

11/03/2017 - 12:02A flower called… peony

The peony is one of the most Impressive wild flowers of the Greek mountains and nature has gifted Ikaria with an extremely rare, and one of a kind subspecies. We find it, with a lot of effort, on the rocky slopes of Atheras. It is an herbaceous plant, that prefers calcareous soils and shadowy places.

05/03/2017 - 22:21The fig tree

If I had to summarize „summer on a southern island“ in one symbol, I would choose a figue tree. It might sound crazy, but this fruit tree is very special to me. First of all : I don’t have easy access to it. As I am living in a Northern country of Europe, normally I do know figues only from the super market, where I can buy them for a high price and let’s not talk about the taste, you get for it.

Most early 19th century Icarian immigrants entered the US via the Ellis Island immigrant processing center in New York Harbor. According to ship manifest records, some stayed in New York, but the large majority listed the Pittsburgh area as their final destination, with many of them settling in the nearby borough of Verona. Early Icarian settlers in Pittsburgh started out as laborers and painters in the city’s numerous factories and railroad yards. Most did not intend to make America their permanent home. Their goal was to save up enough money for a better life in Icaria. A few became shopkeepers and merchants providing goods and services to other immigrants. Some became contractors, hiring and recruiting other immigrants to take on large industrial maintenance jobs.

05/03/2017 - 17:40On the shores of Ikaria

Again and again I had this dream: I was travelling by bus through an empty and dusty landscape. Grey stones and rocks besides the bumpy street we were following and at the horizon only high mountains. No green or houses around and in the bus just a few other travellers. It looked like the end of the world and I nearly got depressive, while looking out of window. How would you survive in this kind of landscape?