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09 January 2012

Parnitha in Winter with Company from E.DAS.A.

With people from ΕΔΑΣΑ - Forest Protection Volunteers of Attica
Towards noon the snow already started to retreat partially

Yesterday, we were out hiking in the Parnitha mountains with a group of people from ΕΔΑΣΑ (E.DAS.A. Volunteers Of Forest Fire-Watching Of Attica). We took the gondola lift up to the casino, complete with plush carpets and gilt framed mirrors. Then we went out into the cold...

Snowflake on jacket sleeve

There was light snow and a fine, cold wind. We hiked out towards the Flambouri hut, first going through the areas of Parnitha that were burned down in 2007, then through still forested parts. Despite the cold weather, most of us soon felt warm and sweaty, so some layers of clothing had to go back into the packs. We then went on a round-trip around the area.

I had the Firstflex with me and shot two rolls of Tri-X. I mostly concentrated on shapes and interesting renditions of snow, rocks, and trees. As usual, many, many times I looked through the viewfinder, very few times I actually took a picture. We also had the Panasonic Lumix FT-3 with us, which showed not even the slightest bit of being touched by the cold weather. It just worked. The battery lasted without problem (in my experience so far, the only way to bring the battery to its knees is to turn on the GPS).

At some point someone noticed that cold, fresh snowflakes could be seen nicely on our jackets and gloves. We experimented a bit taking macro shots with the Lumix. I think they came out almost acceptable. The biggest problem was that everybody was moving, so keeping things in focus was a matter of luck.

Reforestation, trees planted in 2008

Both at the Flambouri hut and at the Buffy hut there were huge crowds of people. At the Flambouri hut there was the cutting of the Vasilopita of the Aharnon mountain club, while the Buffy hut was simply overrun by Athenians going to see some snow. Passing both huts, we didn't stop except for brief rests and went on into the trees.

After a long, good hike we turned back in the direction of the (truly ugly) Casino in its belt of burned forest. The sun started to come out a little bit and were able to see the carnage around us in nice light. On the positive side, we enjoyed looking at the little trees peeping out all through the burned stumps. They are the result of reforestation efforts. The E.DAS.A. guys were justly proud of those young trees.

We also saw the road passing the Casino and going to the huts, with lots of Athenians driving up there for food or coffee. It's not that there's never snow in Athens, but it's rare. So people decided that this Sunday is a good chance to see some. We just hope that they came down safely again, as we expected roads to freeze over in the evening. Ourselves, we took the gondola down again (seeing some mountain goats). As usual, we summed up the days hike with some good food in a taverna on the way back.

Athenians drive through burned down forrests to see some snow

Posted by betabug at 19:53 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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