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12 July 2005

Report from Karpenisi HelMUG Excursion

Leave the city behind... and the Macs

A weekend spent with some 20 people from the Greek Mac User Group HelMUG, in a mountain city in central Greece. I had expected a lot of computer talk and a beautifull mountain landscape. I got the beautyfull landscape alright, but we concentrated more on good food and company than on the computer stuff. Read on for my report and some pictures...

cafe in Karpenisi

The program was defined loosely, with lots of options, of which we would choose according to time and spirit. What really happened... me and Mary were contacted by libero (Panagiotis Liberopoulos) and offered a ride in his car. We arranged to meet Saturday morning at 7:30. Traffic was low, the ride was fine, and while we listened to music from the radio and my iPod we were the first to arrive in Karpenisi around 11. We phoned Giorgos "technovision" Tasios, our host and HelMUG's "man on the mountain". We met him at the central square, where one after the other the HelMUG people arrived. Everybody had their coffee.

view from hotel in Karpenisi

Then technovision drove us to our hotel, where we checked in and relaxed. The view from the hotel is nice. I left again with technovision and with the rest of the HelMUG Gang we went to a place outside of town ("sto pato tis polys") to eat unter big shady trees. As is the habit with those kind of events in Greece, the meal took a long time.

lunch1 lunch2 lunch3

I was properly filled up by food and drink, so I enjoyed the rest we all got. Now everybody was being diverted to their respective hotels and we had a good rest. In the evening we drove to a cafeteria out of town which has a western style of setup: Pony riding, a mini train, a climbing tower, ... As it was evening, the attractions were closed though. Mary and me went to investigate them nonetheless in the dark. The others had coffee again and enjoyed the view of the fireflies. Stefbystef gave a presentation to show the new design for the HelMUG site. One of the few occasions where we talked business. In the evening we went to eat again all together.

technovision in the

The next morning we slept a bit longer. In Athens it is currently a bit warm, at night the temperature rarely goes below 28 degrees Celsius. So sleeping in the cool and fresh mountain night was something for a change. Libero and "yorix" Giorgos Manganaris even camped out, a bit farther up in the mountains. For us, breakfast was provided at the hotel. I had a short talk with "melis" Stelios Melissakis about the HelMUG server which will be moved to Athens soonish. After breakfast the gang moved to visit a monastery with a good mountain view. We saw some handwritings from as far back as the 9th and 11th century. Also they have the weapons of Greek revolution hero Karaiskakis on display.

After the visit to the monastery, we went to a place in the mountains were a gorge was turned into a fortified hiding place during the time the turks were ruling Greece. We had to climb up a beautyfull mountain path. I am a bit afraid of heights, but after just a few minutes I adapted and enjoyed every minute of it. The place is very beautyfull. Reminded me a lot of Switzerland, so sometimes I asked myself why I came here at all. For me, this was the best part of the weekend.

path to the hiding place

While we were up the mountain path, libero had to go back to Athens, since he was invited to a marriage (not his own). We arranged for further transport with "liquidus" Manos Halikis. The crowd of the HelMUG people then moved on to a place called "palaio mikro horio" - old small village. This village was almost completely destroyed in a stone avalange in 1968. Also, like many places up there, it had a lot of historical events in World War II and the Greek civil war after that.

cataract near the hiding place yorix taking pix near the hiding place

We had our last, merry lunch for the HelMUG weekend here. Everybody ate and drank again, technovision told lots of stories about the place and the area. I had a short chat with stefbystef about some things he needs for the HelMUG site team. That was about all I had talked about user group business all weekend. Even the computer chatter was pretty low all weekend. We all enjoyed the company though the weekend. After the lunch everybody said goodbye and went on the road.

farewell lunch in mikro horio

We arrived with liquidus in Kifisia in northern Athens quite late. Sunday evening all of Athens citizens are returning to the city at once. All roads are filled up much over the maximum. Liquidus knew many small roads that speeded us up andkept us out of the big traffic blocks. But still, while the road up to the mountains had taken us 3.5 hours, we went back in about 5 hours. From Kifisia we took the subway to the city. Back in the heat of Athens, tired but happy and filled up with new experiences.

Special thanks go to libero and liquidus for driving us along, to technovision for hosting us all, and to MacYannis Yannis Angelidis, for organizing the event. Sadly Yannis had a family emergency and could not come along... we missed you!

Posted by betabug at 11:12 | Comments (1) | 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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Re: Report from Karpenisi HelMUG Excursion

i wish i were there... but i couldn't come...

Posted by: topgan1 at July 19,2005 04:43
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