03 August 2005
Ankunft auf Limnos
Der Sommer beginnt jetzt
So, ich habs geschafft, die Sommerferien sind hier. Montag nachmittag um 5 bin ich in Athen mit dem Bus abgefahren, habe um 19:30 in Lavrio auf die "Samothraki" gewechselt, mit der ich dann durch die Nacht Richtung Limnos gedampft bin. An Bord habe ich Leute aus dem Dorf getroffen, so dass ich Gesellschaft hatte.
Die Zeit auf dem Schiff verging dadurch schneller und ich wurde gleich Über die neuesten Entwicklungen im Dorf informiert. Geschlafen habe ich etwa drei unruhige Stunden. Morgens um 5 sind wir in Myrina angekommen. Ich konnte zum Glück mit Leuten vom Dorf nach Panagia mitfahren. So bin ich um 7:30 im Häuschen angekommen. Hätte ich den Bus um 11 nehmen müssen, wäre ich erst nach 12 hier angekommen.
Weiteres Glück: Das Haus ist in sehr gutem Zustand, sauber, ohne Wassereinbrüche oder sonstige Katastrophen. Da mein Freund Spiros vor kurzem im Haus war, war alles viel sauberer als letztes Jahr (damals musste ich erstmal ein paar Tage putzen). Nach kürzester Putzarbeit konnte ich mich gleich aufs Ohr hauen. Guter Trick für Ferienhäuser: Vor der Abreise einige saubere Bettwäsche einpacken, dann hat man es bei der Wiederankuft einiges einfacher.
Mittags bin ich dann erstmal Fisch essen gegangen. Und dann nachh einam weiteren Nachmittagsnickerchen um sieben erstmal schwimmen. Der erste Tag im Dorf.
04 August 2005
GPRS Setup On PowerBook and Mobile Phone
Getting the Minimum out of the Internet
Now that I have arrived on Limnos island, my Internet access is restricted to GPRS. That's pretty bad, because GPRS is expensive, slow and expensive. It's not that bad though, because it's all I've got and at least I can get and send mails (and do some IRC/SILC chatting once in a while). I had a similar setup last year, when I spent six months on the island. So I tuned my setup to get the minimum out of the Internet...
Continue reading "GPRS Setup On PowerBook and Mobile Phone"
Found on the Beach
Deep in the water
Look what I've found today in the water off the beach: A beatyfull sea snails housing (is there a better english term?). It's about 13cm long and 10cm in diameter. I was looking for a stone I had deposited in the deep water last year, when I spotted it at about 3 or 4 meter depth. It was full of old seaweed and some simple lifeforms. Cleaning out was easy. The shell is unbroken. It will make a nice present for a girl, and I already know whom to give it to.
On the downside I have found out that the swimming glasses I bought do not fit well, so there is constantly water leaking in. Tomorrow I'll try to tighten them a bit, but I don't have much hope. I can quickly forget those problems when I swim and dive. Floating in the water just feels good, cooling down from the hot sun is great. I also worked a bit on my tan today, still being very carefull though. No need to get burned.
06 August 2005
Another Visit on the Beach
Have a look around
So, this is where I go to swim. Apart from this beach, there are two
others where I go to swim. This one is about 5 minutes by bicycle, the
second is about the same distance, the third is 20-25 tough minutes
uphill and downhill over dirtroads on the bicycle. The tough ride has
the most beautyful beach, but I'm not in good training... yet. The brown
stuff on the waterline is seaweed, it smells funny, it's funny to walk
through, it's harmless, but it's not beautyfull. The other two beaches
have none of it. There are other beaches that I only very rarely visit.
Limnos has lots of nice, sandy beaches. But for a refreshing swim in the
hot afternoon a short ride is good.
The day was a bit hazy and the camera did not cope very well with the
changing light situation on each pic. No way to manual set the exposure
on a camera phone. Also I should note that there are trees on the other
side of the beach, all in all the other side is even nicer, but I did
not like the light on the other side at that time of day, so this side
it was. I just wanted to continue with my picture stitching experiments.
There is a bigger view
of this picture.
10 August 2005
The Day of the Triffids
A Science Fiction book that grabbed me all day
Yesterday I've spent all day reading a book. "The Day of the Triffids",
by John Wyndham, which I found among the books in this little house on
Limnos island. I'm staying this August here, and this house I live in is
full of books. A lot of them are not to my taste (I'm not much of a
theater fan) and some range in my opinion from boring to depressing. So
I was surprised to find a paperback that I can describe as Science
Fiction. Much to my taste, "The Day of the Triffids" starts in a world
that is not so different from ours now. A patient wakes up in a
hospital, to find out that something is wrong with the world...
Continue reading "The Day of the Triffids"
Konzert und Tanz in Panagia
Dienstag abends um 10 machte ich einen Spaziergang durchs Dorf. Das Dorf war leerer als sonst, sogar Stratoulas Kafeneion/Fischrestaurant war geschlossen, was nur eine handvoll Tage im Jahr vorkommt. Im Dorfkern waren die καφενεία (Kafeneions) dann offen und einer der alten Männer erzählte mir, dass auf dem Schulplatz die Musik spielt. Los geht's also, nichts wie hin.
Das ganze Dorf war da, plus nochmal 3 mal soviel Leute aus der Umgebung. Als ich ankam, tanzte gerade eine Trachtengruppe traditionelle Tänze von Limnos (siehe Foto).
Später gab es zu Essen, noch mehr Musik und es tanzten die Leute aus dem Dorf. Ein grosser Abend. Dann wurden die Preise der Tombola verlesen: "Herr Panagiotis K. aus Plaka stiftet ein kleines Schwein... gewonnen von Frau Anastasia P.! Frau Gianna N. stiftet einen Damen-Haarschnitt, gewonnen von Herrn Petros L.!" Allgemeine Heiterkeit, doch ungefähr bei Nummer 50 wurde es mir langweilig und ich verliess den fröhlichen Haufen.
11 August 2005
Looking at Samothraki
Island, Island, far away
Yesterday, while biking to Zemata beach (25 minutes over dirt roads) I
had a good view on Samothraki. Samothraki is an island about 50km from
Limnos. It was one of the occasions, where I wished I had a better
camera. On the picture the mountain in the sea that is the island of
Samothraki is hardly visible, but in real the view was much better.
Still it had that dreamy atmosphere.
Samothraki's top mountain peak is 1611m above sea level. That's why we
can see it from Limnos (when the wind and the weather is right). It's
also a green island, full of trees. Much different then Limnos, I really
should make a small trip to Samothraki.
12 August 2005
Der Tagi reist in die Vergangenheit
Ein Newsletter im Doppel
Der heutige E-Mail-Newsletter des Tages-Anzeigers kommt mir irgendwie bekannt vor. Ausserdem passen einige der Schlagzeilen nicht ganz so zu dem, was in den letzten Tagen drin stand. Hier ein Ausschnitt aus der heutigen Ausgabe:
Die Schlagzeilen des Tages-Anzeigers
Freitag, 12. August 2005
Schwyz kontaktierte Rechtsradikale
Der Schwyzer Polizeidirektor Alois Christen sprach sich vor
dem Auftritt der Rechtsradikalen mit Vertretern der Pnos
Dalai Lama wie Popstar empfangen
Houston. - Erstmals wird ein Astronaut im All Reparaturen
an der Unterseite einer Raumfähre ausführen. Die Arbeiten
Es kann schon dran liegen, dass ich hier auf der einsamen Insel Λήμνος sitze und nicht allzuviel vom Weltgeschehen mitbekomme. Aber soweit ich gehört habe, ist die Raumfähre doch gelandet? Hat die NASA jetzt auch gleich das erste Mal eine Zeitreise eingeführt? Aber nein, es hat anscheinend eine Panne dazu geführt, dass der Newsletter vom 3. August nochmal verschickt wurde:
Die Schlagzeilen des Tages-Anzeigers
Mittwoch, 03. August 2005
Houston. - Erstmals wird ein Astronaut im All Reparaturen
an der Unterseite einer Raumfähre ausführen. Die Arbeiten
Jetzt kann ich nur hoffen, dass die fleissigen Tages-Anzeiger nicht auch noch die Printausgabe des Tagis vom 3. August nochmal gedruckt und verteilt haben.
13 August 2005
The Year of the Tomato
Limnos Agricultural News Bulletin No. 42
Apparently this year on Limnos is the year of the tomato. Multiple sources (wishing to remain anonymous, though it was mainly Sotiris who told me) confirmed to me that cucumbers, peas, carrots and other vegetables, and even grapes, did not have a good year. Confirming this myself, I haven't seen a local grown cucumber in the last two weeks. But tomatoes. There are lots of tomatoes around, and very fine tomatoes indeed.
So at Stratoulas cafe / fish tavern, what I get for salad is tomatoes. When I go to one of the shops, there are lots of tomatoes. And one of my unnamed sources announced, that his mother is preserving all those tomatoes they got from their fields, so she can make tomato sauce for a while now without buying any of the stuff. I haven't tasted Sotiris mother's tomato sauce, but judging her cooking skills from her fasolia and other assorted dishes, I believe it will be great.
The two specimens in the picture were given to me for free in the Super Mini Market. This crazy Swiss guy went there and took 3 (three) tomatoes. The shop-owners mother did not laugh about me (at least not while I was there), but she refused to weight and subsequently charge those few tomatoes. So you've got two in the picture, while I tested the taste with the third one. Excellent.
14 August 2005
Sundown at Zemata Beach
Stay a while, stay forever
Went by bike to Zemata beach yesterday again. The ride is still rough
over those dirt roads, but it does not take me 25 minutes any more.
Looks like I'm slowly starting to get in shape again. After I arrived at
the beach, I was happy to be able to cool down in the sea. The water was
glass clear, with that turquoise colour that makes looking at a beach so
I stayed a long while. After taking a swim to cool down, I relaxed a
bit in the sun, then took another swim. Then I sat at the beach bar,
where I happened to talk to Manos (who had arrived with the same ship on
the island). He is a fellow web developer, and we took a break from
vacation talk and exchanged experiences of work. It was 8 in the evening
when I left, the sun was about to go down in the sea. When I had managed
to scramble the bike through the uphill behind the beach, I stopped and
turned around to look. I gave the sundown a try for one of my panorama
pictures, but the subject is tough. I don't like that pic so much,
especially since the seams near the line of the horizon interfere with
the atmosphere. But maybe you can imagine an idea of how beautiful the
sundown can be at Zemata beach. Click on the image for a larger
Show Subcategorized Patch
Make COREBlog Subcategorized Entries Show Up in Category Pages
Stephan Goeldi from zopehosting.ch brought to my attention
that COREBlog entries that have been set at a subcategory are not
showing up on the page for that category. Of course this is a matter of
taste or expectations. But once you want e.g. to show on the page for
"digital" an entry which has "digital" only as a subcategory, you have to
dive into the code. I did and produced a short patch. BTW: This all
happened in July, but due to much work and then this vacation, now is that I
get around to publish this...
Continue reading "Show Subcategorized Patch"
16 August 2005
Fahnen auf Halbmast
Trauer um die Opfer des Flugzeugabsturzes
Heute Mittag kam ich von der Bäckerei nach Hause und sah den Dorfpräsidenten aus dem Γραφείο (dem Dorfbüro) kommen, eine Fahne in den Händen. Wie auf dem Foto zu sehen ist, hisste er die Fahne vor dem Dorfbüro auf Halbmast. Eine Nachbarin sprach ihn darauf an und er erklärte, dass das für die Opfer der Flugzeugtragödie ist.
Im Dorf ist die Tragödie weit weg. Der Absturz eines Flugzeugs auf dem Weg von Larnaca nach Athen liegt nicht im Erfahrungshorizont der Leute hier. Gestern wurde ich gefragt: "Hast du gehört von ...?" Die Betroffenheit ist da, doch sie wird nicht nach aussen gedreht. Eine weitere Tragödie, deren Nachricht von aussen ins Dorf kommt, an der das Dorf aber nichts ändern kann.
Ich selber habe am Tag des Absturzes Radio gehört. Die staatlichen Sender ERT1, ERT2, NET, ... wurden auf ein Informationsprogramm zusammengeschaltet. In immer neuen Telefonschaltungen wurden neue Fakten ersichtlich. Ich dachte über die Motivation des ganzen nach: Wir möchten wissen, was passiert ist, wirklich passiert ist. Warum ist es passiert? Eine weitere Frage: Was können wir tun, um eine Wiederholung zu verhindern? Doch die letzte Frage bringt uns Zuhörer nicht weiter, nicht wir haben die (technischen) Mittel in der Hand, um eine Wiederholung zu verhindern. Was bleibt, ist der Gedanke an die Opfer und ihre Familien und Freunde. Während wir Radio hören, wurde ihr Leben umgedreht und mit Schmerz gefüllt. Mein Beileid.
17 August 2005
Writing in the Distance
The Selected Letters of Anton Chekhov and Thoughts About Letters
The last week or so I had been reading in "The Selected Letters
of Anton Chekhov"f. I'm not usually into reading this kind of stuff,
literary letters etc., I even get bored by collections of short stories
pretty fast. I need a story that develops, has depth and moves on, in
short: a novel. But Chekhov's letters had something that held my
interest. Most of them are alive, they tell a story and keep me wanting
to read the next one to find out what happened afterwards. But apart
from being a good read, these letters catalyzed my thinking about
letters, about keeping contact with friends and family far away...
Continue reading "Writing in the Distance"
18 August 2005
SMTP on the Go with CosmOTE?
So what is the proper SMTP server for CosmOTE GPRS?
For the last week or so I have been hindered to send mail in a far reaching result of the change all the SPAM brings to the Internet. For years now I have been running an SMTP server on my laptop, so when I am on the road I can send out mail without having to set up another outgoing mail server with each provider. This is a solution that requires some technical know how, but up to very recently it worked fine. But now I get more and more occasions where the dynamic IP I am connecting with to the Internet is being blacklisted -- either because it had been used to send SPAM (by someone else), or just because it is a dynamic IP.
I had the same problem with my server (which is on a dynamic IP). There I solved it using a smarthost setup to my providers mail server. Now on the PowerBook I would be ready to do the same thing... only there are some obstacles that I currently can't overcome. My first thought would be to declare my own server as smarthost. That way I would have more control over the route of my mails. But to do this, I would need to teach the Postfix mail server on the PowerBook to use SMTP AUTH. Getting SMTP AUTH out of Postfix requires a recompile, which requires Sourcecode and documentation. I won't pay for that through an expensive GPRS connection, so that choice is out till I get back to Athens.
The other option (and what I had done in previous, similar cases) is to set up the connection providers SMTP server as smarthost. Since I am connecting through one of their IPs, I should be implicitly authorized to send mail through their server. So no SMTP AUTH needed, nice. Just that I don't know where their server is. I did a quick net search for it, but turned up only other people searching the same information and naughts.
(BTW it sucks immensely when I'm searching for a solution to a problem I have, and up comes my own page -- not even on a really relevant page. Somehow this shows me soemthing like a big fat "nothing usefull found" banner.)
Some people suggest to use mailsrv.mycosmos.gr, but this rejects my outgoing mails. They do not seem to authenticate by IP. Either this is not the intended mailserver for GPRS customers (likely, from the name), or as some people suggest, you have to use this server always with SMTP AUTH. Which leaves me at the same spot. Asking the customer hotline is out of the question, I don't want to spend 2 hours listening to clueless drones. Besides, judging from the web search, someone already did that, without success. It is likely that there is noone within Cosmote who knows what a SMTP server is.
So if you happen to know the proper SMTP server for CosmOTE GPRS, I'd appreciate a comment or a mail. Not that I have any hopes. Until that time I'd say: Thank you CosmOTE for making it so hard. With the few Cents you get for your GPRS connection you certainly can't be bothered to give out a little bit of information or to set up a proper SMTP server.
20 August 2005
Watching Pantelis Play "Raketes"
Lazy days of the summer
The last few days have been of the lazy, summerish type. Today I went to
Zemata beach, and amongst other things I watched Pantelis play
"raketes", some kind of beach tennis with wooden Raquets. He is a
dedicated player, maybe he has some of Mr. Gousgounis blood in him.
A large part of his game style is done for the show value. The pictures show
some of his best jumps and moves, as good as the camera in my phone
could keep up. Myself I enjoyed the bicycle ride and two long swims, so
I didn't bother with the raketes.
22 August 2005
Myrina, Capital of Limnos Island
Taking some pictures, what else?
This morning I woke up early to catch the bus at 7 and go to Myrina.
Myrina is the "capital" of the island Limnos (or "Lemnos", as the
English sometimes spell it). The villagers sometimes call their town
"kastro", after the castle that guards the town. So in the "kastro" I
did some shopping and also got my ticket back home. At first I had
planned to go to Thessaloniki, but a few days ago I changed my mind and
will go to Athens via Lavrio.
Even though it takes a long time to go to Myrina (the bus takes
almost an hour), which should result in many things waiting to be done
at once whenever I go there, I always seem to come to the point that I
don't know what else to do in town. So today I took some pictures. Apart
from this little street scene, I did two series for panorama pictures.
Only one strikes me as interesting enough now, it shows the castle on
its rock, as seen from the "romaiko gialo", the Greek beach. (You can
click on the image for a bigger view.)
The street scene on the other hand was taken a few days ago, when
I went with my friend Christos to Myrina in his car. It seems that
this year was a very good season. Limnos was featured in two Greek
periodicals and in some TV shows. Flights, ships and hotels were booked
out and in the "agora" of Myrina it was sometimes so crowded that one
could hardly walk.
My stay here will soon come to an end. Thursday I'm leaving all this
behind. I'll enjoy every swim in the sea double now. I try to soak up as
much free time and leisure as I can for the remaining days. September
will be a working month again. But I was able to gather strength (and
sun), so I will enjoy focussing my thoughts on work again.
24 August 2005
...and looking for a flat or room
Thursday I'll be going back to Athens. At 1 in the morning (so it's
technically Friday, but who cares?) my ship is leaving from Myrina,
it will bring me via Sigri (on Lesvos), and the small island of Psara,
to Lavrio (on the southeast end of Attica, near Sounion). I should be
arriving at Lavrio at around 14:30, so I have quite enought time on the
boat, thank you very much. The problem is that Limnos had a lot of
people this summer, so all ships are booked out. I had to change to this
less direct route (where the direct connection would have me only about
9 hours on the ship). From Lavrio I will be taking the bus, which
delivers me straight to the Pedio tou Ares, only 5 minutes walk from
The next few days in Athens I will look into my situation of residence.
Or to formulate it a little bit more practical: I will be looking for a
new place to stay. Either I will need a new room in a shared flat, or I
could be lucky and find a small flat for myself (or to make it a small
shared flat). So if you know anything about a room or a small appartment
in Athens, let me know. I'm not picky about locations, I should just be
able to get to work (Syggrou Avenue, Nea Smirni) by public transport.
Update 29.8.2005: Housing situation seems to be resolved for the moment. I will be staying right where I am now.
25 August 2005
Abschied von Panagia und Limnos
Der Mond über dem Dorf
Mit einem Bild von letzter Woche möchte ich mich von Παναγιά und Λήμνος (dem Dorf Panagia auf der Insel Limnos) verabschieden. Auf dem Rückweg vom Strand Zemata habe ich halt gemacht um den Mond über dem Dorf zu bewundern. Das Dorf ist auf dem Bild rechts nur ganz milchig zu erkennen, das Meer dahinter kann man sich auf dem Foto nur denken. Der Mond ist fast voll, mit dem Auge scheint er riesig zu sein, im Vergleich dazu erscheint er auf dem Bild winzig.
Panagia ist kein Ort an dem es viel Ramba-Zamba gibt, es ist ein ruhiges Dorf nicht weit vom Meer. Gut zum Ausspannen, Fisch essen, es gelassen nehmen. Badeferien, Veloferien, Faulenz-Ferien. Inzwischen bin ich wieder am Packen und auf dem Weg in die grosse Stadt. Bis bald, Panagia!
26 August 2005
On the Ship to Lavrio
Visiting Psara Island en passant
I just got through the night on the "Saos II" en route to Lavrio. The ship is bursting full. All I got was a seat. Untill the early morning I occupied the next one to put my pack on, so I had a bit more space to stretch. Then we stopped at Sigri on Lesvos and a bit later I had to let go of that seat.
Now we are stopped at the small island of Psara and the place is getting really crowded. Lesson to learn: When in future travels visiting Psara, book return ticket in advance and don't expect a seat.
27 August 2005
Back in the Jungle
Arrived complete but tired
Just a short note: I arrived in Athens after an 18 hour trip door to door. That includes around 13 hours on the ship. (The picture shows the top deck of the ferry boat SAOS II. But don't let the empty space fool you, the boat was packed full with passengers.) Then I had to take the KTEL bus to Athens (Pedio tou Ares).
I arrived home Friday around 5 in the afternoon. Slept long this night, but am still a bit groggy. Coping with unpacking, laundry, getting things sorted out. Now I'm in for a treat of the city, going out to cinema, seeing what's about. What a change after the quiet on the island.
29 August 2005
How To Get To Limnos
A short travel guide
Now that I'm back in Athens, I'm reflecting a bit about this trip I
took. Limnos (or Lemnos as the English speaking sometimes write it), had
a lot of tourism this year, almost more than the island is prepared for.
97% booked out hotels, 100% booked out planes (waiting lists closed
because of overbooking) and ferry boats. Tourism may increase as people
get to know and like the island. Up to now this tourism is mostly Greek
tourism, but soon the foreigners may get to know Limnos as a non-typical
Greek island too.
But transport to and from the island is still a problem: It's hard to
travel to Limnos and even harder to come back. I had recommended the
island to a few friends, but only the very interested ones persist
enough to actually get there. This August, nobody had visited me, mainly
for this reason. Some thoughts about getting to Limnos:...
Continue reading "How To Get To Limnos"
31 August 2005
Picking Up at an "Old" Project
First day at work after a vacation
Today is my first day back at work after a months vacation. After saying
hello and asking everyone how they spent their vacation time, I got back
to work where I left on my "old" project. In fact it's not that easy,
since I completely "got away" from work on my vacation. So I made a
little plan on how to get back into things...
Continue reading "Picking Up at an "Old" Project"