Tag Archives: Syros

Through Valleys and Over Hills On Syros

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When I was staying in Ermoupolis on the Greek island of Syros, after taking a walk up to a the old town and I church that was up there I looked around and seeing cool things decided to keep going. The church looked over a ravine with a creek, and on the other side of the ravine were all these terraces, no longer in use for the most part, built with old stone walls, and abandoned stone buildings that appeared to be of similar vintage. Scattered intermittently among these ruins of sorts were shanties, often with small vegetable gardens, livestock animals (goats and chickens mainly), and dogs. At the bottom of the creek I also found this little building that the water flowed under that housed a number of wash basins that looked like they hadn’t been used for a while. I continued up the other side of the ravine, sticking to the narrowing paths and trying to avoid the shanties because they a) usually housed angry sounding dogs, and b) didn’t want to intrude into someone’s space. The path I was on eventually ended so I just bushwhacked it, cutting through the brush and climbing old walls and terraces. I eventually arrived at a church which unlike the majority that are open to the public, was enclosed by walls with a locked gate. Surrounding it were terraces being used to grow a number of fruits and vegetables. I continued my walk, going both along paved and dirt paths or just cutting across fields and hills when the pathways didn’t lead where I wanted to go. I continued on until reaching the top of the hill to the right of the windmill pictured, then took a round-about route along paved roads back into town. It was a cool adventure, I got some great views of the town, the island, the sea on both sides of the island, and some stuff that I didn’t see marked on the tourist maps for the area. I would liked to have found out the story behind all the old terraces and buildings there. There is a passage in one of Henry Thoreau’s writings where he talks about how great it is to walk through the forest not using any path and ignoring property lines and other limitations, and how this is an experience in individual freedom. To just walk, not bound by the routes or rules of people. I think I understand what he was getting at. If I can remember what work it was in I will put it in this post. Ermoupolis was a neat town and I will definitely post pictures of it on here.

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