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Photographer's Note

This is an "old" photo that I remembered when I created my "Old" Greeks theme. Photo taken at the beautiful village of Melissourgoi, high up in the mountainous region of Tzoumerka. The village is at the "end of the road". No way to go further.

Once upon a time, the villages of the mountain range of Tzoumerka were very wealthy. They sold their products all around the Balkan peninsula, the Ottoman Empire, the cities of the Black Sea, they even had comercial relationshis with many cities of the western Europe. They used to carry their products with caravans of horses and donkeys and if it was necessary they loaded them to ships which also belonged to them. That's why, although a mountainous region, you'll see there many churches of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the mariners. The owners of the donkeys and horses, the carriers, were called "Kyratzis" (plural "Kyratzides") or "Agogiatis" (plural "Agogiates").

One of the last men doing that job is the gentleman on the left of the photo. When I asked his permision to take a photo of him, he smiled shylly and shouted a name. Then the gentleman on the right appeared. The chain of the ticker, the jerkin and the pipe, gave him a look of an "educated" person, like a teacher of the village, or something like that. So here they are posing proudly in front of their village.

If you want to read more about Melissourgoi village, here is the note of one of my old posts, Once every two weeks :

"Melissourgoi is a tradicional village located in a beautiful valley very high in the mountain range of Tzoumerka. What is strange about this village is that it is isolated, given that it belongs to the Prefecture of Arta, but the only way you can reach there is through the Prefecture of Ioannina. This had some almost "funny" consequences.Until some years ago during winter the road that goes to Melissourgoi often closed because of the heavy snowfall. The vehicles from Ioannina that were used to clean the roads, usually were stopping just outside Pramada, the last village of Ioannina Prefecture, and Melissourgoi remainded for several days snow-bound. Then the inhabitants of Melissourgoi (the village with the best quality water resources in whole Greece, as the specialists say) decided as "retaliation" not to let "their" water reach to Pramada. As a result the two villages were led into some kind of conflict and it took the interference of the special forces of the Police, for things to calm down. Thank god it all belongs to the past.

During the summer season the inhabitants of Melissourgoi reach up to around 800, but during winter only 28 people stay in the village. Their only contact with the "outside" world is a priest from another village that comes every second Sunday (that's where the title comes from). That's when the bell tolls."

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Additional Photos by Hercules Milas (Cretense) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5327 W: 74 N: 16998] (68709)
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