Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Panagiotis Skagiopoulos was a famous and wealthy raisin merchant in Patras in the end of 19th and begining of 20th century. He was also a great philantrop and active citizen. In 1926 he fully financied a construction of orphanage center, named after him. Today, the same name is used for the whole neighborhood, south east from the center. The orphanage was inaugurated on December 29th, 1929 by Eleftherios Venizelos, greek prime minister at that time.

The building itself was renovated in 2001, with help of Kostas Dimitriadis, but regardless of that, is not in use since then. In 1982, half of the area surrounding the orphanage, including it’s gardens, was awarded to the citizens and is now the only green spot available in the neighbourhood. A.O. Skagiopouleio is one of the oldest basketball clubs in the city and has participated five times in the First Division category. It features also volleyball and, in the past, climbing and cycling sections.

Photo: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/9, 1/400s, -0.3EV, f=27 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

tristate area

Prespes lakes are the highest located (800m above sea level) lakes in all Balkans, and lie in three countries. The bigger lake (the greek name is as simple as “the big prespa lake”) belongs in 2/3 to Skopja, in about 1/5 to Greece and the smallest part to Albania, while the smaller one (again the name is “the small prespa lake”) is mostly greek with very little part in Albania.

The region is considered as underdeveloped, as a result of many years of strong military presence and limited civilian access. This has changed over last decade and region became a major tourist attraction for both winter and summer seasons. Also, with its unique fauna and flora, it is a popular destination for ornithologists and botanists coming from all over the world to study wildlife (bears, wolves, pelicans). Villages like Psarades, Agios Germanos, Agios Achillis are renovated with traditional style, stone houses and narrow steep paths.

The first photo was taken from the shore of the Big Prespa, just next to monastery of Saint Eleousa, accessible only by boat from Psarades. The other is a panoramic view over the lakes taken from nearby peaks of Varnountas range, south east from the lakes.

Photo1: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/6.3, 1/2000s, -0.3EV, f=33 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Photo2: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/8, 1/640s, -0.3EV, f=52 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Friday, May 18, 2012

the other side

The fortress of Antirio is a “brother” one for the Rio’s one. In fact, they combined for a defense system of Corintho’s gulf in the past, a defense from Venetians during Ottoman times. I have already written about Rio, so now the time came for the other half.

During one bike trip from Patra to Nafpakto, when crossing the bridge, I had a nice view from the top over the Antirio’s fortress and that’s exactly where the photo comes from, with nice background of Paliovouna (“the old mountain”).

Photo: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/7.1, 1/800s, -0.3EV, f=75 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Thursday, May 10, 2012

first impression

There is quite famous saying in Poland, that I can directly translate to something like: “the front is most important”. It can actually be used in many different occasions like: when You go to meet Your future parents in law and You wear Your best clothes, or when You renovate a building and paint only the front wall, or when You invite a girl home and clean apartment only in visible places :-D

The same thought comes to my mind every time I visit a different city: is the first impression positive or not? Is “the front” of the city, it’s face, nice and friendly or ugly and repelling? So one day, I asked the same question looking at Patra. It is no longer a city I visit, it became a city I live in. I cannot say I haven’t seen better, but I liked what I saw :-D And I still hope it might improve in incoming future as the new port is under construction in the south side of the city, leaving plenty of attractive area in the center.

Photo: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/8, 1/1600s, -0.3EV, f=27 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Thursday, May 3, 2012

220 minutes of pain

Alexander The Great Marathon had its 7th edition on April 1st this year. The race starts from Pella, where Alexander The Great was born, and finishes in Thessaloniki, under the statue in the area surrounding The White Tower. The 7th edition was a special one for me, as I decided to take part in it. It was also my first ever attempt to run a marathon.

In order not to die during 42,195km long route, I have started my preparations 15 weeks prior to the race, back in December. With some obstacles and with much suffered pain during endless hours of running, I managed to prepare quite solidly and finally finished the race with time of 3h 40min 22sec. It was truly 220 minutes of pain, a pain I could not imagine before. But it was also an unforgettable experience! All I could think about after the race was how to improve for the next… 

Anyway, I post two photos from final stretch just 500m before finish line, both taken by my girlfriend as I was a bit busy at the moment :-P The first one with Metaferia Tekla Geto, the winner (who btw had suffered for almost 1,5h less than me!! I find it very unfair :-P), and the second one with myself closing to relief...

Photo1: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/6.3, 1/2000s, -0.3EV, f=60 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Photo2: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/6.3, 1/1000s, -0.3EV, f=105 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software