Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wieliczka - the myth

Once upon a time, hungarian princess Kinga was going to marry polish prince Boleslaw. She was a kind princess and wanted to make a gift to the polish people.

In those times, salt was more precious than silver and the kind princess decided to give to the polish people a salt mine. While still in her country, she dropped her engagement ring in a hungarian salt mine and then left for Poland.

Once in Poland she knew exactly where the polish people would find salt. The workers started digging and the first rock of salt they found had the kind Queen's engagement ring inside!

This is the story depicted by these salt statutes. The worker (on the right) presents Queen Kinga (on the left) with the first rock of salt they found. They are carved within the Wieliczka salt mine, south of Krakow. These and more statutes, were carved by mine workers on their free time. As we learned during the tour (highly recommended), the life of a salt mine worker wasn't always bad and the pay very was good.

More info and pictures to come!

cookie: licking the walls is permitted, but don't touch the statues!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Writen in stone

Education is a social good. It should be neither sold nor bought. So, in the area of the Jagellonian University in central Krakow you can find bookshelves on the walls.

Of course, sometimes knowledge might be very heavy! But our heroine, the mighty scholar, fears not! And here she is! Digging in stone for the next piece!

cookie: The Jagellonian University is the second oldest university north of the Alps.

cookie request: Does anybody know who is this kind couple who oversee the bookshelf?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Arizona art

We had a discussion about Arizona today, and it reminded me of the nice ~10 days I spent there a few months ago. This sunset was a beautiful goodbye from the mountain.

Coming up... I hear that Krakow is amazing this time of the year!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Many Thanks!

I have to say, it was the most enjoyable examination I ever had in my life.
A large part was due to my close friends who stood next to me during these three years and during the last hour of the defense.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart! You are the best!

Monday, September 24, 2012

V for Victory

Congratulations for Sotiria's triumphant doctoral defence today!

Photo taken in Paris, on top the Arc de Triomphe, from where several great avenues originate.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bridges II

This bridge has some seriously strong bases...
Have no fear crossing it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


A bridge to pass, and then a mountain to conquer.

I am proud of you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ready to go.

A very rough  translation is following for our non-greek-speaking friends

Σε παλαιό συμφοιτητή
Κώστας Γ. Καρυωτάκης

Φίλε, η καρδιά μου τώρα σαν να εγέρασε
Τελείωσεν η ζωή μου της Αθήνας,
που όμοια γλυκά και με το γλέντι επέρασε
και με την πίκρα κάποτε της πείνας.

Δε θα 'ρθω πια στον τόπο που η πατρίδα μου
τον έδωκε το γιόρτασμα της νιότης,
παρά περαστικός, με την ελπίδα μου,
με τ' όνειρο που εσβήστη, ταξιδιώτης.

Προσκυνητής θα πάω κατά το σπίτι σου
και θα μου πουν δεν ξέρουν τι εγίνης.
Μ' άλλον μαζί θα ιδώ την Αφροδίτη σου
κι άλλοι το σπίτι θα 'χουν της Ειρήνης.

Θα πάω προς την ταβέρνα, το σαμιώτικο
που επίναμε για να ξαναζητήσω.
Θα λείπεις, το κρασί τους θα' ναι αλλιώτικο,
όμως εγώ θα πιω και θα μεθύσω.

Θ' ανέβω τραγουδώντας και τρεκλίζοντας
στο Ζάππειο που ετραβούσαμεν αντάμα.
Τριγύρω θα 'ναι ωραία πλατύς ο ορίζοντας,
και θα 'ναι το τραγούδι μου σαν κλάμα.

To an old classmate
Kostas G. Kariotakis

Friend, My heart is likely getting old
My life of Athens is over,
the one that equally sweet and in party passed
and sometimes with the bitterness of hunger.

I will not come again to the place that my home
gave it the celebration of youth,
but only passing by, with my hope,
with my dreams that vanished, as a traveller.

I will go as pilgrim to your house
and they will tell me they don't know what happened to you
I will see your Aphrodite with another man
and other will live in Eirini's house

I will go to the taverna, to ask
for the Samian wine we used to drink.
You will be missing, their wine will be different,
but I will drink until I get groggy.

I will walk singing and staggering
to Zapeio, where we used to go together.
Around the horizon will be beautifully wide
and my song will be heard like a cry

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sun today

In case you missed it, the Sun was shinning bright this morning!
Click to enlarge and count the sunspots! (Minus the dirt on your screen...)

Compare to this image to see if you got them right:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Now: looking out the window

The view from my balcony!
Initially I thought it was natural light, but heck, it is still beautiful!
If you have a sharp eye you might notice that the clock's hands are missing. I used to glance over to see the time but one day I noticed the hands were gone! Who took them?

Friday, May 11, 2012

No one is Evil

How come suddenly no one has any responsibilities whatsoever and at the same time every one is trying to save the country?
Who are the bad guys, and where are they now?

The picture above seems most appropriate to describe these days.
It is the famous See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil, located at the Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan.

Fun random fact, the frieze of this temple depicts the life cycle of a monkey.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Stepping on stones,or stepping stoned?

On way or the other, the outcome of today's election will affect your life for at least 4 years to come.
Be cautious.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Now fool moon.

On the way to Zaganiari after a coffee with P. and M.
Tomorrow we are going to vote for a new parliament. I hope that it will not be full of fools like during the last decades.

Monday, April 16, 2012


It has been quite a long time since our last post.
Spring is at its best in the Greek islands. My father is again proud of his potato plants.
This photo of his potato field is rather bad as it is taken with a cheap and dirty lens of a random mobile phone. However, for an unidentified reason I like it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The way home

Spotted in Ueno, neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan.

Nostalgia kicks in when one sees a sign like this in a land far far away from home. To be honest, when Pierro sees a sign like this and translates it for us: "Munich City Germany".

Japan is a lovely place with many magnificent details to explore. I barely got a taste of its magic, but I will be definitely coming back, hopefully with the co-owner of this blog. :)

Many thanks to Pierro who always kindly answered our questions and guided us to the best places!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Η φωλιά

Τώρα εξηγούνται όλα! Χρειάζεται εκπαίδευση πλύση εγκεφάλου από τα γενοφάσκια για να είναι κανείς ακόμα πασόκος.

Spotted: στη χώρα του ανατέλλοντος ηλίου. Τυχαίο? Δε νομίζω!

p.s. Η φωτογραφία είναι 100% αυθεντική.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ως πιστός και φιλότεχνος στρατιώτης. As a loyal and resourceful soldier.

There are some afternoons in the army camp when time passes slowly enough to be against all laws of physics.
A., a film director, has invented the so called lower-bed-theatre to have some quality time.

17/2/2012 Follow up:
A piece of A.'s (aka Sir Avrilios Karakostas) work is a documentary about Zagori in Epirus. You are strongly encouraged to watch it here.

And a question: Any ideas why when I post from my SE X8, the photo in the blog has all those small squares? They do not appear in the original photo in the smartphone!


Next time you find yourself in LBT, have a look out from the window. You have a handy guide (click on image to enlarge) to spot all the visible mountain peaks including some useful information such as height and distance. :)

Such a cool idea!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Something else I witnessed for the first time in my life while in Arizona was a dead cactus. Apparently, they can die of old age or due to all the expected reasons fire, humans etc. A rotting cactus is a sad sight though. Spotted on the way up to mount. Lemmon.

In the background you have the city of Tucson.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Largest Binocular!

The Large Binocular Telescope - LBT is located at Mt. Graham in Arizona, USA.
It consists of two 8.4m diameter telescopes under one roof, and operates in the optical and infrared.

In the picture you see one of the two telescopes. The whole structure is so big that it was impossible to take a picture of the whole thing with my lens. I should have bought that fish-eye lens I wanted some months ago!

I was amazed by the smooth movement of this gigantic instrument and I am grateful for being there. We managed to get some good data and hopefully I will inform you about the results soon!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

33 000 ft

Last week I have been observing the american night sky from a mountain about 10 700 ft high (3200m). I wanted to take nice pictures of the stars but it was impossible this time.
Instead, I took a picture of the sky on the way home to Munich. So there you have it, this is how the sky looks like from 33 000 ft (10000m) above the Earth.
Not very impressive? Try to keep your hand steady for 2-3 seconds in a moving airplane! That is impressive! :)

Tomorrow I will show you the telescope!!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Cactus spotted in Tucson, Arizona. Very interesting place this is. More fun facts about it in the following days, for the moment the jet lag is calling me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


It is rather cold today! :)

p.s. I am getting my feet wet in time-lapse photography, stay tuned!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Green and blue, a statue and a lighthouse

Δεν μπόρεσε να μάθει καν το επ ώμου,
Κι όλο εμουρμούριζε "κυρ δεκανεα μου,
ασε με να γυρίσω στο χωριό μου".
Difficult to translate this verse by Kostas Kariotakis, this great Greek poet. I am looking forward to see this view again in summer as a civilian.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Olives for our beloved friends.

Why everyone feels tired after a holiday break? Equivalent question to "why did the chicken cross the road?" I suppose.

Monday, January 2, 2012

happy new year!

The sky might be temporarily cloudy, but the sunshine in the horizon is bright.

From the bottom of our hearts we wish you a fruitful new beginning!

Kostas - Sotiria