Today I will (try to) get away from the refugee crisis and volunteering for a bit in the blog. Tomorrow, I will go into what I’ve learned to be the differences between Lesvos and Chios before I head back for my last week on Chios.
Okay, one little bit about refugees… (already failed). Chios was walloped in the last 24 hours with 1,500-2,000 refugees. Is there a nagging part in the back of my head that wants to be there? For sure. There was a plea for volunteers in Tabakika this morning and none came. Ugh. Fueling the guilt.
Trying to let it go…
You will notice that this website is subtitled “Water, Travel, Photography.” Even though there are photos, I’m on the road and there are photos of water (and a mention in the video!), I haven’t touched on any of these topics like I mean to when I have the time to focus on building up the website up. The photos… Most are from my phone and even those that are not, including what you will find below, are not the type that I would like to share here, which may fall under a more “artistic” category. I’m still kind of shy about those photos, have never shared any via Facebook and am wondering if they even merit an eventual dedicated spot on the website. But, I enjoy them, I like to shoot, it puts me in a good mood, it’s a part of who I am and I will get there when I have some time to focus on that. In the meantime, you will have to settle for the normal tourist shots 🙂
What is one of my favorite things to do when I’m the road traveling? Taking my camera (Canon 7D), a good book (The Orphan Master’s Son) and walking around a new place with intermittent stops for great coffee (Turkish) and just shooting photos, eating and reading my way through the day. Today was one of those days.
I spent the day in Mytilini. I’ve seen it spelled Mytiline, Mytilene and Mitilini as well. In Greek, it’s Μυτιλήνη. I paid a visit to the Lesvos Archaeological Museum, which had an impressive collection of mosaics from the 1st Century BC to the 2nd Century AD. I then went on to Mytilini Castle, which has been there in some form for over 2,000 years. There were 8 refugee tourists and 3 non-refugee tourists. Through an entire day of walking through the small city, those were the only refugees I saw. After that, I spent some time in the market area and old refugee area of town (just like Chios, Mytilini had a large refugee population following the Greco-Turkish War after World War I). My last stop was at the only mosque in town, which dates back to the 19th Century.
What is weird? Being on an island full of refugees that you don’t see, knowing what’s going on in the camps some 10 km away and how the arrivals are happening, seeing volunteers and NGO workers, and being a tourist of sorts during all this. Not sure I like that so much. Note to self: Don’t take time off from what I am doing in a place where what I am doing is going on.
A small number of photos from the day:
Harbor of Mytilini
Refugee sleeping spot in park