Sunday 13 February 2011

Axios River Delta.

Yesterday we did a day trip. That's not usual with us! Having no company of friends to organise outings and trips we rarely try it on our own. I have to change that, I know.
So when I saw the announcement-invitation of the Panhellenic Society of Teachers for the Environmental Education about a trip to the Axios Delta I decided to apply for a place on the trip along with hubbie of course.
We had to pay only 18 euros and it included the bus trip,the coffee break,the guided tour to the Delta and the lunch. Absolutely great!
We started early in the morning and walked to the meeting point a quarter of an hour away from home. Thessaloniki at 8 in the morning is beautiful on a sunny February day.
At the meeting point I met two of my friends from my circle of friends and I was very happy I would be sharing the day with them as well. Hubbie was happy too as he knows how much my friends mean to me and how much they have stood by me in difficult times.
 The bus ride was short and we soon arrived in the village of Halastra where there is a small building where we can see info about the Delta of the four rivers (Axios,Loudias,Aliakmonas,Galikos) near Thessaloniki. The Delta that covers a huge area of 320 square kilometres is very very important for the huge Thessaloniki near it. It is the breathing lung of the city.There are hundreds of plants,trees,animals,birds,fish and amphibians living there. More than 270 species of birds find shelter here.Although the area is protected by the Ramsar Treaty and belongs to the Nature 2000 network of protected areas still it is a place where lots of waste and rubbish end up from our big city.Also illegal trafficking and illegal hunting takes place there.
After attending an interesting talk from the very active and passionate about her job lady called Eva along with a powerpoint film we had some coffee,tsipouro and mezedes(appetisers) and then went on a long walk amidst the Delta streams and little lakes and ponds. We saw lots of different plants but the most important was seeing from afar the lovely birds. We saw flamingoes,seagulls and various others birds with the binoculars.My photos are not very good as I don't have a good camera but still I took lots of photos and enjoyed the views.
 There were wooden birds in the exhibition.
 And maps that show the area of Thessaloniki an the Delta.We visited point number 20 on the map.
There are little ponds.
 There are trees.
 There are wooden bridges to cross.
 There are lots of typha latifolia .
 There were feathers everywhere from the birds.
 I loved taking close ups of plants as I couldn't of birds.
 There are lots of juncus acutus .
 A white bird probably an egret (egretta garzetta).
 Old boats left over from a once thriving fishing industry.There are still fishermen in the area though and a huge mussel industry.
 Thessaloniki on the background.
 I also found a spot where lots of glass bottles were stuck in the earth. The guide explained that when the river floods the area it brings lots of rubbish among them glass bottles. The spot I found was filled with old bottles and under the surprised scrutiny of the fellow educators I gathered a couple.
I brought them home and washed them and now they are on my window sill.I wish people didn't threw away their rubbish and the river does not carry them away but I was glad to find some old pieces of discontinued bottled beverages. As you can see they are not as cooked as in the sea,still they are quite old.
 Grass had covered most of the bottles and one of them had a living plant in it and worked as a greenhouse. I left it as it was.
 The lunch that followed was good with fish and salad,octopus and squid.Really good!We also did the cutting of the New Year's pie(yes,another one!).The restaurant we went is called Bagladesh and is in Kalohori village. It used to be an old weathered wooden cabin among the river ponds but now moved to more civilised premises.
 Tsipouro,feta cheese,broccoli,boiled cabbage and wild green leaves(horta) with great bread.
There was  a lovely photo-painting on the wall of the restaurant showing Thessaloniki as seen from the Delta with flamingoes flying.The chandelier was nice too with fish and anchors.
This is a usual trip for schools. Teachers take the students to see the Delta and the birds and this trip was for educators to get to know the way the field trip is done so they can organise their own.
I have been with my old school years ago at this field trip and really loved to do it again.
The Internet site of the Axios Delta is excellent and also in Englsih. You can learn a lot about the Delta as well as see lots of beautiful photos of the animals and birds of the area.So go have a look at .
This is my favourite photo from the whole day. A type of egret reflected on the peaceful water surface.
 And these were the bottles I took and had to leave in water and bleach overnight to get them cleaned.
 The first I haven't found out what it is from.The second is a bottle of Billia beverage and the third a bottle of Rhodes Retsina. As for the aqua piece it is probably the base of a big bottle or something and I only took it for its lovely colour.


Unknown said...

You seemed to have enjoyed your outing which is very interesting! I have not far from my village some sort of marshy area which ressembles the photos you took!
The bottles are nice and yes,isn't it a shame that people leave their garbage everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Lovely images!

Lisa said...

Great pictures. It is a beautiful place. Glad you had a good day!!!

Ariadne said...

Thank you everyone!It was a good day indeed!

Anonymous said...

oh wow, I have so much to catch up with !! ;-)
thank you very much for taking us with you on your day trip !
it reminds me a bit of over here, we have approximately the same kind of landscape :)
and your photos are really lovely, don't ever doubt about that