Thursday 10 April 2014

In Patras for the Shadow Puppet Festival

It was a fun long weekend. We attended lots and lots of great shadow puppet performances, we met lots of old shadow puppeteer friends and met new ones too.
Here are some photos.
On the way to Patras we decided to go by the Egnatia Highway.It has lots of bridges and tunnels. It was the first time we used it and really loved all those tunnels that have made the distance much shorter.

 Kozani electricity plant.

 To reach Patras you have to pass the Patraikos Gulf. We chose to use the ferry which is half price from the bridge toll. And it was fun too.
 I loved that little beach and went to collect some sea glass(very little unfortunately).
 The trip took only 20 minutes and the weather was lovely!

 Isn't it the most amazing bridge? The Rio-Antirrio Bridge is the longest suspended deck bridge in the world!You can read about it here.

 We reached the other side and went straight to our hotel.
 We stayed at the Astir Hotel, and the room was fantastic and on the sixth floor. We were guests of the Festival so that was really great! I wasn't impressed by the breakfast at the hotel though!
(Photo taken from the hotel site)
And the view was amazing! Although the strangest thing happens in this city. Although it is built on the Patras Gulf it does not have a seafront. It is a harbour and there is no seafront walking promenade like in Thessaloniki!A train track, fences and the harbour are between you and the sea! Unbelievable!
The view from our hotel!

 After a bit of rest we went to Agora Argyri which was an old renovated building next to our hotel where the Festival was taking place. We first visited the exhibition of shadow puppets and posters.

 We attended a couple of shadow puppet performances of people who were taking part in the competition among them Haris Billinis performance of Frankenstein which was exceptional and was eventually the winner of the competition for people over 25.
Then there was a great performance out of the competition by our friend Tassos Georgiou. We have known Tassos for years and he has won the competition many a time.
Later we had dinner at Kalamaki. Where again we spotted shadow puppets decorating the restaurant!

 The next day was the day we were competing so it was  a bit of a frenzy and anxiety. This view from our hotel was very calming though!

 After our performance which went rather well we went for lunch with other shadow puppeteers. On the way we passed this beautiful old Anglican Church of Saint Andreas which was the first building to be bombarded in Patras during the Second World War.

 We watched a lovely sunset from our hotel balcony before going back to the Festival.
 We watched some more performances and the presentation of a book Mimaros dialogues by Aris Milionis. Then there was one more amazing performance out of the competition by our friend
  Ilias Karellas who is a fantastic shadow puppeteer and incorporates theatre in his shadow play. We had attended his perormance at the Music Hall in Athens on our trip to the Peloponnese this January. You can read about it here.

On Sunday morning after the fantastic view photos I realised that this was the fourth time we were in Patras and we would be leaving without seeing any of the sights so we decided to visit the nearest to our hotel which was the Saint Andreas Greek Orthodox church.

 So we walked to the church. Saint Andrew church is the largest in Greece!

 It had the most amazing mosaics in it!
 We then walked to the only part of Patras that one can walk near the sea. There is  a lovely lighthouse too.

 And again we attended some more performances including one more that won in the under 25 years old competition by Nicholas Tzivelekis.

 Later we attended the closing ceremony that gave hubby an original shadow puppet perormance script praise!
Afterwards there was one more great performance by the excellent shadow puppetter Athos Danellis.
The next morning we toured our hotel roof garden and took photos.

 See the train passing in front of us?
 We returned home via the bridge this time. Double price,much faster.

 We had to do a short detour as some of the tunnels were closed.
 We stopped for a while at Aitoliko , a most amazing little town built on a tiny island that is bridged to land by a causeway.

 This is how it looks from the air. (Photo taken from the Internet to show you how different it is!)

 We then had coffee at Amfilohia.Another very beautiful town on Amvrakikos Gulf.
We reached Thessaloniki late in the evening.


devonseaglass said...

San Andreas (fault), St Andrew, Scotland...connections!

eleanna said...

Very intresting post Ariadne! First of all I didn't know there was a shadow puppet festival. Shadow puppet theatre is a great part of our tradition! Then, the route you followed to travel, seems very interesting, I haven't been in any of these places & I didn't know that Aitoliko was built on an island!

Valma said...

what an incredible post !!!!
wow ! I travelled once again thanks to you sweetie
really incredible.
so many beautiful places to see by your side !!
this bridge is amazing ! we have some like this one in France and I'm very afraid of them :)
thank you for sharing those pictures with us
PS: tell hubby he is really more handsome than the puppet ;)

Sarah in Stitches said...

Beautiful trip! It looks like you had a great time :D

Sarah in Stitches said...

Beautiful trip! It looks like you had a great time :D

Decor Asylum said...

Υπέροχο φαίνεται το ταξίδι σου Αριάδνη. Καλό Σαββατοκύριακο να έχεις

Anastasia said...

that was a long drive all the way to Patras - great photos! the exhibition and performance would have been great!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

You took some amazing pictures. I felt I was with you all along! I love the view from the hotel. And that huge church is amazing.

Kaisievic said...

Fantastic post, Ariadne, so interesting and you did so much. Thank you so much for sharing, I really enjoyed it.

Poppy said...

Amazing photos of your trip, Ariadne! Love the lighthouse and fish net images!

Happy Easter!


zina said...

μας ταξιδεψες παλι Αριαδνη! τελεια!!!

zina said...

μας ταξιδεψες παλι Αριαδνη! τελεια!!!

AppleApricot Wen said...

Great photos of a wonderful trip and experience. I love the shadow puppets. I only knew them from my Indonesian roots, the wayang kulit puppets (and wayang golek, but they're not shadow puppets).
hugs xx