Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Limnos then and now – Part II
One of my personal missions this year in Limnos is to find and photograph the exact locations depicted in 14 photographs that I took on my first trip to the island 31 years ago. I am documenting the progress of my mission here on the blog and today I have the second part of a five-part series to share with you. (Part I can be found here).
Trying to find the same locations in Limnos that I photographed way back in 1983 has proven to be both fun and frustrating, but the best moments have been when one of these seemingly illusive locations just appear before me when I least expect them to.
Tony and I had been traipsing the streets of Myrina for hours under the burning sun looking for the location of a special image I'd taken all those years ago of a village man and his horse and cart. Here in Limnos this delightful mode of transport was still being used by some, right up until the late 1990s.
The background of this image was quite sparse, revealing only a section of a raised veranda and the front of a house, and even though I had a hunch where the location might have been, I soon realised this one was going to be quite a challenge to find.
Unfortunately my memory of the street where I thought I'd taken the photograph had failed me miserably, having paced up and down said street many times looking for anything that resembled the background of the shot. We resolved it could have in fact been anywhere within a five-kilometre radius of Myrina, gave up and started heading back to the house.
As we turned the corner onto our cobble-stoned road I looked to Tony and said, 'Wouldn't it be funny if the house we're looking for was right on our street?' and yep, you guessed it, there it was. Not only on our street, but right next door to our house!
The house has had some renovations, new windows and door, the iron railing has been replaced (and the mode of transport is somewhat more advanced these days!), but the stone wall and pillars of the veranda are largely the same which is what jumped out at us confirming that this was the place.
The next shot was another one I thought I'd never be able to find. It was a stock-standard cobble-stoned Limnian street with white-washed village homes either side. It could have been anywhere! The only distinguishing feature of the image was a large tree painted white at the base and growing out of a corner in the road in front of an iron fence.
With the images from 1983 stored in my iPhone, I studied the original image intently, squinting at the small screen, blinded by the sun, as I weaved in and out of Myrina's streets looking for this tree in the corner. Then once again, just as I was ready to give up, I spotted a house with red shutters over the windows that looked remarkably like the house in the original shot. But no tree. This threw me. Could it be the same location? With iPhone in one hand and camera in the other, I lined up the shot and every other element was there, the corner, the iron fence, the balcony on the right. There is a new building behind the house and no tree in the corner, but I'm convinced it's the same place. What do you think?
The last image for Part II was easy peasy to locate but not so easy to line up for the shot. Limnos' Venetian castle (Castro) and the Church of Saint Paraskevi can be seen from anywhere along Romaikos Yiallos beach which stretches 600 metres. However, standing 200 metres from Castro will give you quite a different perspective of the church and the hill than the view from 400 metres away. I'm embarrassed to admit I took around 20 photos before I got it right – that would have been almost a whole roll of film in the old days! (And I still didn't get it exactly right).
Even though now covered by thick trees, the building on the far left has been completely restored. I believe it is owned by the council and has been made into a multipurpose hall, sometimes used as an art gallery.
I know these 'then and now' photos don't make the most riveting content for a blog (particularly a food blog!), but it's something that is keeping me inspired while in Limnos as I've been going through a bit of a creative lull in recent months. But if you can bear with me I've got a gorgeous recipe for A la Polita (Artichoke stew) coming soon, and this weekend I'm off on a little adventure to Lesvos which I'm sure will provide plenty of material, both photographic and culinary, for the blog. See you again soon :).