Echo Weblog

a blog about my daily life, passions and happenings

Archive for the month “October, 2010”

Nature School…for nature lovers!

Your very own nature adventures in a book! Mick Manning and Brita Granström show you how easy it is to become a nature explorer! Nature School takes you on an exciting adventure to discover the secrets of nature, learn how to find and preserve wildlife and make you feel closer to the world around you.

Review: An excellent introduction to nature for young children.

In this book Mick Manning and Brita Granström invite children to become nature explorers, and find out about the natural world by undertaking some simple but interesting activities. The authors/illustrators use lively and colourful illustrations to complement the text, the tone of which is very readable and child friendly. The information is accessible and the practical suggestions are well within the range of most children under adult supervision. Additional ‘nature tips’ mean that the book packs in a lot of information in a very easily digested format. Ideas for practical activities and exciting projects include making a bird box, making a pond in a jar, creating a mini beast motel, and keeping a nature journal. Readers of this book will certainly be better informed by the end of it, and the activities – if undertaken – will help children to develop a closer relationship with nature.

This is a valuable teaching and learning resource for teachers, as well as a fun read for children that encourages them to try some of the exciting projects detailed within.


Impressions ….of Mount Olympos!!

One Month Later…

….Well, I am back from our summer holidays in Mt. Olympus (Pieria) Greece the highest mountain in Greece (2917 metres) and the throne of the ancient Greek gods….not only the mountains and the villages are magnificent but also the beaches are superb….so holidays are nearly over and I am packed with memories and nice photos…… I will try and give you a taste of the place(s) we ‘ve been.

Old Panteleimonas

Where the mountain “embraces” the sea is hidden the village, of Old Panteleimon.  A very beautiful traditional settlement that was renovated almost with devotion. The landscape is very special nature is everywhere, you can see the coasts of Pieria and see from afar the lofty castle Platamonas .

We arrived exhausted but the first night we felt asleep so deeply and calmly.  We were impressed with the alleys and streets of the Old Panteleimon. A traditional village in 1976 and thus was able to escape the whirlwind of unregulated construction. Indeed, some stone houses and mansions were converted into quaint inns. The cafes were restored and households supplying handmade homemade desserts. In the taverns you can taste nice tasty Greek food. We visited the church of Saint Panteleimon, the patron saint, in the village and had cold drinks in the square. Alex lit a candle in the church and he was really happy to be there and play until late!

Castle of Platamonas

The next day we woke had a nice breakfast and decided to explore the area. We started with Castle of Platamonas. The castle is Venetian and the views were fantastic. 

Upper Skotina
I enjoyed the morning coffee at the cafe (formerly a school of the village), relaxing under the huge plane tree . We went by car  and it was is certainly one of the most beautiful routes in Greece. The views were spectacular and our eyes wander to the beautiful landscape and feel that … discard the beauty of the luscious forest of chestnut, oak, pine and fir. The smells came from everywhere … I managed to pick oregano… «Back to nature” is called, and truly worth it.

In the Upper Skotina altitude 800 meters unfortunately we couldn’t s walk easily, because of the uneven path. Worth a stop in the local tavern for tsipouro and wild boar meze and let time passes by while enjoying the unparalleled views !

On the way to Kastoria

We decided to travell through the mountains and pass Elatohori . 

We have enjoyed panoramic views across the forest and mountains and the wonderful nature.  Unique experience though … but somewhat the trip was really tiring…. On the way we saw the lake Polyphytou.




Litohoro, the gate of Olympus 

At the entrance of Olympus stands proud through the centuries Litochoro.
This is a small town a wonderful, picturesque and traditional village with many narrow alleys and beautiful old mansions to renovate all the time,  where you can see in the central square  the church of St. Nicholas, the marble fountain and the imposing tower…farther away the city park. Firs, pines, cypresses, plane trees, fountains, benches and sports facilities offer quality of life. 

We had a walk by the gorge Enipeas and we really enjoy the  scenic route . We drunk a cool beer Mythos in a restaurant, where you the views were aweinspiring  and exercise to hearing the sounds of the forest.

Mountain Olympus

Mountain Olympus and the National Forest as well as his settlements – those that are found in the prefecture Pieria. The national Forest was founded in 1938 and has extent 44.500 acres with recorded 1.700 species of plants. The 24 from them are endemic types. The forest is mainly from black pine, beech and fir. The tallest top of mountain is Mytikas with 2.917 m. In 1981 the UNESCO nominated him preservable department of world biosphere.

From there we had begun the exploration to the gorge of Enipea the waterfalls in the Mt Olympos and the Mt .  itself.

Continuing, the view to the coasts of Pieria cuts the breath, but the road requires your attention. We had to stop to the Dimitris Mpoyntolas shelter for a drink and food . We visitied the old Abbey of Saint Dionysioy, a monastery of Macedonia. It was built the 16th century from Saint Dionysio. Recently has been  restored, and the place where was built is very beautiful.
Archaeological space with international radiation, Dion, the “city of Dios, the holy city of ancient Macedonians, in north-eastern  Olympus. The excavations have brought in the light important discoveries such as  building square with residences, laboratories, shops and public buildings. The temple of Isidos, Hellenistic theatre, holy Via, the Roman theatre the villa of Dionysos with the marvellous mosaics, the Roman public baths, holy Dimitra and a lot of other discoveries.


Finally, in Pieria one can find literally everything … and I know for sure that  I am a lover of the  mystic and mythical mountain Olympos!  Perhaps I’ ll visit again in the nearer future…

It was a bit of a shock to the system to land back in England to a cold and windy 18 degrees. Winter is on its way!

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