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Late in the winter of 2018, a handful of wandering snowboarders decided to establish the first ever igloo village in Greece, on Mt Vasilitsa in the Pindos Mountain range. After 2 weeks of abstract weather shifts, bear and fox visits and lots of burnt snowboard boots, this nomadic group of filthy animals was left with nothing but soaking socks and swollen faces. Oh… and good times.
In late November (2017) Katerina and the Greece Has Soul team hatched a plan to go to VIKOS GORGE to perform an aerial dance. It would be the result of a wish of Katerina’s – broadcast on live television earlier that autumn. Turns out the people from the Zagori Excellence Network (ZEN) had their eyes peeled when Katerina made the announcement. So they called us in.
With snow all over Greece and strong northerlies bringing in some super low temps, we decided to kick off the season with a little home shred. For Athenians that usually means Parnasso or Kalavrita, but the truth is Athens has a much closer snowy spot. PARNITHA. Home to the former king’s estate, red deer, an archaic casino and a few decent snowflakes a year.
The last minute crew assembled in Athens and we headed up early. Hill Bill, Iason and I (Themi) parked the car just past the refuge and went for our inaugural run, from the top antenna base down to the refuge. It was Christmas eve so the mountain was more full than I’d ever seen it before. Families playing in the snow, lots of hikers and runners. Super cool to see it so busy. We kept walking up to the very top, strapped in and made our way through the thick trees.
After a half hour or so of trying to find our way through the forest, with lots of tight turns and some shallow rocky presents along here and there, we got back to the refuge. No day would be complete without a little jib sesh.
Night fell – hot chocolates and a gentle breeze all the way home…
Most people know Greece for its amazing beaches, delicious food and smashing plates. What you might not know is that there is an epic winter playground hidden away in its many mountains. This film follows the journey of Themistocles Lambridis through the Greek mountains over two seasons, making new friends, exploring the unknown side of this culture and uncovering some of Greece’s best kept secrets.
Music by Imam Baildi, 1000MODS, Planet of Zeus, the Velvoids, Mary’s Flower Superhead, Afrodyssey Orchestra, Black Hat Bones, The Killer Seas, Wisdom, Themistojesus, Souleance, Wild Kitten, Whereswilder, Chinese Basement, 63 High, Los Tre, Dirty Fuse, Last Drive, Hat Trick
Featuring: Spiros Badios, Vasilis Koutoumatsiotis, George Chalkias, George Ouzounis, Gerasimos Avramidis, Themistocles Lambridis, Dimitris Maniatis, Vasilis Karageorgiou, Mike Styllas, Nikolas Plytas, Vasilis Koutlemanis, Miltos Tzimas, Vasilis Tsipos, Christian Manousaridis, Raymond Prentice, Tasos Takolas, Spiros Bellonias, Mikka Nikkanen, Dimitris Liossis, Antonis David, Daniel Petrov, Dimitris Dimitriadis, George Felekis, Alex Panagakos, Giannis Panagakos, Alexandros Aspromougos, Giorgos Priftis, Kostas Sirios, Jason Siadimas, Rodrigo Valsamis, Stelios Danourdis, Vaggelis Martinos, Babis Tsiros, Dimitris Tsiros, Kapetan Garidas, Eva Patapatiou, Dimitris Pappas, Konstantinos Tzirvelakis, Yiaggos Pappas, Konstantinos Karmas, Marios Karpouzas, Christos Karpouzas, Nick Dimitriaids, Christos Boukoros, Trantafylos Triantafylou, Konstantinos Lyketsos, Giannis Kotileas, Ivan Furkov, Leonidas Spiropoulos, Aristides Vergos, Alex Nikoletopoulos, Apostolos Dianelos, Alexis De Tarade, Antoine Baduel, Anto Brotto, Remy Barreyat, Mike Handford, Jess Oundjian, Giannis Papachristou, Christos Makridis, Giannis Sampson, Teo Galinidis and more…
Directed by: Themistocles Lambridis Colorist: Dimitris Lambridis Sound Design: Joe Hudson Edited by: Themistocles Lambridis, Spiros Badios
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Ahhh the boat trip. It all started in Athens as an idea to take Ben Bowd and another rider to some uncharted spots around the Greek islands. Initially Dimitris Softas was supposed to join us, but unfortunately couldn’t make it so sent his protege Lykourgos instead. I met Lykourgo (Wolfy) at the dock as his sponsors We Ride Local rolled in straight from Raches in Northern Greece. He was this dishevelled little kid, who had obviously spent a lot of time in the sun, and just oozed energy.
We left the port in a hurry to blast through the oncoming storm and make it to Mykonos by the morning. That of course never happened. We did get to Mykonos eventually, but the storm most certainly hit us. As the winds started to pick up and the stars were covered by clouds, everything started to go wrong. The sail got jammed as we were overpowered, so we were literally on edge until we decided to force it. In a rush to take it down it tore a 1 meter hole in the bottom. Then the man overboard signal goes. Ben is nowhere to be found and most of the crew were zombied out on dramamine. The boat was now swaying almost along a 100 degree pivot, with waves crashing, and we were missing a person. The alarm was so loud though that even the deepest sleepers were woken, and luckily so because just as we were about to panic Ben shows up out of the spare cabin at the front of the boat, “just coming to get a biscuit” he said.
Over the next 12 days we travelled around 4 incredible islands in the Cyclades, fixed our sail, met some amazing people and did some heavy riding.
What’s it like to kitesurf in a country like Greece? Where you get about 9 months of prefect wind, are surrounded by beautiful waters and the temperatures… let’s face it, never really drop too far. Well who better to ask than the 4 best riders in the country… So we packed our bags, loaded up all our camera gear and went on a mission to discover the best spots to ride, the best tricks and the most epic locations around Greece…
Wind & Water is the kind of project that takes on a life of its own. In fact I find this is the case with all projects that lead to something good. Roughly 6 months of work on this bad boy, spread over 2 years, with lots of ups and downs, and lots and lots of helping hands.
It took us to a whole bunch of different spots around Greece, and got us into all sorts of pickles, like that time our sail got torn in the middle of a storm or that time we got chased by the… never mind. From Lefkada to Evia and the Cyclades islands to Costa Navarino, we heard the same words repeated over and over and over again until I literally couldn’t bear it any more… “Λες να βάλει αέρα;” – “You think it’s gonna blow?”.
And so in light of getting this bad boy wrapped up, I tip my hat to the crew: Alex, Dimitri, Ben, Lykourgo, Softa, Tom, Youri, Peter, Billo, Oresti, Luke, Thomas, Rami and everyone else. Keep on pumping you crazy beasts…
Thanks to VICE Greece and Netwix for their help in producing this, and Loukas Zorzos for the graphic design. Now go watch the whole series on their web channel by clicking here – www.netwix.gr/thethingaboutgreecewindandwaterbyvice
When the lifts finally shut and the mountain traffic came to a not-so-glamorous halt, we dropped in to munch on the leftovers. The psychotropic mountain setting was exactly what I needed to escape my modern day troubles. I couldn’t leave my phone behind of course, but I did put it on airplane mode for a bit.
Half way up the hill we realised we weren’t alone. Christos and some friends had been shaping the kicker. park break…
It was that kind of temperature where you could be in shorts, but then the wind changes and maybe its not a good idea any more. Confusing.
Then off to the top. We decided to make it up before sunset this time, so we hustled up, well actually it was more like me chasing Bill, and reached the nearest peak – Gerontovrahos before sunset for a change.
After a couple warm beers and a long talk about minimalism and moustaches we headed back. We discussed important issues on the ride home. But the silence was good too. It’s part of the whole thing. Reflecting on a big day. I had falafel with extra hot sauce that night. Bill had the steak.
So Winter 2016-17 started with a quick stop up to Mt Dirfis with Bill. In classic fashion we left Athens late because I wasn’t ready, took forever to get there, and didn’t get onto the snow until well after midday. Bill was less than impressed but we decided to come down before it got too dark and just shrug it off…
A month or so later we came back, knowing that the boys from the YAMAS production by the Snowmads were there filming some sunset shots. We got there late again but hustled up and met the boys on the top for some cookies and milk.
A couple of bad jokes later we strapped in and headed down for sunset. I had forgotten my jacket so I was already getting cold, when my phone battery ran out mid drone flight. Marco Freudenreich lent me his phone while the drone was still buzzing around our heads, and I used the remaining 9% of his battery trying to get the signal connection to work, and filming blind. I doubt you’ll see any of those shots in the upcoming film.
Bill and I headed down in the dark and listened to Alan Watts audiobooks all the way home…