...There, elsewhere, everywhere, I think I have experienced all of Greece and I hold her deeply within me...


Many years ago, which despite being carried away in time, while I think that none of their shine is lost, I want with some feeling of nostalgia to walk again in the Greece in which I lived in. In the Greece in which I would like to take my reader to, so that he or she, during this journey, can feel the beauty of our homeland and the uniqueness of its landscape. In the Greece where the evening is the most wonderful, the most magnificent, the most divine time to experience Greek nature. The moments when the pine tree is illuminated by the last sunrays and gilds on the blue seas. On the shores and on the rocks where the cresting waves, from the summer meltemi, are wearing off. In the stillness of the evening when only a few goat bells, the rushing water or some long melancholic fisherman's song disturb the tranquility of this hour. In our proud but so fine and attractively shaped mountains, in the flowering meadows, in the ravines with the nightingales, among the thymes, basil and jasmine. There, elsewhere, everywhere, I think I have experienced all of Greece and I hold her deeply within me.

I got into photography in 1946. The topics were simple and rather childish, depicting everyday scenes such as the house cat, school friends, myself in the mirror, etc.

My husband and I began our first excursions after 1950. A Greek lover as well as a nature lover, he knew Greece well and with him I was lucky enough to get to know our Land, its natural beauty, the simple and hospitable Greeks and the world's unique sensitive and rich in variations Greek landscape.

Back then the roads were still mostly dreadful and in many places almost impassable. Stones, mud and deep puddles formed a high saddle that could prove fatal to the car’s life. Sometimes we entered streams full of stones, logs and whatever else it's brunt had brought down. Some other times we had to cross the river without knowing whether we would make it to the other side or would have stay there at the mercy of the rushing water that threatened us. Oftentimes, the exhaust system would abandon us thus being a witness to our passage.

These conquests were among our greatest satisfactions. In these almost inaccessible places, nature was magnificent. I thought it was impossible for photography to capture such beauty and such harmonic combinations of colours.

Several deserted chapels, which back then were still open to the passing pedestrian, sprang up among the trees and bushes. Absolute peace surrounded them. Through a crack a ray of sunlight illuminated smoldering frescoes, figures of saints, and you could tell that this light, like a great star, witnessed an eternal divine presence.

Some of my most favourite topics were the sea, the boats, the fishermen and their faces streaked with the saltiness and the sun.

Furthermore, scenes from Greek life, everyday life and everything else that made up the beauty of our Land in its simplest manifestations.

My photography was always simple, relying mostly on my instinct, believing that this way everything would be more natural, more genuine, more real. I encountered great difficulties when I wanted to photograph faces. Once in Mani, women I tried to photograph started chasing me throwing stones.

This album is neither historical nor a travel guide for Greece. It is a travelogue in which I tried to keep alive in the memory of my generation, my children and those who still today enjoy the simple, the beautiful and can use their imagination to travel in this Greece that no longer exists. I regret that together with the photography I could not keep alive the old familiar sounds that were so connected with what constituted everyday life in our country. These are gone along with so many other beauties. How longingly we hear it in a poem by Elytis: "Ah! If only I could save this sound"

I owe the greatest gratitude to my life's companion for his patience, his encouragement, his enthusiasm and his love for this little work he so desired me to publish. I would also like to thank our faithful friends Theodoros and Katie Vrana, Chrysostomos Magos, Nikos and Nora Grigoriadi Giannis and Maria Manousopoulou and of course Odysseus Elytis who almost always followed our excursions. A special thank you to my children Nicos and Katie, who, despite their then young age, loyally and cheerfully attended our excursions, had the patience to wait and finally, with their help, turned the dream of publishing into reality.


Effie Canellopoulos 

Kifissia, July 1990