Monday, July 7, 2014

Aristotle's Trail reopened

I wish I was going to Greece this Summer. I have such a longing to return to it. I am not glorifying the country, but I remember walking dusty trails and feeling the sun burn my skin, I remember swimming in the warm sea and diving for sea urchins and pretty shells. I remember steep ravines that my mom traversed at dusk in a Fiat Pinto without headlights and nearly got us all killed. I remember walking the Acropolis and realizing I was looking at history. I long to visit the country now I have such religious love for its Gods... and today's news makes me long for that even more: the trail where allegedly Aristotle used to teach his students philosophy has been reopened.

The Wise Side of Greece — Aristotle’s Trail
The main path runs for about 22 kilometres from the ruins of ancient Stagira to
the modern village of the name [Credit: iefimerida]
"Aristotle is one of the most famous Greek philosophers and scientists. He was born in Northern Greece in a town called Stagira, in 384 BC. When he was young he travelled to Athens where he studied at Plato’s Academy with the great philosopher who became his mentor. He studied with him until his death and then returned to Macedonia in Northern Greece, where he became the teacher of Alexander the Great, at the request of his father, King Phillip of Macedonia.
 
In Macedonia, Aristotle founded the Peripatetic School (Wandering School), it was an informal institution where members tried to answer difficult scientific and mostly philosophical questions. The name originally derives from the Greek word Peripatos which was a meeting place in the Lyceum of Athens. However, after Aristotle’s death, a legend travelled around Greece that he used to walk while teaching so the name changed to Peripatetis (peripatitikos in Greek) which means wandering.
 
Now, almost 2,400 years later, the town of Stagira — the philosopher’s birthplace — has opened Aristotle’s Trail to the public. Visitors have the opportunity to walk the different paths of Halkidiki, where allegedly Aristotle used to teach his students philosophy."

The main path is 22 kilometres long and starts from the ruins of the old town of Stagira. It reaches the modern village of the same name at the end of it. There are various paths for visitors to choose from, depending on difficulty and length, and there are paths for mountain biking also. In addition to the trail, the local community recently opened an Aristotle theme park, so if you are anywhere in the general vicinity (the closest large city is probably Thessaloniki), this might be a great way to spent the day. Personally, I would love to hike these trails, and I know a very dear friend who I know would love to hike them with me while we discuss philosophy and the ancient Hellenes who walked the soil before us. It sounds truly perfect to me.

1 comment:

Algis Kemezys said...

Thanks so much for this. Walking ancient paths is one of my favorite things to do. esp Aristotle's.