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An olive grove with ancient olive trees!
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An olive grove with ancient olive trees!

Perhaps Odysseus and his comrades rested under the shadow of these trees before their fateful meeting with the infamous one-eyed Cyclops. Or perhaps Orpheus was inspired there, listening to the rustling of the wind passing through the branches and the leaves, before starting to play his own music. The trees were planted and cultivated in prehistoric times, generously providing their fruit to people whose exploits became legendary, but also to other everyday heroes who collected the olives and produced their oil for the year.

 

Centuries later, the modern owners of these ancient olive groves in Makri are doing exactly the same. "In our area there are several olive trees aged up to 2,500-2700 years." he says with pride. Argyris Kellidis, an olive mill owner in the area maintains that the oldest olive groves of the world can be found in Makri. "Older individual trees may have been found in other parts of the country, in Crete for example, but here there are 2,500-2,700 year old trees in one or two acres; groups of ten, twelve and fifteen trees together, which means that someone planted them, cultivated them, and took care of them."

 

According to Mr. Kellidis, the olive tree is a sturdy tree, but its endurance over the years is also a matter of luck! "For example, in all these years they did not burn down in a fire. But now I'm becoming apprehensive because there are no roads in the olive grove, there is no access. If something happens, and I hope it never does, all these trees would be in danger," he says with a keen interest in these "magical" trees that connect the present with the past.

 

Living monuments of nature that attract the interest of locals and foreigners alike

He passes by this spot where there are 70 large ancient olive olives and checks to see: Are the trees doing well? Are they growing strong? What if they need something? "They are like a magnetic attraction, as even ambassadors from other countries have visited this "curious" olive grove with olives that " travel " in the passage of time," states Mr. Kellidis and also reveals that the Ambassador of Taiwan, the Mayor of St. Petersburg, and students from Italy's wine tasting university are among the latest guests. "Everyone showed great interest. They were all in awe of being up close to the trees. In fact, there was an amusing incident, when ten people went into the cavity of such a tree.", Mr. Kellidis says, smiling fondly, but also asking everyone to protect this important treasure, this living monument of nature. "We must take care of these trees because they have great power. Do you know what a 2,500-year-old living organism is? It's something sensational! " he says again, listening with respect and affection to the heartbeats of nature.

Reportage – Text: Maria Nikolaou

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