Metsovo and its Lovely People!

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Epirus,
Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Vlachs, speak a Latin-based language and I cannot understand a word of what they say. I don't want to write here about the language or go deeper in the history of Metsovo, but what I truly know is that these people have a pride of their culture. Being a Vlach is a way of life.

There are many benches throughout the central square of Metsovo and it is the meeting place for locals for the day’s gossip. You will always find them here, nearly all holding a stick –in Greek it is called 'glitsa’ similar to that the shepherds have.  

Before approaching the benches with the elderly men I try to spot the man and owner of a dairy shop I met on my previous trip. He is such colourful character and I remember him so well that I could have sketched his face on paper with every detail if I had talent in sketching.  And yes! He is sitting outside as usual with his traditional costume on, watching the people passing by and trying to attract attention and draw customers into his shop. The men in Epirus wear a felt vest, shirt, cloth belt, hat (kalpaki) wool woven trousers (bourazana) and special Greek rustic shoes (tsarouchia).  You don’t see many people dressed in their local costumes lately and this is disappointing. He has the same forbidding countence, with the same huge moustache, he seems a tough guy who knows well that people will approach him for a photo and then visit his shop. I cannot tell his age but he has not changed much since the last time I saw him in 2009. I greet him and of course I don’t expect him to remember me since he sees hundreds of people passing by each day.

We chat for a while and take a couple of pictures and move further towards the square to a bench with a group of friends. To my disappointment none of them wears the tradition costume (how wonderful if they did) and as I greet them and ask to sit on the bench they smile craftily and seem to like it. Seeing this, I take advantage and half in jest half in earnest I start talking with them. The moment they see me sitting they start speaking Vlachika, so I ask what they are talking about. One gives me his stick to hold while the rest keep smiling.

I tell them that I want to hear something in Vlachika and one of them says a sentence very fast. I try to repeat what I hear which is completely wrong and I manage to make them laugh which was my purpose. Then I ask what the sentence meant and one of them translates for me "What beautiful lady you are"!! I laugh when I hear this and I ask the rest if they agree with the sentence.  They all say yes, except for one very sympathetic old man who says “I cannot sign for this” meaning that he is not absolutely sure!!! Lol.  Actually it is this laugh I wanted get out of them, see the way they tease each other. I found them an amazing group!

Of course you can watch all this on the video I have downloaded for you.

The link I have below shows the traditional costume of Epirus:

This link is the entry from my visit to Metsovo in 2009.

I hope you enjoy the whole package!!
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rossport on

wow they are good and hey i am with you popi it all sounds greek to me :)

mmbcross on

Ha! Great comment. They could be talking Mongolian for all we know!

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