Field Trip on Saturday 25 October 2014:
“Geography along wine-routes of Northern Greece”

Wine has been always an inspiring product of Northern Greece since ancient times. In this field-trip, visiting local wineries is only an excuse for exploiting geography of the local areas, distinguishing geographical evolution between anthropogenically-altered, lowland cultivated areas, created by draining of lakes and marshes and the mountainous areas of Greece.

During the last 80 years, several lakes and marshes have been drained, creating thousands of square kilometers of cultivated plains, along with the creation of series of artificial lakes, mainly in the mountainous areas.

Thessaloniki-Gianitsa plain has an interesting and complex geographical evolution story, since it was a gulf in prehistoric times, evolved to a lake and deltaic plain afterwards and finally, by human intervention altered to a cultivated area with extensive irrigation system and humanly altered sediment deposition centre. (The modern Axios Delta created after the diversion of the river-bed and has 80 years of life. The old delta is a cultivated area that is now subsiding and already a substantial part of the plain is below sea-level. The sea is kept out by the Eastern Thermaikos Gulf Barrier).

The renewable energy potential of artificial lakes in the mountainous areas, along with the water management of irrigated areas, made Greece a prosperous place, but created some environmental implications that will be examined in the field trip.

In the town of Metsovo, where is the final destination of the field-trip, the National Technical University of Athens owns the Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Center (M.I.R.C.) where the staff and the postgraduate students will give short lectures and video presentations on the Protection and Development of Mountainous Environment and Local European Cultures. Food and wine tasting, along with folklore events will take place there.

The cost of the field-trip is 15 €, including travel, food, some wine testing, coffee and printed material.

Printed material and extensive field-trip guide will be distributed to the participants, along with Participation Certificates on behalf of the Organizing Committee and Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Field Trip Schedule (not final)

(This is gross schedule, the final schedule will announced after the organizing committee has an indication of the number of the participants to the field-trip)

Saturday 25 October 2014

08:30 Departure from Thessaloniki
Lowland Landscape

09:00 Arrival to Kalochori (Thermakos Gulf Eastern Barrier – Old Axios Delta)

[The purpose of the stop is to see the elevation difference of the present sea-level, which is 3 meters above the elevation of the cultivated plain (-3m) and the sea is kept out by the barrier along eastern boundary of Thermaikos Gulf. The plain is drained by several pumping stations along the barrier. Axios River new diverted bed, is confined between barriers, and the river flows to the sea unaffected by the subsidence of the nearby plain. The plain has subsided because of sediment compaction and overpumping from boreholes. Visiting this site, we will be able to see what is going to happen on a sea-level rise, if sediment supply is depleted (“the future is here” – we will live behind walls)]

10:00 Departure for Veroia and Vermio foothills

[We will cross Thessaloniki Gianitsa plain and talk during the journey about the evolution of the area, the irrigation systems and generally the water management]

11:00 Arrival to Veria and Vermio Foothills. Visit a local Vinery (View from above the Thessoloniki Gianitsa Plain area (if the is no mist).

- Here ends the part of the field-trip regarding the lowland landscape.

- We start to climb the mountains, following a modern, recently constructed route that altered the accessibility of the mountainous areas and we are expecting to influence the development in the near future.

Mountainous Landscape

Departure for Metsovo via Egnatia route

Stop for rest at Siatista and visit a local winery

13:00 Arrival to Metsovo

-Visit to the Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Center (M.I.R.C.) of National Technical University of Athens – short welcome by the staff and the postgraduate students.

-Visit the Averof Foundation and Local winery – Dinner and wine tasting

-Return to M.I.R.C. for short informative lectures and video presentations on the Protection and development of mountainous environment and local European cultures.

- Coffee brake will take place, where several events and happenings with local products, folklore dancing etc.

19:00 Return to Thessaloniki