The mines in literature
"Pyrite colored rust in Sina’s mines. Stratoni and the cellars of Gerakini. The coating. The saint rust that raises us, feeds us, is fed from us and kills us".
Fata Morgana, Nikos Kavvadias
The ore is transported from Stratoni by boat. Nikos Kavvadias, the favorite poet of sailors, was a radio operator on one of these boats. As he states in his poem “Fata Morgana”, on this route he cought the frequency of the Stratoni port. It is said, years later that this poem was written for an Helen looking like a gypsy, from the village. A sad fact is that some boats never made it back. At least three of them were shipwrecked…
Alexis Zorbas-Nikos Kazantzakis
The famous Alexis Zorbas seem to have worked in Madem Lakkos in the end of the previous century. He spent his most critical years in Palaiochori. He stayed at a friend’s house and worked in Isvoro, as a miner at the French exploitation company of the mines. He met John Kalkouni, the foreman, whose daughter Eleni, he “stole” and got married to in Palaiochori. He had eight kids with her of which his first one, Androniki was his favorite. But wars and the death of his wife Eleni, brought misery to the family, and he sadly left to find a better luck.
-“Where did you work recently?
- At a mine. You know, I am a pretty good miner, I understand everything about metals, I find filonia, I open galleries, I go underground in wells, I am not afraid. I worked hard. I was a foreman, no complaints, it is just that the devil got involved. I had lots of fun last weekend and I found the owner who came to inspect us and busted him up…”.
From the book, "Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas", by Nikos Kazantzakis.