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Open Invitation to EAE Summer Star Parties-Mt Parnon, GREECE

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Dear Irish friends,

I am writing this post to invite you to participate in our Astronomical Observing Star Parties at Mt Parnon, Greece, in June 6-8, or July 3-7 or August 28-31.



A r r a n g e m e n t s :

1. Accomodation. You can stay at the George Pierce Refuge, just next to the observing site, at a cost of 10 euros per person per day. Or you can set up your tent (free camping).
2. Transport. For up to 6-7 people at a time, we can offer you a free transport from Athens Intl Airport to the observing site with our cars, and return. This is a 3.5 hrs drive.
3. Food. From 5 to 20 euros per person per day. See below.
4. Telescopes. Every member of EAE would be happy to let you see through or perhaps operate his/her telescope. Of course you can bring your own photo/telescope gear with you.
5. Time of Arrival. It would be most convenient if you come as a group with the same flight. Best time to arrive is Wednesday, best month is July.
6. General Comment: Because the number of beds in the refuge is limited since EAE members will also be staying there, in case too many Irish friends would want to come at the same month, some kind of priority rule could be applied.

For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or answer this post!

Best Regards,
On behalf of the EAE,
Vagelis Tsamis, EAE Observing Coordinator,
Anthony Ayiomammitis, EAE Council Member,
Leonidas Papasotoriou, EAE Treasurer.



S o m e _ a d d i t i o n a l _ I n f o :

- EAE: Hellenic Astronomical Association, amateur astronomy club.
www.astronomia.org.gr/
www.astronomia.org.gr/index_e.php for english.
EAE is one of the most active astronomy clubs in Greece.



- The Parnon Observing Site: At 1,420m altitude, it is the size of a football field (actually, it used to be one!), It is leveled, covered with short grass. It is the main observing site of the EAE.
astronomia.org.gr/Coppermine/displayimag...d=170&fullsize=1
www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=3582
astronomia.org.gr/Coppermine/displayimag...d=370&fullsize=1

- The George Pierce Refuge is a very warm and friendly place. It belongs to the Sparta Alpine Club. Its distance from the observing site is 300 m. It has a fireplace and dinning tables, a kitchen where one can cook, and 27 beds. Beds are double or triple (one on top of the other) and are all in one big sleeping chamber, which is upstairs. A lot of blankets and pillows are available for everybody, but no sheets. One can bring his/her bed-sheets, if necessary. Downstairs there is washing water and a WC.
www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=2358
www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=3583
- Google Earth map (Katafygio E.O.S. Spartis): bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/867166

- The Camping Site. In summertime, we set up our camping tents under high pine trees, just next to the observing site. There is always a refreshing current of air blowing through the pine trees, which keeps the temperature low at daylight. This is very pleasant, because it can be very hot at the sun-exposed observing site. One needs to be in a shadow during summertime in Greece. At night the temperature can be as low as +3/+4 Celsius, but some times it gets no lower than +10.
astronomia.org.gr/Coppermine/displayimag...d=353&fullsize=1
www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=4343

- Spring Water. There is a picturesque fresh-water spring very close to the refuge and to the camping site. It is a place where one can have lunch or a wash/bath.

- Clothing. For night observations, bring warm clothes and boots. Head cover is necessary.
Also DO bring light clothing for the daytime. It is hot in Greece, even on the mountains. Temperature could be 30 Celsius or more.
Sunglasses and a hat absolutely necessary at daytime.

- About Food. Practically it can cost you very little. We can eat together breakfast, lunch and dinner. All these years, each one of us brings some food from home, which we all share in a common table. Also we use to cook in the refuge kitchen, or have a BBQ. In this case we contribute some money to share the cost. Or some of us may go to a nearby village (Ag. Petros or Kastanitsa) to eat in a tavern and we share the cost. So food might cost, let’s say, from 5 to 20 euro.

- Main Flora: Pine trees, Fir trees, Bracken.
- No mosquitoes, no snakes, no wild animals. Grasshoppers or lizards may appear occasionally. Sometimes in June, flies might appear, but they are absolutely harmless.

- Protection and Health of Forest Resources: Local and government Forestry Authorities protect the forest resources and the health of forest ecosystems. There is a strong sensitivity for fire protection in Greece after last year's catastrophic fires.
So one must be aware of the environmental protection issues and follow the rules of EAE during his/her stay.

Other Activities
- Mountain Climbing. There are some nice routes for walking and cycling in the area. What we enjoy to do is take a morning mountain walk for 1-2-3 hrs in the European Path E4 (Greek part). It is up to us how long we walk or how high we want to reach. If we are in the mood, we can reach Kronion, the highest peak of Mt Parnon, at 1,934 meters alt. But that’s at least 4 - 5 hrs walk (go and return).
astronomia.org.gr/Coppermine/displayimag...d=206&fullsize=1
Exhausted astronomers after ¼ hr mountain walking - summertime: www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=3507
* New pic from April 5, 2008 - walking in the snow: farm3.static.flickr.com/2015/2405393478_c333619225_o.jpg

In this section I am copy/pasting some extra info, which comes up as the thread proceeds, so you can have the whole picture.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:37 pm Post subject:

1. The best month is July because we can form a stronger "greek suppport team", we will have plenty of days, and the weather conditions are expected to be 99.99% good. The refuge will be open from Wednesday and on.
2. In August, the refuge will open from Thursday and on. But camping for 1 day (Wednesday) is an option.
3. In June, the days available for the star party will be limited to Friday night and Saturday night, and the support team will be smaller.

In June usually we are 10-15 observers, 60-120 in July and 40-80 in August.
Most EAE observers arrive at the observing site on Friday and some on Saturday. Almost all leave on Sunday.
We (our support team and you) can drive to the observing site on Wednesday or Thursday, enjoy the magical sound of silence for 2 or 1 days and nights, and then it gets crowdy and we have a plenty of telescopes of all types and sizes, etc, etc...

I would like to point out that even if the weather sometimes is not as good as expected and no observation is possible, nobody ever left this place dissapointed. It is a beautiful place.
Sparta Astronomy Association / Observations Coordinator
International Occultation Timing Association / European Section, www.iota-es.de/
14 years 8 months ago #64794

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  • michaeloconnell
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Vagelis,
On behalf of everyone here on www.irishastronomy.org I'd like to thank you and your club for this extremely generous offer! Many thanks!
I for one will certainly be there for one of the events!
One question, how many hours of observing do you get in July? I know your summer nights are longer than ours.
14 years 8 months ago #64795

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  • Vagelis Tsamis
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Hi Michael!
You just reserved a seat! Nr 1 and counting...
About 6 hrs.
see also: www.irishastronomy.org/boards/viewtopic.php?p=52933#52933
Sparta Astronomy Association / Observations Coordinator
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14 years 8 months ago #64796

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Ah yes, I knew we discussed it before! Thanks!
14 years 8 months ago #64797

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Flights for 3rd to 7th July
Aer Lingus don't fly to Athens on the 3rd. Flights do take place on the 2nd and 4th. Flights don't arrive until late at night. Therfore, this requires leaving on the 2nd and staying the night in Athens. Price of flight is 325euro incl taxes. Flight departs Dublin at 2:30pm.
Ryanair don't fly to Greece.
Aegean Airlines don't fly to Ireland.
Czech Airlines - stop over in Prague. Flight arrives in Athens late at night/early morning 1:15am. Price is around 250euro return incl taxes.
Malev Hungarian Airlines - stop over in budapest. Arrives in Athens at 3:50pm. Cost is approx 285euro.
14 years 8 months ago #64798

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  • DaveGrennan
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Vagelis,

Thanks to you and the EAE for your extremely kind offer. I would also like to travel to this event and have just gotten my release papers signed by my wife:). I will will liase with Michael.

I look forward to meeting yourself, Anthony and the rest of the EAE.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
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14 years 8 months ago #64799

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  • Vagelis Tsamis
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Hi Dave,
I think it will be a good time for everyone, greeks and irish.
Looking forward to meeting all of you, too.
Sparta Astronomy Association / Observations Coordinator
International Occultation Timing Association / European Section, www.iota-es.de/
14 years 8 months ago #64803

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Michael et al,

I was curious if EasyJet and/or Aegean have flights from Dublin? They are very cheap when it comes to pricing.

It would be really neat to have all of you here for our monthly excursions to Mount Parnon. Skies approach mag 7 and the Milky Way will at first fool you into thinking we have clouds overhead.
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr
14 years 8 months ago #64808

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Easy Jet fly from Gatwick to Athens but the fare is 160STG. Add to that the cost of the flight Dublin - Gatwick and it certainly looks like the direct Aer Lingus flight is the better option.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
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Equipment List here
14 years 8 months ago #64822

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Dave et al,

I would respectfully suggest you forget the refuge and bring a sleeping bag with you ... nothing beats the "natural" feeling when out in the woods and atop a mountain.

Of course, if you have a bad back, there is no choice.
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr
14 years 8 months ago #64824

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Michael,

The dates provided by Vaggeli are the suggested dates which involve a Friday-Sunday expedition. Without getting into specifics, it is almost certain you will find someone in the area before Friday and on purpose. With less traffic and a lot more quietness, arrivals before Friday are best since with the company of two to three individuals you can enjoy a really productive session.

To this end, if flights are cheaper for dates before/after the Friday-Sunday period, it may be a blessing in disguise.
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
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14 years 8 months ago #64825

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With less traffic and a lot more quietness


Now i might just take you guy's up on that and thanks for the kind offer Vagelis
oh wise man why is the universe so perfect?ah because symmetry loves herself.

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14 years 8 months ago #64827

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Vagelis,
This looks fantastic!
I'll get busy working out holiday dates
but pencil me in for the June dates!

Cheers!
My Astrophotography
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14 years 8 months ago #64828

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  • Vagelis Tsamis
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Dave et al,

I would respectfully suggest you forget the refuge and bring a sleeping bag with you ... nothing beats the "natural" feeling when out in the woods and atop a mountain.


Anthony is absolutely right. This is what I always prefer to do.
www.astrovox.gr/forum/album_pic.php?pic_id=4343
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14 years 8 months ago #64837

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  • Vagelis Tsamis
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Michael,

The dates provided by Vaggeli are the suggested dates which involve a Friday-Sunday expedition. Without getting into specifics, it is almost certain you will find someone in the area before Friday and on purpose. With less traffic and a lot more quietness, arrivals before Friday are best since with the company of two to three individuals you can enjoy a really productive session.

To this end, if flights are cheaper for dates before/after the Friday-Sunday period, it may be a blessing in disguise.


Yes, they are just suggested dates.
OK, why not Wednesday arrival ?
No problem for camping, but for the refuge, I will first have to make sure that it will be open. I 'll let you know.
Good thinking, dogstar.
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14 years 8 months ago #64838

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Vagelis,
This looks fantastic!
I'll get busy working out holiday dates
but pencil me in for the June dates!

Cheers!


OK Frank
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14 years 8 months ago #64839

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This sounds great ! My partner has given me permission to travel also.
In June the flights from Dublin are on the Wednesday. No Thursday flight that day. The cost from Dublin leaving Wednesday and returning on Sunday is about €280 via Aerlingus. Going from Shannon via Air France it is €380 but leaving on a Thursday with an afternoon flight out of Athens on the Sunday. Its a bit more expensive but more convenient timing wise and without the drive to Dublin/ parking charges etc-it would probably work out about the same cost.
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14 years 8 months ago #64844

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For July 3rd to 7th, this is from Thursday to Monday.
I assume the Monday is when we leave - there isn't an observing session that night I presume?
From Dublin 2nd to 7th: Approx 305euro
Depart Dublin 07:55; Arrive Budapest 11:45
Depart Budapest 12:50; Arrive Athens 15:50
Could stay the night in a hotel in Athens, get some rest and head up the following morning with you guys, or, if someone was heading up to the site in the evening, could go with them?
On the way back:
Depart Athens 16:30; Arrive Budapest 17:30
Depart Budapest 18:55; Arrive Dublin 20:55

If staying the night in Athens was an option on the 2nd, then could fly with Aer Lingus direct from Dublin to Athens.
Depart Dublin 14:30; Arrive Athens 20:30
On the way back:
Depart Athens 21:30; Arrive Dublin 23:55
You'd be a bit wrecked for work the next day!
Price is approx 325euro incl taxes

Alternatively, for 265euro incl taxes:
Depart Dublin 16:45 (would only need to take a half day off work then)
Arrive Prague 20:15; Depart Prague 22:00; Arrive Athens 01:35
Could stay up for a few hours, sleep out the following morning, and you would be partially adapting your body for all-night observing! :)
Problem on the way back though with the flight leaving Athens at 04:30
However, one leg of the trip could be booked with one airline and the return leg booked with another.
14 years 8 months ago #64854

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Ok, just checked: with Czech Airlines, it's 215euro for a one-way trip from Dublin to Athens and 258euro for a return trip. Only one flight from Athens a day and that's at 4:30am. :-(
14 years 8 months ago #64855

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This sounds like a great weekend and I could probably go June or July - only problem really is I'd prob have to stay in Dublin on the Sunday night (no flights from Cork to Athens!)
Camping sounds like a good idea and could easily pack small tent into the suitcase.
Many thanks to EAE and Vagelis for the invite - might opt for the June weekend, travelling Aer Lingus from the Weds to the Monday - stay in Athens Wed night if needs be and Dublin on the Monday night. Best have a chat with the family and make sure I'm allowed a few days off......
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14 years 8 months ago #64862

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Wow, sounds great (plus, the amount of information given in this thread? Crazy).

Plus, no Bears, no Seanie restrictions, and, unfortunately, no Russian babes.

:D

Seanie.
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14 years 8 months ago #64904

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Plus, no Bears,

We lost the bears when they heard you may be coming! :mrgreen:

no Seanie restrictions,

Hhhmm, we must revisit the draft document earlier on in this thread. Damn oversights! :P

and, unfortunately, no Russian babes.

Many east European countries use Greece as a gateway and entry point into the EU ... and they decide to stay once they see our beautiful country. So as not to "dilute" the standards any further, I will not proceed any further in relation to the above (erroneous) assumption. :wink:
Anthony Ayiomamitis
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14 years 8 months ago #64914

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Hi Vagelis,
Thank you so much for the kind offer! I would love to come over for the july session if at all possible.

Best regards

James Kelly.
14 years 8 months ago #64918

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  • Vagelis Tsamis
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Some more ideas/info:

1. The best month is July because we can form a stronger "greek suppport team", we will have plenty of days, and the weather conditions are expected to be 99.99% good. The refuge will be open from Wednesday and on.
2. In August, the refuge will open from Thursday and on. But camping for 1 day (Wednesday) is an option.
3. In June, the days available for the star party will be limited to Friday night and Saturday night, and the support team will be smaller.

In June usually we are 10-15 observers, 60-120 in July and 40-80 in August.

Most EAE observers arrive at the observing site on Friday and some on Saturday. Almost all leave on Sunday.

We (our support team and you) can drive to the observing site on Wednesday or Thursday, enjoy the magical sound of silence for 2 or 1 days and nights, and then it gets crowdy and we have a plenty of telescopes of all types and sizes, etc, etc...

I would like to point out that even if the weather sometimes is not as good as expected and no observation is possible, nobody ever left this place dissapointed. It is a beautiful place.
Sparta Astronomy Association / Observations Coordinator
International Occultation Timing Association / European Section, www.iota-es.de/
14 years 8 months ago #64919

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  • Vagelis Tsamis
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John, Bernie and James, you are welcome.
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14 years 8 months ago #64920

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