Passing through the bridge of Bokarinos and making our way towards Arini after the olive presses, we encounter the new bridge of Skouteris (it took its name from the house that lies near the bridge), where if we stop we can see the old bridge exactly next to it, from which the sightseer may start his walk in the Gorge of Arini, with the wonderful waters, the marvelous morphology of the ground, as well as the amazing landscape.
The old bridge of Skouteris
Along the river Anigros in the location of Arini, three privately-owned water mills of Georgakis Nikolakopoulos and Fotis Misichronis the first one, worked with the water of the said river. The second water mill was owned by Georgakis Nikolakopoulos and Michalakis Polychronopoulos and the third one by Konstantis Nikolakopoulos. From historical sources, we learn that during the 19th century, 4 mills were grinding, three of which were water mills and the fourth one was the windmill. It seems that during the summer period, the water mills were not always operating, either because the river waters were drying up, or because they were dropping away with the watering of the field and the inhabitants of the village and the surrounding area, were grinding their cereals in the windmill. Of the four mills, for the windmill, the ruins of which are preserved until today, we have not found out until when it worked and which the reason for its destruction was. The three water mills worked until the 50s and with last owners, the first one near Spilia with Thanasis Floros as an owner, being known under the name “Mill of Vitsas”, while the second one in the middle of the other two was called “Mesianomylos” as the location in which it lied is called until today, with Thodoris Vasilopoulos (Barbathodoris) as an owner, and the third one was situated in Katalatsa and fell into disuse much earlier than the other two.
Watercourse that led the water to a water mill.
Hand-turned millstoneAt a near distance from the village, on the right and the left of the paved with asphalt road that passes through Arini and connects Andritsaina with Zacharo, the small built-up areas Mama Vrysi or Prassaika (the fountain took its name from some person under the name Mamas, who had a vineyard there), Spilia or Kopanitsanaika, Bokarinos, Lefkia or Dalianaika, Ai Nikolas and Panagoulaika or Galanaika exist. Along the road, there are also other interspersed families as well.
It is estimated that more than 30 families reside outside the village, in order to be near their farms.
The road Zacharo-Arini-Andritsaina is crossed at the location of Arini with other roads that lead to the surrounding villages: Rodina, Kostomera, Koumouthekra, Makisto and Smerna. As we have foretold, the place-names: “Fournoi”, “Skozes” and “Kaloupakia” also exist within the boundaries of the community of Arini. According to the local tradition, elaboration of zinc was taking place at these places in the very old days.
Aritsa has its own history too, which directly or indirectly connected to the folklore (manners and customs) of the village. From Aritsa, the view of the village is breathtaking, and from there, the young adolescents and sometimes the older adolescents, were singing the best afternoon and evening serenades, as if they would be in the “Scala of Milan”, sending love messages to the young girls of the village, who, listening to these serenades, they were giving up any household works and running with the jugs to the fountain for water! This had been the signal that the messages reached at their destination, were made accepted and each girl individually judged the situation for herself.
Aritsa was not only a place from which the young people were sending love letters, but also a place of entertainment in the old days. Every year, on the Clean Monday (the first day of the Greek Orthodox Lent) and throughout spring, everyone was playing with kites, which were flying higher than the summit of Anemomylos itself. However, it was in Easter when Aritsa was living days of “glory”. All the Passion Week until Maundy Thursday was lapsing with the use of “light armour” (the triangles). On the Good Friday and the Holy Saturday the festive atmosphere was changing and becoming more serious, because the bullet-guns (“sferokoumpoura”) were put into action, which were in fact, automatic guns”. The residents of Kopanitsanaika, Panagoulaika and Galanaika were holding the first place in using these guns, since they had acquired a specialization in these. However, the person that had invented the best techniques in the “sferokoumpoura” was Taxiarchis Goutis, while in the triangles (dynamites), father Spyros (in his youth) and Nikos, Kostas and Lampros Dagaios. The protagonists of the battle were being divided in two groups. The one group used Kompori as a fort and the other group, Aritsa. Upon the exodus and procession of the Epitaph, as well as during the night of Holy Saturday when the priest was saying “Christ is Risen” (Christos Anesti in Greek), an absolute pandemonium was taking place. The group of Kompori returned the volleys from Aritsa. Thus, Aritsa was giving the impression that was at the first line of the Front, between two fires. But also inside the village too, sparse gun fires were heard uninterruptedly. Therefore, Aritsa lived hand-to-hand the manners and customs of the village, the “beating” and the heartthrobs of the young generation of every period, pleasant and unpleasant incidents from the life of its inhabitants, as well as the historic holocaust of the village by the Turks.
Entry for the coal-mine in the location of Asikelos
Psili Petra (High Rock) (Roloi [Watch]), was useful so as the farmers to find the hour of the day, according to its shading from the sun.
The financial recession of the past, forced many inhabitants of the village to emigrate and try their chances in Athens and abroad. Many have settled in the USA, Canada, Australia and Germany, where they achieved to make a brilliant career. But also today, many other inhabitants of Arini, who are hardworking and active, have made a career in Greece either as businessmen, craftsmen and merchants in private economy, or as militaries and civil servants in the wider Public Sector. Some of them are non-commissioned officers on active duty or retired and others (on duty or retired) managers, deputy managers and executives of the Public Administration and the Public enterprises and organizations. Several of them managed to reach to the highest and upper grades of the military and staff hierarchy.
The folk orchestra of the village, the celebrated and known to our province, “Trio Belcando” of Arini. We can see in the middle, Mitsos Malios or Iliopoulos with the clarinet, on the right the singer with the guitar Nionios Misichronis and on the left the perfect violinist Paraskevas Danes and besides him the coffeehouse keeper of the village for many years, Yiannis Skouteris. In the marriages and the festivals or other events with particular significance, the orchestra was joined by other musicians who played traditional musical instruments, like Zois and K. Kyriakopoulos, Avgeris and Fotis Lampropoulos from Smerna etc.
The customs of the marriage