On May 13 in Toronto, Canada, the Kythera Hiking Trails (www.kytherahiking.com) were twinned with the Bruce Trail (http://brucetrail.org/), managed by Canada’s largest walkers club Bruce Trail Concervancy.
The Bruce Trail Concervancy, has 10,000 members and the total length of the trails is 900 kilometres.
The twinning of paths is something similar to the twinning of cities. Walking organisations are twinning with the aim of closer international cooperation, mutual publicity and raising public awareness of the important role of trails in the protection of environmental and cultural heritage.
The organisation Paths of Greece (www.pathsofgreece.gr), which is active in the promotion of Greece through its paths, had an important contribution to the twinning. The twinning took place within the framework of the international programme “Friendship Trails” of the World Trails Network.
G.P. Kasimatis, member of the Board of KIPA, also took part in the event. Kasimatis, member of the Board of the Kytherean Foundation for Culture and Development, also conveyed a greeting speech from the Mayor Mr. Efstratios Charchalakis.
Dear friends of the BTC, Dear Canadians, Dear friends of Greece
It is a great honour for me to have the opportunity to address to the official Kythera Hiking Friendship Opening Ceremony, held in Toronto, Canada, on May the 13th 2017. Although I was planning to be there at the ceremony, unfortunately some reasons beyond of my willing kept me in Greece for these days. However, Mr. George Kasimatis, distinguished Kytherian and Member of the Board of directors of the Kytherian Foundation for Culture and Development, will represent the island and the authorities of Kythera during the ceremony.
Hiking is one of the most interesting activities one can experience in the Greek Island of Kythera. During the last years, the “Kythera Hiking Project” has contributed a lot in renovating, promoting and experiencing the traditional hiking routes of the island, under tha auspices of the Municipality of Kythera and the significant support of other institutions and individuals. Our island is investing on that kind of activities aiming to become a new high quality destination, as we believe that quality counts more than quantity in modern tourism development. Quality is what protects the natural and local environment against quantity’s dangers. And as you may know, lots of Greek islands did not manage to keep a balance between those two parameters.
I believe that our Canadian friends have the same ideas about hiking and other nature activities. On behalf of the Municipality and the islanders of Kythera, I welcome this Hiking Friendship Ceremony and I would be delighted to welcome you all to the island of Kythera within the next months.
Many thanks to everyone of you and your partners for this friendship. Many congratulations to the organizers of the event.
Efstratios A. Charchalakis
Mayor, Kythera and Antikythera Islands (GR)