- Published In: Columns
- Last Updated: Jul 12, 2022
By Matt Stirn
Special to the Wyoming Truth
The sun sets over Glossa, a hilltop village on the forest-covered Greek island of Skopelos.
While Wyoming-raised photojournalist and archaeologist Matt Stirn spends much of the year on his family’s ranch near Grand Teton National Park, his interests in exploring ancient and traditional cultures often send him to far-flung corners of the globe. Growing up in Teton County, which has changed so much over the past three decades, Matt experienced firsthand the importance of protecting nature and culture; he is passionate about working alongside like-minded people around the world.
Matt is currently in Greece documenting traditional village culture and working on the archaeological excavation of a Bronze Age Mycenaean palace from the time of the Trojan War.
En route to the excavation, located in the Peloponnesian Peninsula, Matt spent a week on Skopelos, which became famous after being featured in the film “Mamma Mia.” Even though the island is remote, requiring at least a two-hour plane flight and a 45-minute ferry to reach, it has experienced an influx in tourism in recent years. This has forced many villages to balance prioritizing the needs of locals versus the new crowds of visitors. Glossa has its share of vacation rentals and souvenir shops, but it has kept its tradition alive. An evening stroll through the village’s plateia, or central square, reveals elderly men transporting fruit on the backs of donkeys and families gathering at cafes in a maze of cobblestone streets.
While the town will likely continue to transform as more people visit each year, an aerial view reveals a village that seems unaltered by time, watching stoically over the Mediterranean amongst a forest of windswept pine.