Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis

Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis

All of us have heard about the legend of Atlantis, that lost continent. There have been songs written about it as well as a motion picture dedicated to that legendary power.

There is a story thousand of years old about a lost island in the Atlantic Ocean. The story was told by the ancient Greeks, and had been handed down from father to son for many generations before the Greek philosopher Plato wrote a famous story about it, about 375 BC. The island of Atlantis, according to Plato’s story, was really a series of island. Imagine in the center a hill, surrounded by a ring of water; the ring of water surrounded by a circle island, then another ring of water and nine of land.

Neptune, god of the sea had created the islands, for Cleito, his beloved. From their children the king and people of Atlantis were descended. The islands were very rich, and the people content. The city was built of black and red stone; the roofs of the houses were of red copper and flashed in the sun; and there were two beautiful temples, one surrounded by a golden wall and the other with silver walls, golden pinnacles, and a roof of ivory.

Excavations on Santorini by the late Greek archaeologist Spyros Marinatos, which began in 1967, have brought to light many artifacts which point to a huge volcanic destruction some 3.500 years ago. The digging has revealed a kingdom of a highly civilized people. The Egyptian papyri which Solon and Plato translated describe Atlantis as a kingdom ruled by a central government.

This same system has already been proved to exist in Minoan Crete. The description of the island formation also corresponds to that of Santorini before the volcanic eruption. And speaking of the volcanic eruption, scholar Angelos Galanopoulos says that the energy created by the eruption in 1500 BC on Santorini was 700 times more than the electrical power used by the entire world in one year! The last eruption on the island happened in 1950 and lasted two months. Today the island is quiet.

Vacation Days in Corfu, Greece

Vacation Days in Corfu, Greece

It is great good fortune to spend a week in Corfu on the way to Greece. Seeing it from one end to the other, wandering through its olive forests and vineyards, brings on a mild, or, in some cases, a wild, intoxication without wine. What words fit the surrounding beauty but “Islands of the Blessed,” “Elysium,” “Garden of Eden,” “Paradise”? It is not Heaven, after all, for one sees here the poor, lame, blind, begging for small alms; but, as long as earth holds such corners as Corfu, it is not all cursed.

To the traveller who has felt the intoxication of such a region, and is impelled to report something of it, the impotence of words comes home with special force. Naught but the painter’s art seems adequate to report Corfu. And, furthermore, painter as well as poet might here well feel the weakness of his art. It is a great boon to have had this realm of beauty brought upon the retina of the eye, and so communicated to the soul.

One may, perhaps, be allowed to group the impressions that Corfu makes, and report them with a plainness that aspires only to the office of a photograph, resigning the attempt at coloring.

Before the eye lies one Corfu–the Corfu of today; but before the mind are brought two others-the Kerkyra of Greek history and the Scheria of Homer. The two latter compete with the former, and refuse the present beautiful scene a monopoly of attention.

The vegetation here is also Oriental — oranges, lemons, figs, forests of cactus and giant aloes abound. The four or five million olive-trees, many sixty feet high, are the characteristic features of the island. They form a beautiful background for the tall, dark-green cypresses. But the vine presses hard upon the olive. It is great good fortune to be here in the time of the grape harvest, even if one must miss the oranges and the olives. One day in September I walked to Palæokastritza, an old cloister on a rock looking out on the Ionian Sea, sixteen miles from the city. The way was through a continuous vineyard full of laborers. At this season of the year there is hardly a drop of running water in the island.

There are places where springs and brooks and even rivers have been and will be again, but there are none there now. The water in the wells and cisterns looks suspicious. But one has a substitute for water that is just about as cheap. For copper coin of the value of two cents a woman gave me a pile of grape clusters, enough for four men. On my return I managed to signify with my poor Greek to a man riding on a load of grapes that I would like to change places with him. For three miles I rode stretched out on the top of crates full of grapes, resting my tired feet, eating, by the permission of the driver, from the top of the crates, while from the bottom the precious juice oozed out and trickled into the dusty road. I felt that I was playing Dionysos. Then it was that the vintagers, many women and few men, came trooping picturesquely from the fields. They looked so happy that it seemed as if the contagion of joy rested in the vine. It seemed as if a touch of music would have converted them into a Dionysiac chorus.

If Corfu had no classical history, it would still be historically interesting. It has been spared that curse which rested so long on the rest of Greece-Turkish occupation. The Turks dashed their forces in vain in two memorable sieges against its rock forts. The high degree of culture here, as compared with the rest of Greece, outside of Athens, is partly due to this exemption. But there have been stimulating influences from without. Rome, Byzantium, Naples, Venice, and England have held sway here. The rule of Venice, to which the Corfiotes gave themselves voluntarily, as they had formerly done to Rome, lasted nearly six hundred years, with the interruption of the Anjou episode. This rule was mild and beneficent.

But, sweeping away the name of Corfu, which arose in the Middle Ages, and transferring ourselves back of all this foreign occupation and centuries of semi-barbarism, let us introduce ourselves to the Greek Kerkyra of Thucydides. Passing southward, a half a mile or so from the esplanade of the present city, one comes along an isthmus between two old harbors to an elevated peninsula, on which now stands the King’s villa in a beautiful garden. Here one is overpowered by historic associations. Here lay the proud Greek colony established by Corinth in 734 B.C., a colony that first set the example of filial ingratitude, and, feeling itself stronger than the mother city, joined battle with her and defeated her in the first great naval battle of Greeks against Greeks, in 665 B.C.

From this rising ground the eye dimly discerns in the distance, near the mainland opposite the southern end of the island, the Sybota Islands, where the later great naval battle between mother city and colony in the presence of an Athenian fleet gave the occasion for the dreadful Peloponnesian war. From this inner harbor, now abandoned and still, nearly silted up and yearly submitting to the encroachment of vines upon its borders, the proud fleet of Alcibiades and Nicias sailed for Syracuse. It was the alliance with Kerkyra, the key to the voyage to Sicily, that lured the Athenians to that ruin.

Little of this Kerkyra remains above ground. Perhaps much may yet be found below. About twelve years ago excavations by Carapanos laid bare a great quantity of terra-cottas. Perhaps it was a terra-cotta manufactory that he discovered. The ruins of an old Doric temple lie on the surface of the ground near a spring in an olive grove on the side of the peninsula looking toward the mainland.

The situation, 100 feet above the strait, among the olives and near an ancient fountain, makes one feel that he could have joined in doing honor to the dryads and naiads with the throng that used to meet here. One of the antiquarians of Corfu has lately advanced the view that these remains are those not of a temple but of a bath. Blessed bathers!

One need not linger too long over Kerkyra. It is a state which we cannot love. We cannot forget that before Salamis it held its fleet off the southern point of the Peloponnesus, waiting to see which way the great struggle was going to incline. When Athens concluded the alliance with her at the opening of the Peloponnesian war, many at Athens felt it to be an unholy alliance, and that the burden of hatred thus shouldered was almost a counterbalance to the winning of the second navy in Greece.

The Seven Wonders: The Colossus of Rhodes

The Seven Wonders: The Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek god Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, who unsucessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC. Before its destruction, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (107 ft) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.

Adventure and Relaxation in Skiathos, Greece

Adventure and Relaxation in Skiathos, Greece

Skiathos is a great place where you can spend your summer vacation for its splendid beaches that await you here can fully satisfy your relaxation needs. Known as one of the Greek Islands, this remarkable holiday destination is where you can have a great opportunity to get together with your family, friends or special someone. Believe it or not, this is the main set of the smashing musical movie “Mama Mia”.

1. Explore the beautiful beaches.
There are many popular beaches in this island. Koukounaries is considered to be the most popular beach in Skiathos. It is surrounded by tall pine trees that continue to entice many visitors from all over the world. This bay is where you can experience various water sports. If you prefer a nude bathing, you can go to the Banana Beach. Vromolimnos is also a great beach where you can enjoy paragliding or just viewing the great scenery.

2. Witness flying dolphins.
The new port of Skiathos offers a great way for you to have a relaxation and entertainment at the same time. You would love to see the flying dolphins and beautiful ships here.

3. Party at night on the seashore.
The old port, on the other hand, gives a different kind of entertainment which is usually done at nights. You can go to one of the best coffee shops or bars for some drinks with your family, friends or sweetheart.

4. Shop at the street.
In Alexandros Papadiamantis Street, you will be tempted to buy various items and souvenirs. There are lots of cool shirts, hats, crafted jewelries and other things you can shop here.

5. View the captivating town of Skiathos.
Go to Agios Nikolaos Church and the Hill where you can sit around and view the entire area of this town. This is a perfect setting for creating romance with your honey.

6. Getting to know Alexandros Papadiamantis.
Visit the Alexandros Papadiamantis Museum if you are curious about Alexandros Papadiamandis. He was an author who wrote some great novels which include “The Immigrant”.

7. Ride with fun.
If you prefer adventure, you can go to the Horse Riding School in Koukanouries where you will be studying the right ways to ride on a horse. This is a good place for children and teens who like to have some fun.

8. Have a boattrip around the enchanting island.
It would be such a great family escapade to try some boattrips and hop around the island. This is your chance to see the clear, crystal turquoise water of the beautiful beaches in Skaithos.

9. Visit dogs at a local dogshelter.
Make your one day tour a unique one by visiting some cool dogs at a dogshelter that is situated at the top of the hill in Skiathos. You can donate some amount of money to help the cute dogs and their English woman master. Learn the foods they eat, the place they sleep, the care they get and everything you can discover about these dogs.

10. Experience a great excursion in Meteora.
This is a place where the ancient monasteries of Meteora are hanged on pinnacles of rocks. This are doesn’t only signify a history but also fame. Yes, this is the setting where one of the James Bond films took place.

Exploring the place of Skiathos is a sure way to get the adventure and relaxation you want in a holiday. Explore these things as you enjoy spending time with your loved ones.

Ancient Agora of Athens in Greece

Ancient Agora of Athens in Greece

The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill.

As you walk through the ruins of the Agora in Athens (open market area and place of assembly), keep in mind that this was the magnificent citycenter of ancient Athens.

Philosopher Socrates and his disciples came daily to Agora for discourse. One of the first buildings you’ll see is the Temple of Hephaistos, named after the Vulcan God, who shared with Athena the honor of being a patron deity of the arts and crafts. The temple was built between 4th and 5th century B.C., and is the best preserved of all the Greek temples. Between the Theseum and the Stoa of Attalos, you’ll simply have to imagine that you are walking between other temples, government buildings, gymnasiums and stoas.

Ancient Agora of Athens in Greece

Buildings and Structures of the Classical Agora

Plan showing major buildings and structures of the agora of Athens as it was in the 5th century BC

Metroon
Peristyle Court
Mint
Enneakrounos
South Stoa I and South Stoa II
Aiakeion
Strategeion
Agoraios Kolonos
Tholos
Agora stone
Monument of the Eponymous Heroes
Metroon (Old Bouleuterion)
New Bouleuterion
Temple of Hephaestus (Hephaestion)
Temple of Apollo Patroos
Stoa of Zeus
Altar of the Twelve Gods
Stoa Basileios (Royal stoa)
Temple of Aphrodite Urania
Stoa of Hermes
Stoa Poikile

Other Notable Monuments

A number of other notable monuments were added to the agora. Some of these included:

The Middle stoa which was the most extensive monument built during the 100s B.C.E.
A small Roman temple was added in front of the Middle stoa.
An Altar of Zeus Agoraios was added just to the east of the Monument to the Eponymous Heroes.
The Temple of Ares, dedicated to Ares, the god of war, was added in the north half agora, just south of the Altar of the Twelve Gods.
The Odeon of Agrippa and accompanying gymnasium were added in the centre of the agora.
The substantial Stoa of Attalos was built along the eastern edge of the agora.
A collection of buildings were added to the south-east corner: the East stoa, the Library of Pantainos, the Nymphaeum and a temple.
There is evidence of a Synagogue in the Agora of Athens in the 3rd century.
A statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian was located near the metroon.
The Temple of Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria dated to the 300s B.C.E. and is located near the Temple of Apollo Patroos.
The south end of what is believed to be a Basilica has been uncovered near Hadrian Street and is dated to the mid 100s C.E.
The Monopteros was located south of the Basilica and also dated to the mid 100s C.E. It had no walls, was a dome supported by columns and was about 8 meters in diameter.
The Bema was a speakers platform and was located near the Stoa of Attalos.

Rhodes: Rich in archeological treasures and tourism

Rhodes: Rich in archeological treasures and tourism

Capital of the Dodecanese, Rhodes is an island of suberb natural beauty. It is famous as a holiday center. Rich in archeological treasures, with ruins covering the Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine periods, its main attraction is the walled medieval city of the Knights of Dt John.

The 15th century hospital is now an archeological museum containing the Aphrodite of Rhodes. Other points of interest include the ancient city of Lindos with the Temple of Athena; the Monastery of Philerimos and the excavated town of Kamiros. There are excellent sports facilities and duty-free shops. From 1 Jun – 30 September is the Annual Wine Festival and at Halkis religious festivities take place on 15 August.

From Rhodes you can visit the small islands of the Eastern Aegean. Kos is a fertile green island with golden beaches; good for fishing and small-game hunting. Birthplace of Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, it has a temple to Aesculapius, God of Healing and a museum. Nearby Patmos was where St John wrote down his Revelation; the 11th century monastery has a rich library. Lesbos was the birthplace of the poetess Sappho. It is the third largest island of Greece with enormous olive groves and a petrified forest.

Rhodes: Rich in archeological treasures and tourism

Corfu is the most beautiful of the Ionian Islands. Its spectacular scenery and sophisticated tourist amenities make it an internatioanl holiday center. There are beautiful villas, romantic Venetian castles and early 19th century Georgian architecture dating from the British occupation. The 16th century Cathedral is dedicated to St Spyridion, the island’s patron saint. Marvellous water sports facilities and an 18 hole golf course. Daily flights from Athens take less than two hours.

Mykonos is the most popular tourist island in the Cyclades and attracts many artists and international celebrities. It is a maze of winding streets, sparkling white-washed houses, domed churches, windmills and sun-drenched cliffs rising sheer from the sea. It is 5 hours by boat from Piraeus. Delos is five miles across the sea from Mykonos.

A small, arid island, it was important as the legendary birthplace of Apollo. Acres of ruins and statuary attract archeologists, and precious relics are preserved in the museum. Thira (Santorini); clmb up above its cliffs to the crater of the volcano whose mighty eruption buried Minoan civilization. Milos, where the Venus de Milo was found, and Paros, famous for its white marble, are also in the Cyclades group.

Mediterranean Sea: The heart of the Old World

Mediterranean Sea: The heart of the Old World

The Mediterranean Sea was the heart of the Old World; the important lands of the early history of civilization were grouped about its richly indented shores, generally decreasing in respect of culture as they receded from it. The northeastern part of the Mediterranean, because of its many islands, having an even greater proportionate coast-line, was the centre of the countries ennobled by Hellenic civilization.

Separating and uniting at once, like all the waters of the earth, the Aegean Sea formed the boundary between the two chief races of Greek intellectual life–the Dorians and the Ionians; while it was, at the same time, the favoring medium of exchange for the productions of their genius. European Greece, with its predominating Doric population, and the almost exclusively Ionic coasts of Asia Minor, equally looked upon this sea as their own, traversing it with thousands of ships, and gaining more from the trackless waters before them than from the interior lands of the immense continents whose seaboard alone they were content to occupy.

In Asia the Greeks were restricted to the countries upon its uttermost western border; in European Greece the development was chiefly directed towards the eastern coast, paying even less attention to their own shores on the Adriatic than to the early colonized ports of Magna – Graecia and Sicily. The Archipelago itself provided convenient strongholds and outposts in every direction. The numerous harbors and anchoring – places of its many islands offered protection against the notorious treachery of the Aegean main–a protection imperatively necessary for the primitive seafarers of antiquity. But, as in the history of all civilization, the currents of Greek intellectual and artistic progress moved distinctly from east to west.

The European (Doric) culture was in itself less calculated to influence Asia than the Asiatic (Ionic) to affect the younger continent. It was, as decided by nature, upon European soil, upon Attica–the most advanced promontory of European Greece–that the two branches of the Greek race united, and bore in Athens that double fruit at which we marvel. The Dorians, displaced, in some measure, by the rapid growth of Ionic Asia and Europe, turned still farther westward, and settled upon the shores of Sicily and the Gulf of Tarention, where imposing monuments still attest the extent of their power.

The legends of the wanderings of Hellenic tribes, and especially of the so-called Doric migration, were based upon the busy currents of intercourse between Asia and Europe, over seas and straits, and between the European continent and the Morea, the Island of Pelops. The relations and the quarrels of Hellenic and semi-barbaric peoples upon each side of the Aegean are illustrated by the tales of the Argonauts and their voyage, and of the Trojan War, both of which bear the stamp of a certain piratical rivalry.

The fatal lack of unity, resulting from the separate development of neighboring districts, could not be more distinctly characterized than by the fact that the Greek races, although they felt themselves divided from other nations — from barbarians — by an impassable gulf, and were aware of their own absolute intellectual superiority, yet lacked any comprehensive designation for themselves: the name Greeks, or Hellenes, is of comparatively recent origin.

Kusadasi, Turkey Sights and local attractions

Kusadasi, Turkey Sights and local attractions

Kuşadası is a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast, and the center of the seaside district of the same name within Aydın Province. Kuşadası is 95 km (59 mi) south of İzmir, and 71 km (44 mi) from Aydın. The municipality’s primary industry is tourism.

Kuşadası has a residential population of 64,359, which can rise to over half a million in the summer as a result of the large resort filling with tourists. This also includes the hotel and bar staff, construction workers, and drivers who are required to work in/for the restaurants and other services accommodating these visitors. In addition to tourists from overseas, there is also a significant community of foreigners residing in the area.

Places of Interest

The city walls – There were once three gates; one remains.[16]
Kaleiçi Camii – The mosque built in 1618 for Grand Vizier Öküz Kara Mehmed Pasha.

The Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai is near the docks. It was built in 1618 as a strong-room for the goods of seamen.

Güvercin Adası (“Pigeon Island” in English) – The peninsula/island at the end of the bay, which has a castle and swimming beaches, including a private beach and cafe with a view back across the bay to the harbour of Kuşadası. Public beaches are located at the back of the peninsula, towards the open sea.

Kirazli – Traditional Turkish village 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Kuşadası.

Yılancı Burnu – A second peninsula beyond Güvercin Ada. Possibly the location of the original settlement of Neopolis. Some walls are visible. There are beaches and beach clubs here.

Several aqua-parks with wave-pools and white-water slides are located near the town.

Ladies Beach – Very close to the town center, one of the primary tourist attractions.

Kadıkalesi – Venetian/Byzantine castle, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) along the Kuşadası-Davutlar road.

Panionium – 25 km (16 mi) south of Kuşadası, situated along the Davutlar-Güzelçamlı road. Once the central meeting place of the Ionian League. The ruins are in poor condition and their authenticity is disputed.

Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park – About 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of the city centre, the national park is adjacent to the town of Güzelçamlı. It has several coves, beaches, canyons, and a sink cave. It is one of the most diverse and protected national parks in Turkey.

Population: 65,764 (2000)

Altitude: Sea Level

Airport: Adnan Menderes Airport 70 Km.

Transfer: Bus, mini bus, taxi.

Min/max temperatures in centigrade: Jan 6/12; Feb 5/12; Mar 6/14; Apr 12/20; May 17/25; Jun 22/32; Ju125/3S; Aug 25/3S; Sep 20/30; Oct 16/25; Nov 12/1S; Dec S/14.

City transport: Bus, Mini bus, taxi.

Sights and local attractions: Ephesus, Milet, Didyma, Priene, Pamukkale, Bodrum, Samos (Greece)

Sightseeing Tours and Excursion:

1. Ephesus – Mary’s House (5 hours – daily)

Visit the shrine of Virgin Mary; St. Paul, Temples, Library, Great Theatre, Stadium, Archeological Museum, Isabey Mosque, Basilica St. John, Temple of Diana.

2. Priene – Milletus – Didyma (5 hours – daily)

Priene – Theatre, Temple of Athena, Altar of Zeus.
Miletus – Theatre, Byzantine Fortress, Mosque.
Didyma – Temple of Apollo.

3. Pamukkale (12 hours)

Hierapolis, Karahayit, Amphitheatre, Thermal Pool.

4. Bodrum (12 hours)

Bafa lake, Bodrum Castle, Boat Tour.

Tourism Office: Liman Cad. Iskele Meydani Kusadasi