Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sculpture in Greece

Some observations

1. In first picture, there is deep imprints of clothing (wearing sheets or other kind of dresses), in the standing sculpture. That means the sculpture used to be dressed with typical Greek wearing. During the course of time it has been embedded in the sculpture.
2. Religion and War, God and Kings played an important role in the subjects of these sculptures. For example, Jeus and Alexander.
3. In third picture, we can see the sculpture was not made in a single stone, rather part by part, tied with special instruments. The hand of the sculpture has been disintegrated somehow.
4. The nose and head of these sculptures are broken probably due to the Turkish invasion. These has been the trends of different aggressive community in past in many different countries.

I am not sure of that fact of weather these are correct, but these are merely my own observations after witnessing some museums in Acropolis, like Ancient Agora.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nafplio - The first Capital of Modern Greece

Nafplion (Ναύπλιο) is a town on the Peloponnese in Greece. The town was the capital of Greece from 1829 to 1834. Nafplion is situated on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese. During the Greek War of Independence, Nafplion was a major Ottoman (Turkish) stronghold.

Bourtzi Castle, Nafplion : The castle of Bourtzi is located in the middle of the harbour of Nafplio. The Venetians completed its fortification in 1473 to protect the city from pirates and invaders from the sea. The Greeks regained it from the Turks on June 18, 1822, from where they assisted in the siege of Nafplio. Until 1865 it served as a fortress. It was then transformed into residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle Palamidi. From 1930 to 1970 served as a hotel. Since then it is mainly a tourist attraction hosting occasionally parts of the Summer Music Festival.

Different views of the port and harbour

The Boat ride in sea to the Castle : Its not a big one, rather somehow comparable with Indian boats, used in rivers. The boat was weaving in the sea dangerously, as if it can toggle anytime. So we were bit afraid and hold our hands tightly. It seems to be a real life ride for us.

Below is the colourful city with nice restaurants in sea-side. At the end of the day we took our dinner here, with Pizza and Coffey. Some heating lamps was neutralising the chill effect of sea-winds. I must say this is really a nice experience to visit Nafplio.

The Palamidi Fortress, which sits above and dominates the city, is actually three separate fortresses walled together. It was built by the Venetian in 1714 and then taken by the Turks the following year and held until they surrendered it to Kolokotronis after a 15 month siege during the War of Independence.

The driveway is excellent as usual. One fascinating thing in Greece is the diversity of natural beauties in the highways, which always captivates me. The blue sky, deep blue sea, pyramid like mountains, subways, corn fields are really wonderful. I never get bored even after driving for more than 300km per day. While coming back I touched 170kmh in Getz. These drives are life time experience for me as I have started driving in highway so frequently after coming here.

Corinth Canal - Mediterranean sea

The Corinth Canal is a canal connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland and therefore effectively making the former an island.

The canal is 6.3 km in length and was built between 1881 and 1883.

The isthmus of Corinth is the narrow land bridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the mainland of Greece (Attiki), near the city of Corinth.

In Left Saronic Gulf & right Gulf of Corinth in the arm of the Mediterranean Sea

Gulf of Corinth Sea beach and the driveway is just along the beach. The colourful nature of the sea, cold currents are something to mention, which is reflected in delighted face of Kabita.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Marathon Ground and Lake - magnificent view and driveway in Attiki Greece

Marathon (Demotic Greek: Μαραθώνας, Marathónas; Attic/ Katharevousa: Μαραθών, Marathón) is a town in Greece, the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, in which the Athenian army defeated the Persians. A legendary run of a messenger named Phidippides from Marathon to Athens, a distance of 26.2 miles or 42 kilometres, after the battle forms the basis for the modern-day marathon race. When the messenger arrived in Athens, he shouted "Nenikekamen" (we were victorious) and died. A burial mound (Greek Τύμβος, tymbos, i.e. tomb) for the 192 Athenian dead was erected near the battlefield. The Tymbos is now marked by a marble memorial stele and surrounded by a small park.

Below is Marathon Lake and Starting point of Marathon. At the 2004 Summer Olympics Marathon was the starting point for both men and women marathon races. In right this is the Marathon Village where the battle was fought.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pre-Easter-Maria Kouri

As Easter is approaching, I would like to give you update on Greek customs and traditions. This year we entered the Great Lent period on February the 19th and this period lasts until Easter. On March the 25th, though, it is allowed to consume fish, as we celebrate the day when archagel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Especially for Greeks, it a also a national celebration because March the 25th, 1821, is the official date that the Greeks started fighting for independence from the Turkish Empire.

The last Saturday of the Lent is Lazarus Sabbath (this year March the 31st). He was a close friend of Jesus and his resurrection had been a sign of the upcoming event of Jesus resurrection after a week. During this day, in certain villages, women bake small breads of the human shape called “Lazarakia”. The Easter celebrations last a week (‘big week’). In the evening of Good Friday throughout the country beautiful and touching Epitaph processions are held. The following day, the Resurrection celebrations start. Hundreds of people, carrying unlit candles, will gather around the church starting from Saturday evening in anticipation of the Easter service, which begins late at night. At midnight the priest announces that Christ has risen and appears with a candle lit by the Holy Light which he passes on. Candles are lit one from the other, wishes are said, and then the people make go home for the traditional feast of red Easter eggs and the famous “magiritsa” soup made of lamb innards. Easter Sunday is a holiday for visiting friends and relatives and eating and drinking together. Lambs are roasted on the fire (a ritual that involves hours of manually turning the spit), houses are open to every guest and the atmosphere is friendly.
If you do not have Greek friends to take you around, yet you do want to experience some of these customs and traditions, the best solution is to visit an island or a village in the mountains or anywhere in the country and spend Easter. The inhabitants there most probably will welcome you into their little communities and share with you the soothing rhythm of their daily lives.
Greek greeting "Christos Anesti!" Response "Alithos Anesti!"(English greeting "Christ is Risen!" Response "He is Truly Risen!")

Information Source: Maria Kouri <mariak@corporaterelocations.gr>

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Delphi - The Center of Earth

We went to Delphi today (3rd March '07 Saturday). It was really a fascinating journey in the hilly lap of Greece. I have driven 350km in a day, through the mountains and hills, fields and highways. The changing natural beauties bewildered us. It was a sunny day and the nature was at its best in Greek spring. The ancient archaeological site was looking majestic amidst the valley of mount Parnassus.
Here goes some Information Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphi

Delphi (Greek Δελφοί — Delphee) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in a valley of Phocis. In ancient times it was the site of the most important oracle, dating into prehistoric times as a site for the worship of Gaia and in classical times, converted to that of the god Apollo.
Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos (ομφαλός) stone, the centre of Earth and the universe.

Archaeological Site of Delphi (The Temple of Apollo: First Picture)UNESCO World Heritage Site
In second picture, the Treasury of Athens, built to commemorate their victory at the Battle of Marathon
The amphitheatre at Delphi is also beautiful and interesting to watch. The Museum is also worth watching.

Temple of Apollo at Delphi : The ruins of the Temple of Apollo visible today date from the 4th century BCE are of a peripteral doric building.

We have seen The Tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia (three pillers) from quite a long distance as it was already late in the evening.

The journey to Delphi from Athens was really enchanting. We have passed through two cities, Thiva and Arachova.
Thebes (in Demotic Greek: Θήβα — Thíva, Katharevousa: Θῆβαι — Thēbai or Thívai) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range.
Arachova Arachova (Greek: Αράχωβα) is a town, and a municipality of which this town is the seat, located in the western part of the prefecture of Viotia.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sunion from Athens

Today we went to Sunion from Athens. The drive was though the hilly area of Greece was excellent. One way it was Mediterranean Sea and the rocky Hill in the other side. We are amazed and loved it.

It was truly wonderful drive - probably the best one I have ever had; through a road by the costal area of Attica from Athens to Sunion. This is my first drive in hill and wasn’t that easy. However, I must say that the Greek road infrastructures are quite good, compared to India. The roads are jig jag, up down. But it was enchanting for the combination of different gray colour of rocks and hills and the other way the red and blue combination of setting sun in Mediterranean. The green valleys and modern-old houses was enriching the sceneries.

Greek is famous for its islands. It has 207 main islands in Mediterranean Sea, which makes an amazing contrast of Sea and Hill next to next. The shades of different hills in sea create charming landscape. The enchanting natural beauty hypnotizes tourists like us and gives extreme pleasure to be associated with nature.

Some information from Wikipedia: The cape of Sounion or Sounio, in Latin known as Sunium (in ancient Greek Σούνιον) is located 65 kilometres south-east of Athens, in Attica. Cape Sounion is especially famous for the ruins of two temples which overlook the sea, one dedicated to Athena, the other to Poseidon.
Ruins of the temple of Poseidon, constructed in the 5th century BC over the ruins of a temple constructed in the Archaic Period, are perched above the sea at a height of almost 60 metres.