GemPrincess brought this up so I thought I would add some photos of the amazing Roman ruins at Ephesus/Kusadasi. The first is the Virgin Mary's House; the rest are the Roman city of Ephesus. The final picture is the latrines, where slaves warmed them for their masters. Well they ended up out of order as I added them so it's your best guess!
Thanks, Pluto! And I'm changing the Turkey/Greece discussion to here, as the Community Manager asked. GemPrincess, I haven't read those books but they sound good!
I have never, ever had any problems in Greece except with one cabdriver in Athens. But part of that is who I am -- I don't like nightlife so even when on Mykonos I never went from my hotel on Elia Beach downtown at night. I think my present plans will be to stay on Santorini the whole time in July, especially because Crete is so hot and either take some ferries to nearby islands. I might instead use next fall break for Crete when the weather would be better. I do plan to stay within the Greek islands, so a day flight is possible.
There are very few more physically beautiful places on earth than the Greek islands. The combination of the incredible colors of the Aegean with a kind of sunlight that is hard to describe (Venice comes closest) is amazing. Add to that the human creations, which are sometimes nearly as beautiful. Those windmills come from the 16th C. and if I remember correctly they still work.
I was trying to find this yesterday to post onto. I was watching "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" yesterday which showed the windmills in it. A lot of it was filmed in Santorini. Sisterhood II was filmed mostly in Greece if I remember right. I love to watch them just for the travel scenes.
Thanks, eb! I've never taken photography classes, but did have a good bit of art history in college. So some of the things you learn there (like fixing a point in the center, no matter how small) helped. Plus I've invested in good cameras over the years with zoom lenses (I currently have a Canon SX 40SH Powershot with a 30 zoom lens). I have never used tripods (it's often not allowed in interiors where I go) or a true photographer's cameras with different lenses. But you can do a lot with a good camera that's somewhere between point-and-shoot and SLR. Another thing I'm very aware of is light. I've found in taking what I want to look like 'twilight or night' photography over the years, especially since digital, that you have to take the photos when it looks significantly lighter outside than it will turn out as a digital photo. And I'll often wait (if possible) to take photos shooting away from the sun since the sky turns out so much better. I still have trouble with indoor poorly lit photos (e.g. some cathedrals) because without a tripod my M and P settings turn out much worse than Auto function.
I do have some earlier photos of Santorini so today or tomorrow I'll post them. That was the beauty of the short, very inexpensive Louis Cruise Ship tour I did (about $700 including single supplement for 3-1/2 days). But we left Athens for Crete, then to Santorini, Mykonos, Patmos, and Ephesus. Now I'm trying to do them for longer vacations, having once gotten to know which places I like best.
Finally, I have many of these prints made into 16 x 20 wall decor by Shutterfly and my apartment is literally covered in the places I've been!
That's great!! You're always surrounded by beautiful memories.
I think your pictures are good enough that you could sell them. Have you ever thought of doing that? The pictures you have are unusual in content, just like the man in HI who photographs some amazing shots from the inside of waves. There is passion in your shots and you have a good eye.
I really liked the Virgin Mary home. I've never seen a picture of it before. I doubt that many people have. The windmills are photographed a lot, but the grouping of them is really different from most photos I've seen. And you'd have to patent them just like your books, probably.
I'll admit I don't know that much about pictures, but I do know what I like. One of my favorite painters is Christopher Lassen. Another is Blue Sky. And then there's Thomas Kinkade. Does any woman not like him?
Thanks so much to both of you! I guess I do think I have a bit of an eye for it -- or have developed one over the years -- but it is so wonderful (especially since my apartment is fairly small) to be surrounded by the enlarged wall decor photos. I have an Egyptian room (that includes real papyri bought in Egypt as well as Shutterfly photos), an ecumenical room from Israel, Turkey, Rome, Delphi, and Westminster Cathedral (not abbey). Here are some photos from Santorini of Oia town, the caldera, and looking up from Fira. Some of them are in my bedroom (which is my 'water' room -- all of the photos feature oceans or seas.Best, ProfChiara
Thanks, Pluto! I would highly recommend for someone going to Greece for the first time to take the Louis Cruise 3-1/2 or 4-1/2 day cruise. You can really get a sense of the islands in a small space of time then feel more comfortable going back. After Santorini in summer (I have London, Venice and Rome before then!!!) I think I'll go to Crete for fall break when the weather is perfect. I'll try to do some Crete photos tomorrow.
Thanks for the advice, Professor. I did not know that I wanted to visit the Greek Islands until you showed me that I do. I appreciate it. It looks dreamy. That sounds gushy, but it really does. The only thing that doesn't sound good is a 3 or 4 day cruise, as I don't think I'd want to leave! This reminds me a little bit of Capri, only more - dreamy!
No, Pluto, it doesn't. Trust me, you want to visit the Greek islands. There is never trouble there like occasionally in Athens, and they truly cater to tourists. The islands I have been to have been magical experiences. I told last summer about my best ever anywhere hotel experience at the Mykonos Imperial Hotel and Spa, and every time and every island I've experienced has been amazing. Like I said, the sea and the sun provide a magic like nowhere else in the world (the closest for the sun part is Venice).
The good thing about the Louis cruise is it's very cheap yet just fine (the restaurants and pools were excellent. I took one zoom photo of the moon from the top pool deck that is pretty amazing). But you get to see where you most want to go back. A lot was crammed in in that short period, but at the same time it got me to know where I most wanted to visit again. I stayed in Mykonos at least partly to go to Delos, uninhabited since ancient times, but almost as important as Delphi. I think I want to go to a Greek island every summer...
Although I visited Capri my last trip to Rome, I didn't stay overnight, so my comments are probably useless. I did do the quickie boat thing through the Blu Grotto, but it seemed over before it began. Greece is much better! I really want to go to Sicily, but everyone on tripadvisor and elsewhere tells me either it's too hot, there are no excursions for first time visitors (that's when I like to do group travel, afterwards on my own), or that you should rent a car. I will NEVER rent a car in Italy. And most guided tours are far longer than I can stay away from home.
I agree with pluto. They're fabulous!!
Is that ruins at the base of the island in the photo just above the church? That is a lot of molten lava rock regardless. What volcano is or was around there?
I guess most islands were caused by volcanic eruptions, weren't they?
The last one looks just like one of the scenes in Sisterhood otTP where Alexis is riding the burro up the hill.
A water room. How neat!! Do you also have a fountain in it? The sound of water falling is so soothing.
When my husband used to go to hotels in MN, they had fantasy hotels with rooms of all descriptions like a bed made into a piano or a convertible, or a tent with pillows like a sheik's. I looked some up after he told me about them. I don't know whether they still exist or not since that was in the '80's; but your place is every bit as neat.
I don't think those were the bases of capitals of churches (below the Temple of Poseidon, because Greek Orthodox churches are typically built on hilltops. My best guess is that there was another ancient Greek temple there and that is what remains. The whole area is very volcanic, and especially the Cyclades (Crete and Santorini in particular, though you're safer there nowadays than on Sicily, where Mt Etna is very active). Although there have been various historical explanations for the collapse of the palatial Minoan civilization on Crete and Thira (Santorini -- both have incredible museums and ruins/sites), a combination of volcanic activity (which created the caldera on Santorini) and earthquakes (endemic to the whole area; these days it seems the whole world since we've gotten a few lighter ones in Maine)seems to have overcome former historical notions of 'Doric invasions'. Mycenaean civilizations, more warlike than that of Crete, had invaded Crete and their Linear B writing has been deciphered. (Mycenae is a very cool site as well, though if you're on the mainland Delphi takes the cake by far.) So by around 1400 BC, the Mycenaeans exerted influence. Interestingly if the Trojan War really happened, which more and more historians seem to believe, though not necessarily the Homeric version, it would have happened in the period after the collapse of Minoan and Mycenaean civilization. Interestingly, Egypt, a trading partner, was being invaded by Sea Peoples around the same time the Greek Bronze Age started.
Anyway Santorini and Crete in particular are in volcanic zones, though there has been no recent activity. I figure if one worries about ancient volcanoes erupting in modern times, I might as well never leave home. The thing is they left spectacular results -- Pompeii too! Santorini also experienced horrific fires that destroyed most of its buildings esp in Oia in 1952 (the year of my birth!), and that's why they rebuild in the white cavelike stucco style.
Greece is worth every single minute of it. Stay at the Athens Ledra before or after a cruise (my cruise returned at 7am Monday morning and the Ledra, where I had stayed the first night, had a driver meet me, and they got me in my room right away). Of course you all know that is my favorite Marriott in the world.
I don't want to slight Athens in all this. You can't miss the Acropolis and agora (most people ignore the latter, though it was where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle walked and philosophized). But the real Greece is outside. The best mainland part for me is Delphi, second Corinth, and third Mycenae and Epidaurus. I have not been to Olympia or Meteora, though I know some on the site have. One of my trips also took in Naftali.
Greece needs us! And no human being who can afford to go should miss the spectacular hospitality and natural wonders of this beautiful country. Just because some people at the top echelons are corrupt shouldn't keep you away. The tour guides are some of the best trained in the world (an example was my guide to Delphi, who had done it for 32 yrs -- despite that she seemed quite young, spoke perfect English and other languages, and explained they had to take 4 years of languages and 3 years of tour guide school to qualify.
And BTW, if you want Delphi photos, let me know! It was amazing, especially during a thunderstorm. What most people don't realize is that aside from Athens and the islands, the vast majority of Greece is mountainous, though around 1/2 the population lives in Athens.
My question: Is that ruins at the base of the island in the photo just above the church?
Profc ans.: I don't think those were the bases of capitals of churches (below the Temple of Poseidon, because Greek Orthodox churches are typically built on hilltops. My best guess is that there was another ancient Greek temple there and that is what remains.
I couldn't reply underneath the posts I wanted to so I'll just do some cut and paste. I phrased my question in error, I see. Just 3 little words would probably have made all the difference in your understanding what I meant. I should have said it this way.
Is that ruins at the base of the island in the photo just above the photo of the church? Such a big difference in meaning, isn't it?
I think you could help subsidize your travels in that way. Maybe some of the pictures could even be enlarged in Greece and sold there. I don't know what kind of laws you might have to deal with there, though. Another thought is to sell them online. I buy loads of postcards and most aren't as pretty as your pictures. Maybe even selling them to a postcard company and retaining the patent would be good. I really have no idea. Just thinking that you should have another travel sideline (since you have so much free time--- hahahaa). (Kidding there.)
BTW, I just remembered that I wanted to tell you I'd love to see Delphi pictures.
That was from the deck of the Louis Cruise ship, where I also spent a lot of time swimming and drinking wine (they had one of those all-inclusive drink packages [water-serious liquor] so I got my share of wine). But sitting on the desk either by the pool or taking the moon shot (that was max optical zoom on my camera, which I loved since it was so much better than my eyes could see. But all things natural look better and more natural in the Aegean Sea.)
Here are some pictures of the Palace of Knossos (destroyed by earthquakes and volcanic activity around 1650 BC, so probably around 4000 years old). The photo quality is not great because we often had to bend low to get views into the archaeological sites. But one's the queen's throne. Many believe Crete in the Bronze Age was a matriarchal society. It was over-restored by Sir Arthur Evans and their script (Linear A) has still not been deciphered. There's another major palace on Crete from the same period which I hope to visit as well as Knossos (BTW, this is where the legendary Theseus went to save Athenian girls and boys from the Minotaur. He did so, with the help of King Minos' daughter, Ariadne, who wove a thread for him to follow back. Alas, Ariadne didn't make out so well, nor did Theseus' father who was watching from Cape Sounion for his return. He'd told Theseus to have a white sail if he'd succeeded, but if he were coming back dead, his men were to turn the sail to black. Alas, Theseus won but forgot and his father threw himself into the sea at Cape Sounion. (I have pics of that as well -- Cape Sounion, that is not, Theseus' father )
Are you talking about the palace of Knossos on Crete or Sounion? There are all kinds of frescoes in Knossos, though it's hard to photograph them. Many of them are of court ladies, whom archaeologists have labeled 'Les Parisiennes' for the hair and dress style. There are also somewhat effeminate men dressed more like Egyptian males but with curly hair. The throne in the room I showed was later, but the real queen's throne room is not very dramatic -- just stone, but definitely for a queen. Since Egyptians had female pharaohs at the same time who ruled in their own right (eg Hatshepsut, but there was no word for ruling queen, so she always referred to herself as a king who ruled her people; she is also portrayed in the steles and paintings and statues that her stepson Thutmose did not efface as having both a beard and breasts). So female rule would not have been out of the question in that period of history. Hatshepsut ruled 22 years and carried out major trading expeditions and building projects (got those photos too, though some of you have seen them).
I am not sure I answered your question because I posted so many photos tonight... My travelling life (despite research trips to France, Italy and England and a few other places for many years before) began only 3-4 years ago when I started my bucket list. Greece has won top honors. And trust me, you will be treated with a hospitality you've never experienced before.
Is it a place you might think you'd want to retire to? Also, do you speak Greek?
Yeah. I didn't think that the old places would still have colors that vivid.
Was that a mermaid or a Grecian woman in Grecian dress in the Palace of Knossos in the top picture of that group?
It looks as if that column supporting the partial ceiling wall may have been added later to make sure that portion of the wall from falling the way there are several different shapes and sizes of inserts, both top and bottom.
I'm still having trouble finding the photo you mention. Which island? My photos sometimes don't show up in the order I put them in so I don't know how they look to others. My best guess is Santorini, but I'm not sure I see ruins. Also, if my Knossos pics are in the same order as you're looking at (the one of the separate building that has a lot of red in it has a fresco of the Minotaur (half man half bull). In the interior of the queen's room there's something that looks like a sea otter. Most of the Cycladic art features dolphins, octopi, beautifully dressed and coiffed women and men almost equally so. There is very little on the island that suggests military activities, unlike Mycenae, but we can't really be sure since the writing hasn't been deciphered.
Alas, I'd have to sell my enlarged photos for a lot. It costs about $50 for each 16 x 20 wall decor art from Shutterfly, though well worth it.
If I could retire any place I wanted to, it would be Venice (but not gonna happen - that takes too much money). And now that I've gotten Italian pretty much under my belt thanks to the Fluenz programs, I am teaching myself Greek. It's hard though I can read the alphabet easily now (except some vowel sounds -- they have many more than we do. At the Ledra, I correctly figured out that φιλέτο was filet! And I can say all the basics of pleased to meet you, thank you, you're welcome, hello, my name is, I am from, do you speak English, etc. So after my upcoming trips to Venice and Rome and before Santorini I'll get back to working on it.
Delphi to come -- and if you could describe the island and photo you mean in more detail I can probably tell you more!
Here are some pics from Delphi, high in the mountains. I would suggest a 2-3 day tour rather than driving, though you can also do it as a day tour with a stop in the beautiful village of Arachova. At Delphi, which which was the most sacred site in Greece, people came to consult the Delphic oracle -- Pythia -- women who were housed in a small building (covered in ivy or moss in the photo) and would answer your question in a convoluted way (like the Sphinx). There's also a blurred photo taken from the bus that gives you a sense of the Parnassus Mountains (and how mountainous Greece is. There were thunderstorms that day, which made the Temple of Apollo and the surrounding buildings even more impressive. And a fabulous museum -- one of the best!
Definitely repainted. Archaeologists have not been pleased with Sir Arthur Evans' work, buy many of these sites, just like Gothic churches in France ( which were 'improved' by the architect Viollet le Duc) probably would not still exist had that not happened. So you take the good with the bad.
I tried looking through the other photos, and I think while they are probably in a different order for both us (they are never in the same order I add them, nor in exact reverse order, which makes little sense), my best guess is the 'ruins question' was one of two pics of Santorini. In either case, the answer is no that they are not ruins but volcanic ash. Sanotirini, known in Greece as Thira, was a part of the satellite universe of Crete and some think it was Atlantis. There are fabulous museums (from what I hear -- I haven't seen them yet on Santorini, but read about them as one of the best museums for Cycladic art -- think spiral and geometric). Also the Akrotiri may be open again -- it is on the very SE side of the island -- but it collapsed in 2005. It was one of the oldest Bronze Age regions of ancient Greece besides Crete.
But I'm pretty sure what you are referring to is simply the lava remains, which are pretty spectacular!
PS -- I am planning to visit all these sites since I have five days not 2 hours like on the cruise. Will report back in July. Meanwhile I'm going to London next week and staying in the East End (Indigo Tower) to talk about a possible new kind of Jack the Ripper book. Who would believe -- Joan of Arc to Jack the Ripper? But the sociological and environmental aspects between West and East End in the 19th century are fascinating. But while there, for my Fear book, I want to look into the new catastrophic plague site of 14th C. victims that were found digging a new rail site at Charterhouse Square:
(Now aren't those cheery notes to end on? Volcanoes, earthquakes, plague pits, etc. I LOVE what I do!)