Category Archives: Greece

The Acropolis Museum and The Elgin Marbles

In the words of Lord Byron…

“Cold is the heart, fair Greece, that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o’er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne’er to be restored.
Curs’t be the hour when their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatched thy shrinking Gods to northern climes abhorred!”

I think that about sums it up, difficult to improve on that.

Interesting that the debate about ownership of the Parthenon/Elgin marbles has recently hit the news again.

Unlike any other museum in the world this the Acropolis Museum has been designed to exhibit something it doesn’t own and the Greek Culture minister has said that he hopes that it will be the catalyst for the return of the Parthenon sculptures from the British Museum in London because some of the sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles, that originally decorated the Parthenon temple have been there since they were dubiously sold to the museum in 1817.

I visited the Acropolis Museum shortly after opening in September 2009

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Quiz Time:

Similar Elgin Marbles disputes over ownership of museum exhibits…

In each case, What are they, Where are they and Who wants them back?

Have a go, it’s just a bit of armless fun.  Googling allowed.

Answers later.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were by no means a comprehensive agreed-upon list of the most impressive structures of the day. Today a list like this would be determined by a TV phone-in. The masterpieces included in the original list are the traditionally accepted Wonders as first set down by Philo of Byzantium although when he drew up the list he had no way of knowing about the caves of Altamira in Spain, the Pueblos of North America or  Stonehenge. in England.

The Seven Wonders of The World got me thinking about the number 7.

According to Wiki the Pythagoreans invested particular numbers with unique spiritual properties. The number seven was considered to be particularly interesting because it consisted of the union of the physical (number 4) with the spiritual (number 3). Does that make any sense to anyone?

In a standard pack of Tarot cards number 7 is the chariot which represents succour, providence, war, triumph, presumption, vengeance and trouble

In the play “As You Like It” Shakespeare described the seven ages of man as Infancy, Child, Teenager, Young Man, Middle age, Old age, and Death.

In Antiquity and in Religion there are often seven wise men as law makers and  judges, seven is a good number, not to big, not to small, a manageable in-between sort of number which works well in a voting situation (so long as no one abstains).

Other sevens…

Seven Days a Week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The seven metals of Antiquity -gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, and mercury.

The Seven Seas – Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, South Pacific Ocean and the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean

The Seven Deadly Sins – Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Anger, Envy and Pride.

The Seven  Year Itch, a supposed tendency to infidelity after seven years of marriage and a movie starring Marilyn Monroe.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy, Dopey, Sleepy and Bashful.

Seven Continents of the World – Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, North America, South America and Antarctica.

Seven colours in a Rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.

The Dance of the Seven Veils is Salome’s dance performed before King Herod Antipas, an interpretation of the New Testament story of the Feast of Herod and the execution of John the Baptist.

The Seven Hills of Rome of course but also the Seven Hills of Edinburgh  -Arthur’s Seat  Blackford Hill,  Braid Hills, Calton Hill, Castle Rock, Corstorphine Hill and Craiglockhart Hill.

The Magnificent Seven – Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, and Horst Buchholz.

Anyone care to make another seven suggestion?

 

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Sunday Sunsets – The Cylcades

This one is from Ios at the very top of the island.

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Getting Nautical in the Cyclades

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People Pictures – A Bus Ride in Amorgos

When it comes to taking pictures I like doors, statues, balconies and washing lines, Kim on the other hand likes people pictures so I thought I might share a few of them with you.

Kim spotted this noble looking woman on a bus ride on the Greek island of Amorgos…

The bus fare to Katapola was good value at only €2.80 each and after we paid the driver started the engine and left exactly on time.

We sat close to the front of the bus and in the seat directly behind the driver there was an old woman in widow’s weeds who was determined to talk constantly in some sort of quest to distract him and thoroughly test his driving ability as he eased the vehicle out of the village and began the ascent to the top of the mountain that separates the two ends of the island.

As the bus climbed higher into the interior and the engine began to complain and the gearbox groan the sides of the mountain became surprisingly greener with rugged plants clinging stubbornly to the desperately thin soil and then we reached the top of the mountainous spine of the island and we could see all the way down across the Chora and into the port of Katapola and still the woman in the seat behind the driver kept talking.

I’d have backed that woman in a talk-off against my mum!

The bus stopped briefly at the Chora to pick up more passengers and then the driver set off down the hairpin bends of the mountain road and down to the port.  I think he liked this part of the journey most of all because he made especially extravagant manoeuvres with increasingly theatrical turns of the steering wheel and he was confident too, even at one stage of the precipitous descent taking time out to make a telephone call while still listening all the time to the woman behind him jabbering away.

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The Greek Island of Symi

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Sunday Sunset – The Statue of Erato in Amorgos

At the entrance to the harbour in Katapola on the island of Amorgos is a statue of Erato.  In Greek mythology Erato was one of the nine Greek Muses who were inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. Erato was the Muse of love and lyric poetry,  Very appropriate because it is impossible not to fall in love with Amorgos.

We had a bit of fun with this one…

 

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Sunset Sunday – Egalia in Amorgos

Sunset Sunday – Katapola in Amorgos

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Travels in Croatia – The Island of Hvar

We had to find some accommodation so we went to the tourist information office to see what was available.  The lady at the desk told us that the only hotel available was the Hotel Adriana that had rooms for €280.

This was obviously way beyond our budget and while this devastating piece of news sunk in she skilfully moved in with the alternative offer of a simple room in the town for 400 Kuna (about £50).  This was obviously her sister or her best friend but there was no contest and we took it.

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