Archive for the ‘island’ Category

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The following is a free translation of a part taken from the work of academician Spyros Melas, “Burning Seas”, published by the “Embros” of Athens, in 1940.

Melas begins by describing the bell tower of the church of Panagia, the Megalohari, whose bell he resembles “as the bell that tolled the national alarm heard to the ends of the earth, bringing the sad news of the dastardly attack on ELLI to all Greeks”, and resembles the Holy Church of the Virgin Mary as the strategic headquarters of the soul of the Greek nation.

A god-maiden always has guided and advised the Greeks during their great wars. Athena stood by our ancient heroes. Our troops and our ships are guided in this war for freedom…. from this island by the Megalohari of Tinos… from this island flew victory with unbelievable wings, to the snows of Trebesina, to the white-caps of the Ionian Sea and to the blue and white seas.

Standing upon a mountain-side in Tinos, just across from Delos, the other holy ancient island, it must have been about three hours before a beautiful sun-rise. When it finally became light I saw the all-white homes of our city, and began to recognize the silhouettes of the pilgrims who were walking slowly towards the hill… to the church. I could see the golden light coming from the church, from the candles of those who had stay there all night praying along with their sick and the lame and the blind, praying for a curing miracle.

By now the dawn had spread a rose light upon the east and I could see the proud ship approaching Tinos, to take part in the holy celebrations. The ship quickly made a wide gracious arc and came to a stop dropping anchor just outside the harbor, five hundred and fifty meters from the green marker light of the entrance. Every ship has its own destiny…

A gentle livas, the warm wind that comes from the hot sands of North Africa, had began to blow and to caress the silhouettes of the sailors on the deck. The time was 06:30 when a merry bugle’s sound was heard. It was the command to begin the deployment of the flags. All at once the ship was covered with a triangle of its grand flag display. It was a happy time upon ELLI. The decision had been made as to what sailors would be taking part in the honorary guard for the procession of the Holy icon, and they had withdrawn in the stern quarters. With them were 8 Petty Officers who had requested permission from their Captain to allow them to carry the Holy Icon taking turns, four at a time. The rest of the crew had began to wash the decks and arrange tools and machinery they had use during the voyage.

The time is 06:45 and the engine noise of a plane is heard to be approaching ELLI. An Italian spotter plane, with its markings painted over so it will not be recognized, approaches from an easternly direction, flying at 1200 meters. Within moments the gun crews are in their battle stations. Gunnery Petty Officer Sigalas and the Warrant Officer in charge of the crew of the Skoda guns receive the order from the bridge to train their gun on the airplane but to hold fire. The plane makes two circles over the harbor of Tinos. The crowds thinking that it is a Greek plane raising their arms and waive them in salutation. The plane continues its flight towards the West reducing its altitude and eventually it disappears in the horizon.

No one ever thought that the spotter plane will be reporting to a submarine that was making ready to begin its deadly attack… on a Holy day… a day dedicated to the Holy Virgin… the 15th of August 1940.

The time is 08:25. On deck is the Officer of the Day, Ensign Hors, the Petty Officer on duty, a sailor standing guard by the ship’s ladder, a messenger, the two gun crews and some of the sailors who had been assigned to take part in the honorary guard by the Holy Icon of the Virgin Mary.

On deck also at that time, was Lieutenant jg. Kyriazopoulos, and Petty Officers Katsaitis, Rakkas, Tsirigotis, Papadopoulos, Kokkoris, Syrigos and Papanikolaou. The Petty Officers had approached the Lieutenant to ask him if he could do them a favor… to light a candle for them, if he was to go ashore… He did not have the time to answer because at that moment voices were heard. They were the voices of the Signal-men from the ship’s bridge coming loud… On-Coming TORPEDO from Starboard… the last syllables were covered by a tremendous thunder and explosion… 15th of August, 1940.

There were four torpedoe shots fired by the submerged submarine. One found its aim amid-ship. The other two missed their target and hit the harbor barrier rocks, exploding there. The fourth torpedo changed course and headed out to sea.

The torpedo that hit ELLI exploded exactly below one of its boilers, the one that had been maintained active. Due to the proximity of the explosion to the boiler-room, the active boiler exploded and its supply of oil caught fire. This left the vessel without means of propulsion, however its crew with the help of the nearby anchored merchant ships attempted to beach the ship in shallow waters. Unfortunately the spreading fire soon forced the crew and officers to abandon ship which began to sink at about 09:45. About half an hour later, ELLI the proud ship, was covered by the sea in its watery grave.

The ship’s skipper, Captain Hatzopoulos RHN, reported to the Ministry of the Navy the following list of victims:

Dead:           Engine Chief Petty Officer Papanicolaou

Missing:        Engine Petty Officer Mantouvalos, Firemen Sailors
		Anastelopoulos, Grivas and Bonos

Wounded:        Petty Officer Electrician Kimoulis, Chief P.O. Engine
		Papadopoulos, P.O. Engine Syrigos, P.O. Engine Eugenopoulos,
		P.O. Torpedoes Rakkas, P.O. Fireman Kokoras, P.O. Signalman
		Anagnostopoulos, Warrant Officer Fireman Mammis, Chief P.O.
		Bossn's mate Tsirigotis, Sailors Argyriou, Aggeloudis,
		Anthoulis, Panagos, Hatzispyrou, Mantzouranis, Apostolakos,
		Synodinos, Pallis, Dendrinos, Giannakis,Mavromatis and
		Hatzidemetriou.

Source:http://www.greece.org/poseidon/work/vessels/elli.html

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Tinos D7200, 18-55mm VR, Hoya Filter

Kynosoura

Kynosoura (Greek: Κυνόσουρα),

Which means dog’s tail (Greek: κυνός-ουρά), ikynosoura peninsulas a small peninsula located in the east of the island. The area probably took its name because it is long and oblong, like a dog’ s tail.

At the south side of area there are a few houses (population 69). At the north are the remains of an ancient tumulus thought to be the burial site of Greek warriors in the Battle of Salamis.

Nearby is a dockyard, which constructs and fixes ships including oil tankers and containers.

A small Video describing the destruction of the ancient tomb and the throwing of the dead heroes bones to the sea.

The Tomb of the Fighters of Salamina 

The Tomb of the Fighters of Salamina is located on the area of cape Kinosoura. The site overlooks the sea on the area where the famous naval battle of Salamis took place in 480 BC. The circular tomb was built using limestone and gravel from sculptor Achilles Vasilleou in honor of the men who fought and died for Greece. It was one of the most important naval battles of all time that determined the final outcome of the Persian Wars. Themistocles developed a plan to fight the battle on a location favoring the smaller faster Greek ships. The Persian fleet was destroyed and the threat to conquer the Peloponnese faded along with it.

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Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

Salamina Kinosoura

As you can see in the photos its a beautiful place that has been left neglected for many decades that has destroyed or hidden its incredible history and monuments under rusty ships. A place that is part of the world heritage that should not be forgotten or lost.

You can see more photos in my Flickr Album.

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This month I visited with my wife and young son the island of Lesvos. After taking the ship from Piraeus and after a trip of 10 hours we arrived to the post of Mytilene..Mytilene is an ancient city founded in the 11th century BC. Mytilene is the capital and port of the island of Lesbos and also the capital of the North Aegean Region. The seat of governor of the North Aegean Region is Mytilene.

Standing on seven green hills rooted in the heart of the Aegean, spreads the city of Mytilene. Contemporary Mytilene with a population of thirty thousand is built on the ruins of the ancient namesake city, the birthplace of leading intellectual personalities throughout the centuries.The greatest lyrical poets of all times were born here, Sapho (700-600 B.C.) and Alcaeos (640-560 B.C.) as well as Pittacos one of the Seven Sages of antiquity. The intellectual tradition continues to modern days with Odysseas Elytis (1911-1996) winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for literature. A walk through the picturesque neighborhoods, the Promenade and the traditional commercial street (Hermou) from the Ancient Port in Epano Skala to Kioski and Sourada will convince the visitor of the warm hospitality of the natives and he will admire the exquisite, preserved historical Mansions of various architectural styles. The city is adorned with imposing churches, most distinguishing among them the Metropolis Cathedral with the 33m. Gothic steeple built in the 17th century and the domed church of St. Therapon (1880).

Of much interest is the Monastery of St. Rafael just 12Klm. from Mytilene nestled in the olive groves of Karyes, Thermi. Mytilene is the headquarters of the Ministry of the Aegean and the University of the Aegean. The city has an international airport and harbour which connect the island with Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Volos, Kavala, Alexandroupoli and the islands of Limnos, Chios, Samos, Icaria, Kos, Rhodes, Crete, etc.

ouzo bottles

Mytilene is famous for it numerous local OUZO distillers, if Ouzo was Wine, Mytilene would be Vourgoundy they say…. and they are right .Mytilene is THE definite Ouzo capital of the world and also the home of the famous sardines. It is a beautiful city full of life and great friendly people. It is very cheap (although the ship tickets are not), and you need at least a week if you want to visit all its notable points of interest.

Please enjoy the photos and if you enjoy them consider visiting this great Greek Island.

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In the old city you can find great examples of last century architecture with elaborate roofs and balconies.

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Visitors of Lesvos Island can travel by ferry from the port of Mytilini on Lesvos to the Turkish port of Ayvalik. In high season, ferries run almost daily between Ayvalik and Mytilini but less frequently at other times of year; usually Thursday is quite busy for the big market (bazaar) and Saturday’s for the smaller version.

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At the port you can see some very expensive yachts from around the world, this one one had a USA flag.

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Street view of the agora with Agio Therapon Church seen in the back.

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Sensational majestic exterior and interior, the church of Agios Therapon is one of the most recognizable monuments in the island, although its history, its present form at least, just over the half century, while inaugurated in 1935.

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We know that by 1850 at the same place there was a small temple dedicated to Saint Therapon also.

The church served the needs of patients and hospital staff, the well-known “hotels” of Mytilene, which was precisely opposite the present church, where is the building that houses the Byzantine Ecclesiastical Mouseio.The basic architectural style of the church is he registered his cross with a dome.

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With the first glance but one realizes that it bears on its outer form many and intense gothic characteristics, the presence of which is probably due to effects received by the Argyris Adalis during his apprenticeship near the two great teachers.

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The exterior decoration is the brainchild of famed painter and sculptor Lesbian Nicholas Kesanli. H diversity of its parts makes it impressive. The church is built of ashlar stones. It is even known that much of the material for the construction of the temple was moved from the famous quarry Sarmosak of Asia Minor. On the façade there are two tiers of columns, Ionic and Corinthian. Five domes crowning the edifice. Each dome supported pediments, which are decorated with paintings and sculptures.

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The woodcut temple is the work of 1915 and created by the hand of a craftsman Mytilene, Demetrios Kovala. He also created the pontifical throne, the pulpit and the two major shrines of the temple. In the nave, between the pontifical throne and shrine, the tomb of Metropolitan Oyngrovlachias Ignatiou, one of the great protagonists of Greek Revolution of 1821. The relic was moved to St. Therapon the church of Agia Triada of Livorno, where the prelate had been buried after his death in Pisa in 1828, and the marble sarcophagus was placed 1965.

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The city is very much alive, busy streets next to the sea.

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The day I visited the city  drag racing was taking place.

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Mytilene is the city of Stratis Mirivilis.

Stratis Myrivilis (Greek: Στράτης Μυριβήλης, pseudonym of Efstratios Stamatopoulos (Ευστράτιος Σταματόπουλος); 30 June 1890 – 19 July 1969) was a Greek writer. He wrote mostly fiction: novels, novellas, and short stories. He is associated with the “Generation of the ’30s”.

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Stratis Mirivilis Statue.

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The city is full of beautiful statues.

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The Statue of Liberty (Greek: Άγαλμα Ελευθερίας) is a bronze statue erected at the harbor of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos in Greece.

The statue was created by Greek sculptor Gregorios Zevgolis based on a design by local painter Georgios Jakobides. It was cast in Germany in 1922, and was erected and dedicated in Mytilene in 1930.

The statue and its marble base stand 15 meters (49 ft) tall.

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The statue of liberty and beneath it dozens of immigrants newly arrived from Turkey.

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More immigrants waiting for the next ship to Piraeus.

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The ship for the trip back to Piraeus.

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Enjoy more photos in my flickr album.

I used NIKON D3200 with lenses NIKON 18-55VR f3.5 & NIKKOR 55-200mm VR