Resilience/Ανθεκτικότητα

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Strength to strength

Shore to shore

There is not a life in ruins

Or time wasted

We each carry our burdens

and our traumas

Whether our fate is assigned or

Whether we are the masters of  it

We must emulate the roses

That wither, but are resilient

And come alive again.

 

*I love the strength and resiliency of the roses in my garden. From intense heat waves and cold snaps they pull through. Some humans should need to get some lessons from nature.

Sunflower in December/Ηλίανθος το Δεκέμβριο

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December sunflower

Our Imbalanced Earth

Sunflower in December

Humanity’s’ shame.

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I wrote a  Haiku Japanese ancient poem to describe my shock when I saw a sunflower bloom in the garden this December.  I planted the seed in May and they usually bloom   in June here in Greece. I read that July was the hottest month on record for the planet resulting in the melting of  the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and many other calamities. Then October came and there was a heatwave in Europe, the temperatures almost reached 30 °C.  The seed that failed to germinate in the spring got it’s second chance in the unusually warm fall season.

Very worrying indeed. 😦

The Prophecy/Η Προφητεία

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We lay in our doom      

In the toxic fumes

In the final days of Noah

Rain to floods

Fire and brimstone

The end is neigh

But they’re riding high

So they don’t care

They say we will all be done

When the anger comes

When our hearts turn cold

The children will be bold

Anger will reign

Like the many pestilences it will spread

In the dark times we will all wish that we were dead.

Βρισκόμαστε στην καταστροφή μας

Μέσα στους τοξικούς καπνούς

Τις τελευταίες μέρες του Νώε                                                                             

Και η βροχή γίνεται πλημμύρα                                                                            

Μόνο πυρκαγιά και θειάφι

Το τέλος είναι κοντά

Ο τυχερός δεν τον νοιάζει                                                                                 

Λένε ότι όλοι θα τελειώσουμε

Όταν έρθει ο θυμός

Όταν οι καρδιές μας ψυχρανθούν

Τα παιδιά θα είναι τολμηρά

Ο θυμός θα βασιλεύει

Όπως και τις πολλές επιδημίες θα εξαπλωθεί

Στους σκοτεινούς χρόνους θα θέλουμε όλοι να είμαστε νεκροί.

*So glad to be feeling better after 2 weeks of the flu 🙂

*I have always been fascinated by end times prophecies. They are universal and reflect the times we are living in.

Argos Town/Αργος

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The Castle of Larissa on a hill 289 metres above the town of Argos.

The Larissa Castle of Argos dates back to the Helladic Period (Bronze age) and played a crucial role in the Greek Revolution 200 years ago due to it’s very strategic position.

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A statue in honour of mothers.

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After visiting the ancient site of Mycenae in the Peloponnese,  I made a quick stop to the beautiful town of Argos. Argos is just 20 kilometers from Mycenae and it is considered the oldest town in continental Europe as it can be dated back to the Bronze age. It has over 20,000 inhabitants and it very lively and well maintained.

I had no time to visit the castle but I will return in the future to take pictures from the castle as it offers stunning views of the town below.

 

Mycenae/Μυκήνες

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The entrance to the ‘tholos’ beehive tomb.

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The beehive tomb also called ‘The Treasury of Atreus’ or more famously ‘The Tomb of Agamemnon’

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The beehive-like structure with its megalithic stones was built between 1350 and 1250 B.C

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The entrance to a smaller room. That has been blocked to due falling rocks.

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A few photographs from on site museum of Mycenae.

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A view of the Mycenaean ruins from outside the ‘Tomb of Agamemnon’

“The Mycenaean rulers had the seat of their power and activity in a luxurious palace, built on a hill (acropolis) which was surrounded by imposing fortifications that were constructed during the 14th and 13th Century B.C. The walls surpassed 12 metres high and 7 metres in length. The area covers 30,000 sq meters with a total length of 900 metres.”

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The beautiful landscape of Argos from the ancient ruins.

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The entrance to the ‘Lion Tholos Tomb’. Dates back to the 15th Century B.C

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The tholos (beehive) has not survived, but it is estimated to have been about 15 metres high.

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The ‘Lion Gate’ is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae

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The gate was closed by a double door, secured by a sliding bar. It dates to 1240 B.C

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The relief of  the lions is the oldest monumental relief in Europe. The heads of the lions did not survive and were made from steatite (soapstone).

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The Northeast extension of the citadel which secured the water supply.

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The underground cistern.

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They received water from the natural spring. Has a depth of 18 meters.

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The Mycenaean civilization flourished in the time span of 1600-1100 B.C.  It was the first advanced Greek civilization. The Mycenaean period was the setting of Greek mythology and the historical setting of the Trojan Epic Cycle (poems written about the Trojan war).

I visited the archaeological site of Mycenae for the first time in late October. It was unseasonably hot and crowded with tourists. I was told not to come here in the summer and I so glad that I didn’t. It’s a bit of a climb to the top, but the view of Argos is fantastic.

The First Cemetery of Athens Part 2

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This looks like a big bird cage in a jungle.

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“Angel’ by famous Greek sculptor Giannoulis Halepas

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An angel either pondering or telling us to be quiet.

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‘Hoo are you looking at?’

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I found out after visiting the cemetery that here are three other sculptures of ‘sleeping’ women in the cemetery. This is the only one I found that day.  It is the grave of a Maria Deligianni sculpted by Ioannis Vitsaris.

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So unique. Never seen anything like this before.

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The irony of the Greek word ‘Zoe’ which means ‘life’ on the cross of a grave.

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A sculpture of a Greek style sphinx.

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An Egyptian style sphinx .

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The grave site of Greek commander and chief  of the revolutionary war of 1821 Theodoros Kolokotronis.

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The inscription reads ‘Easy passerby here lies the old man of ‘Morea’ (Peloponnese) do NOT disturb his sleep.’ This is a message to would be invaders!

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Richard Church an Irish military officer in the British army who helped the Greek army in the Greek revolution of 1821. He was good friends with Theodoros Kolokotronis.

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‘The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.’ Marcus Tillius Cicero.

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‘The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.’- Mark Twain

This is the second blog post dedicated to the First Cemetery of Athens. I spent almost three hours (!) exploring the old cemetery. Time went by so fast and my camera would not stop clicking. After doing some more research on the cemetery I realized I had not even seen half of it. I might go back in the future because there are some other famous sculptures at at the far end of the cemetery.

I don’t know anyone personally who is buried here. You can only be a citizen of central Athens to be buried here. This is why I have never been to this cemetery before. Overall it was a great experience and I think everyone should visit a cemetery and leave and taboos and fears behind and pay their respect to those who have passed, and reflect on life and death rather than just being in the moment or being present all the time.

The First Cemetery of Athens Part 1

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The tomb of business man and philanthropist George Averoff who died in 1899.

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I was in awe of this very old cemetery.

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A huge family grave belonging to a wealthy family.

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The very beloved Archbishop Christodoulos

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An angel holding a cross on the family grave of the  Pesmatzoglou. A very old aristocratic Athenian family.

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An angel holding a cross symbolizes redemption.

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This bust looks like ‘Lurch’ the butler from the Addams Family!

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Grave of famous Greek actress Aliki Viouklaki

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Grave of famous Greek actor Lambros Konstandaras

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A huge family mausoleum

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The grave of the legendary actress/singer Sofia Vebo.

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Sofia was given the nickname ‘The singer of victory’ «Τραγουδίστρια της Νίκης»

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It has been a year since my mother’s passing and we just recently held the one year memorial service for her. It isn’t until you lose a close member of your family that you become more acquainted with cemeteries. I wouldn’t normally tour and photograph a cemetery, as most of the cemeteries in Greece are very ‘cookie cutter’, meaning every grave looks the same. However, when I heard about the history and art of the First Cemetery of Athens I knew I had to pay a visit.

The First Cemetery of Athens dates back to 1837 and it is the oldest modern cemetery in Athens. It is a very unique graveyard in that it contains a lot of beautiful sculptures. There are over 768 sculptures carved by famous artists, 10, 233 family graves and 2,007 three year graves.

It is so big, about 170 acres, so it is impossible to explore all of it in one day. I took a lot of photographs so this post will be in two parts.

The Sculptor/Ο γλύπτης

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A sculptors’ workshop across the street from the First Cemetery in downtown Athens that I visited last month. Pictures from there coming soon..

Ένα εργαστήριο γλυπτών απέναντι από το πρώτο νεκροταφείο στο κέντρο της Αθήνας που επισκέφθηκα τον περασμένο μήνα. Φωτογραφίες από εκεί σύντομα ..