The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The last supper

Half-eaten

The last drops of wine

In the bottle remain

Half-drunken

Eighty Four years of life on this earth

Your eyes feasted on war after war

But, the belly felt the the pain and rumbling

As it was never filled

There were memories of nazis storming the village

Then the civil war where your father was taken, and tortured

The great loss and poverty

In the silent generation

‘Wealth through industry’ was the motto

But, no matter what they built they remained bitter

This life made you hard, made you angry

And the new world offered an escape

A new beginning

Profits, but not without hard labour

From the tobacco fields to builder

The parties, the dancing, music, the laughter

The feasting, all of the families, and friends

The over-indulgence,

The cup filled to the brim

But, it had to end

Those glory days

Oh how they always haunted you

Then back to the old world

That was the dream,

Half -broken

Because you could never

Ever rest, never savour

Too much to do

Now you rest in peace

As your bones will too.

*In loving memory of my father George, who after a long, hard battle with cancer of the bones succumbed to the illness on the 9th of November.

“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief”.-Aeschylus

Monemvasia Part2/Μονεμβασια Μέρος 2/

The view from the top of the fortress.

An Orthodox chruch at the top of the fortress

The beach on the mainland

The medieval town of Monemvasia is seeped in history. It is one of the oldest continually-inhabited fortified towns in Europe. The town has been inhabited since antiquity and was a Minoan trading post.

Monemvasia was founded in the 6th century, from the relocation of the inhabitants of Ancient Sparta, which was then known as Lacedaemon.

There are many byzantine churches in the town. And many ruins of older settlements.

The climb to the top of the fortress offers spectacular views of the town. Good foot wear, patience and stamina is needed!

Η μεσαιωνική πόλη της Μονεμβασιάς έχει τεράστια ιστορία. Eίναι μια από τις παλαιότερες συνεχώς κατοικημένες οχυρωμένες πόλεις της Ευρώπης. Κατοικείται από την αρχαιότητα και ήταν μινωικός εμπορικός σταθμός. Η Μονεμβασιά ιδρύθηκε τον 6ο αιώνα, από τη μετεγκατάσταση των κατοίκων της Αρχαίας Σπάρτης, που τότε ήταν γνωστή ως Λακεδαίμονος. Υπάρχουν πολλές βυζαντινές εκκλησίες στην πόλη. Και πολλά ερείπια παλαιότερων οικισμών. Η ανάβαση στην κορυφή του φρουρίου προσφέρει εκπληκτική θέα στην πόλη. Χρειάζεσαι καλά παπούτσια, υπομονή και αντοχή!

Monemvasia Part1

The entrance to the town.
The path to the island of Monemvasia.

‘Matoula’ restaurant

View from the restaurant

Τhe bust of famous Greek poet Giannis Ritsos who was born in Monemvasia.

Monemvasia is small medieval town that is situated on an island. It is located in the municipality of Laconia in the South East coast of the Peloponnese. The town’s name derives from two Greek words, moni (μόνη, ‘single’) and emvasis (έμβασις, ‘approach’), together meaning “city of the single approach, or entrance”. The island is connected to the mainland by a short causeway 200 metres (660 ft) in length.

Η Μονεμβασιά είναι μια μικρή μεσαιωνική πόλη που βρίσκεται σε νησί στο δήμο Λακωνίας στη Νοτιοανατολική ακτή της Πελοποννήσου. Το όνομα της πόλης προέρχεται από δύο λέξεις, μονή (μόνη, «μονός») και έμβασις (έμβασις, «προσέγγιση»), μαζί που σημαίνει «πόλη της ενιαίας προσέγγισης ή εισόδου». Το νησί συνδέεται με την ηπειρωτική χώρα με ένα σύντομο μονοπάτι μήκους 200 μέτρων (660 πόδια).

Walking in the entrance of the town is like walking into a film set in medieval times. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place is well worth the visit. It is a four hour drive from Athens. t I went in early October and it was a very hot day. I can’t imagine how hot it is in July or August. I was thankful to have gone in October as the lower temperatures made the tough climb up the top of the fortress a little easier.

Το να περπατάς στην είσοδο της πόλης είναι σαν να μπαίνεις σε μια ταινία που διαδραματίζεται στη μεσαιωνική εποχή. Είναι ένα εκπληκτικά όμορφο μέρος που αξίζει να το επισκεφτείτε. Απέχει τέσσερις ώρες με το αυτοκίνητο από την Αθήνα. Πήγα στις αρχές Οκτωβρίου και ήταν μια πολύ ζεστή μέρα. Δεν μπορώ να φανταστώ πόσο ζεστό είναι τον Ιούλιο ή τον Αύγουστο. Ήμουν ευγνώμων που πήγα τον Οκτώβριο καθώς οι χαμηλότερες θερμοκρασίες έκαναν τη δύσκολη ανάβαση στην κορυφή του φρουρίου λίγο πιο εύκολη.

Trizonia Island/Νήσος Τριζόνια

Trizonia island is a little piece of unknown paradise in the Gulf of Corinth. Many Greeks have not heard of this low-profile island. Since it is not a popular travel destination, there were very few foreign tourists and the few visitors were mostly from organized tours in Greece.

Legend has it that, Billionaire shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis fell hard for this island, and made a bid to purchase it, but the bid didn’t pass. He then acquried the island of Scorpio in the Ionian sea instead.

Το νησί Τριζόνια είναι ένα μικρό κομμάτι άγνωστου παραδείσου στον Κορινθιακό Κόλπο. Πολλοί Έλληνες δεν έχουν ακούσει για αυτό το χαμηλού προφίλ νησί. Δεδομένου ότι δεν είναι δημοφιλής ταξιδιωτικός προορισμός, υπήρχαν πολύ λίγοι ξένοι τουρίστες και οι λίγοι Έλληνες επισκέπτες ήταν κυρίως από οργανωμένες εκδρομές στην Ελλάδα.

Ο μύθος λέει ότι, ο δισεκατομμυριούχος μεγιστάνας της ναυτιλίας, Αριστοτέλης Ωνάσης, ερωτεύτηκε αυτό το νησί, για αυτό το νησί και έκανε προσφορά για να το αγοράσει, αλλά η προσφορά δεν πέρασε. Στη συνέχεια απέκτησε το νησί του Σκορπιού στο Ιόνιο πέλαγος

The Rio–Antirrio Bridge/Γέφυρα Ρίου–Αντιρρίου

On the other side after about 45 minutes.

The view of the RIo-antirio (also called Charilaos Trikoupis) bridge from aboard a ferry boat are stunning. The remarkable RIo-Antirio bridge is an impressive modern wonder. It was completed the day before the Olympic games in Athens on the 12th of August 2004. It is one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and longest of the fully suspended type. It crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rio on the Peloponnese peninsula to Antirrio on mainland Greece by road.

It was the vision for the Charilaos Trikoupis (Prime Minister of Greece) had more than a hundred years ago, to connect the narrow sea passage between Rio and Antirrion, became a reality. But, Greece lacked the finances. The bridge was planned in the mid-1990s and was built by French-Greek companies.

Fun fact: The name Rio (and its older form Rhion) derives from the Greek ῥίον (rhion), generally meaning “jutting part”.