In 1993 and 1997 I spent my holidays along Greek islands. The price of everything was still so convenient at that time without Euro and I spent months there enjoying life with my best friends.
The first trip was in several of the Cyclades islands, as geologist I could not miss Santorini island of course. The second trip was in the famous island of Rhodes.
I was a student at University and also a backpacker traveling by ferry boat and spending few bucks per day in a tent camping, and every night was a party.
The Mediterranean Sea and the beaches in Greek islands were absolutely fabulous as you can see in the photos.
The best part was that each time when we got bored or tired of some Greek island in few hours you we were able to get a ferry boat for a new island and a new adventure. New spot, new town, new life, new adventure, it was an amazing time, I was so young and for sure those summers will never come back.
I was not yet in photography but I did make some good pictures over there, especially I love the photos I shot leaving mainland to Greek islands at sunset.
After the trip and the images of Greek islands on the way back to Italy, I visited also Athens.
I can not say much because I just spent there in the capital of Greece few hours but at least I got my chance to visit the ancient ruins.The old city is nice but the surroundings are definitely horrible and polluted.
Regretfully I have no photos there because my films was already finished and the money not enough to buy a new ones. I had in my pocket just the money to buy the return boat ticket, amazing old days!
The Greek Islands are a collection of over 6,000 islands and islets that belong to Greece.
Only 227 of the islands are inhabited, and only 78 of those have more than 100 inhabitants.
The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into: Saronic Islands near Athens, a large but dense collection occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea called Cyclades, the Dodecanese another collection in the southeast between Crete and Turkey, a small tight group off the coast of Euboea called the Sporades, and the Ionian Islands located to the west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea.
I visited Cyclades, Santorini and Rhodes.
The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic flat idols carved out of the islands’ pure white marble centuries before the great Bronze Age culture arose in Crete.
These small statues have been looted from burials to satisfy a thriving Cycladic antiquities market since the early 20th century.
A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 B.C., based on emmer wheat and wild-type barley, sheep and goats, pigs, and tuna fishing.
Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.
The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School that investigated burial sites on several islands and coined the term “Cycladic civilization”.
The context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been mostly destroyed and their meaning may never be completely understood.
Also known as Thera is a volcanic island located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast from Greece’s mainland.
Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera.
A giant central lagoon, more or less rectangular, and measuring about 12 by 7 km and surrounded by 300 m high steep cliffs on three sides.
The island’s harbors all lie in the lagoon and there are no ports on the outer perimeter of the island; the capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. Santorini is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization.
The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through the creation of a gigantic tsunami.
Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.
Excavations starting in 1967 at the site called Akrotiri, the best-known “Minoan” site outside of Crete, the homeland of the culture.
Only the southern tip of a large town has been uncovered, yet it has revealed complexes of multi-level buildings, streets, and squares with remains of walls standing as high as eight meters, all entombed in the solidified ash of the eruption. Some of the houses in Akrotiri are major structures, some amongst them three stories high.
The site was not a palace-complex such as are found in Crete, but its excellent masonry and fine wall-paintings show that this was certainly no conglomeration of merchants’ warehousing either. A loom-workshop suggests organized textile weaving for export. This Bronze Age civilization between 3000 to 2000 B.C., and reached its peak in the period 2000 to 1580 B.C..
The island was inhabited in the Neolithic period, although little remains of this culture. In the 16th century B.C. the Minoans came to Rhodes.
In the 8th century B.C. the island’s settlements started to form, with the coming of the Dorians, who built the three important cities of Lindos, Ialyssos and Kameiros.
The Persians invaded and overran the island, but were in turn defeated by forces from Athens in 478 B.C.. Rhodes became a part of the growing empire of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., after he defeated the Persians.
Following the death of Alexander Rhodes formed strong commercial and cultural ties with the Ptolemies in Alexandria, and together formed the Rhodo-Egyptian alliance that controlled trade throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century B.C.. The city developed into a maritime, commercial and cultural center; its coins circulated nearly everywhere in the Mediterranean.
Its famous schools of philosophy, science, literature and rhetoric. In 305 B.C., the Rhodians after surviving a long siege erect a statue of their sun god, Helios, the statue since called the Colossus of Rhodes.
In 164 B.C., Rhodes signed a treaty with Rome, enjoyed numerous privileges, but these were later lost in various machinations of Roman politics. Cassius eventually invaded the island and sacked the city.
In 395,the long Byzantine Empire-period began for Rhodes, when the eastern half of the Roman empire became gradually more Greek. Rhodes was occupied by the Muslim forces of Muawiyah I in 672.
In 1309 the Byzantine era came to an end when the island was occupied by named “Knights of Rhodes”, the city was rebuilt into a model of the European medieval ideal.
Many of the city’s famous monuments, including the Palace of the Grand Master, were built during this period.
Ultimately, however, Rhodes fell to the large army of Suleiman the Magnificent in December 1522. In 1912, Italy seized Rhodes from the Turks.
Due to the Treaty of Lausanne, the island, together with the Dodecanese, was officially assigned to Italy. It became the core of their possession of the Isole Italiane dell’Egeo.
In 1948, together with the other islands of the Dodecanese, Rhodes was united with Greece.
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