Monday, October 28, 2013

The Story of Oxi Day



"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fira


Fira, originally uploaded by Faddoush.

Firá (modern Greek: Φηρά) is the modern capital of the Greek Aegean island, Santorini. A traditional settlement, "Firá" derives its name from an alternative pronunciation of "Thíra", the ancient name of the island itself.
Fira is a city of white-washed houses built on the edge of the 400 metres (1,312 feet) high caldera on the western edge of the semi-circular island of Thera. The two main museums of interest are the Santorini Archeological Museum, 30 metres (98 feet) east of the cable car entrance, and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera at the southeast corner of the White Orthodox Cathedral (with the Greek name meaning Metamorphosis), built on the site of the Ypapanti Church, destroyed in the 1956 earthquake.
Access to Fira is mainly by roads on its eastern side, climbing from its port via the Z-shaped footpath on foot or on donkeys, or by riding the steep cable car from its lower terminal by the port. The central square of Fira is called Plateia Theotokopoulou, with a bus and taxi station, banks and pharmacies.
The narrow paths, lined with all kinds of souvenir shops, jewelry shops, and restaurants linking the upper cable car terminal and the central square, are packed with tourists during the summer seasons.
From Fira there is a panoramic view of the 18 kilometres (11 miles) long caldera from southern Cape Akrotiri to northern Cape Ag. Nikolaos, plus the volcanic island Nea Kameni at the center with Thirassia Island in the Aegean. Large cruise ships anchor in the small harbor between Nea Kameni and Fir

Monday, October 21, 2013

Coastline near #Kalathas, #Crete, #Greece

The seaside village of Kalathas is located 12km northeast of Chania, in the heart of a large natural bay on the Akrotiri peninsula, which is open to the north winds. Kalathas is a relatively modern village, which has been inhabited by residents of Chania who wanted to live away from the city center.

The beach in front of the village is beautiful, with fine sand and shallow crystal clear water. Opposite Kalathas, there is a small island which you can easily reach by swimming. Next to the beach there are several palm trees that give an exotic tone to the landscape. Moreover, the beach is very well organized with umbrellas, water sports, restaurants, hotels, mini markets, etc.

West of the main bay, beyond the rocky end, there is a secluded sandy bay. This is not organized and is ideal for those who do not like crowded places.

#Belton, #North Lincolnshire, #UK


Belton Oct 2013 5 copy, originally uploaded by Neil Barnsley.

Belton is a village and civil parish in the Isle of Axholme area of North Lincolnshire, England, that lies on the A161 road six miles east from Scunthorpe. To the north of Belton is the town of Crowle; to the south, the village of Epworth.
Belton parish boundaries include the hamlets of Beltoft, Sandtoft, Churchtown, Bracon, Carrhouse, Mosswood, Grey Green and Westgate. Within the parish is the now broken up country house estate of Temple Belwood. Hirst Priory at Sandtoft still stands.
According to the 1991 census, Belton had a population of 2,549.

caves, #Paxos, #Ionian sea, #Greece


Paxos Meeresgrotten, originally uploaded by GoSouthEast.

The island is approximately eight miles (13 km) in length and tipped up towards the west. The west coast is dominated by steep white, chalky cliffs that are greatly eroded at sea level, and harbour many 'blue caves', which can be explored on launches departing from Gaios. Much of the attractive landscape is still covered in olive groves. These stretch from Lakka, the harbour community in the north, through Magazia to Gaios, the capital. Olive oil making, soap manufacture and fishing were supplanted by tourism as the main industry in the mid sixties, resulting in a construction boom, which has greatly altered the coastline around Gaios, the capital of the Paxiot demos (community). There are ferry and jetfoil connections daily with Kerkyra (Corfu) and with the mainland at Parga.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday's rest

Τα πλοία πεθαίνουν στα λιμάνια
και μάτια δακρύζουν στα μουράγια
Οι αγάπες μου ξέμπαρκοι ναύτες,
στα όνειρα τους λιποτάκτες.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Castle Stalker, Appin, Argyll Scotland


Castle Stalker, Appin, Argyll, originally uploaded by DenaP :).

Castle Stalker – in the Gaelic, Stalcaire, meaning Hunter or Falconer – is believed originally to have been the site of a Fortalice (a small fortified building) belonging to the MacDougalls when they were Lords of Lorn, and built around 1320. The MacDougalls lost their title after their defeat by King Bruce at Brander Pass in 1308 but regained it for a period after 1328. In about 1388 the Lordship of Lorn passed to the Stewarts, the lands including Castle Stalker.

It is believed that Castle Stalker, much in its present form, was built by the then Lord of Lorn, Sir John Stewart, who had an illegitimate son in 1446, and it is reasonable to suppose that he built and occupied the Castle about that time. In 1463 Sir John Stewart was keen to legitimise his son by getting married to his Mother, a MacLaren, at Dunstaffnage when he was murdered outside the church by Alan MacCoul, a renegade MacDougall, although he survived long enough to complete the marriage and legitimise his son, Dugald, who became the First Chief of Appin. The Stewarts had their revenge on MacCoul at the Battle of Stalc in 1468 opposite the Castle when the Stewarts and MacLaren together defeated the MacDougalls, and Alan MacCoul was killed by Dugald himself. The site of this Battle is marked by a memorial stone in the Churchyard in Portnacroish.

In 1497 the Stewarts and MacLarens carried out a combined raid against MacDonald of Keppoch as a reprisal for cattle reiving, but Dugald Stewart was killed and succeeded as Chief of Appin by his son Duncan. King James IV of Scotland, born in 1473, was a cousin of the Stewarts of Appin and when he came of age made frequent hunting journeys to the Highlands. It is understood that he stayed quite often at Castle Stalker, using it as a base for hunting and hawking for which he had a passion. It is thought that further improvements were made to the Castle at this time including the possible addition of what is now the top floor and roof, and that the Coat of Arms over the front door may be the Royal Arms of that time.

Duncan Stewart was murdered by the McLeans at Duart Castle in 1512 and succeeded by his younger brother Alan Stewart as the third Chief. In 1513 the Stewarts of Appin supported King James IV at the Battle of Flodden. The Stewart Chief and is five sons were all present at the Battle but all managed to survive what was otherwise a massive defeat in which the King was killed.

In 1520 Sir Alexander Stewart of Invernahyle was fishing off the small island next to Castle Stalker when he was surprised and murdered by a party of Campbells. Tradition has it that the nurse of his baby son, Donald Stewart, hid the baby in the Castle and when the Campbells left the nurse returned, found the baby still alive and took refuge in Morven.

Young Donald became renowned for his strength and was known as “Donald of the Hammers” – in the Gaelic “Donald nan Ord” – as he could wield a blacksmith’s hammer in each hand with ease. In 1544 he raised the Stewarts of Appin and went to Dunstaffnage where they killed nine Campbells in revenge for the murder of his Father. Donald nan Ord also led the Stewarts at the Battle of Pinkie on the 10th September 1547. He died in 1607 and is buried on Lismore where his faithful henchman, a Carmichael, also lies buried.

In around 1620 the Castle passed into the hands of the Campbells of Airds as a result of a drunken wager by the 7th Stewart Chief, Duncan, in exchange for an eight-oared wherry.

The Stewarts of Appin, under Stewart if Ardsheal, regained the Castle in 1689 when they came out with King James VII (otherwise James II) against King William but after defeat at the battle of Dunkeld the Castle was again forfeited to the Campbells. The Stewarts under Ardsheal refused to hand it over when it was then besieged by the Campbells for several months until Ardsheal was granted an honourable surrender in 1690.

At the time of the 1745 Rising Castle Stalker was held by the Campbells with a Garrison of about 59 Government troops. Although the Stewarts of Appin were solidly behind Prince Charles, and raised a regiment of 300, the Castle was too strong for them to take and their 2lb cannon-balls merely bounced off the walls. The Castle formed an important link during the rising with ships calling frequently with men and supplies as they sailed between Inverary in the South and Fort William in the North. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746 the Castle was used by the Government forces as a local centre where the Clansmen had to surrender their arms. Six prisoners are recorded as being held in the Prisoners’ Hole for about a fortnight before being taken to Edinburgh for trial.

The last Campbell was born in the Castle in 1775 and Campbells continued to reside in it until about 1800 when they built a new house on the mainland at Airds, which still exists today, and the Castle remained merely as a storehouse. In about 1840 the roof either fell in or was perhaps removed to avoid roof-tax and the Castle was abandoned.

In 1908 the Castle was regained from the Campbells by Charles Stewart of Achara who purchased it and carried out some basic preservation work to stem its decay.

In 1947 his successor, Duncan Stewart, who was Governor of Sarawak, was murdered by a Dyak and the Castle devolved on his widow. In 1965 Lt. Col. D. R. Stewart Allward negotiated terms for the purchase of the Castle and spent the next ten years rebuilding and restoring it as it is today. It is now fully habitable. Contractors and builders in the normal sense were not employed in the restoration which was carried out by Lt. Col. Stewart Allward personally with the help of his wife, family and many friends who were willing to spend holidays and long weekends helping with the task.

Lt. Col. Stewart Allward died suddenly whilst out walking on the 5th February 1991. His wife Marion, always of great support to him, died on the 7th July 2005.

huangshan hotel,china


huangshan hotel, originally uploaded by mav_at.

Having at least 140 sections open to visitors, Huangshan is a major tourist destination in China.
In 2007, for instance, over 15 million tourists visited the mountain.
The foot of the mountains is linked by rail and by air to Shanghai, and is also accessible from cities such as Hangzhou and Wuhu.
As of 1990, there were over 50 kilometers of footpaths providing access to scenic areas for visitors and staffers of the facilities.
Today there are also cable cars that tourists can use to ride directly from the base to one of the summits.
Throughout the area there are hotels and guest houses that accommodate overnight visitors, many of whom hike up the mountains, spend the night at one of the peaks to view the sunrise, and then descend by a different route the next day. The area is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
The hotels, restaurants, and other facilities at the top of the mountain are serviced and kept stocked by porters who carry resources up the mountain on foot, hanging their cargo from long poles balanced over their shoulders or backs.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Banks of the Wharfe, Yorkshire, UK


Banks of the Wharfe, originally uploaded by bingleyman2.

The River Wharfe is a river in Yorkshire, England. For much of its length it is the county boundary between West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. The name Wharfe is Celtic and means "twisting, winding".
The valley of the River Wharfe is known as Wharfedale. The river source is at Beckermonds, Langstrothdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and flows through Kettlewell, Grassington, Bolton Abbey, Addingham, Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Otley, Wetherby and Tadcaster. It then flows into the River Ouse near Cawood. The section of the river from its source to around Addingham is known as Upper Wharfedale and has a very different character to the river downstream.
The river is approximately 97 km long before it joins the River Ouse. It is a public navigation from the weir at Tadcaster to its junction with the River Ouse near Cawood and tidal from Ulleskelf.

Smooth Pool


Smooth Pool, originally uploaded by john white photos.

@ Eyre Peninsula, Streaky Bay, South Australia.

The Umbrella Waltz


The Umbrella Waltz, originally uploaded by Konstantinos Besios.

Aristotelous sq., Thessaloniki Macedonia Greece

Thessaloniki


Thessaloniki, originally uploaded by bokor.istvan.

@ Kapani market down town

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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