Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A Day In Kavala, Greece, Part Two

Still in Kavala, still walking around.

Emerging sculpture.

A house falling apart, a house wrapped up.

Mosaic with sun bling.

Lighthouse. Junk house.

Picture still hanging in an abandoned house.

Monday, 29 August 2016

A Day In Kavala, Greece, Part One

Kavala is a lovely hillside, seaside city in Eastern Greece. Time to stretch the legs and do a little walking.

Backyard plastic flower still life.

The tourist highlights, a major aqueduct and major tentacles for lunch.

Howling butcher mascot.

Abandoned house. Hiding store front.

Slow lunch.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Seeing The Natural World Of Greece

On a recent road trip through Greece, James got to see a variety of landscapes. It's not all vineyards, white-washed buildings and deep blue sea.

The day ending.

All wired up.

Some thorns and construction fencing among the ruins.

Other-worldly green tints, water and lichen.

Yep, snow. Yep, head to the beautiful higher elevations in Greece in March and you'll find a winter wonderland.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Doing The Daily Shopping In Thessaloniki, Greece.

What's for dinner? It depends what you bring home from the market. Time to shop in Thessaloniki.

"May I help you?" Watch for falling sausage.

One of the shopping alleys in the city. In case you need meat.

Frozen veggies, by the kilo.

Shop sign. Stopping for a coffee and paper.

The big fowl.

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Curious Kandylakia Of Greece

Drive any distance in Greece and you'll start to notice curious monuments along the side of the road. Little structures, as if someone built little houses on stilts and spread them around the country.

Kandylakia are actually small shrines, generally shaped like tiny churches, complete with an interior space big enough to hold a handful of icons and candles. Why?

The Kandylakia are placed at the spot of an accident. They commemorate/memorialize the loss of a loved one. Families maintain the shrine, paying homage.

Or not. It turns out, a person doesn't actually have to die in an accident to warrant a Kandylakia. A close call is worth commemoration. Or a Kandlylakia can serve as a 24/7 proxy for a church when the church is closed. Just place outside the entrance.

One thing is definite, the Kandylakia are everywhere in Greece, the variety is enormous and seeing them along the road serves as a reminder about driving safely and the fleetingness of life.

Exhibit A.

A Kandylakia can get elaborate, looking like a miniature Greek Orthodox church (alas, a pre-fab model widely available at landscape dealers). Typical interior scene.


Interior portrait and three-legged warning in front of a cemetery.

Decomposing shrine.

Depending on weather and condition, the interiors can slip into abstraction.

Dangerous pass.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Religious Panel Painting At The Byzantine Museum, Ioannina, Greece

There's a nice museum in Ioannina, filled with ancient artifacts from the area. The highlight of the Byzantine museum is its fine collection of religious panel paintings. A close look reveals all sorts of interesting details.

Somebody didn't get the dress code memo. Such a rebel.

Another wardrobe outlier, hoping hair is a substitute. The hell of halos, running into portrait problems in crowd scenes.

Taking the halo effect to extremes. Forget the body, leave the halo.

Violence is inevitable. First the hands, then the head.
"Relax, it's all going to be OK," says the man in Prince's robe.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Dodona Oracle

Near the city of Ioannina sits the pleasant ruin of Dodona. The oracle was active for about 1,500 years, until the 4th century BC. The Naia festival was held there, a combination of theater performances and athletic events. Party on, Greece.

The theater.

A great setting, mystical mountains in the distance. And a dog.

Related ruins.

The oak tree is a recent planting, marking the spot where an ancient tree stood, a reference point where priests would consult Zeus. Rustling leaves gave the God's answer.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Mighty, Mystical Meteora

Central Greece contains one of the world's most unique rock formations. Towering pillars jut from the valley, creating a dizzying effect, both from gazing upward at the impressive rocks and looking down, from atop one of them.

Mmm, Meteora.

Wait, are there buildings on top of the pillars? Well, yes. Monasteries to be exact. Really? Yes!

Hermit monks first came to the area in the 9th century, looking for a place where they wouldn't be bothered.  Um, understatement. By the 1300s, cave dwelling transitioned into living in built monasteries. Access for centuries was restricted to hoisting baskets. Today, a road leads you to a handful of monasteries.

The chapel in one of the monasteries. And some spooky history.

Another look at the mystical valley. So famous, James Bond showed up in 1981 for a scene in For Your Eyes Only.

Going from spooky to grim, details from another chapel's fresco.

Back outside, time to enjoy the rocky landscape.