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Travels - Greece
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I have thousands of travel shots on slide, but here I have put together just a little selection from prints I have of shots I took in Greece. They give you a fair idea of the sorts of shot I like to take. Hope you like them.
I have shots of many views at Delphi, but most are the obvious ones which other people have photographed to oblivion. This one is a nice summary of Delphi - the sunshine, the bright yellow flowers, and the old stones. These stones are very much post-classical, but the signs won't tell you that. The Greeks want you to believe that everything you see is classical. Delphi is a beautiful spot, well worth a visit. The ruins may not be the world's greatest, but the hillside is pleasant and has nice views.
Boat and tree, Hydra.
I saw this rotting old boat on the island of Hydra (pronounced "ee-dra"). I couldn't back away from it very far, because of a wall behind me, but perhaps this limitation did me a favour. I quite like the way the frame doesn't quite encompass the whole boat and tree. Hydra is a pleasant place, worth a day-trip from Athens. There are no roads there, and so people make their way about by donkey and mule.
Something I must do soon is find out the name of this particular Christian temple in the centre of Athens. The colour of the building you see here is not the true colour of the stone. Behind me, as I took this shot, was a rosy sunset, which lit the building up in this warm way. The priest in the foreground is a bronze statue. To get it positioned as I wanted it took a bit of climbing.
Sunset over church roofs.
This shot looks quaint and rural. In fact, these church roofs are in the centre of Athens. No filters were used. This shot was taken about two minutes after the one of the priest statue outside the cathedral, looking the other way (see previous picture).
One can't have shots of Greece and no classical-style fluted marble columns - it's illegal. These hold up the porch of the National Library in Athens. Their crisp lines tell you that they are modern.
Stoa of Attalos.
This is the nice new Stoa built by the Americans along the side of the Agora in Athens, which houses a museum. Agora means open space, such as one would find in the centre of an ancient Greek city. From this we get the word "agoraphobia". I waited for some while to take this shot. First, for the sun to fall exactly half-way between the rows of columns, and second, for the visitors to get out of the way. I remember that a few pink-clad tourists had just stepped behind those columns on the left as I pressed the shutter.
Greek worry beads, on display outside a shop. If you want my opinion, a small patch of chainmail makes a better thing to fiddle with, but then I'm not Greek. I suspect that the Greeks got the habit of fiddling with beads on strings from the Turks.
I took this shot years ago. As I look at it now, it strikes me that they may be necklaces, not worry beads.
Steps on the Acropolis.
It is worth wandering around the little paths which encirlcle the Acropolis of Athens. There you will find many cute little houses perched on the slopes. I hope that they are allowed to remain, because the modern Greeks have destroyed almost everything on the Acropolis which isn't classical ancient Greek. Drawings of the Acropolis made a hundred and fifty years ago show it covered in a riot of interesting buildings of many styles. Today, the top of the Acropolis is mainly flat and rubble-strewn. I have photographs of this place taken over about a twenty-year period. In that time hardly a thing has changed. It is still a building site, covered with toppled columns and the like. Just how long it can take to get a crane and stack up a load of columns I don't know, but the ancient Athenians were a great deal quicker than the modern.
It was on the slopes of the Acropolis that I heard one of the most inept attempts at chatting up a girl I have ever witnessed. A group of us was walking up from the Agora, and as we did so, the Acropolis reared higher and higher, until half the horizon was dominated by this vast swelling rock. "Is that the Acropolis then?" asked he (British) of she (Greek, and rather pretty). "Yes," she said, not knowing a more appropriate answer, and somewhat surprised to be asked. He then saw the opportunity for his killer line. "Is it nice?" he asked. "Yes," she replied, not terribly impressed with his efforts. It was some while before I stopped laughing.
A couple of years later, I was there again, and I heard a woman screaming. I tried to fool myself that she was an actress, and a play was in progress. From the moment I heard her, though, deep down I knew that no one could act that well. It was the sound of a soul in torment, and it went on and on and on. I made my way to a vantage point and looked around. I saw a figure running, and another following, and the second fired a few shots from a pistol. I'd never heard real gunfire before, and haven't since. An Albanian had tried to rob someone at gunpoint in the Agora. I saw him apprehended not many minutes later, up by the entrance to the Acropolis site.