Friday, September 26, 2014

Fresh, crisp air

There is a place where it’s really great to stay for an extended 
weekend and even more. Zarouchla is a little village on the 
slopes of Mount Helmos at 1200 of altitude. It takes about 
1 hour of driving from Corinth so we can get there even 
unexpectedly .... like we usually do!There is everything you 
can demand from a mountain experience and mainly fresh, 
crisp air as temperature has been nastily high on the coast 
where we live. Sleeping with a warm quilt,this is one 
of the greatest delights especially now when you feel so 
weary from the prolonged summer heat. Food is another 
attraction but it’s something “between us”. An old lady is 
cooking in an old fashion hostel changing the menu 
according to her kitchen garden crop or the forest supplies. 
Chanterelle preserves was so unusual but exquisite to taste 
while the peach cake in the breakfast was divine!We stayed 
in a comfortable new built hotel  Styga Mountain Resort
a family enterprise whose owners do their best to satisfy 
the mountain lovers and keep the village alive. 
The hotel’s name come from Styx which in Greek mythology, 
was a river which flows out from a rock near Zarouchla. 
Styx formed the boundary between Earth and the 
Underworld. According to some versions, Styx had 
miraculous powers and could make someone invulnerable. 
In his childhood, Achilles was dipped in it, acquiring immortality 
except of his heel, by which his mother held him.
Whence the expression Achilles’ heel, synonym of weakness.   


That’s all for the moment. 
I’m sending you a fresh, breezy hug 
from an unrepentant hot region. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4 km from the moon

My friends know how passionate I am about celestial 
matters and they aren't surprised when sometimes 
I steer the conversation in that direction. I'm not 
an expert but the unknown fascinates me

On Saturday 5 September, the National Οbservatory 
of Athens held an open night for the public to be able 
to enjoy the harvest moon. 

The Observatory is located on the slopes of 
the Hill of the Nymphs and was built in 1829. It was 
financed by Baron Simon Sinas and designed by Danish 
architect Theophil Hansen who created a neoclassical 
domed structure with a cross-shaped floorplan.

Using an old telescope “ Doridis” dating back to 1900, 
I was lucky to view the moon from a distance of 4 kms
and have a virtual stroll around the sea of tranquillity, 
observe the Saturn and detect constellations. 
My imagination took wings and flew off ... I think that
 we can't appreciate our planet unless we step out of it. 

Outside the observatory, the Hellenic Astronomical 
Association had provided many mobile, digital telescopes 
which also offered majestic views of la luna! 

Even for those who prefer to look downward, the sight 
of Athens crowned by the glorious Acropolis was 
breathtaking. Illuminated by the moon and the stars, 
the capital shimmered magically and my spirit 
returned to earth peacefully. 

In the same area, there is Pnyx, a small, rocky place, 
the ancient remain of the Assembly where the Athenians
used to gather to talk and take decisions. 
It was the meeting place of one of the world's earliest 
known democratic legislatures, the Athenian assembly. 

This neighborhood has its own distinctive flair and offers 
one of the best views over the ancient Agora and Parthenon.

The photos below were taken on the way to 
the Observatory. 

I'm glad you could join me on this virtual experience. 
Does anyone else share my passion?
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