Showing posts from July, 2018

Aegean Blue

I love large bodies of water. The waves, the salty sea breezes, the colors are all very soothing for me. In fact, just looking at these pix has totally relaxed me. I've dipped into many oceans and lakes but I can't remember being as excited as I was to swim in the Aegean Sea.   As I traveled all over the Peloponnese region, I learned a lot about Greece's geography . The country is actually made up of  roughly 6,000 islands and only 227 are inhabited. About 1,400 are clustered around the Aegean. The Aegean is actually a long embayment of the Mediterranean Sea.   I've seen the Mediterranean from many countries and perspectives and it has never looked like this. The blue is a mix of turquoise, sapphire and cobalt and the different shades seem to flow into each other. You can glimpse the Aegean all around the Peloponnese but I was lucky enough to visit several beaches and actually immerse myself in its beauty. It was cold but also very peaceful, none of the

Greece's Magical Mystras Castle

Greece is famous for its ancient monuments but my visit to the Peloponnese region revealed that there are so many more historic landmarks than the Acropolis and the Parthenon. In fact, the country is literally covered with ancient history, including 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of which is Mystras Castle Town. Stepping into the Byzantine archways of Mystras is like strolling through Greek legends.  Founded in the 12th century, this mountainside town was once the center of the Byzantine empire, second only to Constantinople. Mystras was also where the last Byzantine emperor was crowned and you get a sense of the opulence of the period from the long frescos in the churches and the marble engravings of the castles and mansions. Fortress, church and castle ruins are spread all over Mystras. There is a dreamy, otherworldly feeling that hovers over the place. The only permanently occupied structure is the Pantanasssa Monastery, which houses a group of nuns. There are