Posts Tagged ‘Aegean’

Chios is a lovely place. It’s a tiny Aegean island just five miles from the coast of Turkey. It’s one of the places reputed to be the birthplace of Homer, and its 11th-century monastery Nea Moni is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit it on our Undiscovered Greece cruise. A really placid, peaceful, soul-nurturing island that — with prodigious paradoxicality — on the night before Easter Sunday looks like this:

That’s because two opposing parishes in the town of Vrodados spend the evening just before Orthodox Easter Sunday firing thousands of homemade rockets at each other’s church — while the more pious among them attend mass inside.

The result looks a lot like warfare. Tens of thousands of missiles — some estimates go as high as 80,000 — fly back and forth through the night sky, leaving streaks not unlike tracer bullets. The projectiles are prepared throughout the year by so-called “gangs” from the two parishes, Saint Mark and Panagia Erithiani. Even though making such rockets is illegal, the authorities mostly turn a blind eye to the fireworks tradition.

Read more on this inspired tradition of celebratory lunacy from Spiegel Online. But really, why would you ever want to read an article on the subject when you can see the entire rocket battle here?

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…and Mary McDowell of CruiseMates.com delivers an enthusiastic report about this lovely ship.

” This is how it was told to me: For her 27th birthday, a Greek woman named Clelia received the mother of all presents from her wealthy father: a luxury yacht. The young woman named the yacht after herself, and uses the ship for entertaining her friends. But since even the wealthy can’t spend all their time partying, the yacht is often up for charter. And that is how mere mortals like me are able to book passage on her.

Originally built as a Renaissance ship, the Clelia II was re-configured and refurbished for its new owner, offering more and larger suites and fewer cabins. It’s a nifty, fun little ship, where life is casual and laid back. She is mostly chartered by upscale museums, universities and similar institutions, so her passengers tend to be well-traveled and well-read. They are also affluent individuals who have been-there, done-that types. Our particular trip was run by Travel Dynamics International of New York, which has been doing this sort of travel for a very long time, and does it extremely well.”

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Ruth Hill, of Copley News Service, writes about her enrapturement with Heinrich Schliemann, Alexander the Great, St. Paul, and more while on a Travel Dynamics International cruise. If you’d like a sample of the lovely, fascinating cruises that Travel Dynamics International can provide, click here.

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