Saturday, November 25, 2006

Kavala - Northeast - Aqueduct, fortress

Aqueduct, Kavala (Philippi), Greece

Kavala is northeast from Thessaloniki, on a more scenic route than the truck-congested motorway.

Kavala is the newer name for Philippi, the city where the apostle Paul is supposed to have first landed. Its aqueduct here is not Roman, but dates from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, constructed 1520-1530 or so. That little sign on the left that you can barely see, says that Constantinople is 480 Km away (take 2/3 of that for miles, approximately. So, 250 +/- miles?).   Kavala was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1371-1912. See
Kavala,  Castle, Greece.

The castle at Kavala was begun in in the 5th century BC, with Byzantine additions. See

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mt. Olympus - in the distance

Distant Mount Olympus, Greece

Mount Olympus. The home of the gods, believed to be so because it is so high. The mythology of the Greeks is extensive - get a start at; and at

There is an entire history site - for multiple countries and topics, including Greece and its mythology, at

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Delphi and the road to it. The Oracle and the Horseradish

Delphi is the mountainous site where heaven and earth were said to meet, the center of the world, and where the Oracle foresaw the future.

Delphi oracle and horseradish.

The Oracle also dealt with mundane matters:  The Oracle told Apollo, god of the sun, something like this:  That the radish is worth its weight in lead; the beet its weight in silver; and the horseradish its weight in gold. See The Big Book of Herbs, by Arthur O. Tucker and Thomas DeBaggio, Interweave Press, 2000 (as reported in the New York Times somewhere, didn't write down the cite properly). See it at ://
Its story, Delphi in its glorious past,  is told well at For a photo gallery, here are some signposts: see www.galenfrysinger.comdelphi, and

Delphi is a World Heritage Site. See

Delphi, Greece

Getting to Delphi:  Delphi plants.  Find broom, poppies, a flowering pink bush. Surprising color in the dry.
Delphi, view of landscape, Greece

Is there any culture that has not tried to foretell? Individuals came to Delphi for that purpose. What about Nostradamus? Did he ever do individual prophecies,as did the Oracles?

What makes an oracle different from a soothsayer, a fortune teller? Search on those.

A good overview on oracle-ing is at, under Oracle. There is another section there for the specific Oracle at Delphi.

This source suggests that part of the mystique of Delphi stemmed from certain earth-gases seeping into the underground cavern, and inhaled by the Oracle. See

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Corinth - Peloponnese - old city, high fortress

Corinth, Greece

Corinth is on the other side the the canal that now separates mainland Greece (with Athens and Pereus) from the Peloppenese peninsula. Read the newsletter of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens at // , and scroll to Corinth.

There is a busy town below, and elaborate ruins at a lower level and then more at a higher level.

Think defense, and recourse if the first level fortress falls.

Well area, Corinth, Greece

The descending stairs here are for an underground well and water disbursement system for the entire city - tubs collect the water, and sluice it all around. Here is a touring family's photos - real people's pictures are easier to follow than the professional websites.

The more level town area has been inhabited since about 3000-5000 BC. There is a brief history; and more photos at [the rest of the web address is /2/21/211/21104a/e211da.05.]

The old city castle-fort on the cliff is built to make invasion on horseback, or by great numbers of enemies, almost impossible. Not also the narrow doorway at the top. More defense, make it difficult to arrive on horseback, or two abreast. Always conscious of how precarious life was - and defenses had better work, because somebody was at the door much of the time. Also conscious of what the ordinary sounds and smells would be there - horses, hoofs, animals, shouting, markets, people just being people.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Site for Photo gallery, someone else, an excellent few

Sometimes the photo galleries on the net are so good that they deserve a special round of applause. Go to, for example, This is a road sign only, not a direct blue-link, and is not an "incorporation," or other internet no-no referred to at, as far as I can tell. This area of copyright is a minefield.

Admire the poppies in particular. Then go to and follow the instructions for hearing real applause.