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Member Since 31 Oct 2006
Offline Last Active Sep 07 2015 09:00 AM

#18296 So Whats Happening Today

Posted by Ray on 03 September 2015 - 04:12 AM

Syriza seem to rule the world unfortunately. Varoufakis is sacked and held for Treason and Tsipras doddles on with a new election 20th September.... What is happening?



#9919 Gortyn, Messara And Matala . . .

Posted by Ray on 07 December 2006 - 09:30 PM

I notice in another thread you speak of meeting in Matala. That would be very nice. In fact I have just come back from a three day trip to Matala which is where we stayed overnight for two nights.

The purpose of the trip was to see Gortyn again. I love Gortyn, it features so little in the guide books and relatively little of this huge city has been excavated, even by the Italian School, but there is so much there. The Plain of Messara is in itself full of history- neolithic - minoan - dorian - roman - and byzantine that it would take so much time to explore fully. But I go to Gortyn again and again. Sure there is the wall of law, the longest Greek text ever found, not only Dorian but like the ox ploughing it reads from left to right then right to left and back again - speaks too not of criminal law but of the fines for for infringing civil law, divorce and so much more dating back to Dorian times or even before as I read recently.

But the wealth of Gortyn lies a walk away across the road in the olive groves where trees grow around Roman columns, there is so much. A city that goes back to minoan times and on through roman times to when the Arab pirates took control in around 800 AD. Three thousand years of history. But in the Messara there is so much - Festos, Aghia Triada - even the place of Askelops at Lentas. Dirt roads along the coast to villages that few visitors hardly ever see.

We stayed in Matala in our camper van - just about everything is closed. We were the only people on the beach and even now in early December the days were sunny and warm T shirt weather. We could camp on the beach practically, at the front of the empty car park.

But Matala is special to me, I was there in 1968 when we had to overnight in the Roman Cave tombs that line the cliffs. The only building I remember being there was the beach cafe - a temporary building where you could buy a bottle of wine and listen to the records played on the battery Philips record player - there was no electricity. We had fires on the beach of driftwood and every evening watched the sun, a huge red disc, sink slowly into the sea. Incredible memories.

Today of course Matala looks like a jumbled up tumble of buildings on buildings with the huge saying -"Today is life, tomorrow never comes." written across one of the beach side walls. But there is still the old church cut into the cliff where you can light a candle for whatever you want, even the old days.