Sunday, 3 June 2012

Greek Ports

The port of Athens - Piraeus.  It certainly did not look as peaceful as this when I was there. It was as though the whole world had arrived in one place at the same time loaded with their worldly goods. Row upon row of ships to travel to the islands.   We took one to the island of Paros which took about five hours sailing on the iridescent blue of the Aegean while drifting past hazy islands on the horizon it was like sailing in a dream, not so dreamlike on the choppy return journey.
Solonica or Thessaloniki was named after Alexander the Great's half sister,  like Piraeus has been a port since antiquity.  It sits on the Gulf of Solonica which opens onto the Aegian Sea. It was the co-reigning city of the Byzantine Empire along with Constantinople. The city has been troubled by earthquakes since medieval times so this set of stamps issued in 1958 may not show it as it is today for there were earthquakes in the '60s and one causing much damage in 1995.
Volos also suffered in the 1995 earthquake with many of the building today being modern replacements. Volos sits on the Pagasitic Gulf at the foot of Mount Pelion from which the region, the Pelion, gets its name.  It is one of my favourite parts of Greece with its beech, oak and chestnut forests and hiking trails. It is famous for it orchards of apples.  Mount Pelion in mythology was the home of Chiron the Centaur, today it is also a ski destination, where else would you be able to have sea views before setting off downhill on skis.
The first island port of the stamps, Hermoupolis on Syros in the Cyclades with the brightly painting fishing caiques so much part of any Greek Island holiday making a picturesque view on any photograph.
Lastly Kavala or Cavalla considered the most attractive of Greece's largest cities which rises like an amphitheatre from the natural harbour up to the huge Byzantine fortress.  If you have been reading the the Greek names on the stamps you will also notice  the word on the  right showing they are airmail stamps, just right for those holiday postcards. 

I remember someone suggesting tongue in cheek that the answer to Greece's economic woes would be to give everyone free flights there to spend lots of holiday money. I'd definitely vote for that suggestion.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps


Unknown said...

Thank you for showing us these stamps. I am looking forward to visit Greece next week!

Marcie said...

Wonderful stamps!

Postcardy said...

Those stamps make me want to go and see Greece for myself. The free flight sounds like a good idea--but only if they have enough accommodations where all the people could stay.

Helen said...

These stamps are just gorgeous! Really nice.

Lisa B said...

A lovely set of stamps and thanks for placing the locations in historical and mythological context.

Bob Scotney said...

I've never been to Greece. Your stamps give me a feel for what I'm missing.

Willa @ Postage Journal said...

I don't have any stamps from Greece yet.A beautiful country that I wish to visit someday.
My Sunday Stamp Entry-Willa @ Postage Journal

VioletSky said...

These stamps make Greece look such a calm oasis, which I am sure it is not. Though still a beautiful country I would take a free flight to see and help out!