Monday, March 2, 2015

CHANIA IN CRETE


We arrived at Chania at 8:30 am after 3 hours of flight (we took off at 12am) and 3 hours of coach from Heraklio. We had breakfast near our hotel and, gently, at 10:30 am the hotel gave us the room. We rested a bit in our room before heading to the beach. Beside the hotel we took a bus to the beach of Agios Apostoli, recommended by the hotel receptionist. The beach was quiet and with clear water.


In Chania we visited:


  • Beach of Agios Apostoli
  • Venetian Port
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Splantzia (Turquish Quarter)


  • Beach of Agios Apostoli



    Agios Apostoli beach in Chania
    Clear water of Agios Apostoli beach in Chania


    Agios Apostoli beach in Chania
    Agios Apostoli was the first beach we enjoyed in The Greek Islands


    Agios Apostoli beach in Chania
    Umbrellas on the beach of Agios Apostoli in Chania



    In the afternoon we strolled leisurely through the Venetian Port, the area of the fortress and the Jewish Quarter.


    Venetian Port


    Venetian Port of Chania
    Typical colourful houses in the Venetian Port of Chania


    Venetian Port in Chania
    View of the other side of the Venetian Port in Chania



    Lighthouse and Mosque Yali Tzami in the Venetian Port of Chania
    The Lighthouse and the Mosque Yali Tzami are two of the characteristic elements in the Venetian Port of Chania



    Mosque Yali Tzami in Chania
    Mosque Yali Tzami in Chania is one of the most important memories of the Otoman Empire in Chania


    Mosque Yali Tzami in Chania
    A closer view of the Mosque Yali Tzami in Chania


    Lighthouse of the Venetian Port in Chania
    Lighthouse of the Venetian Port in Chania


    Fortress in the Venetian Port of Chania
    Fortress in the Venetian port of Chania


    Mosque Yali Tzami in Chania
    Mosque Yali Tzami in Chania from another point of the Venetian Harbour


    Jewish Quarter



    Theotokopoulou street in the Jewish Quarter of Chania
    Theotokopoulou street in the Jewish Quarter is one of the most beuatiful streets in the old town of Chania


    Jewish Quarter of Chania in Crete
    Another street in the Jewish Quarter of Chania in Crete


    We had dinner at a restaurant in the Turkish quarter near the promenade. After dinner we came back to our hotel walking through the Turkish quarter, which is very lively.



    Splantzia (Turquish Quarter)



    Restaurant in the Turquish District of Chania
    Restaurant in the Turquish District of Chania where we had dinner the first day of this trip


    Our first impression of Chania was fantastic. Besides the port area, the Turkish and Jewish quarters are really lively and pleasant to stroll.



    This was our trip route from Crete to Athens:


    Day 1 - Crete: Chania

    • Beach of Agios Apostoli
    • Venetian Port
    • Jewish Quarter
    • Splantzia (Turquish Quarter)

    Day 2 - Crete

    • Gramvoussa
    • Balos Lagoon


    Day 3 - Crete: Rethymnon and Heraklion

    • Venetian Port in Rethymnon
    • Loggia, Rimondi fountain and streets of the old town of Rethymnon
    • Fortress of Rethymnon
    • Venetian Port of Heraklion

    Day 4 - Crete

    • Palace of Knossos
    • Agios Nikolaos


    Day 5 - Santorini

    • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Heraklion to Santorini
    • Sunset in Oia

    Day 6 - Santorini

    • Fira
    • Excursion to Nea Kameni and Volcano
    • Beach of Perissa (black beach)
    • Sunset in Firostefani


    Day 7 - Santorini

    • Red Beach, White Beach and Black Beach
    • Sunset in Fira

    Day 8 - Mykonos

    • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Santorini to Mykonos
    • Mykonos Town
    • Windmills and Little Venice

    Day 9 - Mykonos

    • Delos Island
    • Paraportiani Church in Mykonos Town
    • Beach of Agios Ioannis
    • Little Venice

    Day 10 - Mykonos

    • Beach of Platys Gialos
    • Super Paradise beach
    • Paradise Beach

    Day 11 - Mykonos Town

    • Mykonos Town
    • Blue Star ferry to Athens

    Day 12 - Athens

    • Acropolis
    • Ancient Agora
    • Hadrian's Library
    • Temple of Olympian Zeus
    • Panathenaic Stadium
    • Monastiraki District

    Day 13 - Athens


    • Roman Agora
    • Plaka District



    Other countries and cities I have already visited are:




    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    EL QUIJOTE

    Miguel de Cervantes es uno de los grandes escritores de la literatura universal de todos los tiempos. Su principal obra, El Quijote, se ha traducido a todas las lenguas de cultura, y algunos de los personajes creados por Cervantes se han convertido en prototipos de la conducta humana.


    El Quijote de Miguel de Cervantes


    Miguel de Cervantes y El Quijote


    Cervantes cultiva los subgéneros narrativos que estaban en vigor en el siglo XVI: la novela pastoril, la novela de caballerías, la novela bizantina o la novela morisca. A veces, una misma obra reúne todos estos subgéneros, como ocurre en El Quijote.

    En 1605 se publicó la primera parte de El Quijote. El éxito de la obra fue fulminante: se hicieron 6 ediciones más ese mismo año y muy pronto fue traducida al francés y al inglés.

    Diez años más tarde, en 1615, se publicó la segunda parte. Según la opinión unánime de la crítica, esta segunda parte es mejor que la primera. Aunque en la primera parte hay más acción y el novelista tiene el mérito indiscutible de haber inventado sus dos personajes principales, es en la segunda parte donde Cervantes explota todas las posibilidades psicológicas de sus personajes.


    Objetivos del Autor


    Cervantes escribió El Quijote, según escribe él mismo en el prologo, para poner en aborrecimiento de los hombres las fingidas y disparatadas historias de los libros de caballerías.

    Además, Cervantes quería escribir una obra de arte abierta a muchas interpretaciones, reflejo de la profundidad de la vida humana, describiendo la realidad desde diferentes puntos de vista según el personaje que la vive.

    El autor da mucha importancia a los valores psicológicos. Las personalidades de los protagonistas son lo más importante, relegando a un segundo plano la acción, que era lo principal de las novelas de caballerías. En El Quijote las aventuras son banales para no eclipsar a los personajes y para enfatizar la locura de Don Quijote.

    Esta novela  es, pues, la síntesis de contrarias que siempre ha existido en la especie humana:


    • Ideal - Real
    • Razón - Ilógico
    • Bien - Mal
    • Sublime - Ridículo
    • Materia - Espíritu
    • Sofisticado - Sencillo
    • Cordura - locura
    • Valentía - Cobardía


    Todos los hombres tienen un poco de cada cualidad.


    Artificios Literários


    Cervantes intentar dotar de más realismo a sus personajes, como si realmente hubieran existido. Para ello se ayuda de dos artifícios literários:

    • Cervantes no es identifica como el autor real, sinó como un traductor del autor original, Cide Hamete Benengeli, quien recopila y transcribe las aventuras de Don Quijote y Sancho Panza.

    • La primera parte se publica durante las aventuras de los protagonistas, de manera que estos son conscientes de que sus aventuras son conocidas. Es como si los personajes existieran al margen de la novela, coexistiendo en una misma realidad los protagonistas y la novela escrita.



    Opinión Personal


    Para valorar la importancia de El Quijote, su originalidad y el impacto de esta obra en su época, hay que tener en mente el exceso de novelas de caballerías existentes y su poca originalidad. Todas ellas eran muy similares con caballeros sobrehumanos, de lenguaje pomposo, bellas doncellas y victorias constantes.

    En un capítulo famoso de la primera parte, Cervantes apenas salva dos de estas novelas, entre ellas Tirant lo Blanc de Joanot Martorell.

    La parodía del autor radica en la locura de Don Quijote producida por un empacho de novelas de caballerías. Tanta lectura genera a Don Quijote un mundo irreal, una confiaza infundada en sus capacidades y tal sed de aventuras que las ve donde no las hay.

    Don Quijote actúa no por su juicio si no por como se suele proceder en las novelas de caballerías: busca una doncella en quien proyectar su amor, un escudero que le acompañe y cabalga sobre un caballo humilde que él cree el más veloz y fuerte pura sangre.

    Aporta una dosis de realismo, crítica social y énfasis de los valores de valentía, justicia y lealtad. Tiene también un valor histórico: aparecen refranes, costumbres y oficios típicos de la época, construcciones habituales como ventas, molinos de viento y de agua.

    Se trata también de una novela humorística por las disparatadas aventuras en las que se involucra Don Quijote y por los desenlaces de estas en las que Cervantes no muestra ninguna piedad por su personaje. Sin embargo, El Quijote presenta un humor de doble filo: al tiempo esboza sonrisas, deja un sabor amargo.

    Personalmente no me he reído a carcajadas leyéndola, pero si que me ha provocado varias sonrisas. Cervantes se ensaña con Don Quijote y describe con ironía muchas de las situaciones y razonamientos de los protagonistas.


    Lo que más me ha gustado es, precisamente, la ironía constante del autor y las conversaciones de Don Quijote con Sancho. Don Quijote trata a Sancho como a un hijo, aconsejándolo. Sancho por su parte lo trata con respeto y lealtad. Entre ellos nace una amistad sincera fruto del tiempo compartido y las aventuras vividas juntos. Además, de Sancho me gusta su sencillez y humildad, su pragmatismo y su picardía. Sin embargo, su ambición a veces le hace traicionarse a sí mismo.



    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    ATHENS: ACROPOLIS, PLAKA AND MONASTIRAKI

    The acropolis in Athens was a military fortress during the Neolithic period, due to its position which offers a great view of the land and the sea.

    During the Mycenaean times, it became a religious centre, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Athena. It is said that the place was declared a province only to the gods by an oracle, and therefore stopped being inhabited by the people.



    Map of the Acropolis of Athens
    Map of the Acropolis of Athens


    The three temples of major importance, the Parthenon, the Erechteion and the Temple of Nike, were erected during the classical period (450-330 B.C.) on the remains of earlier temples. All three of them are dedicated to different aspects of the Goddess Athena.


    Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
    Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens


    The Persians destroyed the Acropolis during the battle of Salamina in 480 B.C. The founder of the Athenian democracy, Pericles, was the one who rebuilt it under the form it has kept until today.



    In Athens we visited the following places of the Acropolis and the districts of Monastiraki and Plaka:

    • Theatre of Dionysos
    • Theatre of Herodes Atticus
    • The Propylea
    • Erectheion
    • Parthenon
    • Viewpoint of the Acropolis
    • Temple of Athena Nike
    • Ancient Agora
    • Hadrian's Library
    • Arch of Hadrian
    • Temple of Olympian Zeus
    • Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro Stadium
    • Monastiraki
    • Roman Agora
    • Plaka



    Theatre of Dionysos



    Theatre of Dionysos in Athens
    Theatre of Dionysos beside the Acropolis of Athens


    Theatre of Herodes Atticus



    Theatre of Herodes Atticus in Athens
    Theatre of Herodes Atticus is located on the southern slope of the Acropolis



    The Propylea



    The Propylea is on the same line as the Parthenon, and is the monumental gateway to the Acropolis in Athens.


     

    The Propylea of the Acropolis in Athens
    The Propylea is the gateway to the Acropolis


    Erectheion


    Erectheion in the Acropolis
    The Erectheion is an amazing example of the Ionic architecture, composed by three different basic parts which are the main temple, the northern and the southern porches


    The Caryatids in the Erectheion
    A closer view of the Caryatids in the Erectheion, one of the three most important temples in the Acropolis of Athens


    Erectheion in the Acropolis
    Overview of the Erectheion in the Acropolis


    Parthenon



    This monument is the symbol of the Ancient Greek civilization. It is the most important monument until today. It was dedicated to the patron goddess of the city, Athena, since Parthenon means also the apartment of the virgin. Athena was the goddess of wisdom, war and also a virgin.

    The Parthenon is located on the top of the Acropolis hill. It was created at the time of Pericles golden age, by the architect Iktinos and with the help of Kallikrates.




    Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
    The Parthenon is a fine example of the Doric architectural style, and is made of 8 Doric columns on each of the narrow sides and 17 columns on each of the long side



    Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
    The famous Athenian sculptor Phedias was the supervisor of the construction of the Parthenon


    Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens

    The central part of the Parthenon used to have a pool of water and to shelter a 40 feet high statue of Athena, made of gold and ivory



    Parthenon and Erectheion in the Acropolis
    From this point of the Acropolis you can see, on the left, the Parthenon and, on the right, the Erectheion



    Viewpoint of the Acropolis


    Ancient Agora in Athens
    The Ancient Agora from the Acropolis in Athens


    Lycabettus Hill in Athens
    Lycabettus Hill in Athens from the Acropolis


    Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens
    Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens from the viewpoint of the Acropolis


    Temple of Athena Nike



    Temple of Athena Nike in the Acropolis
    Temple of Athena Nike in the Acropolis of Athens


    Arios Pagos hill near the Acropolis in Athens
    Arios Pagos hill near the Acropolis in Athens




    Acropolis in Athens from Arios Pagos Hill
    Acropolis in Athens from Arios Pagos Hill



    Ancient Agora



    Ancient Agora in Athens
    Ancient Agora in Athens from the Acropolis


    Acropolis from the Ancient Agora in Athens
    Acropolis from the Ancient Agora in Athens


    Temple of Hephaistos in the Ancient Agora of Athens
    Temple of Hephaistos in the Ancient Agora of Athens


    Map of the Ancient Agora in Athens
    Map of the Ancient Agora in Athens where the Hadrian's Library and the Roman Agora appear too



    Monastiraki district in Athens
    After leaving the Ancient Agora we had lunch in this street of Monastiraki



    Library of Hadrian in Athens



    Library of Hadrian in Athens
    Hadran's Library in Athens



    Arch of Hadrian



    Arch of Hadrian in Athens
    The Acropolis of Athens through the Arch of Hadrian


    Temple of Olympian Zeus



    Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens
    Some of the remaining columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens


    Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens
    Overview of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens



    Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro Stadium



    Panathenaic Stadium in Athens
    Panathenaic Stadium in Athens



    Panathenaic Stadium is called Kallimarmaro Stadium too



    Monastiraki


    Monastiraki is a picturesque neighbourhood in the heart of Athens. It is famous for its Neoclassical houses, the ancient sites and the open market with souvenirs and antique shops.


    Monastiraki square in Athens
    Monastiraki square is a really lively place in Athens



    Monastiraki square in Athens
    From Monastiraki square you can see the Acropolis of Athens


    Monastiraki in Athens
    One of the pedestrian streets of Monastiraki in Athens



    Roman Agora



    Roman Agora in Athens
    Roman Agora in Plaka



    Plaka



    Plaka is the most picturesque quarter in the heart of Athens. Paved streets, Neoclassical houses and gift shops distinguish this relaxing neighbourhood.



    Plaka district in Athens
    Restaurant in Erotokritou street in Plaka district in Athens



    Plaka district in Athens
    Lisiou street is probably the best known place in Plaka district in Athens


    Plaka district in Athens
    We had lunch in this old taverna in Mnisikleous street in Plaka



    Mnisikleous street in Plaka
    Mnisikleous street is a typical street of Plaka district in Athens


    Adrianou street in Plaka
    Adrianou street in Plaka district in Athens


    Acropolis lit at night




    Acropolis in Athens
    Acropolis from the top of Stanley Hotel in Athens



    This was our trip route from Crete to Athens:


    Day 1 - Crete: Chania

    • Beach of Agios Apostoli
    • Venetian Port
    • Splantzia (Turquish Quarter)
    • Jewish Quarter


    Day 2 - Crete

    • Gramvoussa
    • Balos Lagoon



    Day 3 - Crete: Rethymnon and Heraklion

    • Venetian Port in Rethymnon
    • Loggia, Rimondi fountain and streets of the old town of Rethymnon
    • Fortress of Rethymnon
    • Venetian Port of Heraklion


    Day 4 - Crete

    • Palace of Knossos
    • Agios Nikolaos



    Day 5 - Santorini

    • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Heraklion to Santorini
    • Sunset in Oia


    Day 6 - Santorini

    • Fira
    • Excursion to Nea Kameni and Volcano
    • Beach of Perissa (black beach)
    • Sunset in Firostefani



    Day 7 - Santorini

    • Red Beach, White Beach and Black Beach
    • Sunset in Fira


    Day 8 - Mykonos

    • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Santorini to Mykonos
    • Mykonos Town
    • Windmills and Little Venice


    Day 9 - Mykonos

    • Delos Island
    • Paraportiani Church in Mykonos Town
    • Beach of Agios Ioannis
    • Little Venice


    Day 10 - Mykonos

    • Beach of Platys Gialos
    • Super Paradise beach
    • Paradise Beach


    Day 11 - Mykonos Town

    • Mykonos Town
    • Blue Star ferry to Athens


    Day 12 - Athens

    • Acropolis
    • Ancient Agora
    • Hadrian's Library
    • Temple of Olympian Zeus
    • Panathenaic Stadium
    • Monastiraki District



    Day 13 - Athens

    • Roman Agora
    • Plaka District


    Other countries and cities I have already visited are: