Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Travel Report: The Greek Islands

Did you know that Greece has between 1,200 to 6,000 islands? Greece is the vacation hot spot! Who doesn’t like islands? The Greek Islands consist of interesting geography, the Parthenon, food, the facts about them, and the Aegean Sea. Greece has a lot of beauty and architecture, that you and everyone must see!
         The Greek Islands are divided into groups. One group is the Cyclades. The Cyclades are classic Greek islands, that include the famous island of Delos. Delos is an ark of history, floating on the waters of the Aegean Sea. If you visit there, you have a chance to walk around the revival of the Greek civilization. The myth of the God Apollo (the god of light), and goddess Artemis (the goddess of the hunt), have been born there and rendered the island sacred. No mortal is allowed to be born or to die on this land. Another group of the Greek Islands is Dodecanese. “Dodeca” is a greek word for “twelve” and there are twelve islands in this group. This group of islands are very close to the coast of Turkey. The most known islands in the Dodecanese are Chios, Samos, and Rhodes. The Ionian Islands are off the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. These islands consist of Corfu, Cephalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada, and Zakinthos. The final group is the Sporades. This is a small group of islands northwest of Athens in the northern Aegean Sea.

         One sight to see in the Greek Islands is the Parthenon. The Parthenon was built on the Acropolis in 447 B.C. to replace an existing temple that was destroyed by the Persians in 480 B.C. This building cost 469 silver talents to build. It was to show wealth and high spirits of Athenian power. The name came from a cult statue of Athena Parthenos housed in the room of the building. The Parthenon is built of ivory and gold. It is dedicated to Athens to thank the Goddess for their success. It was finally finished in 432 B.C. This building was built to show the world the dominance and power of Athens. Two years before work started on the Parthenon, Athenians made a peace treaty with Persians that ended the war. The Parthenon is a magnificent structure to look at. It showed Athenian dominance over the Greek peninsula. 469 silver talents were spent on transporting the stone used in the building. There are around 13,400 stones in the Parthenon. The Parthenon was still used as a temple until the 4th century A.D.

         The main ingredient in Greek dishes is olive oil. Olive oil is the energy food that fueled in ancient times. It is an item that every Greek home has, or should have. If you went into a Greek home, you would probably find at least a five gallon container of olive oil. Greece is known for having millions of olive trees. Some other main ingredients include lemon juice, pepper, oregano, garlic, and tomatoes. Greece isn’t all about the simple ingredients, it has two main meats that include sheep and goat.
The Greek Islands make up about 20% of the territory in Greece. These islands are split into two absolute main groups, known as the Ionian Islands and the Aegean Islands. The Ionian Islands have many interesting facts about them. One thing is that the Mediterranean Sea brings rain to these islands. These islands are lush, green, and very lovely to look at. Farmers that grow crops in these islands often grow olives, grapes, and grains. Aegean Islands are dry, not desert like, but less irrigated than the Ionian Islands. The soil in the Aegean Islands yield crops, making it nearly impossible to grow anything. Crete is the largest Greek Island. It has a population of more than half a million people. This island is greener than the Aegean Islands. Farmers that grow crops here use windmills to pump underground water for their crops. 

         The Aegean Sea is a gulf in the Mediterranean Sea. It is between Greece, Turkey, and the island of Crete. The Aegean Sea is about 69,000 square miles. There are around 1,000 islands that lie in this sea. These islands vary in identity, some are fertile, while others are volcanic. Fishing and tourism are the two biggest industries in the Aegean Sea. This sea is very famous in Greek history. It gave birth to Minoan and Mycenean civilizations. 

          I hope that the geography, Parthenon, food, facts, and Aegean Sea help decide if you were to visit the islands. If you do visit The Greek Islands, you can dig your toes into the hot sand, go for a dip in the crystal-clear water of the Aegean, and much more. You can enjoy Greece’s great climate. It’s not too hot and not too cold. You should go because it’s easy to get to, and hard to forget. Whether by car, ship, or airplane, Greece is easy to reach. So, what are you waiting for?


Enchantment of the World Greece by R. Conrad Stein

World Book: Aegean Sea by John J. Baxevanis

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