Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kastelorizo, Greece: The "limestone" island


We all know about Mykonos or Santorini, Rhodes or Crete but how much do we know about Kastelorizo?

Greece is full of places of unexplored incredible beauty and worth and Kastelorizo is one of them. The island, which is also known as Megisti, is the Aegean's easternmost island. A tiny but very beautiful island of the Dodecanese. It consists of a circular port of about 50 inhabited houses. Even though the island has very few inhabitants, they are all very hospitable and wait on the port to welcome the tourists.

Here's the port entrance.
  

A couple of panoramic views...



This beautiful blue and white house on the island was featured in the film Mediterraneo as Vasillisa's house. I wish they could make more films like that one!


What a colourful island! An inspiration for an artist.


This is how far Kastelorizo is from Greece....The location of the island is very remote and sadly causes various problems to the island and its inhabitants.....


The traditional character of Kastelorizo along with its unspoilt beauty result into a landscape that can only make your heart beat. This house is a perfect example for this.


What else is there on the island? Well, two things.

1. A spectacular pebble floor!

The mosaic floor of the "Avlogyro" square in the Horafia district of Kastellorizo is in excellent condition and features a roundel with a typical choklakia swirling radial design. Known as choklakia mosaics, they are made of black, white and sometimes reddish sea pebbles, and are to be found throughout the Dodecanese islands (for example Symi and Lindos on Rhodes). The mosaic tradition dates back to Byzantine times and motifs include abstract geometric forms as well as folkloric pictorial depictions.


2. Limestone!

As you can see in the "limestone beach" picture above, Kastelorizo island is rich with limestone. The island's geology is almost exclusively limestone. Due to the lack of significant flora covering the island, the landscape shows many features of karstification. There are a number of notable sea caves including the so called Blue Grotto which is much larger than its namesake in Capri.

The "limestone beach" picture is worth a million words, right?
Limestone beach - Kastelorizo
Everything is so overwhelming about this island, about Greece in general. Actually "stumbling on" the mosaic floor and the "limestone beach" was the reason behind this post but the wealth of information on limestone made me decide I had to split the posts.

In the next post I will be "digging deeper" into limestone and talk about my own personal experience with mosaic making. 

All images used in this post link back to their original source.


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5 comments:

  1. That's exactly how I believe Paradise is.
    OMG! I'd love to spend my life in a place like this.
    Wish you a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
    Tereza

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  2. Kastelorizo must be a little paradise, a true little gem of the Dodecanese! It looks like a mini Symi... wonderful! My cousin visited it last summer and she was enchanted!!!

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  3. beautiful! and wonderfully written. so glad to see these images afer seeing this island live this summer. best for the holidays

    Maria

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  4. My dear Annuk, "enchanted" should be the perfect word to describe a visitor's experience!

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  5. Hi Maria, You have actually been there? How lucky!

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