Daily Archives: April 10, 2017

Athens Propylaea – The Legendary Entrance of the Acropolis

We enter the Acropolis from the western side which has always been the only point of access to the great rock. We enter through the gate, which was probably built in the 3rd century AD, and excavated in 1853 by the French archaeologist Ernest Beule. We do not know precisely where the entrance was in ancient times, owing to the many alterations and the constant use of pieces of the ancient marble in later buildings. The Acropolis is somewhat like the Greeks who, even though they carry memories of and have been marked by the different conquerors over the centuries, are always solid, with the traditional virtues and vices of the Hellenic race. There is just enough to confuse the historian striving to trace the roots of their family tree, to learn whenever it ever stops and to identity the ancestors whose traits can be seen so vividly in their descents.

What is reasonably sure is that in classical times the entrance was a similar to today's. The Romans built a broad ramp leading up in a straight line to the central doorway of the Propylaea (monumental gateway). During Frankish rule, other gates and fortifications were built; Under the Ottomans, whatever was located outside the main Propylaea was used to build up the defensive bastions. The present day main entrance was restored during the last century.

Ascending the stairs to the Acropolis we can see, on the left, the massive boulders of the prehistoric wall supporting the plateau at the beginning of the later ramp. To the right is a solid square tower, memory of an ancient bastion, and to the left is the heavy base of a monument by which the Athenians paid homage to the Roman consul Agrippa, benefactor of their city in the 1st century BC. It appears that during the years of Roman occupation, flattery took precedence over aesthetics and thus this stone structure, so alien to the beauty of its surroundings, still offends our eye.

But if this vestige reminds us of the Roman legions, facing it is the light, elegant temple of Athena Nike (Victory). Pausanias called it the temple of "Wingless" Victory, relating that the Athenians had cut off her wings so that she would remain always with them. A very ancient wooden idol was kept in an older, square little temple which was destroyed in the Persian wars; That temple was approached from the side, from the point at which today we can see the remains of a staircase suspended in the air. It was replaced in the 5th century BC by this charming Ionic temple which, with columns on its facades alone, is the most elegant building on the sacred rock.

The entire temple rests lightly on the marble flooring over the required three steps of the crepidoma, ie the permanent foundation of temples in the classical age, which served to make them look as though they were floating in the strong Mediterranean light. The marble, cut into pieces of equal size, as they are through the Propylaea, was certainly painted so as not to reflect its whiteness too rigidly in the bright sunlight. Around the frieze of the little temple, there were battle scenes, and around its enclosure was a low wall of marble relief sculptures. There the goddess Athena was depicted in a seated position, while in front of her was a series of winged Victories suffient to ennumerate the feats of the Athenians at war. It is worth keeping in mind that both this and all the surrounding buildings were built when the memories of the Persian wars and the dizzying sense of victory were still viable in the minds of the citizens. Thus, the correct name of this little temple is the sanctuary of Athena Nike, a glorious stone hymn dedicated respectfully to a triumphant divinity.

The whole complex of the Propylaea is the embodiment of magnificence, even today. The ancients themselves used to call it the brilliant preface to the Acropolis. Five years and massive sums of money were required to construct it. Constructed on two different levels, it combines three parts: the central structure and two recessed wings. The facades, in the form of a temple, are about twenty-five meters apart. Each one has six Doric columns which, on the western side, rest firmly on a base with the usual three steps. On the contrast, on the east side looking toward the Parthenon the columns appear to have grown out of the natural gray rock.

The transverse wall of the main Propylaea building is not entirely of white marble, as part of its foundation complexes of gray marble blocks which continue their color up to the fifth step separating the two levels. The architect, Mnesikles, took advantage in the most functional way of the natural slope of the hill, creating two different structures under the same roof.

Although the exterior was built in the Doric Order, the central passage ascends through two rows of Ionic columns that support the roof. This marble slope passes through a monumental porch flanked by two smaller ones to the right and left, and by another two even smaller openings near the walls. The result was a pleasant symmetry to the eye of the visitor relating to the challenges with his offerings.

Once again, symmetry is found in the wings which have three Doric columns each. Although the south side of the plateau contains only the temple of Athena Nike, the corresponding north side was totally covered by the severe Pinacotheke (art gallery) building. Not one of the painted works which we know to have been housed in this building has come down to us. They were, it appeared, painted on wood or on stretched fabric and were completely destroyed. All we have are Pausanias' vivid descriptions of the scenes from the Homeric epics and the marvellous portrait of Alcibiades, the enfant terrible of Athens, which showed him to be more beautiful than the goddesses who accompanied him. What a strange creature was this handsome aristocrat! An Olympic victor, as well as being an arrogant, cultured opportunist, he frequented philosophers' symposia and hedonistic organs with the same ease. He was at once devout and profane; He fought like a hero, acted like a traitor and was finally murdered.

On the eastern side, the outer walls of the Propylaea are full of projections (lifting bosses) which the masons left on purpose when they were quarrying the marble, to be used as handles to help carry the huge boulders up to the Acropolis and set them In their place. Then the technicians would plane off these projections before smoothing the whole surface and giving the building its final finishing. But the Propylaea began being built in 437 BC and just a few years later, in 431, the fateful Peloponnesian war broke out. It was for this reason that this technical detail remained unfinished. One may well wonder how many technicians worked on these stones and how many were fortunate enough finally to see the day of the brilliant opening. A pedestal, which once housed a votive offering to Athena Hygeia, right next to the eastern right side, allows us to imagine that there were several casualties; Since, according to Plutarch, the goddess revealed to Pericles in a dream that she would cure the master craftsman who had fallen from a scaffolding and was in danger of death.

Leaving the eastern porch of the Propylaea, one might expect to come face to face with the most important temple on the sacred rock, the Parthenon, since this magnificent entrance is but an introduction to the glorious shrine of the city's patroness. Instead, the splendid structure is situated to the right of the Propylaea, near the south wall, and of course, this is not incidental. If the Parthenon had been built right on the foundations of the old temple of Athena, then the approaching visitor would see the narrow side of the building with only eight columns visible. But on its present site, we can see the corner where the two sides converge, with a total of twenty-four columns in a changing perspective, which thus gives us a full feeling of its architectural perfection. There is nothing more majestic than the austerity of a Doric temple: such beauty expressed in the strength of such simple lines.

Holidays in Malia, Crete and the Things You Should Know

Malia is a town in Crete that has quite a reputation. If you are in for a party, then Malia is the place to go. Holidays in Malia are an experience in itself. Because let's be honest, the beaches in Malia are the best of the island of Crete. Beautiful sand stretches that only disappear at the horizon. The beaches are all set up with sunbathing stretchers so you can get the sun tan you've been looking for. Or, if you had a rough party night, they are ideal to sleep off your party "fatigue."

For those who survived the evenings of Malia, there is a lot of water activity available: you can rent a jet-ski or boat and sail the deep blue sea. The bottom line is: Holidays held in Malia are among the best summer breaks you can imagine.

When you leave the beach in the late afternoon, there is a whole bunch of bars and restaurants to choose from. And if you need to eat something while on the beach, there is plenty of snack bars that fulfill that need. But in the evenings, your possibilities are literally endless. You can eat Mexican, Dutch, Indian and Chinese food or simply order a burger menu.

After you've filled your stomach with some Malia food, it is now time to hit the nightlife. The city is packed with Greek bars, English and Irish pubs and discos that will keep you busy until the early morning hours (when it is time to hit the beach again).

However, Malia is not just a place to visit for its legendary and wild nightlife. Is is a historic place and you will definitely taste the flavor of ancient Greece on this part of the island. And if you rent a car in Malia, you'll be able to visit all ancient locations on the island of Crete with your friends or family.

And let's not forget an important fact about Malia: It is a very cheap location to go on a holiday. Whether you rent an apartment, book a hotel or choose a studio for your stay, the locations are all very affordable.

So, let's go over some specifics:

Traveling to Malia, Crete

During the season a lot of airlines fly to the airport of Heraklion. There are also budget airlines organizing flights to other airports on the island. During wintertime, the only airline flying to Crete really is Olympic Airways. Flights in winter all go via Athens airport.

Crete can also be reached by ferry from Piraeus (near Athens) to Heraklion.

Your Flight time

A flight to Heraklion from London takes approximately 4 hours. From Heraklion it takes about 45 min. By bus to the center of Malia. If your agent is taking care of the transfer, the bus trip could take you longer due to the many stops at other accommodations.

Hotels and Apartments, What is Your Choice?

There are 25 hotels in Malia and approximately 40 apartment buildings. Popular hotels in Malia are "Malia Park", "Alexander Beach" and "Malia Beach". These hotels are 4 and 5 stars. Popular apartment buildings are "Parthenis Beach" (3 stars) and "Acrogiali" (4 stars).

Transport in Malia

Malia is not that big and in the city center it is best to just walk. Some hotels however are based outside Malia. In this case it's best to take a cab or perhaps a rental car. During lunch time it is best to avoid this form of transportation because of traffic.

Your Documents

You need a passport or valid travel documents to fly to Crete.

Season, Climate

During winter it is not that hot and a lot in Malia is also closed. For beach holidays in Crete it's best to visit Malia from June to September. During those months it practically never rains and the temperature is comfortable. In July and August temperatures easily reach 40 degrees Celsius. Please note: during the high season in July and August it's very busy in Malia and Crete.

What to Pay with

In Malia you can pay with Euros. Changing American Dollars and Pounds is not really a problem. Credit Cards are accepted everywhere and there are plenty of ATM's in the city.

Gratuities

Giving a tip in Malia is normal. Here is a guideline of the amounts:

Catering Industry: you just leave your change
Taxi's: round up the taxi fare
Hair Dressers: you round up the amount
Porters: 2 to 3 euros per bag is normal
Chambermaids: 2 to 3 euros per day is expected
Guides: 2 to 5 euros per person (also depending on how big the group is).
And just as a note: Tips below 50 cents are considered an insult. So keep that in mind.

Time zone

On Crete it is 2 hours later than in England and 1 hour later than the European mainland.

Language Spoken in Malia

The language spoken on Crete (and thus Malia) is Greek. In Malia English and German is not really a problem though. Everyone speaks English and quite a few people also German.

Telephone & Cell

The Country Code for Greece and Crete is +30. Using your mobile is not a problem if you are subscribed to one of the main cell phone providers.

Electricity

Men have to shave using 220 Volts AC, just like the hair dryers of the women work on 220 Volts!

Criminality

Malia and Crete are quite safe. There is not really a lot of criminality. Keep your things safe in your accommodation though. Besides that, the local police are ruthless with people that get in a fight after excessive alcohol usage. Going to jail for some time is no exception to the rule actually. So for the young amongst the readers: behaving yourself. Do not spend your vacation in jail.

Important!

Possession of drugs (or dealing drugs) will get you in jail for a long, long time.

Things to See Close to Malia

Knossos, Agios Nikalaos, Heraklion, Stalis and the Minoan Palace, 2 miles (3 km) east of Malia.

So, if you are ready to go on a holiday, start checking out some flights to Malia. It's time to get going!

The Climates of Europe

The continent of Europe can be conveniently divided into five distinct climatic zones. Each climatic zone has its peculiar feature of temperature and rainfall. The following is a brief description of each of them.

1. Hot Dry Summers, Warm Wet Winters

This type of climate is also call the Mediterranean type of climate. This is due most of the countries which have this climate lie close to the Mediterranean Sea. The peculiar feature of the climate is that the summers are hot and dry; The winters warm and wet. This climatic zone includes a greater part of Southern Europe ie, Southern Portugal, almost whole of Spain, South of France, a greater part of Italy, Balkan States and Greece. Temperature in the summer is quite high; Mean temperature of the hottest month at Rome is 76 F (24C) at Athens 80 F (27C). The sky is cloudless and the days are beautifully sunny. In winter when most of the Europe is experiencing a harsh winter with bitter cold, these lands enjoy quite warm temperatures. Rome for instance has a temperature of 45 F (7 C) in January, Athens 48 F (9 C) and Palermo in Sicily Island of 51 F (11 C). Compare these figures with those of Berlin 30 F (-1.1 C) and Moscow 14 F (-10 C) in the same months. No wonder that the areas associated with this climatic zone are one of the most popular tourist resorts in the world.

2. Mild Winters, Cool Summers

This type of Climate is also called the British type of Climate. It is found in North Western Europe that includes the British Isles, the greater part of France excluding Southern France, Belgium, the Nederland and South western Norway. This region has rain all the year round. The summers are cool; Typical temperatures are around 60 F (16 C) and the winters are mild. The temperatures of the winter months are usually above 32 F (0 C). Take London for example. It has a temperature of 59 F (15 C) in midsummer and 36 F (2 C) in midwinter. Paris has 65 F (18 C) and 37 F (3 C) respectively in summer and winter. The climate of the region as a whole is mild, however frequent cloudiness makes the weather gloomy especially in winter. The region is under the influence of the winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean all the year round. This is the reason that these areas are spared the extremes of hot and cold.

3. Cold Winters, Warm Summers

This type of climate is found in the heart of Europe in countries like Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland etc. The winters are cold with at least one month below 32 F (OC) and summers are quite warm. For instance at both Berlin and Vienna, the hottest month is above 66 F (19 C) and cold below 32 F (OC). The days are warmer in summer and cooler in winter than the British Type because these areas are located at a greater distance from the Atlantic ocean than the cool winter type and its moderating influence does not reach them. These areas also have rain through the years and maximum rain falls in summer but the skies are much clearer than those of the British type and Germany is famous for its warm and beautiful sunny days in summer. Some areas in this region like Switzerland have a tendency of cool summers because of their height but the general pattern of weather demands its inclusion in this type of weather rather than under the British type of climate.

4. Very cold winters and Hot summers

The areas which fall under this category include the countries of Eastern and Eas-Central Europe which includes Southern and Central Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria etc. These areas are located very far away from sea and have a typical continental climate of hot summers and very cold winters. These areas have at least two months below 32 F (0 C) in winter and at least one month above 68 F (20 C) in summer. For instance Belgrade and Bucharest both have three months each below 32 F, Kiev in Ukraine and Moscow both have five. Similarly in Summer Moscow and Kiev both have at least one month touching 68 F (20 C) while Bucharest and Belgrade have two months exceeding 70 F (21 C). This region also has a summer rain maxima but the rain fall is less than that of Central Europe.

5. Very cold most of the year with a very short summer.

The North of Russia, Norway except the south western part, Northern Sweden and Finland etc fall under this category. The winter is very large and long while the summer is short and warm. It is usual to have six to eight months below 32 F in these areas. The rainy is light to moderate which tends to be scanty as we move toward the poles. These areas are covered with snow for most months of the year and during a very brief summer beautiful flowers grow in abundance. This area is the coldest of all the areas described above hence very thinly populated. The extreme winter is due to two reasons; Its high latitudinal position and remoteness from sea. Some of the areas included in this climatic zone have very long days in summer and very short days in winter. Here they are appropriately called Lands of Midnight Sun.

The above description about different climates found in Europe is in no sense perfect but it does give a general idea about what type of weather to expect when traveling to the Continent.

Success Lessons From Greek Tycoon Aristotle Onassis's Life

The moment you finished this article, you will be able to learn how you can find whatever the years just ahead are good or bad for you, and how long this season will last, so that you can act accordingly: if there is a storm on The horizon, you will take shelter in time, if sunny days loom ahead, you will take advantage before the opportunity passes, so that you can highly succeed in life.

Before that however, we have first to see what lessons derive from Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis's life, how the alternatives of his life seasons from good to bad and vice versa radically influenced his successful career. Onassis began his career as a ship owner in 1933, while the Great Depression of 1929 had not ended yet. Because of the crisis, the ships' prices had declined precipitously. A ten-year-old freighter, which had cost $ 1 million to build in 1920, could now be obtained for $ 20,000. Onassis found that a whole fleet of ten such ships was for sale in Saint Lawrence in Canada. He immediately bought six of those ships for $ 20,000 each. And some years later, he expanded his fleet tremendously: he obtained a loan of $ 40 million in 1947 from various American banks and built 18 more ships, tankers included.

But in 1954 he did something that moved him to the brink of destruction. After a series of negotiations, he concluded an agreement with the king of Saudi Arabia that would give him the exclusive rights to use his tankers to transport that country's huge oil output. As soon as the agreement became known, however, a storm of protest broke out against Onassis – not only the big US oil companies, which had the exclusive right to produce the Saudi Arabian oil, but also from the government of the United States itself.

The oil companies protested specifically to Saudi Arabia, and simultaneously made clear to Onassis that each time his ships would arrive in that country's ports to load crude oil, they would not let him have it. US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles warned the Saudis that if they insist on upholding the agreement with Onassis, the American oil companies would stop oil production in that country. In the face of that reaction, the king of Saudi Arabia was forced to cancel the agreement.

At the same time, the US oil companies decided, out of revenge, to discontinue any cooperation with Onassis. Each time a charter contract for any of his ships expired, they would not renew it, giving it instead to other ship owners. At the end of 1955, half of Onassis's tanker fleet was idle. His main source of income was drying up at tremendous speed. That situation continued into 1956 as well. More and more of his ships were becoming idle, and those ships were mortgaged with the huge loans he had borrowed to build them. But Onassis no longer had sufficient income to repay the loans. In despair, he went around to the American banks to which he was engaged, asking them to take over management of his ships. The international shipping community expected him to announce bankruptcy at any moment.

That bankruptcy never happened, however. A new season started in Onassis's life. In October 1956, the Suez Canal closed to shipping because of the crisis between Egypt and Israel. As a result, ships had to circumnavigate Africa, adding considering time to each trip. Too few ships were available to meet the demand, and freight costs skyrocketed to unpackedented heights in 1957. The only ship owner who had ships available was Onassis. Because of the boycott the American oil companies had imposed on him, he had a huge number of ships standing idle in various ports. The results were predictable. Onassis's ships were chartered by desperate merchants, the boycott ended, and the acrimonial relations with the oil companies were forgotten.

Instead of destruction, triumph had arrived. Onassis began to realize dizzying profits: in 1957 alone, he earned $ 70 million – while ten years earlier, he had been head over heels in debt with the $ 40 million loan he had taken out. The profits were unbelievable. Onassis did not know what to do with all this money. His first act was to repay all the loans he owed.

His second act was to commission the building of new ships –among them a 100,000-ton tanker, the largest in the world at that time. His third act was to give a resplendent reception in Monte Carlo to celebrate his improved fortunes. And after some years, Onassis became the wealthiest person on earth.

By 1973, however, Onassis's brilliant season would end abruptly. What followed was a tragic season, the last of Onassis's life. In January 1973, Onassis's son Alexander was killed in a plane crash at the Athens airport at the age of 19. Onassis showed at first that he overcame that event. Immediately after his son's funeral and burial on his private island Skorpios, he started expanding his fleet. While the fleet then associated of more than 100 ships -among them 15 supertankers of 200,000 tons each – Onassis commissioned six more tankers to be built, two of them of 400,000 tons each, the largest tankers in the world.

But from 1974, things began worsening. Perhaps because of his son's death, he began in 1974 to suffer from myasthenia gravis, an incurable disease affecting the eyes and other parts of the body. He could not hold his eyelids open, and had to keep them up with tape. He had also a hard time swallowing food and slurred his words when speaking. Not surprisingly, he was full of complaints: about his life, about himself, about his marriage, about everything.

Next year-1975- was the last in Onassis's life: he became seriously ill from pneumonia. In an awful condition, he entered a hospital in Paris, where he was operated on to no avail. On March 15, 1975, the wealthiest man in the world died -at the age of 69. Only his daughter Christina was at his bedside.

Conclusion

From Onassis' life derives that in 1957, the bad season he experienced till that year (he was faced with bankruptcy, as you can recall) suddenly ended, and a good season started for him, when the Suez Canal closed to shipping and he began becoming The wealthiest person on earth. But in 1974, a reversal of seasons happened in his life: his good season ended that year and a bad one started, when his beloved son Alexander was killed in a plane crash, and Onassis began to suffer from myasthenia gravis that led him finally to Death.

Resembling alternations of seasons, however, derives also from the biographies of many other famous people I have studied. Among them, there are the biographies of Napoleon, Beethoven, Verdi, Churchill, Picasso, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret Thatcher, Columbus, Mandela, and many others, more than 20 biographies in total.

For example:
— Beethoven's good and bad seasons alternated in 1776, 1792, 1809, and 1825
— Napoleon's alternated in 1776, 1792, and 1809
— Churchill's alternated in 1875, 1892, 1908, 1924, and 1941
— Verdi's alternated in 1825, 1842, 1859, 1875, and 1892
— Picasso's alternated in 1892, 1908, 1925, 1941, and 1957
— Jackie Kennedy Onassis's alternated in 1941, 1957, 1974, and 1990
— Elizabeth Taylor's alternated in 1941, 1958, 1975, and 1990
— Margaret Thatcher's alternated in 1941, 1957, 1975, and 1990
— Mandela's alternated in 1941, 1957, 1974, and 1990
— Queen Elizabeth's I of England alternated in 1545, 1562, 1578 and 1595
— Columbus's alternated in 1479 and 1496.

Comparing these biographies, I arrived at an astonishing discovery: the seasons of all the above people alternating according to a certain pattern. Also, after extensive research, I found that our own lives' seasons alternate according to the same certain pattern. That means, therefore, we can foresee how our life's good and bad seasons will alternate in the future, with amazing accuracy.

So, we can act accordingly. If there is a storm on the horizon, we can take a shelter in time. If sunny days loom ahead, we can take advantage before the opportunity passes. We can thus highly succeed in life by taking contractual decisions regarding our career, marriage, family, relationships, and all other life's issues.

Managerial Duties and Responsibilities

Hold High Performers – Mantra to exceed expectations for any director in his/her administrative obligations and duties. It is obviously not as straightforward as it might sound on the paper. Release us over it how to make it a less demanding activity for you and me.

Superior workers Are Also Highly Ambitious: Usually the representatives are superior workers in the association are additionally profoundly eager individuals who have a profession way laid out for them in their psyche. This makes the occupation of a director harder in the event that one doesn’t know about their profession arranges. Speak with your high performing representatives frequently about their desire and profession objectives.

Make Opportunities for Your High Performing Employees: One of the coveted destinations of the administrative obligations and duties is to make open doors for your colleagues to understand their profession desires and feature their potential inside the association. You may do as such by selecting your best individuals to association ventures, cross utilitarian examinations, key activities, basic assignments in view of the representatives’ center qualities and skills. This rouses individuals and keeps them stuck to their supervisors.

Different Teams Are Also The Same Organization: For a worker who tries and is driven, any part in the association that meets his/her profession objectives is a part worth seeking after. What do you do in the event that he/she chooses to take up another part in the association? It is a misfortune to your group and to you as a director. A decent representative bounced your ship and you are confronted with steady loss. Allude to the principal point in this article and keep your superior workers tuned into the part that best uses their potential and leads them to profession objectives. It requires your inclusion as a supervisor; the prizes are yours as well.

Advancement of Any Form Is A Motivator: High entertainers are likewise individuals who get a kick out of the chance to create themselves in their space. They look for information inputs, as to work on winding up noticeably better experts and get propelled on the off chance that they are handheld through intercessions that help them sparkle in their calling. That central goal would you say you are accomplishing as a supervisor to encourage this? It is generally less complex to fitting this hole and have the representatives’ faithfulness. As a supervisor, your group yield develops complex as well if each colleague works towards getting to be plainly successful and effective in their occupations.

Individual Success Stories Inspire The Most: I am yet to realize what motivates more than the examples of overcoming adversity of the supervisor! It’s a benefit and pride to work for a supervisor with a noteworthy profession track record. Be the one and perceive how your best entertainers demonstrate their profession on your examples of overcoming adversity. Their inclination to learn shape you will have them work for you as well.

Administrative obligations and duties are unlimited and differing; frequently mind boggling and testing yet some basic arrangements can make the adventure energizing and in the event that you figure out how to hold your best entertainers in the group thus of being an effective supervisor, you have the course of action right.