Greece: Athens and Crete

(Click on the pictures for larger versions.)
Storm brewing in Crete

A Week in Crete

Crete, the largest island in Greece, is perfectly balanced between Asia, Africa and Europe. Blue skies and an even bluer sea, warm sunshine, quaint old towns: Crete is beautiful! Chania (Hania), on the northwest coast, was home to a pulsar astronomy conference for a week in August 2002: here are a handful of photographs from that trip.

Chania waterfront Lighthouse in Chania harbor Chania: the lighthouse and tourist transport

Chania has a touristy waterfront with a picture-perfect lighthouse, as well as an "Old Town" quarter which is a warren of twisty, maze-like streets, old houses, shops, and ancient structures and bath-houses converted to tavernas. (Click on the pictures for a larger copy.)

Old Town Chania Old Town Chania Shop entrance in Old Town

Once you get a little further afield, Crete is dry and dusty in the summer heat, with roadside churches and shrines in bright pastel colors, and the occasional ancient ruin. And of course there is the coast, dotted with secluded coves, pebbly beaches, and the blue sea always in the background...

Pebbles on the beach Abandoned ruins Roadside shrines


What would a pulsar meeting be without pulsar astronomers? Here's an attempt at reassmebling the group of astronomers who were on the Vieques trip from March 2000, a year and a half ago. We had 8 out of 10 - not bad. Back row: Andrea, Maura, Rick, Ingrid and Dunc. Front row: Aris, Fernando and me. There's even a gap for Eric and Adam - compare to the previous photograph! (Thanks to Dan Stinebring for this photo.)

The traditional group photo: 2

36 Hours in Athens

It must be hard to be Greek and live in Athens, with the constant reminder of past glories always brooding over the city. Walk up the hill to the Acropolis and the ruins remind you that Western philosophy traces its roots back to this very spot: and this is all that remains. It's enough to drive one to quoting Shelley:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

The Parthenon ruins The porch of the Caryatids

The Plaka from the Acropolis Detail from a church entrance arch

Top row, from left to right: The Parthenon, bits of it up close, and the porch of the Caryatids (part of the Erecthion, also on the Acropolis).

Left: The view from the Acropolis, looking down on the Plaka, the city, and Lecabettus Hill (re Walter - I'm not sure) in the distance.

Right: A detail from the entrance to the Church of the Holy Apostles. Churches and shrines that would look pretty anywhere else sprout like weeds in Athens.

Below left: The Horologion of Kyrrhestos ("Tower of the Winds") seen through the eastern propylon; right: The Temple of Zeus Olympian.

Tower of the Winds The Temple of Zeus

Below left: What remains of the entrance to the Roman Agora. Below right and bottom: the Temple of Hephaistos, up close and from the Acropolis.

The entrance to the Roman Agora The Temple of Hephaistos


About these photographs:
These photographs were taken in August 2002, using a Canon EOS Elan II body with a 24-80 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, on Kodak ISO 100 (and some ISO 400) film. Scanned in, cropped and contrast-adjusted (only) with Photoshop.

If you've browsed this far, you might want to look at my homepage and the other galleries listed there.

Shami Chatterjee
shami at
Last modified: 24 Sep 2002
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