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Great ourania 2016-09-16 7:24

Hello John,
thank you so much both for this wonderful dedication and for the inspiration and encouragement you are offering me and other members so generously! The story of the monastery of Arcadi is fascinating and has become a solid legend in the Greek consciousness. I recall how it terrified me during History lesson at school. I learned a lot of details I didn't know or remember from your note too! I love the light, the colours and the textures of your picture. The perspective and shapes of the church are very well placed and attract the viewer instantly. I also like the way you handled the contrast, the lovely warm and cold colours exude a dramatic intensity. Congratulations and thank you very much again!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
Ourania

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Old 09-16-2016, 03:02 PM
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tyro tyro is offline
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Default To ourania: Thank you Ourania!

Thank you, Ourania, for your kind words.

I hope you didn't think that I was canvassing and looking for points or anything like that - but I knew that you were interested in history (as I am too) and that this place in Crete has more than its fair share of that.

We all know or remember the dreadful suffering of the Cretans during the airborne invasion of May, 1941 but I presume that not so many realise what atrocities were suffered less than a century before that.

Arkadi is a wonderful place but, even as a visitor, you feel a strange stillness and quietness in the place - not just because there are monks and nuns still occupying the monastery - but as though there is still a lingering memory of what went on here so long ago.

We loved our visit here seven years ago - and we loved our visit to the Preveli monastery too. Again, I'm not looking for points - and you probably know the story too - but I'll maybe try to dig out some other pictures of that. In the meantime, you can see this picture which is not very good but the note includes a link to a lovely story about an Australian soldier called Geoff Edwards who was protected from the Germans and looked after by the monks of Preveli (at great risk to their own lives) and subsequently made his escape. So grateful was Geoff Edwards that, after the War and his return to Australia, he founded a little village in Western Australia and called it "Prevelly" - and there he also built a tiny chapel modelled on the one in the monastery at Preveli. He also wrote a book which he had published in 1969 and the proceeds from that he divided and donated between the little chapel at Prevelly in Australia and the Preveli monastery in Crete. He died in April, 2000 - but what a lovely story, isn't it? But perhaps you already knew it.

Kind Regards,

John.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:28 PM
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Hello John,
I've heard or read about this story in the past and, once again, I appreciate very much the details and the style of your reference to it. There were many more atrocities in Crete after 1941, mass executions and destructions of entire villages by the Nazis. The Battle of Crete is a chapter in the History of several nations.
I have another story for you: One of the German paratroopers who survived the Battle of Crete went on to fight in the Battle of Leros, in Novemebr 1943. He was the second to jump off the plane flying over Mt Rahi (near my neighbourhood), the first one was shot and killed. The second soldier, a radio operator, made it to the ground and to the end of the four-day battle. He carried a little camera with a roll of film in it and used all of its 35 shots on Leros. Many decades later, shortly before he died, he gave his photos to a German author, who loves Leros and writes about WWII in the Aegean. The German soldier's name was Hans Weisser, he left some fascinating insight into the Battle. The author is Peter Schenk and a few years ago, he lent the photos to be exhibited on Leros, where I saw them too.
The personal stories of the people who were (or are) involved in wars have so much to teach us, maybe there would be fewer wars if we paid attention to them.
Thank you again, John!
All the best,
Ourania
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