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Record August traffic at Cyprus airports September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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Hermes Airports has reported a record month for passenger traffic.

Passenger figures for Larnaca and Paphos International Airports recorded an all-time high last month, with nearly one million passengers travelling through the two airports in August, an 8.35 per cent increase on August 2006, when additional passengers travelled through Cyprus as part of the Lebanon evacuation.

At Larnaca, passenger figures for August 2007 showed a 13.44 per cent increase on August 2006. Passenger traffic for the year to date is also up 2.23 per cent on 2006 levels. Over the months of June, July and August, more than 2.6 million air passengers, travelled into and out of Cyprus, putting heavy demands on facilities and staff at both airports.

For summer 2007, Hermes Airports has introduced new car parking and set down arrangements, additional check-in desks, new retailing and catering outlets and arrivals and meet and greet facilities at both airports. The upgrades have been made to both terminals, until the new passenger terminals open at Paphos International Airport in November 2008, and at Larnaca International Airport in November 2009, as part of a 622 million euro investment programme.

Book now with new easyCruise ship and itineraries September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Cruises.
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easyCruise is back and better than ever. The no-frills, budget cruise line has just announced their new Greece’s itineraries for 2008 and the launch of a new easyCruise vessel.

The easyCruise Life will be double the size of easyCruiseOne and carry more than 500 passengers. The ship will feature the fusion On6 restaurant and bar, the Apivita spa and wellness zone, a chillout zone for hanging out and watching TV, and a store for buying easyCruise logo items and everyday necessities. The new ship also features the first easyCruise pool, in addition to the infamous hot tub.

Both easyCruise Life and easyCruiseOne will spend 2008 in Greece. The easyCruiseLife will sail seven-night itineraries from Athens to the Greek islands of Syros, Samos, Kalymnos, Kos, Paros, and Mykonos, beginning in April 2008. Guests can join the cruise in Athens on Sundays.

The easyCruiseOne will continue to sail weekend Aegean Escape voyages from Athens to Poros, Mykonos, Paros, and Sifnos islands. It will also begin a new 10-night around the Ionian Sea itinerary with calls at Ithaki, Paxos, Corfu, Kefallonia, Zakynothos, Corinth, Itea for Delphi and Preveza.

Related Links > http://www.easycruise.com

Temple to Herakles identified September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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Inscription on a bronze flask links the sanctuary with the legendary hero

greek_bronze_flask.jpg  greek_container.jpg  Left, the inscription on this rare bronze flask that was discovered in the ancient temple indicates that it was dedicated to Herakles by Tilephilos. It was found in 1999 but put into storage until last week when conservators cleaning it realized what a rare find they had. Right, a ring-shaped container for aromatic oils. Both objects come from an Archaic-era sanctuary on the hill of Spartia, Sesklo, in the prefecture of Magnesia.

Bronze vases, lead and clay objects, weapons, iron tools and figurines are among the harvest of finds from an archaic-era sanctuary on the hill of Spartia, Sesklo, in the prefecture of Magnesia.

One outstanding find was a bronze, navel-shaped flask bearing the inscription “Tilephilos dedicated me to Herakles.” This rare discovery identifies the sanctuary with the altar to the mythical hero. In any case, the cult of Herakles is directly linked to the ancient city of Pherae, and is documented in the area by commemorative inscriptions from the Hellenistic era. It is also linked, as Ephor Argyro Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou said, with the myth of Alceste and Admetos which we know from the work of Euripides.

Written in the local archaic alphabet, from right to left – which enhances its value – the inscription and flask were discovered in excellent condition, to the delight of the archaeologists. This will make it the prime unpublished find that the ephorate presents, along with other objects, at the Fifth International Pherae-Velestinos-Rigas Conference being held October 4-7 in Velestino.

The bronze flask was found some years ago during work on a natural gas pipeline at the hill of Spartia near the ancient Pherae-Pagasses road, now the Volos-Velestino-Larissa highway. Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou, who was jointly in charge of the excavation along with Evangelia Stamelou, explained how it came to light along with scores of other rare finds in 1999. As the XII Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities had a heavy workload at that time, the finds were put in storage awaiting study. The surprise came when the flask was cleaned during conservation work.

The Spartia-Latomeio archaeological site was made known in 1922 by the first Ephor of Thessaly, A. Arvanitopoulos, who showed that it was a prehistoric settlement that was also inhabited in the Archaic, Classical and Byzantine eras. As Stamelou explained, Arvanitopoulos had hypothesized on the basis of a small excavation he conducted that there was a 5th or 4th century temple on the site which revealed black-figured roof tiles and ceramics with black tin.

Other finds, clay metopes with yellow veneer, bronze commemorative vases, spearheads and part of the arm of a marble statue, were among other discoveries that he attributed to the existence of an earlier phase of the same temple.

In 1999, a rescue dig by the ephorate confirmed his hypothesis, revealing part of a plate made of large limestone slabs. “It was 3 meters wide and around 4 meters of its length was visible. It probably continued beneath the Volos – Larissa road,” she said. Around the base was a dense layer of stones that covered the spaces where the objects were found. Burnt animal bones found nearby were another confirmation that this was an altar.

Stamelou added that observation of the layers uncovered during the excavation, the presence of a lamp, Hellenistic pottery and an Istiaian coin (3rd century-146 BC), were indications that the monument was built during that period on top of the ancient temple.

Elsewhere on the site, excavators found pottery dating from Neolithic to Ottoman times, and part of the road linking Pherae and Pagasses.

Indie photo festival on Kythera island going strong September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Small and highly interesting, event scheduled for September 27-30 > Among the exhibits, a photograph of a girl from Nikos Politis’s collection which is titled ‘Photographs of a Special Day.’

Cultural institutions that manage to establish a regular presence in the Greek countryside are rare. The Kythera Photography Meetings is one of the most popular and highly successful events of the Greek independent photography scene because of good initiatives and careful planning.

The event always focuses on a conference and further features exhibitions and two awards, for photography publications and first-time photographers, so as to shed light on photographic history and to promote young artists at the same time. This has all been achieved by the festival’s artistic director, Lianes Stathatos, who moved to the island after spending many years in London. He is joined by the active members of the Kythera Cultural Society and of the City of Kythera, all of whom have succeeded in creating a credible and interesting festival.

Since 2002, the Kythera Meetings have been taking place in the last days of September. This year’s program, which will take place from September 27 to 30, includes a two-day conference on the history of Greek photography, a day conference for young photographers, screenings, lectures and an award ceremony of two national photography prizes. Conference highlights include Laurent Stanich’s lecture on photography at the Musee d’Orsay and Haris Yiakoumis’s lecture on Belgian photographer T’Serstevens’s panoramic view of early 20th-century Greece. The conference will also feature talks by academics, researchers and other experts.

At the one-day conference for young photographers, Stratos Kalafatis will present his work and will lead an open discussion with participants, while an open seminar with Giorgos Depollas has also been scheduled to take place.

This year’s exhibitions will feature photographs that Kalafatis took on his recent visit to Japan, interesting children’s portraits from Nikos Politis’s collection titled “Photographs of a Special Day” and a display by Hara Varsamidou, who was distinguished last year at the young Greek photographers exhibition.

Five books are up for the prize from the City of Kythera for the best photography book of the year, which will grant the winner the sum of 2,000 euros. They include Yiannis Kontos’s “A-Pories,” published by Kastaniotis, and Camilo Nollas’s “Kapnomagaza,” also by Kastaniotis, among others.

Oscar-winning director in Athens for international film festival September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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William Friedkin, director of ‘The French Connection,’ ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Cruising,’ is the honorary guest of this year’s edition of Premiere Nights.

A restless artist driven by perfectionism, American Academy-Award-winning film director William Friedkin is the honorary guest at this year’s Premiere Nights Athens International Film Festival, scheduled for September 19 to 30.

Films by Friedkin will feature among the highlights at the festival. Friedkin, to be accompanied by his renowned and powerful wife, Sherry Lansing, the first female CEO at a Hollywood studio who nowadays is an active humanitarian, will also present a workshop offering insight into his craft.

Born in 1935, Friedkin is best known for 1971’s “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist” which both landed him Best Director Oscars. More recently, he generated considerable interest with “Bug” a psychological thriller that won the Fipresci, or film critics’ award, at last year’s Cannes Festival.

Friedkin films to be screened at the Athens festival include a digitized and remastered version of 1980’s “Cruising” a thriller starring Al Pacino cast as a seedy big-city figure, on September 23 at the Attikon Theater. “Live and Let Die” a 1985 release that is regarded as one of Friedkin’s best yet least known projects, will be screened at the Apollon Theater the following evening, September 24. On the night, Friedkin will be presented with the Golden Athens award for his lifetime achievements in film. Earlier that day, Friedkin will offer a workshop focused on his work methods at the Ianos bookstore at 2 p.m.

“From the moment a film of mine hits the theater screens, I develop a love-hate relationship with it. There’s always something that I could have done to make it better,” Friedkin has been quoted as saying about his work. He will, presumably, tackle this elusive subject during his Athens workshop.

Greece looks to take command of group C September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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‘We intend to defend the top spot by playing with heart and mind,’ the National soccer team’s coach Otto Rehhagel told reporters at Athens airport yesterday.

Greece, the frontrunner in Group C for a place at the Euro 2008 finals, is hosted by second-placed Norway tomorrow. The Norwegians lie two points behind but Greece has a game in hand.

Greece will be looking to maintain top spot in its Euro 2008 qualifying group when it meets second-placed Norway in Oslo tomorrow night. The frontrunner in Group C for a berth at the Euro 2008 soccer finals, Greece would take further command with a win, or even draw, in tomorrow’s encounter.

Though Greece did not play in last Saturday’s round of Group C games, it proved to be a constructive night for Rehhagel’s men. Most results produced by the seven-team group’s three other pairs favored Greece’s interests.

Apart from Norway, a poor starter in its qualifying campaign, which continued its revival in Group C with a 1-0 win at Moldova to trail Greece by two points in Group C, the rest of the challengers faltered. The Norwegians have played an additional game, eight in total. Third-placed Turkey drew in Malta and Bosnia-Herzegovina, currently fourth and, realistically, the group’s only other team with a chance of qualifying, lost against Hungary in Budapest. Greece leads with 18 points from seven games. Norway follows on 16 points from eight games. Turkey is third on 14 points from seven games. After eight games, Bosnia-Herzegovina is on 13 points. The top two qualify.

Rehhagel will be without two strikers, Angelos Charisteas of Nuremberg and Yiannis Amanatidis of Eintracht Frankfurt, both injured. Just days ago, Greece’s German coach, who became a National hero here after leading Greece to its European title in 2004, was quoted as telling German daily Bild that he felt more Greek than ever as a result of the recent wildfires that ravaged the country and led to the loss of nearly 70 lives.

Meanwhile, in Greek club-level soccer, Dusan Bajevic, the coach who has won scores of titles at AEK, Olympiakos and PAOK, begins his latest job at Aris today. Bajevic signed a three-year deal with the Thessaloniki team.

Volleyball rues early exit from Europeans September 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Baseball Handball Volleyball.
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The National volleyball team gave fans another heartbreak with its premature exit from the 25th European Championships in Russia, as it finished bottom of its group with one win (3-2 over the Netherlands on Friday) in three games.

Defeats to Germany on Saturday (3-0) and Serbia on Sunday (3-1) meant that coach Alekos Leonis did not get the start he was hoping for in his first major tournament at the Greek bench.

Greece finished level on points with The Netherlands but went out on set difference, after the Dutch beat the Germans 3-0, in a win which Leonis dubbed a Eurovision Song Contest-like match, in which neighbors exchanged favors.

Greece will now have to play in a tournament in November to fight for its qualification to next summer’s Olympic Games.

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