A planned community

The year is 1413, and you inherit an island that is uninhabited becase, 70 years prior, Umur Pasha raided the island and everyone either ran away or were sold into slavery.

What to do?

You may petition the government to establish a fort, to keep the Turks away and protect the island.  But then you may have to wait forever.  You may, perhaps, pay for the fort, but forts are costly and unproductive: forts plant no crops and raise no livestock.  You'd never get your money back.

But if you are Zan Quirini, the solution is straightforward: you build a planned community.  The community consists of duplex homes, two stories each, surrounded by a ring of three-story houses.  The back-wall of the three-story houses is a very nice, solid fortress wall, hanging over precipices on all sides, with a couple of defensive towers.  You then invite settlers from Mykonos and from Tilos, and you charge them rent for their nifty new homes.

The Castle of Stampalia still stands on what once was the acropolis of Astypalaia.  The people only left Quirini's houses in the 1950's because of earthquakes, and the Castle is now an open museum in which only the churches and the fortress wall have been kept in good condition.

Zan's descendants appended "Stampalia" to their last name, in memory of the island they once owned.  To this day their home, Palazzo Quirini Stampalia, is a public library and museum in Venice.

The church of Saint George inside the Castle.  Stampalia (Astypalaia), Dodecanese.  Leica Typ 114, 11 August 2018.

The church of Saint George inside the Castle.  Stampalia (Astypalaia), Dodecanese.  Leica Typ 114, 11 August 2018.

Where only a lark remains

Gortyn was for hundreds of years  a major Roman provincial capital: it oversaw Crete and Cyrenaica.  Only two buildings have been excavated and are monitored by site guards: the Odeon and Titus' church —he whom Paul left in Crete to evangelize the island.  The rest of the large city lies under olive groves, neglected.

This olive tree, one of the oldest and largest in Greece, was planted around the year 400, after earthquakes had damaged most buildings, but hundreds of years before the city was finally destroyed by Saracen invaders.  Some jokester inserted the broken column in the tree when it was still young, and the tree grew around it.  

Of all the things the average Cretan, Greek, Roman and Byzantine people did in Gortyn for the two thousand years that they made this city their home, this prank is pretty much all that is left.

Peregrinus  anchored off of Crete for three weeks.  Gortyn, Crete, 24 March 2018.  Leica Typ 114

Peregrinus anchored off of Crete for three weeks.  Gortyn, Crete, 24 March 2018.  Leica Typ 114

On the beach at Mykonos

Peregrinus at our Mykonos anchorage, as seen from Ornos Beach.

4:46pm, 5 August 2017.  Leica Typ 114.

4:46pm, 5 August 2017.  Leica Typ 114.

In Leros

A windmill on its own island, under the watchful eye of the Castle of Our Lady, in Leros.  The castle sits where the ancient acropolis of Leros once stood.

Peregrinus  stayed at anchor in Leros three nights in late July 2017.

Peregrinus stayed at anchor in Leros three nights in late July 2017.